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Magic and the millennium : a study of the millenary motifs in the occult milieu of Puritan England, 1640-1660 Trout, Paul Arno 1974

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MAGIC AND THE MILLENNIUM: A STUDY OF THE MILLENARY MOTIFS IN THE OCCULT MILIEU OF PURITAN ENGLAND, . 1640--1660  by PAUL ARNO TROUT M.A.,  University  of Minnesota,  1968  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the  Department of  English  We accept t h i s requi red  thesis  as conforming to  standard  THE UNIVERSITY  OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  December,  1974  the  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r  an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree the  L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e  that  and study.  I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head o f my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n written  permission.  Department o f  E n g l i sh  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada  Date  15  December, 1974  s h a l l not be allowed without my  i i  ABSTRACT It  i s the t h e s i s of t h i s  study that during the years  of the P u r i t a n Revo!ution (T640-1660), the o c c u l t m i l i e u  of  England gave repeated expression to what can only be c a l l e d a millenarian  salvational  message, that i s , to a message which  promised a s a l v a t i o n at once c o l l e c t i v e , t e r r e s t r i a l , total,  and m i r a c u l o u s .  It  i s a l s o argued that the  imminent,  salvational  v i s i o n advanced by the magicians of the Hermetic magical ition  agreed almost p e r f e c t l y with the m i l l e n a r i a n  dreams of the P u r i t a n s e c t s a c t i v e during  trad-  hopes and  the'revolutionary  decades. This study o f f e r s  a hitherto  overlooked reason why--  during the r e v o l u t i o n a r y y e a r s - - P u r i t a n s of many p e r s u a s i o n s , but p a r t i c u l a r l y to,  those of the  and even sought to r e v i v e ,  occult sciences attracted liefs  left-wing  s e c t s , were  the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s .  The  P u r i t a n s because they provided be-  and 'myths' which v a l i d a t e d  the more or l e s s intense  mi 11enarianism which c h a r a c t e r i z e d l e f t - w i n g  P u r i t a n groups,  those groups d i s s a t i s f i e d with the c o n s e r v a t i v e offered  attracted  'reformation'  by the P r e s b y t e r i a n and Cromwel1ian s e t t l e m e n t s .  study demonstrates that P u r i t a n s with many d i f f e r e n t millenarian its  beliefs  employed m a g i c - - i t s myths, i t s  prophecies--tb validate  ations o f ,  a 'radical'  a reformation  or  tantamount  their  own d e s i r e s f o r ,  'perfect'  reformation  to the millennium  kinds of  doctrines, and expect-  of the  itself.  This  world--  i i i  In an i n t r o d u c t o r y  chapter  (II),  the  between magic and mi 11enarianism i s e x p l o r e d .  relationship This chapter  argues that Western magic acquired a s a l v a t i o n a l millenarian revival  scope and i n t e n s i t y  of the Renaissance.  about the time of the  to r e l e a s e both humankind and nature  creation,  redemptive mission meant that  ings Adam was thought  the s p i r i t u a l  paradise to  and material  to have enjoyed while in Eden.  the time of the Hermetic r e v i v a l  earth.  blessFrom  through the seventeenth  the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s gave repeated expression to  millenarian  the  of paradise would be accomplished when human-  kind enjoyed once again a l l  tury,  Hermetic  from the Curse. To the  o c c u l t sciences were to be used to r e s t o r e The r e s t o r a t i o n  Hermetic  T h i s mission enjoined the  magician to use the powers of magic to redeem a l l  Western m a g i c i a n , t h i s  mission of  promise of world redemption.  Chapter II  cen-  this concludes  by showing that P u r i t a n m i l l e n a r i a n s expected to enjoy in  the  millennium p r e c i s e l y the same s p i r i t u a l  and material b l e s s i n g s  the magicians promised to bestow on a l l  people through magic.  The remaining chapters explore the same m i l l e n a r i a n motifs  and d o c t r i n e s in the o c c u l t m i l i e u of Puritan England.  The o c c u l t m i l i e u Rosicrucianism.  i s d e f i n e d as a s t r o l o g y , Behmenism, and During the P u r i t a n  R e v o l u t i o n , each of these  o c c u l t c i r c l e s gave repeated expression to a wide v a r i e t y  of  millenarian  in  pronouncements, almost a l l  of which v a l i d a t e d  some way the mi 11enarianism pervading the P u r i t a n sects during the r e v o l u t i o n a r y y e a r s .  CONTENTS  Chapter I. II.  III.  IV.  INTRODUCTION  1  MAGIC AND THE MILLENNIUM  20  Part  1: The E v o l u t i o n of M i l l e n a r i a n  Part  2: The Nature  Part  3: The M i l l e n a r i a n  of M i l l e n a r i a n  Magic  . . . . . .  23  Magic  M i l i e u of P u r i t a n  57 England .  .  .  100  STARS OVER EDEN: ASTROLOGY AND APOCALYPSE, 1640-1660  129  THE MAGICIANS OF JEHOVAH: BEHMENISM AND THE MILLENNIUM IN ENGLAND  201  Part  1: The Writings  205  Part  2:  of Jacob Boehme  .  E n g l i s h Behmenists  230  V. THE ROSICRUCIAN REFORMATION OF THE WORLD Part  1:  Part  2: The Hart! i b Ci r c l e  CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY  249  Vaughan and the Manifestos .  .  .  256 .  .  .. .  .  . . .  .  .  .  . . . . .  288 318  .  327  1  CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Several years  ago, a student  of m i l l e n a r i a n  observed that the v i s i o n of the millennium certain  "magical  investigated  overtones."  Why t h i s  1  movements  seems to  contain  should be so has been  by P r o f e s s o r Bryan W i l s o n , i n h i s recent work 2  e n t i t l e d Magi c and the Mi 11enni urn. Using data cultures,  drawn p r i m a r i l y  f o r mi 11enarian  to,  African  P r o f e s s o r Wilson has constructed a theory  accounts f o r magical  lieves  from p r e l i t e r a t e  elements  elements  that magical  in magical  movements, and  movements.  Wilson be-  p r a c t i c e s and movements can give  or can r e i n f o r c e ,  can do t h i s  in m i l l e n a r i a n  which  millenarian  by o f f e r i n g  to s a t i s f y  movements, and that an unusually  rise they  intense  and  S y l v i a L. Thrupp, " M i l l e n n i a l Dreams in A c t i o n : A Report on the Conference D i s c u s s i o n , " i n M i l l e n n i a l Dreams in A c t i on, ed. S y l v i a L. Thrupp (New•York: Schocken edn. , 1 9 7 0 ) , p.22. The conference was held in 1960. 2 Bryan R. W i l s o n , Magi c and the Mi 11enni urn: A S o c i o l o g i c a l Study of R e l i g i o u s Movements of P r o t e s t ""("New York: Harper and Row, 1973"). This d i s s e r t a t i o n ~ ¥ a d been t e n t a t i v e l y ent i t l e d "Magic and the Millennium" before W i l s o n ' s study appeared. The t i t l e has been r e t a i n e d because i t s u c c i n c t l y conveys the most apt i n d i c a t i o n of the subject matter of t h i s s t u d y .  2  broad popular demand f o r viewed as o b j e c t i v e  'salvation'  and p e r v a s i v e .  such a demand f o r s a l v a t i o n p e u t i c supernatural a total  cultural  Wilson, then,  "by magic"  enough to work  According to P r o f e s s o r  "magical overtones" in some m i l l e n -  a r i a n movements because p a r t i c i p a n t s sometimes b e l i e v e  that the  in those movements  'millennium'  will  be  instituted  (p.7).  Even more i n t e r e s t i n g that the magical  i s P r o f e s s o r W i l s o n ' s observation  therapeutic  agency of c u l t u r a l  does not n e c e s s a r i l y have to be absorbed i n t o movement to acquire an e x p l i c i t l y he points o u t ,  transformation  a millenarian  'millenarian'  import.  sometimes a magical movement i t s e l f  come " i n f u s e d with the e f f e c t s of the  is  to people a t h e r a -  agency seemingly powerful  are  that  Magic can sometimes meet  by o f f e r i n g  transformation.  there  from an ' e v i l '  revolutionist  movement,"  of the c a t a l y t i c and can i t s e l f  As  can be-  experience acquire  aspir-  3  ations  concerning the transformation  Something l i k e magical  tradition  this  of the  world.  seems to have occurred w i t h i n  of Europe around the time of the  the  Hermetic  °Magic and the M i l l e n n i u m , p.349; p.382. Although m i l l e n a r i a n movements are not n e c e s s a r i l y r e v o l u t i o n a r y , and r e v o l u t i o n a r y movements are not n e c e s s a r i l y mi 11enarian, the two f r e q u e n t l y o v e r l a p ; P r o f e s s o r Wilson o c c a s i o n a l l y uses the two terms i n t e r c h a n g a b l y , perhaps because a m i l l e n a r i a n movement, when a c t i v i s t , o f f e r s the same sweeping r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of the world promi sed by a l l r e v o l u t i o n a r y movements. "But where a future messiah i s expected, the l i k e l i h o o d of a r e v o l u t i o n i s t response to the world i s c o n s i d e r a b l e " (p. 135; see a l s o pp.365, 23, 272, 196).  3  revival  of* the Renaissance.  brilliant  analysis  of Renaissance Hermetic magic (Giordano Bruno and the  Hermetic  Tradi t i o n , 1964)  Frances Y a t e s  1  has revealed that many magicians (most  Bruno and Campanella) were l i t e r a l l y world reform and of the r e t u r n  notably,  obsessed with dreams of  of the Golden Age, and that  they b e l i e v e d that t h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the human c o n d i t i o n 4 would be brought about by magic. Yates  1  1i qhtenment with t h i s  latest  study of the o c c u l t , The R o s i c r u c i a n En-  (London: Routledge , 1972), i s even more concerned  Hermetic dream of world r e f o r m a t i o n .  For the  first  time in her s t u d i e s of the o c c u l t , P r o f e s s o r Yates uses the term ' m i l l e n n i a l '  (or one of i t s  the r e f o r m a t i o n i s t  variants)  to  message of a magical movement.  by J o a c h i t e and C h r i s t i a n v i s i o n s of a f u t u r e tion,  characterize Influenced  age of  perfec-  the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross sounded i n i t s second  manifesto  (the  Confessio,  described as "a powerful  1615)  what P r o f e s s o r Yates has  p r o p h e t i c and a p o c a l y p t i c note" de-  c l a r i n g that "the end i s at hand," and that the "great  reform-  ation"  promised by the Rosy Cross " i s to be a m i l l e n n i u m , a  return  to the state  of Adam in P a r a d i s e . "  The message of  Giordano Bruno (New York: Vintage e d n . , 1969), 225-33, 262, 279, 286, 339, 343, 386, 408-09, 414. 5  the  pp.41,  R o s i c r u c i a n Enlightenment, p.48. For the J o a c h i t e i n f l u ence, see p.35; a l s o , Paul A r n o l d , His t o i r e des Rose-Croix et Tes Ori gi nes de 1 a Franc-Maconnerie ( P a r i s , 1955), p p . 1 3 2 - 3 ; a l s o , g e n e r a l l y , Marjorie Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages: A Study of Joachimism (Oxford: Oxford UT"P7TT9"69). —  4  R o s i c r u c i a n m a n i f e s t o s , she d e c l a r e s , i s sage of u n i v e r s a l  reformation  "an a p o c a l y p t i c mes-  leading to a millennium"  (p.57).  The R o s i c r u c i a n s b e l i e v e d that the mi 11ennium would be brought about by a r e v i v a l  of the a l l e g e d l y  ' m a g i c a l ' wisdom of Adam  ( p . 1 2 0 ) , and that they themselves were ordained by God to stimulate  this  revival.  Eventually this  revival  of the magical  wisdom of Adam would lead to a renovation not only of man's spirit,  but of his body as well  (RE_, p.232),  This R o s i c r u c i a n dream of r e f o r m a t i o n , P r o f e s s o r Yates has demonstrated, had i t s in P u r i t a n England.  supporters and m i s s i o n a r i e s even  In f a c t ,  one might even be able to  speak of a R o s i c r u c i a n r e v i v a l itan Revolution.  during the years of the Pur-  The r e f o r m a t i o n i s t  message of the  hood agreed p e r f e c t l y with the general iasm generated by the p o l i t i c a l agreed so w e l l ,  millenarian  Brotherenthus-  upheavals of the time.  as a matter of f a c t ,  that Parliament  It  and the  leaders of the P u r i t a n movement gave f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e to a c i r c l e of adepts whose endeavors were i n s p i r e d by the Rosicrucian ideal  of world reformation  (RE, p p . 1 7 1 - 9 2 ) .  This brings us to the subject of the I  b e l i e v e that reformation!'st  present study.  and m i l l e n a r i a n myths and  impulses can be detected throughout the o c c u l t m i l i e u  of  P u r i t a n E n g l a n d , not being confined merely to R o s i c r u c i a n i s m . In f a c t ,  it  i s the p r i n c i p a l  t h e s i s of t h i s  study that during  t h i s p e r i o d the occul t mi 1 ieu gave repeated expression to a^ wide assortment of m i l l e n a r i a n  beliefs  and v i s i o n s .  5  A 'millenarian'  or reformationist' 1  belief or vision  is one which contains a concept of earthly tails  a 'radical'  reformation  salvation that en-  of the world, a re-formation  so total and complete that i t brings about a wholly superior social order and a perfected physical order.  What shall be  improved are the objective conditions of the human s i t u a t i o n , not the way in which this situation might be personally or subjectively experienced.  In other words, the  expected amounts to much more than a subjective tion towards the world:  it  reformation reorienta-  amounts to a new w o r l d .  6  Although I use 'reformationist' and 'millenarian' as basically synonymous terms, 'reformationist' is the more i n clusive category, including a l l sorts of visions (such as the Utopian) that de-emphasize the ' m i r a c u l o u s ' element that we find in visions more s p e c i f i c a l l y called ' m i l l e n a r i a n . ' I might point out that I use the form 'reformationist' to suggest a breadth of envisioned change and an intensity of hope simply not conveyed by the word ' r e f o r m i s t , ' which is more ameliorative in connotation. In reference to the word ' m i l l e n a r i a n , ' I should point out that i t is used in this study in the broad sense suggested by Professor William Lamont (Godly Rule: P o l i t i c s and Religion, 1603-60 [1968]). A l though to the purist in such matters, the millennium can properly refer only to the fixed period of 1000 years that is found in the Judaic-Christian t r a d i t i o n s , Lamont believes that this is "too limited an interpretation" of the word (p.. 7). He urges a more "generous reading" of the term (p.9). Lamont's own usage is consistent with the way such terms are now being used in some anthropological c i r c l e s . Sylvia Thrupp, for example, says that the term 'millenarian' may "be applied f i g u r a t i v e l y to any conception of a perfect age to come, or a perfect land to be made accessible" (Millenni al Dreams in Acti on , p.12). Mi 11enarianism, however, is not necessarily messianic. As Professor Wilson explains, "mi 11enarianism, as such, need not be messianic in the usual sense: some millennial movements have expected the restoration of the ancestors, rather than the coming of the new messiah. Equally, messianism need not be mi 11ennialist. A 1iving messiah is not, in the normal sense, offering the establishment of a millennium,  6  P r o f e s s o r Norman Cohn has i s o l a t e d what I regard to be the e s s e n t i a l  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the s a l v a t i o n a l  intend to c a l l  'millenarian.'  According to Cohn,  sects or movements always p i c t u r e a)  col 1 e c t i v e :  in the  by the f a i t h f u l b)  terrestri al: on t h i s  c)  i mmi nent:  'millenarian'  salvation as:  sense that i t  i s to be enjoyed  as a c o l l e c t i v i t y ;  in the  earth,  message I  sense that i t  i s to be  realized  and not in some o t h e r - w o r l d l y  in the sense that i t  heaven;  is to come both soon  and suddenly; d)  total: life  e)  in the sense that i t  on e a r t h ,  to make i t  is utterly  perfection  m i r a c u l o u s : in the sense that i t by, or with the help o f ,  to  transform  itself;  i  is to be accomplished  supernatural  agencies.*  7  though he may be o f f e r i n g an extensive range of b l e s s i n g s to those who acknowledge his claims" (Magic and the M i l l e n n i u m , pp.135-6). Thus, I use the term messi am* c' to r e f e r to m i l l e n a r i a n myths ( e t c . ) which emphasize the predominant r o l e of a messiah in b r i n g i n g about the reformation of the world. The term ' c h i l i a s m ' i s employed as a s t y l i s t i c v a r i a n t of the term 'mi 1 1 e n a r i a n i s m . ' 1  The P u r s u i t of the Mi 11enni urn: Reyoluti onary Mi 1 l e n a r i ans and M y s t i c a l ATTarchists of the Middle Ages, r e v , edn. (New York: Oxford U. P. , Galaxy edn. , 1970), p.15. I include under "e" not only mythic p e r s o n a l i t i e s or supernatural f i g u r e s , but a l s o d e v i c e s , procedures or formulae b e l i e v e d to possess m i r a c u l o u s , i . e . , t r a n s f o r m a t i ve powers. The prophetae d e s c r i b e d by Cohn claimed the same miraculous powers that were claimed as well by l a t e r m a g i c i a n s . Though Cohn does not seem to use the word ' m a g i c a l ' in connection with these "wonderworking s a v i o u r s , " the prophetae he d e s c r i b e s would seem to be examples of what Wilson c a l l s "the thaumaturge as messiah" (Magic and the Millenniurn, p.133). "The man who claims to be a messi ah, must of n e c e s s i t y be a thaumaturge" ( p . 1 3 4 ) . 7  7  I  propose to i l l u s t r a t e  in the main body of t h i s  work  that the o c c u l t m i l i e u of P u r i t a n England gave repeated p r e s s i o n to m i l l e n a r i a n  and r e f o r m a t i o n i s t  That mi 11enarianism was a dominant feature during the P u r i t a n or demonstrated.  beliefs of the  ex-  and v i s i o n s . occult  Revolution has not before been acknowledged This study w i l l  show f o r  the f i r s t  time,  the c o n s i d e r a b l e extent to which mi 11enarianism permeated o c c u l t m i l i e u of P u r i t a n England. the  first  time,  arts  It  will  will  the  also d e s c r i b e for  the d i v e r s e ways in which the  impulse was e x p r e s s e d , and i t  then,  reformationist  i n d i c a t e how these m a n i f e s t -  ations of reformationism in the o c c u l t m i l i e u harmonized w i t h , and r e i n f o r c e d , the m i l l e n a r i a n myths and e x p e c t a t i o n s of P u r i t a n movement.  the  Q  I use the word ' P u r i t a n ' f o r such groups as the Independents, Separatists, B a p t i s t s , S e e k e r s , W a i t e r s , F a m i l i s t s , Quakers, Muggletonians, Behmenists, L e v e l l e r s , D i g g e r s , Rante r s , and F i f t h M o n a r c h i s t s , and a l l of the other--more m i n o r - sects to the l e f t of the P r e s b y t e r i a n s . Some might object to the use of one word, or to the use of the term P u r i t a n , to cover a c o l l e c t i o n of groups which had no one p o l i t i c a l or r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f in common, and which were i d i o s y n c r a t i c in t h e i r d o c t r i n e s , e s p o u s i n g , at t i m e s , strange and o u t l a n d ish n o t i o n s . Although these groups d i d n o t , in f a c t , share a common p o l i t i c a l or r e l i g i o u s program, as s u c h , they were u n i t e d , in a way, by a ' s p i r i t ' they a l l had in common. That ' s p i r i t ' was the d e s i r e f o r a r e f o r m a t i o n . And i t i s that s p i r i t which can be c a l l e d ' P u r i t a n . ' From i t s beginning in the e a r l y days of E l i z a b e t h , William H a l l e r w r i t e s , the P u r i t a n movement "sought to push reform of government, worship and d i s c i p l i n e " beyond "the l i m i t s f i x e d by the E l i z a bethan settlement" (Li berty and Reformati on i n the Puri tan Revo!uti on, p . x i ) . What the P u r i t a n s sought, he s a y s , was a " p e r f e c t reformation" ( x i i ) . P r o f e s s o r Walzer puts the case in even stronger terms, d e f i n i n g Puritanism "as the e a r l i e s t form of p o l i t i c a l r a d i c a l i s m " (The Revolution- of the Sai n t s , p.vii). What was c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of even mainstream P u r i t a n s ,  8  For the purposes of t h i s Puritan  s t u d y , the  'occult milieu'  England can be defined in terms of i t s  prominent and important and R o s i c r u c i a n i s m .  of  three most  consti tuents — a s t r o l o g y , Behmeni sm,  We s h a l l  analyze the  ' m i l l e n a r i a n message'  to be found in each of these o c c u l t c i r c l e s , paying p a r t i c u lar  attention  to the m i l l e n a r i a n  motifs  and images with which  he a r g u e s , was the f a c t that they "shared c e r t a i n key ideas incompatible with the t r a d i t i o n a l system in church and s t a t e , ideas which tended c o n t i n u a l l y to produce r a d i c a l and innovative p o l i t i c a l activity" ( p . v i i i ) . What united the d i f f e r ent P u r i t a n groups in 1640, t h e n , was t h e i r h o s t i l i t y to the status quo, to the e s t a b l i s h m e n t , and t h e i r d e s i r e f o r i t s reformation. Of course the term ' r e f o r m a t i o n ' meant d i f f e r ent things to the d i f f e r e n t groups, and whether they wanted an e c c l e s i a s t i c a l or a c i v i l r e f o r m a t i o n , they seldom or never agreed on what form i t should take. It was t h e i r very d i f f e r ent conceptions of what form t h i s reformation should take that separated — and d i s t i n g u i s h e d — one group from another. Since the focus of t h i s study i s on the broad d e s i r e f o r r e f o r m a t i o n , the d o c t r i n a l and p o l i t i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n s between these groups need not concern us. If the ' s p i r i t of r e f o r m a t i o n ' i s !the common denominator that unites widely divergent groups under the heading of ' P u r i t a n , ' then I would tend to say that the P r e s b y t e r i a n s , in terms of the scope of t h i s s t u d y , should not be i n c l u d e d under t h i s term. For although the P r e s b y t e r ians did indeed want a reformation in 1640, they were the party of d i s c o n t e n t s soonest s a t i s f i e d that an acceptable reformation had taken p l a c e . The other g r o u p s - - t h o s e whom I have designated ' P u r i tans'—were not s a t i s f i e d by the ' r e f ormation' o f f e r e d to them by the P r e s b y t e r i a n s . They were d i s c o n t e n t because they sought a " p e r f e c t r e f o r m a t i o n , " not merely a workable one. The term ' P u r i t a n , ' t h e n , conveys q u i t e n i c e l y the ' p e r f e c t i o n i s t ' syndrome u n i t i n g t h e s e , g r o u p s . They deserve to be c a l l e d ' P u r i t a n s ' f o r another reason "-aswell-. In pursuing a ' g o d l y - t h o r o u g h r e f o r m a t i o n ' to the ' l a s t degree, these groups were keeping a l i v e that " P u r i t a n s p i r i t " which had once c h a r a c t e r i z e d even the P r e s b y t e r i a n s before 1640. They were the l e g i t i m a t e i n h e r i t o r s of the term ' P u r i t a n , ' f o r they continued to push f o r reforms of government beyond the boundaries f i x e d by an imperfect s e t t l e ment, though now the settlement i s e i t h e r P r e s b y t e r i a n or Cromwell 1-an, and not E l i z a b e t h a n . It was t h e i r b e l i e f that the p e r f e c t reformation was yet to come which made these groups  9  this  message was conveyed." We s h a l l  7  d i s c o v e r that a s t r o l o g y was used not only  spread encouraging propaganda, but that i t lend credence to a wide v a r i e t y  to  was a l s o used to  of m i l l e n a r i a n  expectations  and d o c t r i n e s . As we s h a l l  also d i s c o v e r , the teachings  of Jacob Boehme j  and his E n g l i s h d i s c i p l e s possessed powerful  apocalyptic  t o n e s , and seemed to counsel that the p e r f e c t i o n order would be accomplished by the And f i n a l l y , ationist of the  we s h a l l  revival  see how the  ideology of R o s i c r u c i a n i s m r e i n f o r c e d  restoration  of the  of the human  of magical  revival  Golden Age and the  over-  of the  gnosis. reform-  popular V i s i o n s  return of  i  paradise.  'Puritans. There i s also another reason to d i s t i n g u i s h , at l e a s t in t h i s s t u d y , between P r e s b y t e r i a n and P u r i t a n . The P r e s b y t e r i a n s were single-minded opponents of every form of o c c u l t endeavor, but the Puritans were not. Although P r e s b y t e r i a n o p p o s i t i o n may be explained d o c t r i n a l l y , i t can a l s o be explained p o l i t i c a l l y . The o c c u l t s c i e n c e s , I argue, by furnishing sanctions for ' r a d i c a l ' p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , threatened the P r e s b y t e r i a n settlement and t h e i r more moderate v i s ion of reform. Thus, i t was the P r e s b y t e r i a n Richard Baxter who most e n e r g e t i c a l l y a s s e r t e d that ' f a n a t i c i s m ' was l i n k e d to magic, and that the l e f t - w i n g sects had sprung from the teachings of magicians l i k e Paracelsus and Boehme. The Puri t a n s , on the other hand, being d i s c o n t e n t with the P r e s b y t e r ian and Cromwellian s e t t l e m e n t s , were a t t r a c t e d to the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s , and sought to revive them, because they f o u n d i n them sanctions f o r t h e i r own p e r f e c t i o n i s t v i s i o n s of reformation. The word ' P u r i t a n , ' t h e n , r e f e r s in t h i s study to those who accepted the r i g h t n e s s of the o r i g i n a l attempt at reformation in 1640 and 1641, but who wanted to go beyond the boundaries f i x e d to t h i s reformation by the Presbyterians and t h e i r moderate a l l i e s . 1  9  P r o f e s s o r Edward. Thompson urged us to be s e n s i t i v e to the imagery of mi 1 l e n a r i a n i s m , f o r i t was in t h e i r imagery that groups " a r t i c u l a t e d t h e i r experience and p r o j e c t e d t h e i r aspi r a t i on" (The Making of the Engli sh Worki ng Class , p.49 j .  10  This examination milieu tion  of the m i l l e n a r i a n  i s prefaced by a t h e o r e t i c a l  of Western magic.  motifs  of the  and h i s t o r i c a l  occult  investiga-  Arguing that d i s t i n c t i o n s  can be made  between modes of the o c c u l t in terms of the content of thei r s a l v a t i onal mess age,  I attempt to e x p l a i n  modes acquired a s a l v a t i o n a l dimensions. magic. will  how one of  impulse of m i l l e n a r i a n  This mode of the o c c u l t I c a l l  This i n v e s t i g a t i o n  of the nature  of  elements,  the major themes and endeavors we w i l l examining  in more d e t a i l - - i n  scope and  'millenarian' 'millenarian'  both help to e x p l a i n why the o c c u l t arts  England contained m i l l e n a r i a n  these  of  magic  Puritan  and c l a r i f y  many of  be e n c o u n t e r i n g - - a n d  the o c c u l t m i l i e u  of  Puritan  England.  It  i s hoped that t h i s  understanding of several First,  this  theories act.  study w i l l  study w i l l  relationships  contribute  to a b e t t e r  in the h i s t o r y  this  ideas.  lend support to P r o f e s s o r W i l s o n ' s  regarding the way magic and mi 11enarianism  In a d d i t i o n ,  of  study w i l l  can i n t e r -  help to confirm the b a s i c  i n s i g h t s of Frances Yates concerning the  'millennial'  impulse  of R o s i c r u c i a n i s m . But most i m p o r t a n t l y , shed l i g h t  on the  it  relationship  i s hoped that t h i s  between magic and Puritan mi 1 -  lenarianism during the years of the relationship how t h i s  between  study w i l l  Revolution.  The whole  the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s and P u r i t a n i s m , and  r e l a t i o n s h i p might be e x p l a i n e d , deserves  elaboration.  11  It  has now been g e n e r a l l y  recognized that those sects  who wanted a more profound ' r e f o r m a t i o n '  of church and s o c i e t y  than the P r e s b y t e r i a n s and more moderate  groups were i n c l i n e d  to pursue, were sympathetic t o , and supported the r e v i v a l the o c c u l t sciences during the r e v o l u t i o n a r y l i t t l e whether  we c a l l  as I do, ' P u r i t a n , ' of these terms. 'radical,'  these sects  years.  'left-wing,'  It  matters  'radical,' or,  f o r the same sects are meant by each one  Preferring  to use the terms  P r o f e s s o r s Thomas and H i l l  'left-wing'  and  have noted and commented  upon the connection between these groups and prophecy. the a s s o c i a t i o n between existed taken  prophecy was v e n t i l a t e d . " ^  entailed  Magic enters  the r e l a t i o n s h i p  a partial  drawn  between  f o r e c a s t s " and other methods of p r e d i c t i o n  As a consequence, a s t r o l o g y in p a r t i c u l a r  s o c i a t e d with what the P r e s b y t e r i a n Thomas Hall c r i b e d as the " F a m i 1 i s t i c a l 1 - L e v e l l i n g - M a g i c a l 1 "The Independents explains  inevitably  acceptance of o c c u l t agencies of  f o r there was almost no d i s t i n c t i o n  "astrological p.409).  when every kind of  preoccupation with prophecy almost  at l e a s t  prediction,  R e v o l u t i o n , "the tendency was  during the Interregnum,  because P u r i t a n  Although  prophecy and a c t i v i s m (and r a d i c a l i s m )  long before the Puritan  furthest  of,  and r a d i c a l  (Thomas,  became a s -  cogently destemper."^  1  sects of the C i v i l War p e r i o d , "  P r o f e s s o r Thomas, "were to f u r n i s h the a s t r o l o g e r s  , K e i th Thomas , Reli gi on and the P e e l i ne of Magi c (London ; Weidenfeld and N i c o l s o n , 1971), p.TTO. ^ V i n d i c i a e Literarum  (London, 1654), p.199; I b i d . ,  p.375.  12  with many a c t i v e  enthusiasts  and supporters"  (Thomas,  p.371).  But a s t r o l o g y was not the only aspect of magic which tracted  the  l e f t - w i n g Puritan  sects.  Even the more  forms of magic "gained new. converts among the thrown  up by the  1?  Civil  Wars"  (Thomas, p.227).  Hermetic  radical It  at-  sects  was even  C h r i s t o p h e r H i l l b e l i e v e s that i t was William L i l l y who did "much to make, or keep, a s t r o l o g y acceptable to the r a d i c a l s " (The World Turned Upside Down [New York: V i k i n g P r e s s , 1 972], p . 7 3 ) . A s t r o l o g y was " ' a study much in the esteem of i l l i t e r a t e R a n t e r s , ' " reports a pamphlet of 1652 ( H i l l , p . 2 3 3 ) , while another attack on the l e f t - w i n g sects claims that the F a m i l i s t s were "very c o n f i d e n t , that by the knowledge of As t r o l o g y , and the strength of Reason, they s h a l l be able to conquour over the whole World" (Benjamin Bourne, The Pes c r i pt i on and C o n f u t a t i o n of My s t i c a 11 A n t i - C h r i s t , the F a m i l i s t s [London, 1 646] , s i g . "T").. L i l l y , j u s t one of a hundred a s t r o l ogers a c t i v e during the Puritan R e v o l u t i o n , was consulted by several F i f t h M o n a r c h i s t s , by L e v e l l e r s and army r a d i c a l s . A number of f i g u r e s "known to have had s e c t a r i a n or r a d i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n s " consulted L i l l y and his c o l l e a g u e s h a b i t u a l l y (Thomas, p.374). Their c l i e n t s included Anabaptists, Ranters, Shakers, Quakers, and members of other l e f t - w i n g groups ( I b i d . ) The Ranter and e x - L e v e l l e r , Laurence C l a r k s o n , took up the p r a c t i c e of a s t r o l o g y in 1650 ( I b i d . ) . John Pordage, the Behmenist and p o l i t i c a l r a d i c a l , . p r a c t i c e d a s t r o l o g y , and so did many members of the I n v i s i b l e College surrounding Samuel Hartl i b , the c r y p t o - R o s i c r u c i a n ( H i l l , p.233). John Webster, a p a r l i a m e n t a r i a n and G r i n d l e t o n i a n , recommended that a s t r o l o g y be taught in the u n i v e r s i t i e s , and Gerrard Winstanley, leader of the m i l l e n a r i a n D i g g e r s , provided f o r the teaching of a s t r o l ogy in his ' u t o p i a ' (Thomas, p.374). In a d d i t i o n , some of the leading p r a c t i t i oners of a s t r o l o g y were men of ' r a d i c a l ' p o l i t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s . Simon Forman was a free t h i n k e r , John Pool a r e p u b l i c a n , John Gadbury, e a r l y in his c a r e e r , a Ranter converted by the notorious Abiezer Coppe (Thomas, pp. 374-5); Nicholas Culpepper, who f l i r t e d with several s e c t s , was a democrat and f i f t h monarchist (small l e t t e r s ) ; L i l l y was a p a r l i a m e n t a r i a n and Independent. Many of these men at one time or another " p r e d i c t e d the f a l l of Rome and the u n i v e r s a l end of monarchy" (Thomas , p. 299). As P r o f e s s o r Thomas hims e l f c o n c l u d e s , "there i s much a d d i t i o n a l evidence f o r t h i s l i n k between a s t r o l o g y and s e c t a r i a n i s m " ( p . 3 7 4 ) . See below, Chapter III, f o r more on t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p .  13  among the  "mystical  alchemy struck Familists  s e c t s , " P r o f e s s o r Thomas n o t e s ,  some of i t s  deeper r o o t s "  and Behmenists a l l  (p.270).  "that  Quakers,  had connections with t h i s  Herm-  13 etic  art.  Professor H i l l  and e s p e c i a l l y  a s s e r t s that  chemical medicine, had r a d i c a l  We must understand that t h i s widespread i n d e e d , whatever sympathetic  to i t .  that made the lation  "alchemy/chemistry,  It  sympathy f o r  the o c c u l t was  was the pervasiveness of t h i s period in the  of standard alchemical  texts,"  and the p u b l i c a t i o n  works.  P r o f e s s o r Thomas has a p t l y  "democratisation"  of the  4  term we apply to those who were  Interregnum "an important  and p u b l i c a t i o n  associations."^  (or  re-issuing)  "Hermetic  magical  trans-  and R o s i c r u c i a n  of native  called this  attitude  occult  phenomenon,  the  tradition."^  Thomas, p.271; H i l l , p.148; . s e e ' a l s o H. J . Cadbury, " E a r l y Quakerism and Uncanonical L o r e , " Har. T h e o l . Rev. , 40 (1947), pp.177-205. . ^ H . i l l , p.233. P r o f e s s o r Thomas remarks that "alchemy was c l o s e l y l i n k e d with r e l i g i o u s enthusiasm" during the f i r s t h a l f of the seventeenth century ( p . 2 7 ) . 15  Thomas, p.270. The spate of t r a n s l a t i o n s that issued from the press i n c l u d e d the p r i n c i p a l dialogues of the Hermeti ca. The Divine Pymander of Hermes Mercuri us T r i smegi stus appeared in 1650 , while in 1 657 the A s c l e p i us was published in E n g l i s h . The AscIepi us i s a darkly chthonic. work e x p l a i n ing how to animate statues through a s t r a l magic (Hermes T r i s megi s t u s : His Second Book , cal1ed A s c l e p i us [London, 16 57], p.72; see also p p . 1 1 3 - 4 ) . Yates wri tes that the " r e h a b i 1 i t a t i o n of the A s c l e p i us is . . . one of the c h i e f f a c t o r s in the Renaissance r e v i v a l of magic" (Giordano Bruno, p . 3 7 ) . P r o f e s s o r Thomas b e l i e v e s that the a s t r o l o g i c a l and alchemi c a l lore of the Hermeti ca helped to create an i n t e l l e c t u a l climate conducive to every kind of m y s t i c a l or magical a c t i v i t y (p.225). Most of these t r a n s l a t i o n s were done by Puritans  14  The evidence of the  a s s o c i a t i o n between  wing groups i s so overwhelming to d e c l a r e  that  "the  occult sciences"  (p. 375;  f o r why the P u r i t a n s ,  the  magic.  'gnostic'  'i11uminist'  for t h e i r  that P r o f e s s o r Thomas i s  italics  study i s o f f e r  as I have defined  element doctrines  in s e c t a r i a n  found in c e r t a i n  own claims to m y s t i c a l  s c i e n c e s maintains  been c a l l e d " P u r i t a n credentials,  partures sanction, often  Puritan  thaumaturgy."^  arts  in-  support  in the ocprovided f o r what has to  with seemingly  who were c h a l l e n g i n g the  that  the  estab-  or imbue r a d i c a l  status  de-  divine quo very  'thaumaturgic  such as the powers of e x o r c i s m , of h e a l i n g , etc.  to  In an e f f o r t  claimed to possess miraculous or  dead to l i f e ,  sought to  pp.375-6).  interest  charters'  afflatus,  reason  Mystically  gnosis (Thomas,  from e s t a b l i s h e d t r a d i t i o n s Puritans  term,  magical d o c t r i n e s  'validating  demonstrate  the  been given i s  thought.  that these magical  discontented Puritans with  lish  this  another  in Hermeticism was congenial  Another reason that accounts f o r cult  urged  added).  One reason that has already  c l i n e d Puritans  left-  radi cal sects set out to revi ve al1  What I hope to do in t h i s  revive  magic and  1  of r a i s i n g  powers, the  In other words, the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s pro-  For the concept of v a l i d a t i n g c h a r t e r s , see Thomas, p p . 1 2 5 - 6 , 139-40, 148, 422-3. The term "Puritan thaumaturgy" was used by S. R. Maitland in connection with the p r o p h e t i c and e x o r c i s t i c claims made f o r and by John Foxe (Notes on the Contri butions o f . . . Townsend . . . to the New E d t t i o n of Fox's [ s i c ] Martyrology (London: R i v i n g t o n , 1842) , pp.95-114.  15  vided claimants to thaumaturgic powers with d o c t r i n e s and myths that they could use to v a l i d a t e the  ' G o d l y ' or  their  1  innovative  divine --that  own a s s e r t i o n s regarding  i s , the s a n c t i o n e d - - o r i gin of  1  or r a d i c a l  their  ideas.  The more r a d i c a l  novation proposed, the more in need i t and the more a t t r a c t i v e  the  in-  was of being v a l i d a t e d ,  and useful became magic as a v e h i c l e  f o r p r o v i d i n g such v a l i d a t i o n .  If  the real  revolutionary  radical  sects were the Puritans most sympathetic to magic,  then i t  was because they were most in need of the  charters'  which magic (and of course other  and  'validating  i d e o l o g i e s ) could  provi de. What I should l i k e  to suggest here i s that the o c c u l t  sciences provided Puritans with a way of v a l i d a t i n g powerful belief  and pervasive b e l i e f  in r e f o r m a t i o n ,  of the r e v o l u t i o n a r y years—'the' .  the dream that the p e r f e c t  mi 11ennium was about to dawn.  'myths'  for their  time of  the  Magic, I am s u g g e s t i n g , p r o -  vided Puri tans —and e s p e c i a l l y ' r a d i c a l ' taining  the most  own m i l l e n a r i a n  Puritans—wi th be 1 i e f s  sus-  and e x p e c t -  ations. ^ ^ After  the work of  Christopher H i l l ,  W i l l i a m Lamont (and many o t h e r s ) ,  it  Bernard Capp, and  should no longer be  By 'myth' I mean a coherent e x p l a n a t i o n or v i s i o n ; a m i l l e n a r i a n myth is one which provides an i n t e g r a t e d and j u s t i f i e d v i s i o n of a future age of e a r t h l y p e r f e c t i o n . Unlike the word ' c h a r t e r , ' which I s h a l l continue to u s e , the term 'myth' conveys some suggestion of the oftentimes ' i m a g i n a t i v e ' or ' p o e t i c ' q u a l i t y of m i l l e n a r i a n thought.  16  necessary to document at arianism--in  the statement  one form or another—was  in every one of the ities  length  Puritan  sects.  on the subject suggests that  most, P r e s b y t e r i a n s ,  Independents  that  millen-  an important  element  One of the "after  leading  author-  1640 many, probably  and s e c t a r i a n s  accepted  1 8  millenarianism."  After  ation,  P r e s b y t e r i a n s were i n c l i n e d to awai t  however, the  coming, or to hasten i t s  their  arrival  initial  attempt at a reform-  through s p i r i t u a l  discipline,  not through a c t i v i s t i c  politics.  was e s p e c i a l l y intense  in. those groups that did not —that would  not —accept the P r e s b y t e r i a n the l e f t - w i n g  religious  were " c h a r a c t e r i z e d ism.  In  i ts  c o n t r a s t , mi 11enarianism  or Cromwellian s e t t l e m e n t s !  "All  g r o u p s , " P r o f e s s o r Hudson e x p l a i n s ,  by a more or less intense m i l l e n a r i a n -  ;  1 , 1 9  Bernard Capp, "Millennium and Eschatology in E n g l a n d , " PP, No.57 (Nov, 1 972), p.162. Capp estimates that about 70% of" the l e a d i n g clergymen who supported parliament during the Revolution held m i l l e n a r i a n b e l i e f s ( p . 1 5 7 ) . Of c o u r s e , as Capp points o u t , s t a t i s t i c s cannot record the v a r i a t i o n s in the c h a r a c t e r of the b e l i e f s , or i n d i c a t e how s t r o n g l y they were h e l d . 19 • Wi.hthrop.S. Hudson, "Economic and S o c i a l Thought of Gerrard W i n s t a n l e y , " J_. of Mod. Hi s t o r y , 18, No.l (March 1946), p.5. Although a d i s t i n c t i o n might be drawn between " c o n s e r v a t i v e mi 11enarianism" and "extreme c h i l i a s m " (Toon, i n Puri t a n s , the Mi 11ennium and the Future of I s r a e l , p.7 ) , m i l l e n a r i an b e l i e f s almost always possessed some s o r t of p o l i t i c a l implication. M i l l e n a r i a n b e l i e f s could not but help to give r i s e to external ideas regarding the world in which people l i v e d . The r e c o g n i t i o n of t h i s f a c t has permitted us to understand the d e c i s i v e r o l e mi 11enarianism played i n . f o menting the P u r i t a n R e v o l u t i o n . As one contemporary remarked, " ' Y e a , a great i n l e t to our l a t e c i v i l wars, hath been the m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the R e v e l a t i o n " ( i n W. Lamont, Godly  17  This f a c t  helps e x p l a i n why the o c c u l t sciences were so  popular with l e f t - w i n g Puritans Puritans who sought that to magic,  'perfect  I suggest, partly  reformation'  War y e a r s .  were a t t r a c t e d  because magic rei n f o r c e d , and  could be used to s u b s t a n t i a t e , pronouncements.  during the C i v i l  thei r own mi 11enari an hopes and  In other words, the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s provided  Puritans who expected and d e s i r e d a r e f o r m a t i o n , w i t h  a  validat-  ing myth of the mi 1lennium. How magic could r e i n f o r c e tion w i l l the  be made c l e a r  nature  of the  in Chapter II,  'millenarian'  by way of preface we might the  radical  reinforce  sects — the  recent  where we  reforma-  investigate  mode of Western magic.  study of the  Monarchists —employed magic  their  radical  But  the way one of  expectations  of the  s e c t s , Professor H i l l  Monarchists in the  1650s c i t e d  .  has .  to  millennium.  heading " A s t r o l o g e r s and Mi 11enarians,"  out that " F i f t h ylline  of world  now take a look at  Fifth  and l e g i t i m i z e  Under the  expectations  in  his  pointed  . the  Sib-  p r o p h e c i e s , Nostradamus, Paracelsus and a s t r o l o g e r s "  to. support t h e i r  a s s e r t i o n s and programs  pp.299-300, 373-4). a s s o c i a t e d with the  ( p . 7 2 ; see Thomas,  A s t r o l o g y seems to have been very Fifth  Monarchy movement.  In  fact,  closely one  Rul e , p . 2 1 ) . Melvin Lasky has gone so f a r as to suggest that the C i v i l War was a c t u a l l y fought "between competing schools of e s c h a t o l o g y , between p r o t a g o n i s t s of the l o s t and f u t u r e Eden and c r i t i c s of (in C a l v i n ' s words) f o o l i s h Jewish f a n t a s i e s " ("The B i r t h of a Metaphor: On the O r i g i n of Utopia & R e v o l u t i o n , " Encounter, 34 [ F e b . 1 9 7 0 ] , p . 4 2 ) .  18  contemporary exclaimed that a F i f t h more l i k e Pagitt,  Monarchist l e c t u r e sounded  ' " a reading on a s t r o l o g y ' " than a sermon  in Thomas, p.638).  Monarchy p a r t y ,  In his recent  (Ephraim  study of the  P r o f e s s o r Capp acknowledges that "the  Fifth almanacs  of L i l l y and others such as John Vaux helped to spread apocalyptic  ideas."  The evidence would suggest that the  Monarchists were a t t r a c t e d  to a s t r o l o g y because i t  Fifth  reinforced  21 their  own m i l l e n a r i a n As P r o f e s s o r H i l l  expectations  and dreams.  has o b s e r v e d , other f a c e t s of the o c c u l t  also appealed to the F i f t h  Monarchists.  Of s p e c i a l  interest  to them was the work of Paracelsus and Jacob Boehme, both of whom were m i l l e n a r i a n  prophets.  'illuminist'  in these works which appealed to  elements  M o n a r c h i s t s , but t h i s extraordinary  citation  own m i l l e n a r i a n  work.  certainly  Capp i m p l i e s that i t  was the Fifth  does not e x p l a i n John Rogers'  of the prophecies of Paracelsus in his Paracelsus was r e l e v a n t  to Rogers because  he had p r o p h e s i e d , according to Rogers, of that same  "great"  The Fi f t h Monarchy Men: A Study i n Seventeenth-century E n g l i sh~RTl1enari ani sm (London: Faber, T972), pp.37 , 188, 236 ; see Thomas, Re 1igion and the Dec! i ne of Magi c , pp. 299 , 371. 21  In 1652, f o r example, an almanac appeared with the t i t l e The Year of Wonders; o r , the g l o r i o u s R i s i n g of the f i fth Monarch" R*any other a s t r o l o g i c a l works contai ned mi 11 enari an p r e d i c t i o n s , some of them o v e r t l y F i f t h Monarchist in content. John S p i t t l e h o u s e , a leading F i f t h M o n a r c h i s t , c a l l e d a s t r o l o g y "the P r i n c e s s to the r e s t of the Sci e n c e s , " and defended L i l l y from his P r e s b y t e r i a n d e t r a c t o r s , perhaps because of L i l l y ' s f r e q u e n t l y m i l l e n a r i a n prophecies (see Rome Ruin'd by Whitehall [1650], "A general P r e f a c e " ) . Recently Capp has noted that a s t r o ! o g y was often l i n k e d with eschatology in the popular mind (PP, No.57 [Nov.1972], p.159). -  19  and "happy Reformation" that both he and his party were expecting at any moment.  It  was f o r a m i l l e n a r i a n  fully  purpose that  Rogers i n c o r p o r a t e d the f o l l o w i n g P a r a c e l s i a n prophecy i n t o h i s own m i l l e n a r i a n whi ch shal1  tract:  decei t ,  innocent Laws'" (in  writes:  then enters  In  fol1ows,  arts , sub1eties ; but i n p1 ai ne , naked ,  S a g r i r.  Or Doomes-day drawing nigh [1 654],  reference to P a r a c e l s u s ' f i n a l  "And then he goes on in his 32.  bears the  the great Change,  be c a l l e d the happy Reformation that  whi ch i s without  pp.. 131-2)..  "'0!  prophecy Rogers  Predi c t i o n , whi ch  image of the Sun s h i n i n g upon a man that i s a s l e e p ,  to shew what g l o r i o u s daies succeed to Church and State ever a f t e r relevant  that."  It  was mi 11enarianism that made Paracelsus  to Rogers, and nothing e l s e .  At l e a s t  in some i n s t a n c e s , P u r i t a n s were c l e a r l y  to magic because i t  attracted  provided them with a v a l i d a t i n g myth of  the m i l l e n n i u m , a v a l i d a t i n g myth that could be used to force,  for  and make c r e d i b l e , t h e i r  rein-  own reformat!'oni st dreams.  My suggestion that Puritans were drawn to the o c c u l t m i l i e u because they could f i n d there reinforced their be c a l l e d the In  own r e f o r m a t i o n i s t  m i l l e n a r i a n myths which hopes and v i s i o n s might  ' s u b s i d i a r y ' t h e s i s of t h i s  summary, t h i s  study.  study s h a l l demonstrate that the o c c u l t  m i l i e u of P u r i t a n England gave repeated utterance arian  salvational  to a ' m i l l e n -  message,' and attempt to show that i t  t h i s message which a t t r a c t e d  was  Puritans to the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s  during the r e v o l u t i o n a r y y e a r s .  20  CHAPTER  II  MAGIC AND THE MILLENNIUM I n t r o d u c t i on The primary 'millenarian  aim of t h i s  magic,'  to examine the content of i t s  message, and, f i n a l l y , Its  motifs  England.  chapter i s to define the  salvational  to demonstrate the s i m i l a r i t y  and those of the m i l l e n a r i a n This examination  movement of  of Western magic w i l l  term  between Puritan • • • i  make c l e a r  how and why the o c c u l t sciences of even Puritan England came to contain m i l l e n a r i a n Millenarian a n a l y s i s of i t s  magic w i l l  'millenarian  thaumaturgical  be d e f i n e d , in p a r t , by an  r e l a t i o n s h i p to two other modes of Western  magic: thaumaturgy the  myths and i m p u l s e s .  and Hermeticism.  It  s h a l l be argued that  mode' r e s u l t e d from a f u s i o n of  impulses with a p o c a l y p t i c expectations  r i v i n g from both Hermeticism i t s e l f  should be pointed  does not emphasize o c c u l t procedures or f o r m u l a e ,  the content of the s a l v a t i o n a l  nature  of that  but  message of magi c (as t hi s i s  communicated through myths, imagery, and statement). other words, we are p r i m a r i l y  de-  and C h r i s t i a n i t y .  The approach to magic adopted h e r e , i t out,  certain  In  concerned with the scope and  ' . s a l v a t i o n ' from ' e v i l ' which i s o f f e r e d by  21  the various modes of Western magic.  Therefore,  the  three  modes to be discussed can be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from each in terms  of the  s c a l e and nature  each one promises.^ Hermetic  revival  exaggerated alyptic  i s my contention  relief  that during  the  of the Renaissance, a r e v i v e d but more  form of thaumaturgic  traditions  salvational  It  of s o t e r i o l o g i c a l  other  magic combined with apoc-  to give r i s e to a mode of magic whose  promise was ' m i l l e n n i a l '  in both i t s  scope and  nature. It  is not my i n t e n t , of c o u r s e , to w r i t e a h i s t o r y  of  Western magic, or even to present what might be c a l l e d a 'balanced view'  of magic.  Others have performed t h i s  task  2 already.  What I do intend  to do i s focus on a  overlooked or ignored element the m i l l e n a r i a n  element.  s l i g h t many f a c e t s following  in the Western o c c u l t  To do t h i s ,  of magic.  hitherto tradition:  I must n e c e s s a r i l y  Nevertheless,  d i s c u s s i o n i s not e x h a u s t i v e ,  although  nor intended  the to  be,  The approach to magic adopted here i s employed as well by P r o f e s s o r Wilson in Magic and the M i l l e n n i u m . I have borrowed some of my terms and concepts from P r o f e s s o r W i l s o n ' s study. I should note that P r o f e s s o r Keith Thomas also focuses on the redemptive promises and procedures of the o c c u l t . In a d d i t i o n . t o the s t u d i e s of Y a t e s , see D. P. Walker, Sp i r i t u a l and Demoni c M a g i c: From Fi ci no to Campanel1 a (London: Warburg I n s t i t u t e , 1958); Wayne Shumaker, The O c c u l t Sciences in the Renaissance ( B e r k e l e y : U. of C a l T ~ T . , 1972); Kurt Seligmann, Magi c , S u p e r n a t u r a l i s m , and R e l i g i o n (1948; r p t . New York: Grosset & DunTap, Universal L i b r a r y edn. , T968) G r i l l o t de G i v r y , W i t c h c r a f t , Magic & Alchemy, t r a n s . J . C o u r t en ay Locke (1931; r p t . New York: Dover, 1971).  22  it  will  p r o v i d e , I b e l i e v e , an h i s t o r i c a l  overview of the main features  and conceptual  of magic, and e s t a b l i s h  c r e d i b i l i t y of the notion that Western magic did i n  the  fact  develop what might be c a l l e d a mi 11enari an impulse towards 2 the  world.  2  O t h e r s , of c o u r s e , have detected p a r t i c u l a r instances of the m i l l e n a r i a n impulse in Western magic, but very few i n deed have gone so f a r as to suggest that magic developed what might be c a l l e d an ' i d e o l o g y of world r e f o r m a t i o n . ' The f i r s t to recognize t h i s was Kurt Seligmann. In his Magi c , Supernatural ism and R e l i g i o n , Seligmann i n c l u d e s a chapter on the ~~ Hermetic "Reformers" of the seventeenth c e n t u r y . Hiram Haydn (The Counter Renai ssahce) and now Frances Yates are two others who have sensed the importance of reformationism in magic.  23  Part  1:  The E v o l u t i o n of M i l l e n a r i a n  Magic  Thaumaturgy 'Thaumaturgy' magic.  It  might be c a l l e d the  the thaumaturgic  form of  1  emerged from the Olduvai Gorge, and mode which s t i l l  every p r e l i t e r a t e • s o c i e t y today. the enlightenment, most every  perennial  has been a constant component of human c u l t u r e  ever s i n c e man f i r s t is  1  level  of  it  thrived  p e r s i s t s in  almost  From the middle ages to  throughout  Europe, and in  1  c o n t i n u i n g endurance •  not hard to understand.  from the d a i l y  i  Thaumaturgy has endured because  'evils'  Thus, thaumaturgy  is  .  answers man's c o n t i n u i n g need f o r s i m p l e , immediate,  him.  al-  society.  The reason f o r thaumaturgy s  relief  it  which p e r i o d i c a l l y  it  ad hoc  afflict  can be defined as ' m a g i c a l  power  1  used to m i t i g a t e the r i g o r of the human c o n d i t i o n , e i t h e r alleviating  certain  common forms of s u f f e r i n g , or by  ing people from them on an i n d i v i d u a l  a s s o c i a t e d with sickness and d i s e a s e .  In  when the agony of i l l n e s s was experienced without thaumaturgy  offered  the  protect-  and ad hoc b a s i s .  This form of magic is e s p e c i a l l y d i r e c t e d at fering  by  the the  sufpast,  mitigation,  hope of miraculous c u r e s , and of  p r o t e c t i n g o n e s e l f from malady.  3  But thaumaturgy  a l s o responds  "Helplessness in the face of disease was an e s s e n t i a l element in the background" to magic (Thomas, p. 1.4; see c h . 7 ) .  24  to other it  instances of man's v u l n e r a b i l i t y .  provides p r o t e c t i o n  against  theft,  against w i t c h c r a f t  and even against  or  instance,  possession,  unhappiness i t s e l f .  helps to ward o f f  such d i v e r s e m i s e r i e s  and even p o v e r t y ,  and g e n e r a l l y  nature  For  It  as vermin, bad l u c k ,  discharges f u n c t i o n s of  f o r which s o c i e t y has made l i t t l e  also  this  or no a l t e r n a t e  pro-  . , ' • 4 vision. Thus, with i t s charms, with i t s  love p o t i o n s , e l i x i r s ,  prophylactic  'sieve-and-shears hocus-pocus,'  thaumaturgy  promises to m i t i g a t e s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e s of the p o v e r t y , n e s s , and f r u s t r a t i o n  common to everyday  life.  It  sick-  offers  to  ''"Thomas, pp.21 2 , 21 3 , 636. What I c a l l thaumaturgy ( a f t e r Wilson) P r o f e s s o r Thomas c a l l s ' p o p u l a r m a g i c ' Although 'thaumaturgy' may be.more u n w i e l d l y , I p r e f e r i t , because i t does not contain the erroneous suggestion that t h i s form of magic was the only form that was ' p o p u l a r . ' On t h i s form P r o f e s s o r Thomas wri t e s : "Popular m a g i c i n ' E n g l a n d di s charged only a l i m i t e d number of f u n c t i o n s ; i t provided prot e c t i o n against w i t c h c r a f t , and various remedies f o r i l l n e s s , t h e f t , and unhappy personal r e l a t i o n s h i p s . . . . I t was a c o l l e c t i o n of miscellaneous r e c i p e s , not a comprehensive body of d o c t r i n e . . . . Magic was simply a means of overcoming various s p e c i f i c d i f f i c u l t i e s " ( p p . 6 3 6 - 7 ; c f . W i l s o n , Magi c and the M i l l e n n i urn, p p . 2 4 - 5 , et passim). In the s i x teenth and seventeenth c e n t u r i e s , these benign and a m e l i o r a t i v e f u n c t i o n s of thaumaturgy were often maligned as i n stances of sorcery or black magic, terms which should apply only to m a l e f i c , a n t i s o c i a l forms of magic. Thus, in 1552, a clergyman complained, " ' a great many of u s , when we be in t r o u b l e , or s i c k n e s s , or l o s e a n y t h i n g , we run h i t h e r and t h i t h e r to w i t c h e s , or s o r c e r e r s , whom we c a l l wise men . . . seeking aid and comfort at t h e i r hands'" (in Thomas, p.177). The same complaint was made a hundred years l a t e r , t h i s time by a Puritan d i v i n e : "'If men have l o s t a n y t h i n g , i f they be in any pain or d i s e a s e , then they p r e s e n t l y run to such as they c a l l wisse men'" ( I b i d . , p.178). Both references are c l e a r l y to magic f u n c t i o n i n g t h a u m a t u r g i c a l l y , f o r the b e n e f i t and r e l i e f of the common man.  25  mankind r e a s s u r a n c e , p r o t e c t i o n , some of the p a r t i c u l a r beset the of d a i l y  The more widespread the  the a l l e g e d l y  magic.  ameliorating  the  right  More w i l l  c o n d i t i o n s , t h e n , thaumaturgy  be s a i d on t h i s  topic  c o n d i t i o n s , the  that a f f l i c t  W i l s o n , p.101).  It  offers,  that i s e s s e n t i a l l y and p r i m a r i l y  from some p a r t i c u l a r  manifestation  of the human c o n d i t i o n .  evil.  from the  can  Under  millenarian  o f f e r e d by  relief  each i n d i v i d u a l  Each person a p p l i e s to the thaumaturge  ular  import.  'salvation'  occasional  human s p e c i e s . ( c f .  is  shortly.  mode i s simple immediate  evils  of  can acquire a  the thaumaturgic  seek r e l i e f  benefits  scope that can only be d e s c r i b e d as  Under normal  vation  be the  'salvation'  t h i s mode of magic a m i l l e n a r i a n  soteriological  miseries  When the human c o n d i t i o n i t s e l f  experienced as e v i l , the popular demand f o r i n f u s e into  from  s t r e s s e s that  the more p r e s s i n g and intense w i l l  popular demand f o r thaumaturgic  and r e l i e f  p h y s i c a l and emotional  human c o n d i t i o n . life,  health,  from the  member of  the  then, a s a l -  individual  in  when he needs  of the inherent  nature.  relief  limits  The s u p p l i c a n t , however, does not  human c o n d i t i o n , but only from a p a r t i c -  This i s because the  'evil'  from which  salvation  i s sought i s d e p i c t e d or viewed as a consequence of spasmodic  "It i s from p a r t i c u l a r i n c i d e n c e — not from t h e i r u n i v e r s a l o p e r a t i o n — t h a t s a l v a t i o n is sought" ( W i l s o n , p.25; a l s o , pp.105, 125). What i s of concern here i s not the cosmol o g i c a l frameworks that could s u s t a i n such b e l i e f s , but the kind of s a l v a t i o n that i s o f f e r e d .  26  or random a c t i o n .  Evil  i s not seen as an i n c e s s a n t ,  or continuous aspect of the human order a f f l i c t i n g at  once, and thus  requiring  collective  As a consequence, what i s c a l l e d f o r or new s o c i a l o r d e r ,  but therapy  homi nem ( W i l s o n , to m i l l e n a r i a n  p.101).  magic, e v i l  of the human c o n d i t i o n . is c a l l e d f o r ,  i s not a program,  'cures,'  Before thaumaturgy  6  everyone  s u p p l i c a t i o n or  or p r o p i t i a t i o n ,  performances of magical , r i t u a l i s t i c  pervasive,  relief. policy  repeated  ad hoc and ad give  rise  must be seen as an elemental  part  When i t  a magic powerful  can  i s , then a new kind of magic enough to transform  that  very  human c o n d i t i o n viewed as e v i l . Although thaumaturgy religion,  7  has many f u n c t i o n s  the two agencies are n o t ,  in common with  of c o u r s e , the  same.  In  °"The i n d i v i d u a l ' s c o n c e r n , " w r i t e s P r o f e s s o r W i l s o n , i s " r e l i e f from present and s p e c i f i c i l l s by s p e c i a l d i s p e n s a t i o n s The demand f o r supernatural help i s personal and l o c a l : i t s operation i s magical [ i . e . , c o e r c i v e ] . S a l v a t i o n i s immediate but has no general a p p l i c a t i o n beyond the given case and others l i k e i t " ( p p . 2 4 - 5 ) . Elsewhere he writes that the thaumaturgical response to ' e v i l ' i s e s s e n t i a l l y a " s p e c i a l claim f o r personal d i s p e n s a t i o n from the normal operation of natural causation by the i n v o c a t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t aids" ( p . 7 1 ) . I t would be wrong. P r o f e s s o r Thomas remarks, "to regard magic and r e l i g i o n as two opposed and incompatible systems of belief. There were magical elements s u r v i v i n g in r e l i g i o n , and there were r e l i g i o u s f a c e t s to the p r a c t i c e of magic" ( R e l i g i o n and the Decline of Magic, p.26; f o r his comments on ' e c c l e s i a s t i c a l m a g i c , ' see pp. 277-8, 256, 273-4, 29, 32, 49). R e l i g i o n ' s i n v e t e r a t e h o s t i l i t y to popular magic (or thaumaturgy) P r o f e s s o r Thomas explains in terms of the comp e t i t i o n that n a t u r a l l y e x i s t s between two r i v a l systems of explanation and assuagement (pp.264, 273-4; a l s o , W i l s o n , p.70) 7  27  fact,  what allowed thaumaturgy  to suppress i t vational  has been the  message.  to s u r v i v e c e n t u r i e s  of  very d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s of i t s  Thaumaturgy o f f e r s  a form of  by orthodox C h r i s t i a n i t y .  sterner  What makes  s a l v a t i o n of magic more appealing was detected by S i r Frazer.  The average  must s u r e l y have f e l t tioner,  clergyman of the p a s t , great h o s t i l i t y  sal-  'salvation'  that many people have found more appealing than the salvation offered  efforts  the  Jcurnes  Frazer wrote,  for a "rival  who preached a surer and smoother road to  practifortune Q  than the rugged and s l i p p e r y path of d i v i n e f a v o u r . " observation points to the e s s e n t i a l , d i f f e r e n c e s  This  between  The Golden Bough, 3rd edn. (1932), I, p.226 (quoted in Thomas, p.253). A remarkably s i m i l a r c r i t e r i o n i s used by P r o f e s s o r Voegelin to e x p l a i n the p e c u l i a r and continuing a t t r a c t i o n of ' g n o s t i c ' p e r f e c t i o n i s t ideas concerning e a r t h l y redemption from e v i l . Images of e a r t h l y p e r f e c t i o n , he exp l a i n s , are an expression of the psychic need f o r "a stronger c e r t a i n t y about the meaning of human e x i s t e n c e , in a new knowledge of the f u t u r e that l i e s before u s , and in the c r e a t i o n of a more secure basis f o r a c t i o n in the f u t u r e " ( p . 1 0 7 ) . In C h r i s t i a n i t y , a l l hangs on the thread of f a i t h . "Man i s given nothing t a n g i b l e . The substance and proof of the unseen are a s c e r t a i n e d through nothing but f a i t h , which man must obtain by the strength of his s o u l . . . . Not a l l men are capable of such s p i r i t u a l stamina; most heed i n s t i t u t i o n a l h e l p , and even t h i s i s not always s u f f i c i e n t " (pp. 108-09). As C h r i s t i a n i t y expanded, i t i n c l u d e d more men "not strong enough f o r the h e r o i c adventure of f a i t h , " and thus "became s u s c e p t i b l e to ideas that could give them a greater degree of c e r t a i n t y about the meaning of t h e i r exi s t e n c e than f a i t h " ( p . 1 0 9 ; E r i c V o e g e l i n , Sci ence , P o l i t i cs and Gnosticism [Chicago: Henry Regnery, Gateway edn. , 1 968] , esp. " E r s a t z R e l i g i o n " ) . V o e g e l i n ' s explanation of the appeal of ' g n o s t i c ' v i s i o n s e x p l a i n s , as w e l l , the appeal of ' m i l l e n a r i a n ' magic, which o f f e r s to mankind a p a r a d i s i c V i s i o n of the f u t u r e . It could also e x p l a i n the appeal of most r e v o l u t i o n a r y movements as w e l l . 8  28  thaumaturgy offer  and orthodox C h r i s t i a n i t y .  a more r e l i able and materi al  offers.  A word or two on t h i s  Thaumaturgy tends  s a l v a t i o n than  subject w i l l  to  religion  further  clarify  the nature of thaumaturgic magic. Although the b e l i e f enced by supernatural one, thaumaturgy  that e a r t h l y  intervention  claims that i t s  and c o e r c i v e l y (Thomas, p . 4 1 ) . plication,  events can be i n f l u -  i s not i t s e l f  a magical  s p e l l s work mechani c a l l y A prayer i s a form of sup-  not a command, and thus contains no guarantee  of  s u c c e s s ; but a magical s p e l l , on the other hand, a l l e g e d l y works a u t o m a t i c a l l y  (if  the procedures of the r i t u a l  c o r r e c t l y followed that i s ) .  Thus, in the face of m i s f o r t u n e ,  magic dares to promise the wretched s u c c e s s f u l their  torments.  In  are  relief  from  c o n t r a s t , the b a s i c s a l v a t i o n a l message  of orthodox C h r i s t i a n i t y when faced with misfortune  is  9 "stoicism." relief.  It  Orthodox r e l i g i o n cannot, i t  will  i s no wonder that the s a l v a t i o n a l  not,  guarantee  promise of  thaumaturgic magic would appear to some more appealing than religion's  stern i n s i s t e n c e that one must surrender to  inscrutable will  of  God.  the  1 0  ^"The mechanical philosophy of the l a t e r seventeenth c e n t u r y , " writes P r o f e s s o r Thomas, was r e c o n c i l e d with o r t h o dox r e l i g i o n because " s t o c i s i m had become the b a s i c r e l i g i o u s message f o r those in misfortune" ( p . 6 4 0 ) . " ' F o r i f we stand in n e c e s s i t y of corporal h e a l t h , whither go the common people but to charms, w i t c h c r a f t s , and other d e l u s i o n s of the D e v i l ? ' " (in Thomas, p.639). R e l i g i o n would not promise h e a l t h , but magic would (see p.24, n.4). 1 0  29  The s a l v a t i o n o f f e r e d reli able, the  it  by thaumaturgy  i s more materi al  practical  as w e l l .  thaumaturgy  This p r o s p e r i t y fertility,  more than mere  u s u a l l y takes the form of e a r t h l y  honor, and material  form of thaumaturgy  goods.  Surveying his  also.  success,  Though v i l l a g e  thau-  such p r o s p e r i t y , the Renaissance  was bras hiy m a t e r i a l i s t i c ,  people much more than j u s t  Faustus  to o f f e r  fortune."  wants to bless man with " p r o s p e r i t y "  maturgy occ^sJ^n^l_Ly_ o f f e r s  impotence.  As Frazer r e c o g n i z e d ,  and surer road of magic leads "to  There i s a tendency in thaumaturgy relief;  i s not o n l y more  relief  promising to  from backache and sexual  'heavenly'  necromantic books,  exclaims:..''. 0, what a world of p r o f i t , and d e l i g h t , Of power, of honour, of omnipotence, Is p r o m i s ' d to the studious a r t i s a n t I'll have them [ i . e . , s p i r i t s ] f l y to India f o r Ransack the oceans f o r o r i e n t p e a r l , And search a l l corners of the new-found world For pleasant f r u i t s and p r i n c e l y d e l i c a t e s ;  gold,  , ' T i s magic, magic, that hath r a v i s h ' d me. 11 The m a t e r i a l i s t i c  dream of thaumaturgy  an even more extreme of  'worldly  we w i l l encounter  form in m i l l e n a r i a n  prosperity'  magic.  in  This v i s i o n  was the nucleus around which  C h r i s t o p h e r Marlowe, Doctor F a u s t u s , e d . John J . Jump, Revels Plays (1962; r p t . London: Methuen, U n i v e r s i t y paperback e d n . , 1970), I , i , 52-4, 81 - 4 , 109. The word ' r a v i s h e d ' was often used to d e s c r i b e the f o r c e and i n t e n s i t y with which t h i s m a t e r i a l i s t i c v i s i o n gripped one's mind and s o u l .  30  the new mode developed.  But in m i l l e n a r i a n  s e e , Faustus' "world of p r o f i t  and d e l i g h t , /  honour, of omnipotence," i s not the p r i v a t e "studious a r t i s a n , " all  humankind.  private  Of power, property  of  of  the  the m a g i c i a n , but the p u b l i c domain of  Faustus looks forward  p a r a d i s e , a personal  in the m i l l e n a r i a n  magic, as we s h a l l  to e n t e r i n g  garden of e a r t h l y  mode, the world  itself  will  a sort  of  delights.  But  become p a r a d i s e ,  12  andall In  peopleshall  inhabit  it.  c o n t r a s t to both thaumaturgy  orthodox C h r i s t i a n i t y  tends to r e j e c t  and m i l l e n a r i a n such  magic,  materialistic 1 3  visions.  Although there  orthodox C h r i s t i a n i t y h e a l t h , worldly word of God.  were sometimes exceptions  to.this,  on the whole did not set out to promise  success,  Protestant  r i c h e s to those who followed clergymen, f o r example,  the  "tried  to  ""Although true sorcery and w i t c h c r a f t u s u a l l y i n v o l v e some form of overt malefi ciurn, or h o s t i l e act d i r e c t e d against another (Thomas, pp.460, 436), many seventeenth-century Englishmen used these opprobrious terms to condemn the Faustian impulse, that d r i v e f o r power and wealth — that maniacal s e l f a s s e r t i v e n e s s - - w h i c h seemed to threaten the p i e t y and s o c i a l s t a b i l i t y of the realm. Good m a g i c i a n s , or ' w h i t e ' m a g i c i a n s , r e j e c t e d the s e l f - a g g r a n d i z i n g mania of F a u s t i a n i s m , but they did not repudiate Faustus' m a t e r i a l i s m ; on the c o n t r a r y , they embraced i t with abandon, as we s h a l l d i s c o v e r . 13  P e r i o d i c a l l y r e l i g i o n has advanced a m a t e r i a l i s t i c promise which i s more f i t t i n g l y the p r e r o g a t i v e of magic. In the middle ages, f o r example, e c c l e s i a s t i c a l a u t h o r i t i e s had developed formulae designed to draw down God's p r a c t i c a l b l e s s i n g upon every kind of s e c u l a r a c t i v i t y (Thomas, p . 2 9 ) . Even some of the P r o t e s t a n t reformers maintained that there was "no b e n e f i t , which the pious C h r i s t i a n might not a t t a i n by praying f o r i t . . . . H e a l t h , p r o s p e r i t y , good h a r v e s t s , a safe d e l i v e r y in c h i l d b i r t h . . . . a l l these were in the L o r d ' s power to bestow" (Thomas, p.113; a l s o p . 8 9 ) .  31  bring s p i r i t u a l perity."  c o n s o l a t i o n , not the hope of material  As P r o f e s s o r Thomas puts i t ,  sage of r e l i g i o n  orthodox r e l i g i o n with the e v i l s rewarded  (Thomas, p.112).  the temporal  The thaumaturgical  "patiently  Renaissance,  when i t  the moment, we s h a l l  religion life,  for • 14  Magic does not.  the world was  revived  f u r n i s h e d the basis f o r  mode of Hermetic magic.  subject of thaumaturgy  Orthodox  death.  impulse towards  We s h a l l  therefore  the  return  when we come to c o n s i d e r t h i s  aspect of the o c c u l t t r a d i t i o n . for  optimistic,  b l e s s i n g s of t h i s  the joys of a heaven to come a f t e r  to the  most  of t h i s world would have a chance of being  tends to repudiate  operative  At i t s  mes-  "gloomy p h i l o s -  promises that those who bear  in the next"  during the  the s a l v a t i o n a l  i s , on the whole, a rather  ophy, teaching men how to s u f f e r . "  pros-  Leaving behind  thaumaturgy  now look more c l o s e l y at the  Hermetic  magic of the Renaissance. Hermeti ci sm 'Hermeticism'  i s a term often  used to cover the  beliefs  and myths that converged during the Renaissance to form what  '"'The prospect of "material r e l i e f by d i v i n e means" l o s t c r e d i b i l i t y in orthodox r e l i g i o u s c i r c l e s by the end of the seventeenth century (Thomas, p.640). And even when prayer was thought to bring material rewards, i t was the orthodox teaching that "the l e s s material the request the more l i k e l y was i t to be g r a n t e d ; "'If thou ask no e a r t h l y or worldly t h i n g s , but such things as are s p i r i t u a l and heavenly, them thou s h a l t be sure to o b t a i n ' " (in Thomas, p . 4 6 ) .  32  has been c a l l e d the magic.  In  'intellectual'  a more l i m i t e d  sense,  tradition  of  'Hermeticism'  Western could be s a i d  to be that complex system of o c c u l t endeavors and b e l i e f s which were thought  to have been sanctioned by the  writings  a t t r i b u t e d to the  legendary Egyptian p r i e s t  and magus, Hermes  Trismegistus.  was, in f a c t ,  of these  writings, vival  It  the  revival  Hermetic  Frances Yates has argued, which provoked the  re-  . 1 5 of magic in the Renaissance. The Hermetic w r i t i n g s  between  'Hermes'  are made up of various dialogues  and assorted human and s p i r i t u a l  These dialogues contain two r e l a t e d  but d i s t i n c t  each g i v i n g r i s e  in the  forms of magic.  The more m y s t i c a l , s p i r i t u a l  figures. leitmotives,  Renaissance to two c l o s e l y  related  and g n o s t i c  dialogues gave r i s e to what might be c a l l e d a contemplative or d e i f i c a t o r y . magic; the dialogues more o v e r t l y with the Nature,  concerned  physics of t h i s w o r l d , and with the worship of gave r i s e to what might be c a l l e d o p e r a t i v e  (a more exaggerated  form of thaumaturgy).  Under the  magic in-  '^Gi ordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradi t i on (1 964; r p t . New York: Random House, Vintage e d n . , 1969), e s p . ' c h s . 1-3. For an e l u c i d a t i o n of the magical elements in e a r l y Hermetic thought, see J . R. P a r t i n g t o n , A Hi s t o r y of Chemi s t r y , 4 v o l s . (London: Macmi11 an , 1970), I, "TheoreticaT~Background," and ch. 12: "The Hermetic Books." S t i l l the most a u t h o r i t a t i v e study of Hermetic magic i s R. P. F e s t u g i e r e , La Revelation D'Hermes T r i s m e g i s t e , 4 v o l s . , V o l . I: L ' A s t r o ! o g i e et Tes Sciences Occultes ( P a r i s : J . Gabalda, 1 950). See a l s o , W. S c o t t , e d . , Hermeti ca (Oxford: Oxford U. P . , 1924-36), V o l . I: I n t r o d u c t i o n . Hermeti c i sm has been branded "one of the most i n t e l l e c t u a l l y c h a o t i c systems ever devised by the human mind" (James R. K i n g , Studies in Six 17th Century Writers , p . 1 1 5 ) .  33  f l u e n c e of m i l l e n a r i a n rise  p r o p h e t i c i s m , t h i s o p e r a t i v e mode gave  to a new form of magic, to a magic which promised to  transform the w o r l d , to make the whole earth a. paradi s e . The mi 11enarian mode wi11 be examined s h o r t l y , but r i g h t now our concern i s with contemplative  and o p e r a t i v e magic.  The ' e n d ' of the contemplative or d e i f i c a t o r y  mode i s  reached when the magus has saved h i m s e l f , or dei f i ed himself by a c h i e v i n g union with God, Whose d i v i n e nature worships and contemplates in p e r f e c t  the magus  b l i s s and peace.  The  end of o p e r a t i v e magic i s reached when the magus acquires and then e x e r c i s e s the c r e a t i v e , The d i f f e r e n c e of emphasis. erative,  powers of God.  between these two modes i s p r i m a r i l y  The f i r s t  of m y s t i c a l  emphasizes the peace and  u n i o n , the  ment of operation and m a n i p u l a t i o n .  second, the joy and e x c i t e What i s important  recognize i s that both of these modes e n t a i l  The s a l v a t i o n / c o n t e m p l a t i o n of the f i r s t  of the magus.  mode, and the oper-  a t i v e power of the second both come through g n o s i s .  the magus into  upon the power  itself.  In  the  the emphasis i s on the power of gnosis to t r a n s f o r m , or  transfigure is  to  the same pro-  cedure of s a n c t i f i c a t i o n leading to the formation  first,  a matter  The contemplative mode i s more p a s s i v e , the op-  more a c t i v e .  tranquility  transformative  a deity;  in the second, the emphasis  of gnosis to transform the external  world  Thus, these two modes are not incompatible at a l l ,  and the magus w i l l  embody aspects of b o t h , though his work or  teachings may e l e v a t e  one over the  other.  34  To understand these two forms of Hermetic magic, we must understand the  gnostic b e l i e f  Frances Yates has remarked, (Giordano Bruno, p . 4 4 ) . century  upon which they were based.  "Gnosticism and magic go  As  together"  The old g n o s t i c heresy of the second  provided magic with the d o c t r i n e that man was once,  and can become again—through  his i n t e l l e c t — the  reflection  of  the d i v i n e mens, and thus a d i v i n e being ( I b i d . , p . l l l ) .  The  dream of becoming once again a ' d i v i n e b e i n g ' e n t i c e d some magicians towards the o p e r a t i v e the  the  contemplative  g o a l ; in the  first,  g o a l , and others  he would be a demi-god, in  second, p r e l a p s a r i a n Adam—but in e i t h e r  be a ' d i v i n e  being.'  This c e n t r a l  itself,  intellect—and  one w i l l  "Contemplative In the  f i n d the message that through  the  being.  contemplative  nature.  the  (or gnosis)—man can once  1 6  Magic."  meant d e i f i c a t i o n , perfect  and t h u s , throughout  through knowledge  again become a d i v i n e  c a s e , he would  tenet of the old g n o s t i c  heresy i n f l u e n c e d Hermetic thought, Hermetica  towards  mode, becoming a ' d i v i n e  being'  or the a c q u i s i t i o n of God's d i v i n e and  This t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n  would express  itself  On the g n o s t i c i n f l u e n c e on Hermeticism, see Hans Jonas , The Gnosti c R e l i g i o n : The Message of the A l i e n God and the Begi nni ngs of C h r i s t i a n i t y , 2na ecTn. , rev. (Boston: Beacon P r e s s , 1963), pp.147-73. Consult as w e l l , Robert M. Grant, Gnosticism and E a r l y C h r i s t i a n i t y , r e v . edn. (New York: Harper & Row, Torchbook e d n . , 1966); J . R. P a r t i n g t o n , A His tory of Chemi s t r y , 4 v o l s . (London: M a c m i l l a n , 1970), T , c h . ^ " - " " G n o s t i c i s m , " pp.250-73.  35  i n worship and contemplation now r e s i d e s . in P i c o ' s  The p r i n c i p a l  of the One, in which the magus elements of t h i s mode can be found  Oration o_n the. Di gni ty of Man, the work which  duced i n t o Western thought  the powerful  intro-  image of Man as Magus  (Yates , Bruno, p p . 1 1 0 - 1 ) . The g n o s t i c procedure of s a n c t i f i c a t i o n Pico r e s u l t s results  in the  of the magus.  from the study of the l i b e r a l  dialectic,  natural  are c a l l e d the  arts  p h i l o s o p h y , and f i n a l l y  'expiatory  himself by moral ing),  formation  sciences . '  philosophy ( e t h i c s )  Transfiguration of moral p h i l o s o p h y , theology.  A f t e r man has and d i a l e c t i c  he advances, Pico e x p l a i n s , to natural  science),  that i s , the  o u t l i n e d by  These purified  (reason-  philosophy  study of c r e a t i o n , whereby the  (or  adept  improves his knowledge of things d i v i n e by understanding the  " v i s i b l e signs of n a t u r e . "  c r e a t i o n , the adept w i l l ible Jike  1 7  Upon studying  become i n t o x i c a t e d with the  things of God's house, in which, " i f Moses, hallowed theology s h a l l  a double frenzy" itiate  into  an e a r t h l y  (p.234).  visible  we prove  invisfaithful,  come and i n s p i r e us with  This a f f l a t u s  transfigures  the  in-  a demi-god ("A sound magician i s a d e m i - g o d " ) , creature  who enjoys while yet  a l i v i n g being the  a t t r i butes —and the powers and p r i v i l e g e s — of d i v i n i t y .  "Who  would not d e s i r e , " Pico e n q u i r e s , "to become the guests of  The Renai ssance Phi 1osophy of Man: S e l e c t i o h s i n t r a n s l a t i o n , ed. Ernst C a s s i r e r , e t . a l . (1948; r p t . Chicago: U.of 'Chi cago P . , Phoenix e d n . , 1963).  36  the gods while yet  l i v i n g on e a r t h ,  and, made drunk by the  nectar of e t e r n i t y , to be endowed with the g i f t s ality  though s t i l l  a mortal  of  immort-  being?" ( p . 2 3 3 ) .  The term 'demi-god' simply does not convey the extent of the t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n forthrightly  of the adept.  The p e r f e c t e d man, Pico  a s s e r t s , " i s in God and God in him, nay,  God and himself are one" ( p . 2 2 8 ) .  Thus, at the l a s t  in the process of s a n c t i f i c a t i o n l i e s shall  Deification  o r , as Pico put i t ,  things"  d e i f i c a t i o n , for  "we  (p.247).  i s expressed in contempla-  in the "study of heavenly and d i v i n e  "Nothing moves one to r e l i g i o n and to  worship of God more than the d i l i g e n t wonders of God" ( p . 2 4 9 ) . In terms of i t s  contemplation of  Only a few w i l l spiritual  'salvation,'  'salvation'  the contemplative mode i s , than  thaumaturgy.  course charted by P i c o .  loses in scope, i t  condition i t s e l f . enjoyed by the few,  gains in i n t e n s i t y .  indefectible  Y e t , because t h i s  but  r e l e a s e can only be  the contemplative mode, by i t s  provides no hope f o r a c u l t u r a l  The contemplative mode o f f e r s  Pico  r e l e a s e from the human  can never respond to a broad popular demand f o r It  But what  mere r e l e a s e from o c c a s i o n a l a f f l i c t i o n  permanent t r a n s f o r m a t i o n ,  salvation.  the  ever be able to proceed through that r i g o r o u s  and i n t e l l e c t u a l  does not o f f e r  the  This i s why, he s a y s , magic i s good.  of c o u r s e , even more narrow and l i m i t e d  this  stage  no longer be ourselves but shall'become He Himself  Who made us" ( p . 2 3 4 ) . tion,  rather,  very  nature,  collective transformation.  s a l v a t i o n only to the  elite,  37  and the  salvation it  offers  does not change the external  order  of the w o r l d , but the inner being of the i n d i v i d u a l magus. The magician of t h i s feels  mode i s content  no urge to p e r f e c t  to p e r f e c t  the world around him.  himself,  His v i s i o n  of b l i s s i s contact with the Divine One, not l i f e paradise. restore  The m i l l e n a r i a n  paradise to a l l  in an  impulse to reform the w o r l d ,  mankind, came not from  magic, but from magic which seeks to operate  and  earthly to  contemplative  upon the  world.  "Operati ve Magi c . " In o p e r a t i v e  magic, emphasis f a l l s  not on the  perfection  of the magus—even though i t  perfection  (achieved through gnosis) which gives him h i s  powers—but  on his o p e r a t i v e  man i s regenerated  is this  spiritual  spiritual  powers over c r e a t i o n .  When  in t h i s mode, that i s , "brought back  communion with the r u l e r  of  'the  all'  into  through m a g i c o - r e l i g -  ious communion with the cosmos," he regains man's primal , original Fall,  divinity.  That i s , he becomes Adam before  and thus possesses once again that power over 1  the nature  o  which Adam enjoyed in p a r a d i s e . Although Pico w r i t e s of t h i s mode as well  in his  Oration,  Henry C o r n e l i u s Agrippa expressed more e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y  the  Frances Y a t e s , "The Hermetic T r a d i t i o n in Renaissance S c i e n c e , " in A r t , Science and Hi s t o r y in the Renai s s a n c e , ed. C. S. S i n g l e t o n (Ba1timore: Johns HopkTns~PT, 1967), p. 257. 19  See pp.248-9 f o r the m a g i c i a n ' s a b i l i t y miraculous powers stored in nature.  to r e l e a s e  the  ]  38  central  message of t h i s  makes c l e a r ,  o c c u l t mode.  even o p e r a t i v e  As the  passage  magic i s premissed on the  heresy that man can once again become d i v i n e tellect:  following  through  gnostic his  in-  True o c c u l t p h i l o s o p h y , he e x p l a i n s , i s to know God h i m s e l f , the worker of a l l t h i n g s , and to pass i n t o him by a whole image of l i k e n e s s (as by an e s s e n t i a l c o n t a c t , and bond) whereby thou maist be transformed, and made as God . . . . This i s that t r u e , high Occult Phylosophy of wonderful! works [!]. The key thereof i s the i n t e l l e c t : f o r by how much higher things we understand, with so much sublimer vertues are we endowed, and so much greater things do work, and that more e a s i l y , and e f f i c a c i o u s l y . 20  As t h i s  passage i n d i c a t e s , the end of s a n c t i f i c a t i o n  transfiguration  was not contemplation  exerci se of power over nature. edge  or w o r s h i p , but  or the  Gnosis meant to Agrippa knowl-  of how the world operates.comprehens1 on of the  physical  Henry C o r n e l i u s A g r i p p a , Three Books of Occult P h i l osophy , t r a n s . J . F. (1510; London e d n . , 1 6 5 T T . p.559. The ' J . F . ' who did the t r a n s l a t i o n has u s u a l l y been i d e n t i f i e d as John Freake (Thomas, p.223, n . l ) , but a more l i k e l y candidate i s , I b e l i e v e , John F r e n c h , an Independent who was immersed in magical l o r e . He also t r a n s l a t e d Glauber and S e n d i v o g i u s , while w r i t i n g his own alchemical books (The Art of D i s t i l l a t i o n , 1651). A ' J . F . ' also wrote the p r e f ace to John E v e r a r d ' s t r a n s l a t i o n of the Di vi ne Pymander of Hermes T r i s m e g i s t u s (London, 1650). I b e l i e v e t h i s too was F r e n c h , f o r he was a c t i v e at the time, and both he and Eve r a r d , another P u r i t a n , were alchemists ( f o r t h i s see E1 i a s Ashmole (161 7-1692): His Autobiographi cal and Hi s t o r i cal Notes, ed. C. H. J o s t e n , 5 vols [Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1966], I, p p . 1 2 1 - 2 ) . The spurious Agrippan t r e a t i s e , Hi s Fourth Book of O c c u l t Phi 1osophy, was t r a n s l a t e d , with other deeply chthonic works, by Robert Turner in 1 655. For a thorough study of A g r i p p a , see Charles G. Nauert, Agri ppa and the C r i s i s of Renaissance Thought ( U r b a n a U . of I l l i n o i s P r e s s , 1965).  39  principles  according to which i t  a t i v e mode, t h e n , the  transfiguration  power to manipulate  is organized.  In the  brought, through  oper-  gnosis,  the world according to the w i l l  of  the  magi c i an: Therefore [Agrippa e x p l a i n s ] Our mind being pure and d i v i n e . . . . [ i t ] doth . . . sudd a i n l y comprehend . . . & beholdeth a l l the s t a t i o n s , grounds, causes and s c i e n c e s of things both natural and immortal. . . . Hence i t comes to pass that we, though Natural . . . . r e c e i v e t h t h i s miraculous power in c e r t a i n things by command to be changed. Hence i t comes to pass that though we are framed a natural body, yet we sometimes praedominate over n a t u r e , and cause such w o n d e r f u l l , sodain and d i f f i c u l t o p e r a t i o n s , as that the e v i l s p i r i t s obey u s , the s t a r s are d i s o r d e r e d , the heavenly powers compelled, the Elements made o b e d i e n t ; so devout men and those elevated by these T h e o l o g i c a l v e r t u e s , command the Elements, d r i v e away Fogs, r a i s e the winds, cause r a i n , cure d i s e a s e s , r a i s e the dead, a l l which things . . . have been done. 21 The references to c u r i n g d i s e a s e s ' and ' r a i s i n g the dead 1  reveal  that Renaissance o p e r a t i v e  1  m a g i c i s a r e v i v e d form of  Three Books of Occult Philosophy (London, 1651), p.357. In another passage Agrippa e x p l a i n s that being "conjoyned" to God, the magus has "power over a l l t h i n g s , r u l i n g over a l l " (p.525): "the soul t h e r e f o r e being c o n v e r t e d , and made l i k e to God, i s so formed of God, that i t doth above a l l i n t e l l e c t , know a l l things by a s c e r t a i n e s s e n t i a l contact of D i v i n i t y . . . . Now then the soul being so converted i n t o God . . . o b t a i n ' d the s p i r i t of p r o p h e c i e , sometimes work wonderfull t h i n g s , and greater than the nature of the world can do, which works are cal 1 ed mi racl.es" (pp. 507-08). Opera t i v e magic was thus a c r u c i a l theme in Agrippa^s works as even Thomas Vaughan r e c o g n i z e d . He quotes him to the e f f e c t that the i11umtnated.man can " ' p e r f o r m works exceeding the common course of the powers of N a t u r e * " ( p . 1 1 1 ) , can " ' o v e r come N a t u r e , ' " and thus " ' a c c o m p l i s h a l l t h i n g s ' " (Works, p. 112). Elsewhere Vaughan a s s e r t e d t h i s o p e r a t i v e power ( p . 4 8 ) .  40  thaumaturgy  ('curing  d i s e a s e s ' ) , but a thaumaturgic  pretensions  have become more exaggerated  Though somewhat more grandiose in i t s magic—like kind.  ('raising  ambitions,  form whose the  dead').  operative  thaumaturgy — i s magic dedicated to helping man-  As a matter of f a c t ,  mode of magic on the  Agrippa e x p l i c i t l y  very grounds that i t  defends  seeks to  this  profit  mankind: But those things which are f o r the p r o f i t of man, f o r the t u r n i n g away of e v i l e v e n t s , f o r the d e s t r o y i n g of s o r c e r i e s , f o r the curing of d i s e a s e s , f o r the exterminating of phantasmes, f o r the p r e s e r v i n g of l i f e , honor, f o r t u n e , may be done without offence to God, or i n j u r y to R e l i g i o n , because they a r e , as p r o f i t a b l e , so n e c e s s a r y . 22 It  should be noted that even the E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t o r  work endorses the  'thaumaturgic'  Magic allows  the  adept,  d i s c o v e r the  secret  of  aspect of the o p e r a t i v e  he e x p l a i n s ,  "to  counsels of men, to overcome enemies,  men,• t o . e x p e l 1 d i s e a s e s , to  preserve  health,  to renew y o u t h , to f o r e t e l l f u t u r e events" the magicians of the o p e r a t i v e  were dedicated to using magic "to for  the  "profit  favor  to prolong  (sig.  to  A5 ). V  of life,  In  mode of the Renaissance  operate  wonderfull  things"  of man."  T h r e e Books, s i g . A l . he sought i t to be of s e r v i c e Faustus sought power only so a p p e t i t e s . t h o u g h he b r i e f l y a l l y (I, i , 89-96). 2 2  mode.  defend Kingdoms, to  redeem c a p t i v e s , to i n c r e a s e r i c h e s , to procure the  short,  this  v  If the good magician sought power, to a l l mankind. In c o n t r a s t , that he could g r a t i f y his own thinks of using magic p a t r i o t i c -  41  Operative magic is thus a more a s s e r t i v e , more grandiose form of ancient thaumaturgy. manipulative  It  than thaumaturgy,  i s much more c o n s c i o u s l y  whose promise of r e l i e f  entailed  a change of external  vational  promise i s also somewhat more i n c l u s i v e , f o r  the  'profit  nature.  Operative magic's s a l -  of mankind,' or of s o c i e t y more than the  of i n d i v i d u a l  supplicants.  millenarian  magic, the o p e r a t i v e  the  of a l l  imperative  and not j u s t  more expansive dimensions:  all  titative  between o p e r a t i v e  or q u a l i t a t i v e  that on o c c a s i o n , of operative mension. shall  a few,  In  assumed even  Whether or not the  is l e s s important  essential  magic i s quan-  than the  recognition  c i r c u m s t a n c e s , the v i s i o n  magicians acquired a m i l l e n a r i a n of t h i s  magic.  the  to use magic f o r  and m i l l e n a r i a n  under the r i g h t  The nature  relief  mankind was to be b l e s t with  the t r e a s u r e s of paradise i t s e l f . difference  seeks  in terms of  development of a new mode of magic--mi11enarian  men,'  it  Though these d i f f e r e n c e s may  appear minor, they were exceedingly important  'profit  seldom  vision,  scope and d i -  and how i t  came about,  now be c o n s i d e r e d .  Mi 11enari an Magi c Millenarian operative  magic, b r i e f l y  power to  both nature  'redeem'  and s o c i e t y .  p r e s e r v a t i o n of h e a l t h ,  from the e f f e c t s  Its  or a p o t h e o s i s , nor even the  d e f i n e d , i s the use of o c c u l t of the Curse  goal i s not i n d i v i d u a l  relief  'defence of kingdoms' and the  but the p e r f e c t i o n of the w o r l d ,  the  42  p a r a d i s i c transformation  of human l i f e . i t s e l f .  Millenarian  magic i s not opposed to the other forms of magic at a l l , includes their ('root'),  ' e n d s ' or goals in i t s  and fundamentally  s o c i e t y and n a t u r e ,  to  own mission to  transform the natural  'perfect'  but  radically  order of  both men and t h i n g s .  For  Western m a g i c i a n s , t h i s mission meant that magic was to be used to r e s t o r e to mankind g e n e r a l l y the g l o r i o u s e x i s t e n c e that p r e l a p s a r i a n Adam enjoyed in p a r a d i s e . of t h i s  paradisic existence shall  Part 2 of t h i s  chapter.  The  attributes  be discussed in d e t a i l  in  What concerns us here i s how opera-  t i v e magic, on o c c a s i o n , acquired a m i l l e n a r i a n  salvational  impulse. An e x p l a n a t i o n of the magic must take into gnosticism. heresy'  i d e o l o g i c a l roots of  millenarian  account the i n f l u e n c e of second-century  I have already acknowledged that the  underlies a l l  'gnostic  forms of Hermetic magic. But what  g n o s t i c i s m c o n t r i b u t e d to the m i l l e n a r i a n  mode s p e c i f i c a l l y  was an ' a p o c a l y p t i c ' view of the w o r l d , of r e a l i t y As I have already s a i d ,  the m i l l e n a r i a n  cultural  can only come about when ' e v i l '  transformation  viewed as o b j e c t i v e  and p e r v a s i v e , an elemental  very order of things 'apocalyptic'  demand f o r  itself.  (see above, p . 2 ) .  view of the w o r l d .  as t o t a l ,  is  part of  We might c a l l  the  t h i s an  Gnosticism c o n t r i b u t e d  p r e c i s e l y such a view to the Hermetic w r i t i n g s , picted evil  a total  and a s s o c i a t e d t h i s e v i l  for i t with  the  de-  43  present order of the world.  Whereas thaumaturgy  depicts  evil  as ad hoc i n s t a n c e s of personal malevolence, second-century gnosticism depicted e v i l the  as the e s s e n t i a l  human c o n d i t i o n , permanent  gnostics,  directions. iation  and unavoidable.  s a l v a t i o n , in the s t r i c t e s t  place in t h i s world as i t  now i s .  In g n o s t i c i s m i t s e l f  and r e j e c t i o n  characteristic  of t h i s w o r l d .  For the  s e n s e , could not take  This b e l i e f it  led in two  led to the t o t a l  repud-  S a l v a t i o n could only be  experienced in a transmundane r e a l m , u t t e r l y remote from corrupt world. circles,  it  But in the Renaissance, at  led to a s a l v a t i o n a l  ing t h i s world. the  'apocalyptic'  passivity to i t s  The m i l l e n a r i a n  of  least  this  in o c c u l t  mission devoted to  transform-  mode, in other words, accepted  view of g n o s t i c i s m , but r e j e c t e d g n o s t i c i s m ' s  in the face of e v i l .  very f o u n d a t i o n ,  it  This world i s indeed  maintained,  corrupt  but through magic  this  03  world can be redeemed.  " G n o s t i c i s m ' s r e p u d i a t i o n of t h i s world was so complete, so t o t a l , that i t did not d e v e l o p , as Renaissance magic d i d , a v i s i o n which in any way e n t a i l e d the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , or even a m e l i o r a t i o n , of e a r t h l y e x i s t e n c e . T h e o r e t i c a l l y and a c t u a l l y , a reformation of the world was simply i m p o s s i b l e , as f a r as the g n o s t i c s were concerned. Thus, in no way did the s a l v a t i o n a l message of t h i s sect convey any hope of modi f y i n g the o b j e c t i v e c o n d i t i o n s of human existence ( J o n a s , The Gnostic R e l i g i o n , p p . 2 5 0 - 1 ) . What g n o s t i c i s m did promise was r e l e a s e from t h i s w o r l d , r e l e a s e in the sense of escape. Gnostic thought of the second century was thus c h a r a c t e r i z e d by as c e t i ci sm, not a c t i v i s m (Jonas, p . 1 4 4 ) , f o r no act could improve a irredeemably corrupt world. As a predominantly a s c e t i c movement, g n o s t i c i s m repudiated a l l the material bene f i t s a v a i l a b l e to. p e o p l e , those very b e n e f i t s , i t should be pointed o u t , which i t was the task of m i l l e n a r i a n magic to bestow on mankind. Consequently, in g n o s t i c i s m , r a v i s h i n g  44  This o p t i m i s t i c b e l i e f the world i t s e l f tific  revival  in the power of magic to redeem  was a r e s u l t ,  at l e a s t  of the Renaissance.  gave to mankind--or at  in p a r t , of the  The s c i e n c e of t h i s  l e a s t seemed to give — greater  scienperiod  control  24 over nature  than had been dreamed p o s s i b l e .  These new d i s -  c o v e r i e s of s c i e n c e — a n d the new powers over c r e a t i o n they brought with them--were r e a d i l y as heralds of even more wonderful  interpreted,  things to come.  I  that  believe, They r e -  leased man's imagination to conjure up v i s i o n s of miraculous transformations natural  accomplished through m a g i c o - s c i e n c e .  It  that Renaissance magicians should come to b e l i e v e  was that  dreams of an e a r t h l y paradise were viewed as s i n i s t e r inducements from an e v i l god to ensnare in the body the d i v i n e spark of man. This ideology of world d e n i g r a t i o n n a t u r a l l y led to a severe e s c h a t o l o g y . The blandishments of the messianic t r a d i t i o n , f o r example, had no e f f e c t on g n o s t i c i s m . Marcion of Sinope argued that the messiah awaited by the Jews was the son of the ' e v i l ' Demiurge who ruled the corrupt w o r l d , and that the messiah's reign would be t y r a n n i c a l . He went on to argue that t h i s messiah's coming had nothing whatever to do with the s a l v a t i o n brought by C h r i s t , which i s acosmic in n a t u r e , and w h i c h , as Jonas puts i t , "does not change the course of w o r l d l y e v e n t s , not even in the sense of a m e l i o r a tion" (p.140). G n o s t i c i s m , t h e r e f o r e , u t t e r l y despised the m i l l e n a r i a n hope of a 'new heaven and a new e a r t h . ' When g n o s t i c s do t a l k about a ' r e s t o r a t i o n or ' r e s t i t u t i o n , ' they are not t a l k i n g about a change in e a r t h l y a f f a i r s , but about the r e s t o r a t i o n of each separate spark of l i g h t to i t s o r i g i n a l unity with the transmundane L i g h t ( p . 5 9 ) . Such a r e s t o r a t i o n of each p a r t i c l e of l i g h t does not improve the cond i t i o n of the w o r l d , but makes i t worse, f o r i t ' d a r k e n s ' i t . As a. matter, of f a c t , t h i s r e s t o r a t i o n , the g n o s t i c s b e l i e v e d , would b r i n g about the long-awaited f i n a l d e s t r u c t i o n of t h i s w o r l d , and of the cosmos of which i t was a part ( p . 6 1 ) . 1  24  See Marie Boas, The S c i e n t i f i c R e n a i s s a n c e , 1450-1630 (1962 ; r p t . New York: Harper & Row, Torchbook edn. , 1966), esp. c h . 6: "Ravished by Magic."  45  they would soon possess the power to l i m i t l e s s l y human c o n d i t i o n and the o n t o l o g i c a l they expected was the leable,  to make i t  transform  the  regime of the w o r l d .  What  power to make the world completely mal-  conform to t h e i r  v i s i o n s of  With such powers, the world i t s e l f cured, perfected—released  could be r e - f o r m e d ,  from the e f f e c t s  This o p t i m i s t i c b e l i e f  perfection. healed,  of the Curse.  in the power of • magi c o - s c i e n c e  to  redeem the world and the human c o n d i t i o n was a l s o a r e s u l t of another During t h i s  1  revi val  1  of the  Renai ssance —a mi 11 enari an r e v i v a l .  p e r i o d , v i s i o n s of world reformation  flourished.  These v i s i o n s came not only from the a p o c a l y p t i c of C h r i s t i a n i t y :  they  came as well  In one of the important i cum, in the As c l e p i us , there  traditions  from Hermeticism  itself.  dialogues of the Corpus Hermetoccurs a p r o p h e t i c v i s i o n that  may very well have been r e s p o n s i b l e f o r implanting  in  the  minds of Renaissance magicians the notion that a r e v i v a l  of 25  Hermetic magic would lead to a reformation  of the  world.  The v i s i o n occurs in the famous "Lament" p o r t i o n of the ogue.  Hermes i s recounting to A s c l e p i u s the t e r r o r s  accompany the  demise of E g y p t ' s magical  worship o f the m a g i c a l l y animated  religion.  statues  shall  dial-  that  will  The pious  one day  "The r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of the AscIepi us ," P r o f e s s o r Yates w r i t e s , " i s . . . one of the c h i e f f a c t o r s in the Renaissance r e v i v a l of magic" (Giordano Bruno, p.41; also p . 4 2 ) . See also D. P. Walker, S p i r i t u a l and Demonic Magi c (1958), p. 37. The AscTepius was ' r e h a b i l i t a t e d ' by M a r s i l i o F i c i n o , a magus.  46  "become V o i d , " will  Hermes e x p l a i n s .  then be " d e s t i t u t e  E g y p t , the  "image of Heaven,"  of R e l i g i o n , and deprived of  the  2fi presence of the  Deity."  desuetude, t e r r i b l e shall  As t h i s magical r e l i g i o n f a l l s  torments w i l l  afflict  be b l i g h t e d , and human s o c i e t y rent  cruelty,  Egypt.  The earth  by l i c e n t i o u s n e s s ,  and bloodshed.  But these a p o c a l y p t i c t e r r o r s before the dawn.  are only the blackness  The "Lament" of Hermes a c t u a l l y concludes  with a v i s i o n of a new age, with an e x h i l a r a t i n g of a future of  into  prophecy  reformati o n , somewhat reminiscent of the Book  Revelation: When these things s h a l l happen, 0 AscIepi u s , then that Lord and Father God Almighty . . . w i l l end t h i s w o r l d , and r e s t o r e i t to i t s ancient beauty; so that the world i t s e l f may seem to be admired and honoured: And God, the Creatour and Restorer of so great a work, s h a l l of a l l men then b e i n g , be magnified with cont i n u a l ! p r a i s e s and t h a n k s g i v i n g s . For t h i s generation of the World, and the reformation of a l l good t h i n g s , and the most holy and r e l i g i o u s r e s t i t u t i o n of nature i t s e l f , in due time both i s , and hath been e t e r n a l from the b e g i n n i n g . 27  Frances Yates has p e r c e p t i v e l y remarked t h a t what the " L a -  Hermes T r i s m e g i s t u s , His Second Book, c a l l e d AscIepius (London, 1657), p.77; f o r a s t r a l magic to animate the statues of the gods, see p.72. The t r a n s l a t i o n was done by John E v e r a r d , a P u r i t a n . 27  I b i d . , pp.78-9. For a d i s c u s s i o n of the "Lament," see Frances Y a t e s , Gi ordano Bruno, pp. 38-42. As we s h a l l s e e , ' r e f o r m a t i o n ' and ' r e s t i t u t i o n ' were key terms in the m i l l e n a r i a n movement of P u r i t a n i s m .  47  ment" s e c t i o n of the As c l e p i us r e a l l y decay of a s t r a l  i s that  the  magic brought the decay of the w o r l d , and  that only a r e v i v a l  of Hermetic magic can r e s t o r e  (Giordano Bruno, p p . 4 1 - 2 ) . ationist  implies  It  the  may have been t h i s  world  re form-  prophecy that convinced Renaissance thaumaturges  that Hermetic magic was d e s t i n e d to r e s t o r e to mankind good t h i n g s "  l o s t with the  The e x p l i c i t l y  Fall.  reformationist  and the hope f o r a reformation  message of the  "Lament,"  that runs through some of  other dialogues help e x p l a i n ,  I b e l i e v e , why a  fervor  c i r c l e s soon a f t e r the  swept through Hermetic  of F i c i n o ' s 1471).  translation  at  the  reformationist appearance  of the Corpus Hermeti cum ( T r e v i s o ,  "The augury of great  "of the mutation  "all  e v e n t s , " writes  Professor Garin,  of the w o r l d , was spreading i n c r e a s i n g l y  the end of the c e n t u r y .  A s t r o l o g e r s s t u d i e d the heavens  f o r the conjunctions of major s t a r s , which f o r e t o l d in r e i g n s , e m p i r e s , and r e l i g i o n s .  .  changes  . . For M a r s i l i o F i c i n o  the s t a r s denoted the r u l e of Saturn and the golden age." As we s h a l l inated  s e e , p r e c i s e l y the same m i l l e n a r i a n  v i s i o n s dom-  the a s t r o l o g i c a l m i l i e u of P u r i t a n England as w e l l .  Eugenio G a r i n , P o r t r a i t s from the Q u a t t r o c e n t o , t r a n s . V i c t o r A. and E l i z a b e t h Velen (New YorFT Harper & Row, Torchbook e d n . , 1972), p.226. " V i s i o n s of imminent e a r t h l y parad i s e " (p.227) were provoked by the conjunction of J u p i t e r and Saturn in p a r t i c u l a r , because t h i s conjunction was thought to s i g n a l the completion of the Great Year, that i s , the time i t takes the e n t i r e s o l a r system to revolve to the p o s i t i o n i t was given at the C r e a t i o n . It was thought that the r e s t o r a t i o n of the heavens would bring about a r e s t o r a t i o n of the  48  The "Hermetic"  o r i g i n of t h i s mi 11enarianism has been  noted by P r o f e s s o r C h a s t e l , who has shown that of "le  regne de S a t u r n e , "  "'l'age vins,  d'or  si  or,  expectations  as one contemporary put i t ,  longtemps cele'bre par l a S i b y l l e et  of  les de-  l ' a g e annonce par Platon ou l a connaissance de son  oeuvre s e r a i t  parfaite,'"  obsessed  almost every magician of the age.  not j u s t  Ficino,  but!  F i c i n o was merely one  earth as w e l l . The a s t r o l o g e r , Paul of M i d d e l b u r g , a c o r respondent of M a r s i l i o F i c i n o , c a l c u l a t e d that the innovat i o n s in r e l i g i o n heralded by the s t a r s would begin in i 1 484 • ('Dona 1 d W e i n s t e i n , Savonarola and FI orence : Prophecy and P a t r i o t i sm in the RenaissTnce L P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U. P . , 1971], p p . 8 8 - 9 2 " T "If people have been a g i t a t e d f o r c e n t u r i e s , " writes P r o f e s s o r G a r i n , "by prophecies and p o r t e n t s , in the second h a l f of the Quattrocento i n p a r t i c u l a r they l i v e d in an incubator of great events. . . - T h e myth of r e b i r t h - - t h a t i s , of the new age c y c l e about to b e g i n , with the whole complex of p r a c t i c a l consequences which accompany a f o r e c a s t that i s b e l i e v e d and that t e n d s - t o become r e a l i z e d to the extent that i t i s b e l i e v e d - - a n d the idea of a r a d i c a l change which must come about in the f i f t e e n t h c e n t u r y - - t h a t i s , the idea of the Renaissance i t s e l f . . . may have a not i n c o n s i d e r a b l e a s t r o l o g i c a l component" (p.p. 133-4). The r e v i v a l of m i l l e n a r i a n f e r v o r during the Renaissance, Garin seems to be s a y i n g , may have been provoked by a s t r o l o g i c a l p r o p h e c i e s . A n d r e Chastel , " L' Antechri st \ l a Renaissance," in L'Umanesimo e i l Demoni aco n e l 1 ' a r t e , A t t i del II Congresso I n t e r n a z i o n a T e T i Studi Umanistici a cura di E n r i c o C a s t e l l i (Rome and M i l a n : F r a t e l l i Bocca E d i t o r i , 1952), p.178. This important a r t i c l e contains much evidence i l l u s t r a t i n g the extent to which m i l l e n a r i a n expectations preoccupied the g r e a t e s t adepts of the I t a l i a n Renaissance. Though Chastel i s wont to use the term p i a t o n i sm to e x p l a i n the e x t r a o r d i n ary outburst of r e f o r m a t ! o n i s t f e r v o r , his own evidence c l e a r l y demonstrates t h a t Hermeti c i sm played the l e a d i n g r o l e ins t i m u l a t i n g t h i s outbreak: "Les .'voyants' e x c i t e s j u s q u ' a u d e l i r e p r o p h e t i q u e , n ' e t a i e n t pas rares dans les v i l l e s d ' l t a l i e : l e 2 a v r i l 1484 [the date prophesied by Paul of Mld'delburg]. un e x t r a v a g a n t , couronne' d ' e ' p i n e s , bizarrement drape, parcourut a cheval les rues de Rome, en d i s t r i b u a n t des t r a c t s , et en annoncant que le monde a l l a i t changer, 29  /  49  of the f i r s t Chastel  to announce that "Ve p l a t o n i sme"--pi atom'sm, as  points o u t ,  strument  d'une  les moeurs qui humaine."  leavened by " T ' h e r m e t i s m e " - - " e t a i t  renovation ouvrait  t o t a l e de l a pensee the'ologique  une etape magnifique  Such a m i l l e n a r i a n  of magicians f o r  1'•in-  de  et  I'histoire  expectation  dominated the minds 30 the next one hundred and f i f t y y e a r s .  grace a l a r e v e l a t i o n d'Hermes" ( p . 1 7 8 ) . As Frances Yates has also pointed o u t , the ' c o r e ' of Renaissance N e o - P l a t o n i s m , as formulated by M a r s i l i o F i c i n o , was "Hermetic, i n v o l v i n g a view of the cosmos as a network of magical forces with which man can operate" ("The Hermetic T r a d i t i o n in Renaissance S c i e n c e , " p.256 ). 30 Expectations of world r e f o r m a t i o n , or of the r e s t i t u t i o n of the past paradise of Eden, of the Golden Age, ravished the leading o c c u l t i s t s of the age, both C a t h o l i c and P r o t e s t ant. P i c o , F i c i n o , Melanchton, S e r v e t u s , P o s t e T , R e u c h l i n , Bruno, Campanella, P a r a c e l s u s - - a l 1 not only took an a c t i v e i n t e r e s t in the o c c u l t (some of these men were p r a c t i s i n g m a g i c i a n s ) , but helped spread the message of an imminent r e s t i t u t i o omni a or reformati o mundi that would p e r f e c t the human condi t i on. Pico b e l i e v e d that the r e d i s c o v e r y of Herme t i c and c a b a l i s t i c 'wisdom' would lead to a r e l i g i o u s enlightenment in which d o c t r i n a l disputes would v a n i s h , and in which there would consequently be a reunion of a l l p e o p l e , and peace on e a r t h . This enlightenment would also e n t a i l a reformation of s o c i e t y . Pico ended his l i f e as a supporter of S a v o n a r o l a , whom Pico viewed as a r e v o l u t i o n a r y magus, a student of. Neopl aton'i sm and the Cabala (Donald W e i n s t e i n , Savonarola and Florence [1971], p.196). Other o c c u l t i s t s also viewed t h i s r e v o l u t i o n a r y monk as a s o r t of 'Hermetic messiah.' Giovanni N e s i , i n his Oraculurn de Novo Saeculo (1497), uses a s t r o l o g y , Hermeticism, and C h r i s t i a n a p o c a l y p t i c t r a d i t i o n s to d e p i c t Savonarola as both the prophet of the C h r i s t i a n millennium and the o r a c u l a r fount of e s o t e r i c knowledge. As s u c h , Nesi argued, Savonarola dispenses the d i v i n e i l l u m i n a t i o n by which man w i l l be able to " r e c o n s t r u c t F l o r ence in l i b e r t y , s p i r i t u a l i t y , and t r u t h , according to the models of both the c e l e s t i a l Jerusalem and the P l a t o n i c r e public. On the basis of S a v o n a r o l a ' s t e a c h i n g s , Florence would augment her i mperi urn and create the new e r a . . . .In Florence C h r i s t r e i gned and the golden age had begun" ( I b i d . , pp.31-2). The impetus f o r N e s i ' s messianism was at l e a s t in  50  Aside from the occult tradition  itself,  the most import-  ant influence on the formation of millenarian magic came from  p a r t Hermetic. "As Nesi saw i t , the millennium announced by Savonarola would be a new start as well as a climax, an i n i t i a t i o n into man's ultimate enlightenment, when s p i r i t u a l renewal and moral perfection would at last permit man to open a l l those mysteries to which he was heir. . . . The idea was best expressed in those writings which were ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus. . . . According to the Hermetic teachings, s p i r i t u a l and moral perfection made man a very god in wisdom and power" (pp.197-8). Weinstein is thus convinced that the Hermetic revival in Florence "was an important factor in the enthusiastic reception of the Savonarolan movement" ( p . 2 0 2 ) . Others shared much the same beliefs regarding the new age. Guillaume Postel ( 1 5 1 0 - 1 5 8 1 ) , translator of the Cabal a, envisaged the new age "as a return to the earthly paradise of Genesis , in which man is to be f i n a l l y delivered from b o n d age to Satan and restored to his original innocence; hence i t is the r e s t i t u t i o omnium, in which mankind w i l l be united in a common speech (Hebrew), a common government, and a common r e l i g i o n based on Cabala in which what had hitherto been the possession of a few i n i t i a t e s w i l l become the common property of a l l mankind" (William J . Bouwsma, "Postel and the Significance of Renaissance Cabal ism, p.231). Giordano Bruno believed that reform of the c e l e s t i a l images used in astral magic would bring about "universal religious and moral reform" (Yates, Giordano Bruno, p.232). His d i s c i p l e in magic, Tomasso Campanella, interpreted the six planets in ascendant at his birth as a sign of his role "to be the reformer of the world" (Nell Eurich, Science in Utopia [Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U. P . , 1 967], p.l16). As Yates also points out, he believed that astrological and prophetic pronouncements of a new age to begin around 1600 indicated that he was to lead "a universal magico-religious reform" (p.360). Michael Servetus (1511-1553), at once "a d i s c i p l e of the Neoplatonic Academy at Florence and of the Anabaptists".'(p.4) , was fami l i a r with Hermetic and occult l i t e r a t u r e (pp.131, 134), and a practising astrologer and alchemist, at the same time that he entertained "eschatological reveries" of world reformation (Ronald Bainton, Hunted Heretic: The Li fe and Death of Michael Servetus [1 953 ; rpt. Boston: Beacon Press ,~T9~60J\ esp. pp. 110-15). For Melanchthon, see Lynn Thorndike, "The C i r c l e of Melanchthon," in A Hi story of Magi c and Experimental Science (New York: Columbia U. P . , 194TJ, V , p p T 3 T 8 - 4 0 5 ; John W. Montgomery, "Cross, C o n s t e l l a t i o n , and Crucible: Lutheran A s t r o l ogy and Alchemy in the Age of the Reformation," Ambix, 1 1 , No. 2 (June 1 9 6 3 ) , 65-86; C l i f f o r d Davidson, "Doctor Faustus of  51  the Christian apocalyptic t r a d i t i o n .  Joachimism, prophetism,  messianic expectation rooted in the B i b l e , paganism and Jewish lore, all  helped to validate  Hermeticism.  the reformationist  dreams of  In f a c t , as early as the fourth century,  Hermetic  mi 1lenarianism had already merged with Christian apocalyptic thought.  Lactantius, perhaps the most i n f l u e n t i a l  early messianic thought, frequently his own millenarian  doctrines.  figure  in  quotes Hermes to support  Lactantius thus set an example  that many later mi 11 enarians —even some Puritan ones—were to follow.  At one point, he even quotes at length from the  famous "Lament" of the AscIepius, focusing attention on i t s prophecy of the restoration of "all  good things."  The  Wittenberg," SP_, 59, No. 3 (July 1962), 514-23; Clyde L. Manschreck, Melanchthon: The Quiet Reformer (New York: Abingdon, 1958), esp. ch. 8: "Stars, Dreams, and Omens." For P o s t e l , see William J . Bouwsma, "Postel and the Significance of Renaissance Cabal ism," J_HI_, 1 5 (1954), 218-32 ; and Idem, Concordia Mundi: The Career and Thought of Gui11aume Postel (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U. P. , 1 9 5 7 7 , esp. p.101, pp.28283, and chs. 2, 5, and 6; a l s o , Francois Secret, "Guillaume Postel et les Courants Prophetiques de la Renaissance," Studi Franesi , 1 (Gennaio-Aprile 1957), 375-95 ; and Thorndike, A History of Magic, VI, p.344. For ReuchTin, see Lewis S p i t z , """Reuchl i n ' s Phi 1 osophy: Pythagoras and Cabala for C h r i s t , " Archiv fur Ref ormati onsgeschi chte, 47(1956), 1 -19, esp. 1415. The predictions ana dreams of these Renaissance reformers was known to visionaries of the Puritan Revolution. The author of A brief Description of the Future History of Europe (London, 1650), for instance, cites the millenarian prophecies of Reuchlin (p.21), Savonarola and Pico (p.18). 31  Lactantius, The Di vi ne Insti tutes , in The Ante-Ni cene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A. D. 325, ed. Alexander Robert and James Donaldson, rev. with prefaces and notes by A. Cleveland Coxe (1886; rpt. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans C o . , 1970), V o l . x v i i i , p.215. For a discussion of Lanctaritius' relationship to the Hermetic writings, see Yates, Giordano Bruno ^ pp. 7-^8, passim. Another  52  example of L a c t a n t i u s , t h e r e f o r e ,  provided Renaissance magicians  with a ' C h r i s t i a n '  of the  legitimization  prophecy of the Hermetic reformation  tradition.  millenarian  Occult v i s i o n s of a future  of the world were seen as tantamount  e x p e c t a t i o n s of the coming m i l l e n n i u m . England, as we s h a l l flated,  central  Indeed,  s e e , the two t r a d i t i o n s  and the o c c u l t t r a d i t i o n  to in  Christian Puritan  were often  was seen as a  con-  legitimate  source o f v i s i o n a r y prophecies supporting the mi 11enarianism of the C h r i s t i a n  Millenarian alyptic  context.  tradition.  magic, t h e n , must be seen w i t h i n t h i s apocSome Renaissance m a g i c i a n s , e s p e c i a l l y those  immersed in the Hermetic w r i t i n g s , powers of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n magical arian  seemingly inherent  gnosis , and s t i r r e d  as well  prophecies and e x p e c t a t i o n s ,  arrogated  e x c i t e d by the miraculous  by the  in s c i e n t i f i c and r e v i v a l -of  such Renaissance magicians  to themselves the mission of working the  a t i o n of the world so long awaited  millen-  and so a v i d l y  transform-  sought.  s c h o l a r comments, "The Divine I n s t i t u t e s , in p a r t i c u 1 a r , are f u l l of references to t h i s Hermes, references which, together with quotations from the various s i b y l s , are used by the author as. prophecies of C h r i s t and testimonies to the t r u t h of C h r i s t i a n i t y from a u t h o r i t i e s that his pagan audience would accept." As t h i s author points o u t , L a c t a n t i u s c i t e s Hermes at l e a s t t h i r t y times by name, drawing most quotations from the Poimandres and the As c l e p i us (Kathleen E l l e n H a r t w e l l , L a c t a n t i us and Mi 1 ton [Cambridge, Mass.: H a r v a r d U . P . , 1929], p.116). "See a l s o Eugenio G a r i n , P o r t r a i ts from the Quattroc e n t o , p. 148; and J . F. P a r t i n g t o n , A H i s t o r y of C h e m i s t r y , I , p.243. The whole r e l a t i o n s h i p between C h r i s t i a n m i l l e n a r ianisrri and o c c u l t prophecies deserves f u r t h e r study.  53  Some Renaissance m a g i c i a n s , hearing the one might  s a y , and b e l i e v i n g  to bring such a reformation  cry f o r  themselves possessed of the about,  bring about the m i l l e n n i u m .  power  some of these adepts began  to look upon themselves as messiahs d i v i n e l y  the agency  reformation,  appointed  to  They b e l i e v e d themselves to be  through which God would make good His promise of  a new heaven and a new e a r t h .  The millennium would come  32 through magi c. In  summary, i t  aissance,  can be said that at  the simultaneous  mi 11enarianism  transmuted  revival  the  time of the Ren-  of both Hermeticism and  an already extreme and a s s e r t i v e  Campanella, perhaps the most f a n a t i c of Renaissance m a g i c i a n s , a c t u a l l y helped plan and execute an armed r e v o l t designed to bring about the messianic age. Frances Yates w r i t e s of t h i s e p i s o d e : "When we look at the propaganda f o r the C a l a b r i a n r e v o l t , we f i n d that i t i s f u l l of m y s t i c a l i m p e r i a l i s m , of prophecy of the r e t u r n of an imperial golden age, such as L a c t a n t i u s and the S i b y l s speak o f , combined with a p o c a l y p t i c prophecy, Joachism, and the l i k e . Campanella b e l i e v e d from the portents that the hour had struck f o r such a renewal of the age" (Giordano Bruno, p.386). The i n t e r - . p r e t a t i o n of magic I have been advancing would help to exp l a i n why, as Frances Yates remarks, messianic d e l u s i o n s were so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Renaissance magicians ( p . 3 3 9 ) . The thaumaturge's a c q u i s i t i o n of a m e s s i a n i c r o l e i s d i s cussed from an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l point of view by P r o f e s s o r W i l s o n , who w r i t e s : "The. hope, r e a s s u r a n c e , renewal which he claims as an i n t r i n s i c q u a l i t y of h i s thaumaturgical ski11 , are r e a l i z e d by the confidence he generates and the p r a c t i c a l steps which he takes to win and keep his f o l l o w i n g . In such circumstances of d e - t r i b a l i z a t i o n [or c u l t u r a l c r i si S - - P T ] the thaumaturge becomes the messiah, the c h i e f , the now-andcoming k i n g . The l i v i n g god, the man who claims to be a messiah, must of n e c e s s i t y be a thaumaturge" (Magic and the Mi 11enni urn, pp.1 3 3 - 4 ) . The e v o l u t i o n of magic i n t o c h i l i a s m i s discussed as well by Max Weber, The Soci ol ogy of Rel.i gi-on, t r a n s . Ephraim F i s c h o f f from the 4th e d n . , r e v . (T956) (Boston Beacon P . , 1964), c h . 11, esp. p.175.  54  form of thaumaturgy. into  a new kind of magic, into  a magic  devoted to a m i l l e n a r i a n  s a l v a t i onal m i s s i o n ,  a magic  animated by a messi ani c impulse towards many m i l l e n a r i a n magic, at  least  the world.  movements which preceded i t , in t h i s mode, o f f e r e d  into  the  Renaissance  to mankind a s a l v a t i o n  that was at once col 1ecti ve , t e r r e s t r i al , i mmi nent, miraculous  Like  t o t a l , and  (that i s , accomplished by o c c u l t and d i v i n e  powers;  see above , p. 6 , n . 6 ). Now we b e t t e r understand why, from the  Renaissance o n ,  the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s possessed myths and motifs Golden Age, of an e a r t h l y  of a future  paradise and new and p e r f e c t  world.  From the Renaissance o n , one mode of magic was preoccupied with p e r f e c t i n g  the world through magic i t s e l f .  When we  come to study the o c c u l t m i l i e u  of P u r i t a n  f i n d there  dreams and v i s i o n s that  the  same m i l l e n a r i a n  obsessed Renaissance Hermetic s e e , when we come to t h i s the Puritan  reformers.  subject,  And we w i l l  also  that the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s  r a d i c a l s sought to r e v i v e  the same kind of e a r t h l y  England, we w i l l  offered  to mankind  millennium so a v i d l y expected by  Puri tan chi 1 i a s t s .  That thaumaturgic that imbues i t  magic can undergo a transformation  with a m i l l e n a r i a n  impulse has also been  argued by P r o f e s s o r Bryan W i l s o n , in Magic and the  Millennium.  His study of t h i r d - w o r l d  revealed  that thaumaturgical  prophetical  movements has  movements not i n f r e q u e n t l y  acquire a  55  reformationist Although the  or m i l l e n a r i a n  'normal l o g i c '  orientation  towards the w o r l d .  of development i s f o r a thauma-  t u r g i c response to precede a m i l l e n a r i a n  movement, and f o r  the mi 11enarian movement to then acquire magical by absorbing thaumaturgic elements, m i l l e n a r i a n of extreme itself, buing i t  intensity  can work d i r e c t l y  by broadening i t s  with a mi 11enarian  transmute  magical movement.  reformation  on the magical system  v i s i on and mission in the w o r l d .  the thaumaturgic  cultural  transformation  agency into  can,  a millenarian  Thaumaturgy responds to such a demand f o r  collective terrestrial total  expectations  s a l v a t i o n a l message, and thus im-  Intense popular demand f o r a t o t a l in f a c t ,  overtones  s a l v a t i o n by o f f e r i n g  that w i l l  expunge a l l  the people a  e v i l , and p e r f e c t  the whole w o r l d .  So f a r we have t r a c e d the e v o l u t i o n of the mode of magic, and discussed the nature  of i t s  millenary salvational  " F o r a time, mi 11ennialism may draw some strength from thaumaturgical p r e o c c u p a t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y in the promise of a f u t u r e time when i l l n e s s and old age w i l l not o c c u r . . . . But sometimes, the thaumaturgy i s i t s e l f of a new t y p e , is i t s e l f i n f u s e d with the e f f e c t s of the c a t a l y t i c experience of the r e v o l u t i o n i s t movement" ( W i l s o n , p.349). If i n t e n s i f i e d and given a " s o c i e t a l c o n n o t a t i o n , " Wilson e x p l a i n s , the "demand f o r thaumaturgy may take on what amounts to intense des i re f o r t o t a l c u l t u r a l t r a n s f o r m a t i on" (p.216; p.383 ; i t a l i c s added). What f o l l o w s i s a strong "demand f o r a new and more powerful magic, f o r thaumaturgy on a_ s o c i e t a l s c a l e " (p. 219; i t a l i c s added). Thaumaturgy on a s o c i e t a l s c a l e I have c a l l e d 'millenarian m a g i c ' As long a s . t h e thaumaturgi cal demand p e r s i s t s , Wilson c o n c l u d e s , the " m i l l e n n i a l dream [ w i l l ] i n t e r m i t t e n t l y recur" ( p . 3 8 3 ; pp.349, 382). J J  56  message.  In Part  2 I should l i k e  the substance of t h i s composed the  to d i s c u s s in more  message, the  'millenary  dream'  The evidence to be reviewed  beliefs  of t h i s  in Part  t h e s i s that magic d i d acquire a m i l l e n a r i a n the w o r l d ,  and w i l l  reveal  and hopes that  form of the  2 will  the m i l l e n a r i a n  support impulse  plore more deeply the  of P u r i t a n nature  England.  occult. the towards  s i g n i f i c a n c e of  the myths, v i s i o n s and preoccupations we s h a l l in the o c c u l t m i l i e u  detail  soon encounter  We s h a l l  of the m i l l e n n i a l  now ex-  mode of magic.  57  Part  2:  The Nature of M i l l e n a r i a n  Magic  The R e s t o r a t i on of Paradi se The s a l v a t i o n promised by the m i l l e n a r i a n amounted to the r e s t o r a t i o n of p a r a d i s e . of the w o r l d , t h e n ,  really  or of the Golden Age. philosophers," the  're-formation'  meant the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n  "The c e n t r a l  Hiram Haydn  'rejuvenation  The  mode of magic  of Eden  concern of the  Hermetic  p e r c e p t i v e l y remarked, "was with  and renovation of men and t h i n g s ' "  Counter Renaissance, p.514). term ' m i l l e n a r i a n '  (The  Though Haydn did not use the  to c h a r a c t e r i z e  this  i m p u l s e , he never-  t h e l e s s understood that P a r a c e l s u s ' dream regarding the generation of n a t u r e , promise to r e s t o r e  and the  restoration  paradise to e a r t h ,  "'re-  of y o u t h , ' . " was a  through magic.  Ren-  aissance m a g i c i a n s , Haydn went on to e x p l a i n , dreamed "of renovating and r e s t o r i n g to nature since the entailed the  Fall"  (p.191).  her p r i s t i n e  The concept of  f o r the magicians a r e s t o r a t i o n  vigor*'lost  'reformation ,  1  or r e s t i t u t i o n  then, of  l o s t Eden of Adam. This dream of r e s t o r i n g paradise to earth —a dream which  has long haunted the imagination  of Western man — gained  currency during the Hermetic r e v i v a l because of the held b e l i e f  that magical gnosis was a r e s t i t u t i o n  dom of Adam h i m s e l f . uration entailed  Most magicians b e l i e v e d that  the a c q u i s i t i o n ( r e a l l y the  greater  widely  of the w i s transfig-  're-acquisition')  of the powers and p r i v i l e g e s Adam possessed in p a r a d i s e .  Adam  58  e x e r c i s e d his dominion over nature  and enjoyed the p h y s i c a l  b l e s s i n g of p a r a d i s e , Renaissance magicians b e l i e v e d , by v i r 34 tue of h i s o c c u l t wisdom and magical adept was t r a n s f i g u r e d priest'  into  was p r e - 1 a p s a r i a n  powers.  an Adam/Magus ("the  When the 'illuminated  Adam"—Haydn, p . 5 1 4 ) , he r e c a p t u r e d ,  so to speak, Adam's wisdom and his power, and, with  these,  35  Adam's p a r a d i s i c e x i s t e n c e as w e l l . Thus, when a man became a true magus, he not only h e r i t e d Adam ' s power and wisdom, he also e n t e r e d ,  in-  so to speak,  See Thomas Vaughan, Magi a Adamica: or the A n t i q u i t y of Magi c , in The Works of T h o m a s Vaughan: Mys 11c and Ale hemTTt, ed. Arthur Edward Faite (1919; r p t . New York: Univers i t y Books, 1968). In seventeenth-century alchemical thought, the f e c u n d i t y , r i c h n e s s , s e c u r i t y and general p e r f e c t i o n of the garden of Eden, were explained magi cal 1 y,. as. products of Adam's magi cal knowledge and of his possession of the Stone. Thus, in the alchemical t r a c t e n t i t l e d " L i b e r P a t r i s Sapi e n t i a e , " i t is written: The mightti Ston that ys so p r e c i u s , Thys ryche r e b y , that ston of p r y c e , The whych wosse send owt of Paradyce: (in Theatrum Chemi cum Bri tanni cum, comp. E l i a s Ashmole, the Sources of Science s e r i e s , No.39 [1652; r p t . New York: Johnson R e p r i n t , 1967], p.211). 3  3c A g r i p p a also b e l i e v e d that the i l l u m i n a t e d p r i e s t became " p r e - 1 a p s a r i a n Adam." P r o f e s s o r Nauert w r i t e s : "The enlightened s o u l , the soul which had a t t a i n e d a true understanding of God's r e v e l a t i o n , would not only regain mastery over i t s own body but would a l s o win power over a l l n a t u r e . " Agrippa himself had s a i d , " ' F o r the b a s i s of a l l m i r a c l e s i s knowledge, and the more things we understand and know, the more r e a d i l y and e f f i c a c i o u s l y do we work.' It was p r e c i s e l y t h i s power over nature which Adam had l o s t by o r i g i n a l s i n , but which the p u r i f i e d soul , the magus, now could regain" (Agri ppa and the Cri s i s of Renai ssance Thought, p . 4 8 ) . "Once the soul has a t t a i ned iTTumi nati o n , i t returns to something l i k e the c o n d i t i o n i t had before the f a l l of Adam, when the seal of God was upon i t and a l l creatures feared and revered man" ( p . 2 8 4 ) . 3  59  a s o r t of  'provisional paradise'  only to r e c a l l  here on e a r t h .  Faustus' "world of p r o f i t  and d e l i g h t , /  power, of honour, of omnipotence," to f i n d t h i s pressed in a l l  its  v i g o r and energy.  One has Of  dream ex-  C o r n e l i u s says to him,  The m i r a c l e s that magic w i l l perform W i l l make thee vow to study nothing e l s e . The s p i r i t s t e l l me they can dry the sea And f e t c h the treasure of a l l f o r e i g n wrecks, Ay, a l l the wealth that our f o r e f a t h e r s hid Within the massy e n t r a i l s of the e a r t h . Then t e l l me, F a u s t u s , what s h a l l we three want? Faustus r e p l i es: N o t h i n g , C o r n e l i u s . 0, t h i s cheers my s o u l ! Come, show me some demonstrations magical , That I may conjure in some l u s t y grove And have these joys in f u l l p o s s e s s i o n . 36 But a d i s t i n c t i o n must be drawn between motivates  Faustus and the  reformers  of the Renaissance. And t h i s  for  the  impulse that  impulse t h a t motivates  the  distinction  i t di f fere n.ti ate s between what has been c a l l e d  magic (the Hermetic  reformers).  both forms delight'  magic of Faustus) and white magic What must f i r s t  (white and b l a c k )  these two kinds of magic i s the s p i r i t delight'  is  important,  black  (that of  the  be recognized i s  are materi a l i s t i c.  are the goals of both forms.  Hermetic  'Profit  What r e a l l y in which  that and  separates  'profit  and  are pursued.  The Faustian magician uses magic to create  Doctor Faustus , ed. Jump, I,i  a 'world  ,1 35-6 , 143-5.1.  of  60  profit  and d e l i g h t '  to acquire the gratify self the  f o r himself a l o n e .  p h y s i c a l treasures  of paradise in order  to  his own s e l f i s h d e s i r e s and l u s t s , to aggrandize him-  alone.  From the viewpoint  of the Hermetic  Faustian magician d i s t o r t e d the  to p e r f e c t  the world and r e s t o r e  white magic of the Hermetic Rosicrucians, anthropic, of  His whole purpose i s  f o r example)  and c h a r i t a b l e .  mankind.'  true purpose of m a g i c - -  paradise to a l l  reformers  people.  The  (Bruno, P a r a c e l s u s , the  i s , in c o n t r a s t , Its  reformers,  altruistic,  shibboleth i s ,  'for  the  philprofit  3 7  F a u s t u s was condemnable, at l e a s t according to the Hermeti c i s t s ' , because he was i l l i b e r a l and dangerously s e l f ish. In a way, i t was these v i c e s which made his brand of magic ' b l a c k . ' F a u s t i a n i s m , I s u g g e s t , was l i n k e d to the demonic because of the d e s t r u c t i v e and a n t i - s o c i a l impulses i t expressed. I understand that t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n goes against the widely held b e l i e f that F a u s t u s ' magic was b l a c k , and that he was e v i l , because he derived his powers from the D e v i l . But as i t is e x p r e s s e d , t h i s b e l i e f is! woefully simplistic. To suggest that the demonic o r i g i n att r i b u t e d to Faustianism i s intended as a symbolic expression of the e v i l tendencies of Faustus' impulses i s not to suggest that seventeenth-century people did not b e l i e v e in d e v i l s . No doubt they d i d . But i t i s to s u g g e s t , however, that these d e v i l s in which they b e l i e v e d were often subconscious r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s (or symbols) of the impulses and d e s i r e s in human nature the c u l t u r e at large deemed ' e v i l ' and ' s u b v e r s i v e . ' The demonic nature of Faustianism symbolizes the s e l f i s h n e s s and inhumanity of t h i s magical i d e o l o g y . In s h o r t , demons do not symbolize themselves, no matter how many people bel i e v e in t h e i r o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y , but the d e s t r u c t i v e tendencies in human nature i t s e l f . This i s to suggest no more than what others have already a s s e r t e d and demonstrated ( s e e , among o t h e r s , R o l l o May, Love and Will [1969, 1973], e s p . "Love and the Daimonic," and "The Daimonic in D i a l o g u e ; " Ruth Nanda Anshen, The Reali ty of the Devi 1: E v i l i n Man [1970, 1972]; Henry Ansgar K e l l y , The D e v i l , Demonc-logy and Witchcraft: The Development of Chri stTan BelTef s i n E v i l S p i r i t s LT968, 1974]; and Dr. Martin G r o t j a h n , The Voice of J /  61  But t h i s  emphasis oh c h a r i t y  did not mean that the good  magician was denied pleasure and power and wealth.  He was  not asked to be a s c e t i c ; paradise was not closed to him. the  contrary,  if  the good magician pursued magic p i o u s l y and  humbly, and f o r the purpose of b e n e f i t i n g he would in f a c t  On  enjoy a l l  would possess the material  all  mankind,  then  that Faustus coveted and more. He benefits  that Adam enjoyed in Eden.  the Symbol [1971, 1973]. It should be noted that s i x t e e n t h and seventeenth-century people also b e l i e v e d in w i t c h c r a f t , but t h i s f a c t has not prevented contemporary s c h o l a r s from r e c o g n i z i n g that w i t c h c r a f t , r e g a r d l e s s of i t s s u b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y , was an expression of s o c i a l tensions inherent in v i l l a g e l i f e (Thomas, and o t h e r s ) , and that an a c c u s a t i o n of w i t c h c r a f t , r e g a r d l e s s of i t s s i n c e r i t y , was often a way of l a b e l l i n g somebody a r e l i g i o u s h e r e t i c ( T r e v o r - R o p e r ) . In s h o r t , w i t c h c r a f t stood f o r others thi n g s , not f o r w i t c h e s , even though the people b e l i e v e d in them"] ine interpretation of black magic that I have advanced here assumes greater c r e d i b i l i t y when i t i s recognized that even a magician who enjoyed his powers from God Himself could deserve the fate of Faustus i f "he abused his powers, and did not use them f o r the b e n e f i t of mankind. In s h o r t , i t was the c h a r i t a b l e use of magic which r e a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d good magic from bad. One seventeenth-century adept w r i t e s , "I exhort a l l that possess t h i s T r e a s u r e , to use i t to the p r a i s e o f / G o d , and the good of t h e i r neighbours [ ! ] , in order that they may not at the l a s t day be e t e r n a l l y doomed f o r t h e i r i n g r a t i t u d e to t h e i r Creator" (The Hermetic Museum, Restored and Enlarged, trans, from the 1678 edn. by Arthur Edward Waite, 2 v o l s . [London: James E l l i o t t , 1893], II, p.198). The o r i g i n of the powers i s not what i s of importance to t h i s adept, but the use to which they a r e , , or are n o t , put. The- same point i s made by another adept. The r i g h t use of alchemy, 'Hermes' himself a s s e r t s , brings "to the pious e a r t h l y honour and long l i f e , but to the wicked who misuse i t , Eternal Punishment" ("The Book of the Revelation of Hermes," in Benedictus F i g u l u s , comp., A Golden and Blessed Casket of Nature's M a r v e l s , t r a n s , u n i d e n t i f i e d LT608; London: James E l l i o t t , 1893], p . 3 6 ) . O b v i o u s l y , not even the d i v i n e o r i g i n of magical powers could p r o t e c t one from eternal damnation i f one abused such powers by using them s e l f i s h l y .  62  Renaissance magicians found a warrant f o r in the s t o r y of Solomon. terpreted  such a b e l i e f  Solomon's 'wisdom' was u s u a l l y  as o c c u l t wisdom; i t  was his knowledge  of  in-  occult  f o r c e s , magicians b e l i e v e d , which brought Solomon the  material  38 b l e s s i n g he enjoyed.  Thomas Vaughan, f o r example,  to Solomon to support his contention back paradise to e a r t h . king--'before nothing plain,  preferred  'wisdom' can b r i n g  w i s d o m ' - - s a i d the  sceptres and t h r o n e s , and esteemed  in comparison to her.'•" his choice of  treasures  'wisdom'  the world can o f f e r :  came to me with her all,  "'I  that  [i.e.,  refers  riches  B u t , as he goes on to  brings to him a l l "'all  wise  the  good things  wisdom], and I r e j o i c e d 39 because she was the mother of t h e m . ' "  ex-  physical together in  them  An E n g l i s h adept of Independent sympathies says of Solomon that he was " e x c e l l e n t l y acquainted with t h i s Mystery" of magic. His "knowledg of Nature was s u c h , and so p e r f e c t , that he knew and understood the v i r t u e s and p r o p e r t i e s of a l l T r e e s , P l a n t s , B e a s t s , ' F o w l s , and F i s h e s , " and employed h i s gnosis to p e r f e c t the u n i v e r s a l medicine that would cure " a l l Di s e a s e s . " C i t i n g Josephus as his a u t h o r i t y , t h i s author i d e n t i f i e s Solomon as the w r i t e r of thOse "Books of Invocations and Inchantments to cure D i s e a s e s , and to expel e v i l Spi r i t s " (Hardi ck Warren , Magi ck & A s t r o l o g y Vi ndicated [London, 1 650] , p.13).  39  The m i l l e n a r i a n message i m p l i c i t in t h i s dream comes to the surface in Solomon's remark that Wisdom "can do a l l t h i n g s , " and can "maketh a l l things new" ( p . 9 7 ) . The echo of the promi se of Revel a t i on l i n k s the renovation of the world not to a messiah from heaven, but to gnosis and o c c u l t wisdom. And the power which makes a l l things new, Norman 0. Brown has reminded u s , i s magic ("Apocalypse," the Phi Beta Kappa o r a t i o n d e l i v e r e d at Columbia U n i v e r s i t y in 1 960 , in The Borzoi Col lege. Reader , 2nd edn. , p . 5 7 ) . Note the r e p e t i t i on of the phrase from the A s c l e p i u s - - " a l 1 good t h i n g s " - - i n Solomon's d e s c r i p t i o n of the f r u i t s of o c c u l t gnosis (see above, p . 4 6 ) .  63  That t h i s  i s what the example of Solomon teaches us  Thomas Vaughan himself makes quite from Solomon, Vaughan quotes S t . the  clear.  Matthew:  After  "'Seek ye  kingdom of God and His r i g h t e o u s n e s s ; and a l l  shall  t h i s passage first  these  things  be added unto y o u ' " (Works of Thomas Vaughan, p . 9 8 ) .  "For of t r u t h , "  Vaughan c o n c l u d e s , "temporal  but ushers to the s p i r i t u a l , more a c c u r a t e l y - - P T ] - - w h e n  or--to  b l e s s i n g s are  speak more p l a i n l y  once we begin to love the  [and  Spirit  then He sends us these things as token and pledges of His love."  As a consequence of t h i s  d o c t r i n e , even the  mystically  i n c l i n e d Vaughan b e l i e v e d in the power of magical wisdom to permit  mankind to once again "enter  the T e r r e s t r i a l  Paradise,  40  that Encompassed Garden of Solomon."  ' T o Vaughan, the encompassed garden of Solomon was a symbol of s p i r i t u a l p e r f e c t i o n , and of an e a r t h l y e x i s t e n c e which was also blessed by long l i f e , health and peace. Others, however, i n t e r p r e t e d i t d i f f e r e n t l y . For S i r Epicure Mammon , the encompassed garden of Solomon was an Adamite's garden of earthly delights: For I do mean To have a l i s t of w i v e s , and c o n c u b i n e s , Equal with Solomon; who had the stone A l i k e , with me: and I w i l l make me, a back With the e l i x i r , that s h a l l be as tough As H e r c u l e s , to encounter f i f t y a n i g h t . (The A l c h e m i s t , ed. Douglas Brown, New Mermaid edn. [New York: H i l l & Wang, Dramabook e d n . , 1 966], II , i i , 3 4 - 3 9 ) . The story of Solomon was an archetype f o r seventeenth-century o c c u l t i s t s . It appears again in the work of John Heydon, an Englishman who professed to knowing the s e c r e t s of R o s i c r u c i a n i s m . Because Solomon asked f o r nothing but 'wisdom' or ' u n d e r s t a n d i n g , ' Heydon e x p l a i n s , God gives him those things f o r which he did not ask, " r i c h e s and honour; and so w i l l God doe to a l l those that mind wisdom and vertue" (The E n g l i s h P h y s i t i a n s Guide [London, 1662], p.10). This b e l i e f was e n t i r e l y c o n s i s t e n t with the Puritan notion of ' e v a n g e l i c a l p o v e r t y . ' As +u  64  It  should be pointed out that Vaughan was no e c c e n t r i c  in t h i s  r e g a r d . ' As we s h a l l  occult milieu  of P u r i t a n  see when we come to examine  England, t h i s  paradise on earth obsessed the  dream of e n t e r i n g  imaginations  the a  of scores of  Engli sh adepts. Well the  before  the Puritan  occult sciences,  that i f  of Eden. .  set out to revive  European and E n g l i s h magicians  all  the  spiritual  believed  and p h y s i c a l b l e s s i n g s  As one alchemical t r a c t expressed the  idea,  . y o u , who. are endued with a more noble S p i r i t  avaricious either  all  they employed magic p i o u s l y and p h i 1 a n t h r o p i c a l 1 y ,  they would i n h e r i t  ".  radicals  adepts],  constituted  bour [ ! ] ,  and al1  First  seek the  Kingdom of God, which  or propagated by C h a r i t y other  seek [ F a u s t u s ? ] , s h a l l  [than is  to your Neigh-  T h i n g s , which other men so impiously be added to you.  P r o f e s s o r H i l l has o b s e r v e d , si nee ' e v a n g e l i c a l poverty' i s s p i r i t u a l i n n a t u r e , i t may c o n s i s t with great r i c h e s (The World Turned Upside Down, p.265). The example of Solomon would have meant something to Puritans as w e l l , f o r the very idea of the ' e l e c t ' people implied that they were to prosper in t h i s world as well as to i n h e r i t the next ( I b i d . , p.122). The ' e n c l o s e d garden' i s mentioned in the Song of Solomon, 4:12. E v i d e n t l y , the Song of Solomon was often ci ted by a l chemists as an o c c u l t work in which the s e c r e t s of transmut a t i o n were intimated (see Henry Stubbe, Legends no H i s t o r i e s [London, 1670], p . 5 1 ) . • , • • A  Theodore K i r k r i n g i u s , i n Bas i V V a l e n t i n e : Hi s T r i umphant Chariot of Antimony, annotated by K i r k r i n g i u s (London, 16 78), p.64. Note that K i r k r i n g i u s also quotes S t . Matthew, as Vaughan d i d . George R i p l e y , in his "Compound of A l c h y m i e , " a l s o wrote t h a t . r e n u n c i a t i o n of temporal b l e s s i n g s w i l l lead to the a c q u i s i t i o n of those very b l e s s i n g s that were renounced: 1  65  The ' a l l health,  other  things'  riches, security,  that people have thought adept  "shall  which the  adept  a long l i f e ,  shall  and everything  Adam enjoyed in p a r a d i s e .  not see p o v e r t y ,  enjoy were  no Disease s h a l l  else  The true  touch him,  nor no s i c k n e s s hurt him," a s s e r t s a seventeenth-century  al-  42 chemist.  He also wrote that a p h i l a n t h r o p i c  his magical  powers w i l l  both f o r will  health,  be freed  great Moment,  yield  and temporal  the adept  exercise  of  "many commodities,  n e c e s s i t y ; by which means you  from want in t h i s  World; which is a thing  as no S a c r i f i c e of Gratitude  of so  can be found s u f -  And f o r soe much as we have f o r thy sake Renowncyed the World, our W y l l s , and the Fleshys L u s t , As thyne owne w y l f u l l p r o f e s s y o r s us t a k e ; Syth in thee only dependyth a l l our t r u s t , We can no f e r t h e r , to thee enclyne we must: Thy s e c r e t T r e s o r a r s , vouchsafe to make u s , Show us thy S e c r e t s , and to us be bounteous, (in As.hmo.le, comp. , Theatrum Chemicum B r i t a n n i c u m , p. 122). Ripley also warns the alchemist to use the powers of alchemy "to Gods p l e a s u r e ; do good wyth them what ever thou may" (p. 120). 'Eirenaeus• Phi 1 a i e t h e s ' exhorts a l l who possess the ' t r e a s u r e ' of alchemy "to use i t to the p r a i s e of God, and the good of t h e i r neighbours" (The Hermetic Museum, II, p. 1.98). An E n g l i s h exponent of P a r a c e l s i a n i s m wrote; "So that the scope of Phylosophy i s to seeke to g l o r i f i e God i n h i s wonderf u l l workes: to teach a man how to l i v e w e l l , and to be chari t a b l y a f f e c t e d in helping our neighbour" (T. Timme, t r a n s . , in Josephus Querci'tanus [Joseph DuChesne], The p r a c t i se of • chymi c a l l and hermeti c a l l phys i eke [London , 160 5] , si g . A 4 r ) . P r o f e s s o r Manuel notes that in good magic the Stone i s used " f o r the love of man" (A P o r t r a i t of Isaac Newton, p.168). 42  / B a s i l V a l e n t i n e , 0_f Natural Supernatural Things (London , 1 670), p.71. For a f a i r l y t r a d i t i o n a l account of the s p i r i t u a l and p h y s i c a l b l e s s i n g s enjoyed by Adam in p a r a d i s e , see S t . Anselm(us), Man i n G l o r y : o r , a Di scourse of the Blessed s t a t e of the Sai nts i n the New Jerusalem, i n The Works of Henry Vaughan, e d . LeonarcTCyri1 M a r t i n , 2 v o l s . ( O x f o r d " Oxford U. P. , 1914)., I. The t r a n s l a t i o n was by Vaughan. -  66  ficient  to answer t h i s  favour of God showed to y o u . "  43  Yet  another adept urges alchemists to "do good to the p o o r , " so that they all  "may l i v e  whatsoever  in a h e a l t h f u l  [they] d e s i r e on E a r t h . "  found t h i s A r t , "  c  i  r  1 e  '11  a  4 4  .  temporal  . and may have  "He that has once a l c h e m i s t , "can  the world to wish f o r . "  adepts b e l i e v e d that the. b e n e f i t s c  .  wrote a seventeenth-century  have nothing e l s e . i n a l l all  state  f el i c i t y . "  45  Almost  conferred by magic "in  46  Basi1 V a l e n t i ne: His T r i umphant Chari ot of Antimony , pp.156-7. Abject c o n f e s s i o n s of g r a t i t u d e and h u m i l i t y no doubt served to a l l a y the conscience of adepts somewhat t r o u b l e d by the b l a t a n t l y m a t e r i a l i s t i c creed of the magic they espoused. In a way, the d o c t r i n e that the good magician used his powers a l t r u i s t i c a l l y helped j u s t i f y the m a t e r i a l i s t i c p r i v i l e g e s magicians were b e l i e v e d to enjoy. 44  John H o r l a n d , "A Work of S a t u r n e , " in Natural &•Supern a t u r a l Thi n g s , by B a s i l V a l e n t i n e (1670), pp.220-21. 45 Hermeti c Museum, II, p.197. E l i a s Ashmole ["James H a s o l l e , " p s e u d . ] , F a s c i c u l u s Chemi cus: or Chymi cal Col 1ecti ons. Expressi ng the Ingress , P r o g r e s s , and E g r e s s , of the Secret Hermeti ck Science (London, 1650), s i g - . * * 8 . See a l s o Hermeti c Museum, I ,86, f o r another use of the phrase " a l l temporal f e l i c i t y . " It was also s a i d that the adept would possess "the g l o r i e of t h i s world" ( H o r t u l a n u s , quoted in M i r r e r of Alchimy [London, 1 597], p>25); also see the t r a c t enti t l e d "The Glory of the World; o r , Table of P a r a d i s e , " in Hermeti c Museum, I. Alchemy, wrote the E n g l i s h adept, E l i a s Ashmole, o f f e r s the magus "great and i n e x h a u s t i b l e " t r e a s u r e s , f o r she holds f o r t h "length of days" in her r i g h t hand, "and i n her 1 e f t hand , r i ches and honor (Fasci cuius Chemi c u s , s i g . * * 8 ) . Ashmole was s u c c i n c t l y e p i t o m i z i n g a very large body of opinion on t h i s s u b j e c t . T r a c t a f t e r t r a c t d e s c r i bes the -gl o r i e s of the r i g h t and l e f t hand of magic. One a f t e r another a s s e r t s that the p h i l a n t h r o p i c adept w i l l acquire "great Riches" (Theatrum, p.320) . m a t c h l e s s " r i c h e s " ( p . 3 5 7 ) , " a l l worldly Treasure" ( p . 4 0 2 ) , "more Tresour then hath the King of Inde" ( p . 4 0 3 ) , " a l l the Treasure and Gould in Craesus c o f f r e (p.399) 4 6  67  In ition  review,  that i f  it  was a c e n t r a l  the adept  possess e a r t h l y  of the magical  used magic c h a r i t a b l y ,  treasures  He would i n h a b i t ,  belief  and temporal  then he would  b l e s s i n g s in  so to speak, a p r o v i s i o n a l  trad-  earthly  abundance. paradise.  " r i c h e s , and honour" (John F r e n c h , Art of D i s t i l l a t i o n , s i g . * 3 ) , " i n f i n i t e r i c h e s " (Hermetic Museum, II, 227 ) , "sol id good fortune" and " p r o s p e r i t y " (HM, I, 86), and " a l l good fortune" (Fasci culus , s i g . * * 8 ) . Through the Stone Solomon procured f o r himself "long l i f e and boundless r i c h e s (HM , I, 86-7). One alchemical t r a c t i s even s u b t i t l e d the "book of honouring, i n c r e a s i n g r i c h e s , and the book of the needy, p u t t i n g to f l i g h t poverty" (IHM, 11 , 3). As the o r i g i n a l preface to the Hermetic Museum b o l d l y d e c l a r e s , the ancient theomagus had at hi s command "the most e f f e c t u a l means of becoming r i c h , and of possessing not only s u f f i c i e n t to 1ive upon, but a l l the comforts and pomp of l i f e " (HM., I, 2). "Length of d a y s , " held in the r i g h t hand of alchemy, was held to be an even more precious g i f t : "If a l l the mountains were of s i l v e r and g o l d , what would they p r o f i t a man who l i v e s in constant fear of death? Hence there cannot be in the whole world anything b e t t e r than our M e d i c i n e , which has power to heal a l l the diseases of the f l e s h . Wealth, and r i c h e s , and g o l d , a l l y i e l d the p r i z e to t h i s g l o r i o u s poss e s s i o n " (HM, II, 223). The E l i x i r was the "cure of human woe" i t s e l f , f o r i t could free mankind from the worst e f f e c t of the F a l l - r d e a t h i t s e l f . For i n s t a n c e , Ashmole suggests that the Stone i s so strong a p r e s e r v a t i v e and r e s t o r a t i v e , that " ' t i s made a question whether any Man can Dye that uses i t " (Theatrum, s i g . B l v ) . S i m i l a r l y , Edwardus Anglicus wrote in 1562, " ' t h e learned stand in doubt whether a man can dye or not that hath t h i s stone" (in Manuel , A P o r t r a i t of Isaac Newton, p.169). Through magic, in other words, the adept i s blessed with "continued l i f e and h e a l t h " (HM, II, 227), "health & length of dayes" (Art. of D i s t i l l a t i o n , * 3 r ) , "lasting health" (HM_, 1 , 292), "long l i f e , h e a l t h " (Solomon T r i s mos i n , Splendor S o l i s , no t r a n s . [London: Kegan P a u l , n . d . ] , p.80-81). Adam, i t was b e l i e v e d , almost a t t a i n e d the m i l l e n n i a l age of 1000 years through alchemy (he died at 930). Morienus, Pythagoras, Geber and Hermes did l i v e 1000, thanks to the Stone (HM, I, 188). See also HM, I, 326, 71, 87-8; II, 222 ; Splendor S o l i s , p.80; Art of D i s t i l 1 a t i o n , s i g . A 3 r ; P_r. Faustus (I, i ,24-6 ; see above, p . 3 9 T Part of what i s p r o m T T e d f o r the m i l l e n n i u m , P r o f e s s o r Wilson points o u t , i s "the c e s s a t i o n of i l l n e s s , the ageing p r o c e s s , and death" (Magi c and the Mi 11enni Urn, p.365). -  6 8  I detail  have emphasized t h i s  magic.  paradise'  Implicit directive:  provided the  foundation  for  in the p h i l a n t h r o p i c , imperative the  height of c h a r i t y  be f o r the magus, who i n h a b i t e d to  and have d e s c r i b e d in  the joys of t h i s ' p a r a d i s e , because the b e l i e f  'provisional  arian  point,  and p h i l a n t h r o p y  people the  s i n c e r e l y thankful  into Adam/Magus.  same treasures  encounter i t  c i r c l e of P u r i t a n millenarian ing f o r  paradise he entered when he was  again, in a pristine England.  form, in the  s e c r e t s of n a t u r e , " from the  Hill  imWe  Hartlib  reveals  the  "the  i s the second paradise of the w o r l d . "  was saying no more than what P r o f e s s o r H i l l  "liberation  transfigured  magicians.  This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  the sal vationaV message of magic.  it  gates  This i s what i s behind the m i l l e n a r i a n  message of P a r a c e l s u s ' c r y p t i c remark,  'wisdom'  To put  mankind the  pulse of Renaissance and seventeenth-century will  would  magus could best express  to God by opening up to a l l  of that t e r r e s t r i a l  millenarian  is a millen-  and b l e s s i n g s he himself enjoys in such p r o f u s i o n .  his g r a t i t u d e  the  a s o r t of paradise on e a r t h ,  use his magic to extend to a l l  another way, the  in  has s a i d  striv4 7  He  regarding  "Through mastery of  the  has w r i t t e n , magic o f f e r e d mankind.  consequences of the  Fall."  AQ  P a r a c e l s u s : S e l e c t e d W r i t i n g s , ed. Jolande Jacobi , B o l l i n g e n S e r i e s xxvi i i (New York: Pantheon, 1957 ), p . l x i i i . AO  The World Turned Upside Down, p.31. This was p r e c i s e l y the message of the R o s i c r u c i a n movement. The Brotherhood's prophecy of a ' r e f o r m a t i o n ' through magic e x c i t e d the people to dream of i n h a b i t i n g an e a r t h l y p a r a d i s e , of a c q u i r i n g the  69  The "Mi 11ennary  Dream" of Alchemy  Although the d e s i r e or impulse to l i b e r a t e the consequences of the  Fall  a f t e r the.Renaiss.an.ee, i t been c a l l e d  'exoteric'  permeated a l l  mankind from  the o c c u l t  arts  was e s p e c i a l l y strong in what has  alchemy.  49  As the o c c u l t s c i e n c e of  material t r e a s u r e s of Adam. . Hearing the R o s i c r u c i a n message, the people b e l i e v e d , recounts Comenius, that they could "know e v e r y t h i n g " "without e r r o r , " "without want have s u f f i c i e n t of e v e r y t h i n g ; l i v e f o r several hundred years without s i c k n e s s and gray h a i r , i f they oniy wished i t . And they ever repeated: 'Happy, v e r i l y happy, i s our age! . . . And almost everyone burnt with the d e s i r e of o b t a i n i n g these goods" (Comenius, The L a b y r i n t h of the World, in Y a t e s , R o s i c r u c i a n Enlightenment, p.163). The R o s i c r u c i a n movement would seem to b e a n example of a magical movement responding to the demands of the people by o f f e r i n g them a s a l v a t i o n c l e a r l y m i l l e n a r i a n in nature. The mi 11enarianism of the R o s i c r u c i a n movement e x p l a i n s why there was an attempt to r e v i v e the movement in Puritan England. As we s h a l l s e e , R o s i c r u c i a n i s m r e i n f o r c e d the c h i l i a s t i c expectations so rampant in the Puritan and o c c u l t c i r c l e s of r e v o l u t i o n a r y England.  49  As a r e s u l t of the i n t e r a c t i o n between e a r l y chemistry and g n o s t i c i s m , Western alchemy, from the second century o n , has o f f e r e d two concomitant p u r s u i t s , a m a t e r i a l i s t i c one, d i r e c t e d outwards, towards the world ( ' e x o t e r i c ' ) , and a m y s t i c a l one, d i r e c t e d inwards, towards the soul (or psyche) of the adept ( ' e s o t e r i c ' ) . The goal of e x o t e r i c alchemy was to 'redeem' base metals by completing t h e i r natural progress to being ' g o l d , ' a progress a r r e s t e d by the F a l l . Exoteric alchemy absorbed the m i l l e n a r i a n impulse coming out of the Hermetic r e v i v a l of the Renaissance. It was easy to b e l i e v e that the whole world wanted to become ' g o l d , that i s , perfect. Had i t not been f o r the F a l l , the earth would have been as i t was in the Golden Age. In c o n t r a s t , the goal of e s o t e r i c alchemy was the redemption of the soul of the adept (see H. J . Sheppard, "Gnosticism and Alchemy," Ambi x, 6 [Dec. 1957], 86). Although these two p u r s u i t s would appear to be i n c o m p a t i b l e , the alchemist Ripley could accept the f a c t that "worshyp and p r o f y t , " "conyng and . . . a l l manner of grace" went t o g e t h e r . The ' e s o t e r i c ' may seem the t r u e r or more important p u r s u i t only because we have refused to take e x o t e r i c alchemy s e r i o u s l y , or see i t s importance. Like R i p l e y , I think of them as e q u a l s , though I focus on the e x o t e r i c . 1  70  material  redemption, at  was the p e r f e c t  least  in i t s  exoteric  v e h i c l e f o r s a t i s f y i n g the m i l l e n a r i a n  to transform the world.  Because t h i s  viewed as e s p e c i a l l y appropriate  dream."•  An alchemical  f o r b r i n g i n g about the  Museum, I).  tract entitled  "millennary  Almighty,  (see Herm-  introduced into  that man should l i v e  To r e c t i f y  this  that would r e p a i r ,  "a f u l l  creation  thousand  flaw in the c r e a t i o n ,  out of His mercy, bestowed on the  sublime g i f t s  dream"  The work e x p l a i n s that the d i s e a s e , decay  God's w i l l  years" • ( p . 1 8 8 ) .  about alchemy's  "The Glory of the World"  and c o r r u p t i o n which Adam's s i n f i r s t frustrated  per-  50  gave cogent expression to t h i s etic  impulse  o c c u l t s c i e n c e was  f e c t i n g of the w o r l d , Mircea E l i a d e t a l k s "mi 11ennary  a s p e c t , alchemy  to a great  the  e x i l e d Adam two e x t e n t , his  loss  balm that would wipe  away  51 of p a r a d i s e .  One was a m y s t i c a l  man's s p i r i t u a l  torments,  and the other  signed to cure his b o d i l y torments.  a p h y s i c a l balm, de-  The second g i f t was the  The Forge and the Cruci b i e , t r a n s . Stephen C o r r i n ( 1 956 ; New York: Harper & Row, Torchbook e d n . , 1971), p.172. See E l i a d e ' s d i s c u s s i o n of Jung's t h e o r i e s concerning the messianic mission of alchemy, pp.221-26. 51  This b e l i e f may have come from c a b a l i s t i c s o u r c e s . The magical wisdom of the Cabala was a l l e g e d l y given to Adam a f t e r he was e x p e l l e d from Eden. As James Howell put the myth, "Adam, who being t h r u s t out of P a r a d i s e , and s i t t i n g one day very s a d , and sorrowing f o r the l o s s of the knowledge he had of that dependence the Creatures have on t h e i r C r e a t o r , the Angel Raquel was sent to comfort him, and i n s t r u c t him, and r e p a i r his knowledge herein" (Episto 1ae H o - E l i anae : The Fami 1 i ar L e t t e r s of James Howel1, e d . Joseph Jacobs [London: David N u t t , 1S92J, I7~P.315)." ~  71  miraculous r e s t o r a t i v e  of alchemy.  What t h i s  t r a c t suggests  is that alchemy was ordained by God to undo the work of  the  Fa 11 . The m i l l e n a r i a n  power of alchemy i s also the  message of a work e n t i t l e d  The Book of the  central  Revelation  of  53 Hermes.  Accepted as a work w r i t t e n by Hermes T r i s m e g i s t u s  himself, celsus,  and a l l e g e d l y this  translated  t r a c t must be considered to be in the  of the Hermetic alchemical of i t s title  dominant i d e a s .  of Hermes" reveals  Therefore  John,  the  the "the  and thus  book of the  i n t e n t of magic to o f f e r  by Paramainstream  representative  implications  p a t h , perhaps a more d i r e c t  that e a r t h l y St.  tradition,  are e s p e c i a l l y important:  alternative  and i n t e r p r e t e d  of  revelation  mankind an  and secure r o u t e ,  millennium promised in the nebulous future  in his Book of  its  to  by  Revelation.  52 The C h r i s t i a n myth that Adam l i v e d almost 1000 years may have provided alchemists with an i n c e n t i v e to b e l i e v e in the messianic mission of alchemy. To l i v e almost a m i l lennium, even when out of Eden, Adam must have been given a powerful r e s t o r a t i v e , created by God Himself to r e s t o r e to him the most coveted g i f t of p a r a d i s e - - l o n g l i f e . The a l chemists reasoned that t h i s blessed g i f t must have been passed on, f o r the b e n e f i t of Adam's progeny. Alchemy was thus viewed as God's own, approved, redemptive agent. As i t was used to allow Adam to l i v e almost a 1000 y e a r s , so i t would someday allow God's chosen people to a l s o l i v e the 1000 years f o r e t o l d in R e v e l a t i o n . Alchemy thus came to be seen as the redemptive agency God would use to f u l f i l 1'•Hi.s . s a l v a t i o n a l promise of r e s t o r i n g to mankind the l o s t paradise of Eden. 53 In Bene di c t'u s F i g u l u s , comp. , A Go! den and Bl essed Casket of Nature's M a r v e l s , t r a n s , out of the German edn. of 1608, t r a n s , unknown (London: James E l l i o t t , 1893).  72  The s a l v a t i o n a l a very t r a d i t i o n a l state  powers of alchemy are r e l a t e d  a n a l y s i s of the d i s t i n c t i v e  of the Stone as i t  fection.  In  inwardly  its  first  state,  and outwardly"  wounds and i n j u r i e s  proceeds towards  "many wondrous works, producing beauty (p.39).  In  its  fourth  to as the s p i r i t and " r e v i v e small  ural  nature,  "it  possesses a l l  they  revive,  It  simple c r y s t a l s into  dead and l i v i n g treasures  bodies into  gold,  (pp.40-1).  It  "with l i f e - l o n g  Here i t s  When a p p l i e d to the leaves and  precious j e w e l s ,  in earth  and s e a , converts a l l i s nothing l i k e  f u r n i s h not j u s t  it  fortune,"  temporal  natroots  fruits." "it  heals "re-  metallic  unto heaven"  the a d e p t , but a l l  abundance and r i c h e s " ( p . 4 4 ) .  and e a r t h l y  And l a s t l y ,  bodies without other m e d i c i n e s . " It  mankind, i s a paradise of " a l l health,  age,  previous powers and  bringing forth  and there  will  Even " i n  diseases of  and b o d i e s " • ( p . 4 0 ) .  works are taken f o r m i r a c l e s .  veals a l l  of body"  referred  (p.40).  removes the  of dead trees  all  Stone performs  in a higher and more wondrous degree.  transforms  repairing  and strength  the point of death"  g i v i n g the old young hearts  virtues  "generally,  of the q u i n t e s s e n c e , can make old men young  those at  fifth  the  to  c o n d i t i o n , the Stone, now  doses to. old p e o p l e , i t  in i t s  heal  In a d d i t i o n  second s t a t e ) ,  powers of each consummate per-  the Stone w i l l  (p.39).  (the  its  through  Thus,  men  awaiting  happiness, bodily  a paradise created by magic.  By means of the q u i n t e s s e n c e , the t r a c t c o n t i n u e s , even "Hatred  and Sorrow" s h a l l  be driven away, e v i l  e x p e l l e d , and  73  "Poverty the  and Misery"  destroyed.  b l e s s i n g s of Eden,  In  "Health,  their  place s h a l l  come  J o y , Peace, Love," and  "all  54 good t h i n g s . " Yet,  this  paradise  to be created through magic s h a l l  not be a mere r e - c r e a t i o n at  least  man. the  one important  of Eden, which was d e f e c t i v e  respect:  This new paradise s h a l l El i x i r  wi11  impossible.  permitted  and expulsion  is s a i d , will  impossible or n e e d l e s s .  d e s i r e s and a p p e t i t e s  shall  the  Fall  of  be even b e t t e r than Eden,  make a second F a l l  Alchemy, i t  and thoughts"  it  in  utterly  make " a l l  evil  Since a l l  of  be s a t i s f i e d ,  for  words  mankind's  there s h a l l  be no  55  need to c o v e t ,  steal  or s i n i n any way.  Near the end of the t r a c t Hermes r e i t e r a t e s disical  b l e s s i n g s people may soon expect "all  joy,  para-  from mi 11enarian  alchemy.  Alchemy w i l l  of  and bestow on everyone " a l l material joy" 0 d e s i r a b l e knowledge . . . by which Nature i s s t r e n g t h e n e d , and heart and limbs are renewed, blooming Youth i s p r e s e r v e d , old age driven away, weakness d e s t r o y e d , beauty in i t s p e r f e c t i o n pres e r v e d , and abundance ensured in a l l things p l e a s i n g to man! (p.46)  life,"  confer  the  riches,  fruitfulness (p.46):  54  The phrase " a l l good t h i n g s " occurs in the E n g l i s h trans l a t i o n of the A s d epi us (1 657 ) and in Vaughan's t r a n s l a t i o n of Solomon's t r i b u t e to 'wisdom' (above, p . 6 3 ) . 55  The Book of the Revelation of Hermes, p.36. Ashmole made the same c l a i m , a s s e r t i n g that alchemy could (somehow) prevent man from having " c o r r u p t , or s i n i s t e r Thoughts" (Fas ci cu1us Chemi c u s , si g . A ) .  74  As a young adept s a y s , what i s r e a l l y  after  being t o l d to  understand  meant by the promise "to make new worlds  of  Gold," I s t a y d , I saw, J_ t r y d e , and understood, t Heav' n on E a r t h , an e v e r l a s t i n g good. 56  The " m i l l e n n a r y 1j t e r a l  dream" of alchemy e n t a i l e d ,  s e n s e , the r e s t o r a t i o n  the  ' e n c l o s e d garden'  ial  wealth,  of Eden.  not only in terms  in a quite  Mankind would of possessing  but also in terms of i n h a b i t i n g  'enter' mater-  a transformed  world.  "Part of what i s promised f o r the m i l l e n n i u m , " observes P r o f e s s o r W i l s o n , " i s the e l i m i n a t i o n of the t h r e a t s , i l l n e s s , and the tension of everyday l i f e . It i s always a t r a n s f o r m a t i v e e x p e r i e n c e , not only in i t s e r a d i c a t i o n of p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l o p p r e s s i o n , as t h i s has been c o l l e c t i v e l y e x p e r i e n c e d , but also in the prospect of permanent r e l i e f from p h y s i c a l a i l m e n t s , personal problems, and fears and tensions in s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s " (Magic and the M i l l e n n i u m , p.365). We have now seen that magic, and p a r t i c u l a r l y a l c h e m y , o f f e r e d preei se.ly t h i s kind of s a l v a t i o n . By means of the " e a r t h l y Anti d o t e , " one t r a c t a s s e r t s , man "may even in t h i s World, secure himself against a l l b o d i l y d i s t e m p e r s , put to f l i g h t anxiety and c a r e , and r e f r e s h and comfort his heart in the hour of t r o u b l e " (HM, I, 237-8). As God's g i f t "to r e l e i v e the estate of man, another work e x p l a i n s , alchemy puts "an end to v a i n g l o r y , hope., and f e a r , and removes a m b i t i o n , v i o l e n c e , and e x c e s s . It m i t i g a t e s a d v e r s i t y , and saves men from being overwhelmed by i t " (HM, 11,11). And Ashmole wrote that alchemy could e x t i r p a t e "the root of al1 e v i l , (Coveto u s n e s s ; ) , " from the w o r l d , and Somehow immunize everyone from having any "corrupt or s i n i s t e r thoughts" (Fasci culus Chemi cus , s i g . A ) . Thus, the s a l v a t i o n a l promise of magic i n eludes in every d e t a i l the g i f t s and v i r t u e s promised by m i l l e n a r i a n movements: the e l i m i n a t i o n of i l l n e s s , the ageing p r o c e s s , and death; the disappearance of e v i l , the e l i m i n a t i o n of t h r e a t s , i n s e c u r i t y , and the tensions of everyday l i f e , and the t o t a l transformation of man's s o c i a l cond i t i o n (Wi 1 son , p.365). In l i g h t of the c r i t e r i a establ i s h e d by P r o f e s s o r W i l s o n , t h e n , i t is appropriate indeed to speak of the "millennary dream" of magic and alchemy. 1T—  75  The Hermetic r e f o r m e r s , c a l l e d "the purity  those whom P r o f e s s o r Haydn has  Renovators," wished "to e f f e c t  of the youth of the world  Nature" context,  .  .  the  . and to a renewed  (The Counter Renaissance, p. 514). this  a return to  In an alchemical  d e s i r e meant the use of nostrums and e l i x i r s  to r e s t o r e to the p h y s i c a l world i t s  original  ity.  Magic, in other words, would a c t u a l l y  flora  and fauna of the world!  Edenic fecund-  transform  the  Hermes himself had taught,  that alchemy could r e s t o r e dead trees  to l i f e ,  their  (Book of the Revela-  branches with leaves and f r u i t s  t i o n , p.41 ).  and imbue  This n o t i o n , expressed in a v a r i e t y  of ways  in many other o c c u l t works, gave r i s e to what might be c a l l e d alchemical husbandry, or magical e c o l o g y , a movement we w i l l  see most f o r c e f u l l y expressed in the R o s i c r u c i a n 57  m i l i e u of P u r i t a n - E n g l a n d . In  1562  an alchemist claimed that "the  i s of a growing nature  vegetable  & works miraculous e f f e c t s  in  stone veget-  ables & growing t h i n g s , as in the nature of man and b e a s t . " Ripley b e l i e v e d t h a t the Stone could " p u r i f i e t h Nature per-  5  59  fectly."  "See  For P a r a c e l s u s , the p u r i f y i n g of Nature was* the  below, Chapter V, pp.301-1.4.  CO  Edwardus Generosus A n g l i c u s , "The Epitome of the T r e a t i s e of Health" (1562), ms. in the possession of Newton, quoted by Frank E. Manuel, in A P o r t r a i t of Isaac Newton, p.168. 59  Jheatrum Chemicum B r i t a n n i c u m , p . 391. By working i n c e s s a n t l y , "It maketh a l l things to grow I s a y , /And chaseth Ugly things away" (p.391).  76  primary mission of the adept. newing of N a t u r a l l  R e s u r r e c t i o n , and r e -  T h i n g s , " he d e c l a r e s , " i s not the  but a prof ound,. and great and rather  "The  s e c r e t in the Nature  of T h i n g s ,  D i v i n e , and A n g e l i c a l l , then Humane, and  Advancing the  least,  Naturall  hope of Hermes, Paracelsus also taught  Stone could in f a c t h e r b s , and t r e e s . "  "renovate & r e s t o r e a l l  Cattel ,  that  the  fruits,  6 1  This dream of using magic to renovate a l l  nature was well  known, and widely a c c e p t e d , in P u r i t a n England.  E l i a s Ash-  mole, f o r  stone'  i n s t a n c e , b e l i e v e d that the  sessed the power to make " a l l  " i n the depth of Winter."  62  not merely in season,  pos-  but  John F r e n c h , the m i l l e n a r i a n who  S e n d i v o g i u s , also taught  "dying plants  'vegetable  kinds of T r e e s , P l a n t s , Flowers"  "Grow, F l o u r i s h & beare F r u i t , "  translated  ,,60  that adepts could bring  i n t o T r u i t f ul ness.e" through alchemy.  fi 3  Believ-  fin Theophrastus P a r a c e l s u s , Of the Nature of Things (London , 1650 ), p . 51 . fi l  p.13.  Paracelsus His A r c h i d o x i s , t r a n s .  J . H.  (London, 1660),  fi ?  Theatrum Chemi cum Bri tanni cum , si g . B . In Flores Parad i s e (1608), Hugh P i a t t , an E n g l i s h o c c u l t i s t , speculates that i t was e i t h e r through the "vegetable Philosophy" or "with a graine or two of the great E l i x i r a p p l i e d to the r o o t e , that [the] Blackthorne bush . . . which blossometh . . . neere or upon the b i r t h day of our Lorde God . . . had his [ i t s ] strange nature given, unto i t . " R i p l e y , "that re-nowned A l c h y m i s t , " was executed, P i a t t s a y s , " f o r making a P e a r e - t r e e to f r u c t i f i e in Winter" ( p . 6 ) . F l o r a f e d . with m a g i c a l l y prepared unctions P i a t t c a l l s "phi 1osophical1 pi ants" ( p . 5 ) . P i a t t and his l a t e r d i s c i p l e s w i l l be discussed in Chapter V. fi 3  John F r e n c h , The Art of D i s t i 1 1 a t i o n , s i g . A 3 r .  77  ing alchemy could l i f t (HM, I,  188),  pecially  the Curse from " a l l  plants  and animals"  alchemists of the seventeenth c e n t u r y , and e s -  during the P u r i t a n  Revolution, f u l l y  expected to  transform the whole earth  i n t o one great  plants,  Like so many other o c c u l t i s t s of  and f r u i t  trees.  garden of  flowers,  the seventeenth c e n t u r y , Henry Madathanas awaited  that  golden time when, through magic, "the whole earth  [would  renewed"  (HM, I,  66).  be]  p. A  Alchemy thus seemed to hold the promise of e f f e c t i n g a world-wide  transformation  of n a t u r e ,  aculous cure which would heal  the world and r e s t o r e  p r e - 1 a p s a r i a n v i g o r and f e c u n d i t y . believed, eased,  as one of them wrote,  and d e f e c t i v e  l o s t since the  This was the  to  its  alchemists  that "every i m p e r f e c t ,  former vigour" by magic.  Hiram Haydn r e c o g n i z e d , that  191).  Simply p u t ,  it  mir-  dis-  thing in the whole world might be r e -  newed, and r e s t o r e d to i t s  tine vigor,  of f u r n i s h i n g that  'former  Fall"  "millennary  As  v i g o u r ' was that " p r i s -  (The Counter Renaissance, p. dream" of alchemy.  A s ; we s h a l l s e e , t h i s , was a dominant m i l l e n a r i a n motif in the o c c u l t m i l i e u of P u r i t a n England, and a prominent dream in R o s i c r u c i a n c i r c l e s . In one of h i s t r a c t s , Thomas Vaughan r e p r i n t s the f o l l o w i n g passage from a genuine R o s i c r u c i a n document: " ' A f t e r a l l these things and near the day break there s h a l l be a great calm; and you s h a l l see the Day-Star a r i s e and the dawning w i l l appear and you s h a l l perceive a great treasure. The c h i e f e s t thing in i t and the most p e r f e c t i s a c e r t a i n exalted T i n c t u r e , with which the world — i f i t served God and were worthy of such g i f t s — m i g h t be tinged and turned i n t o most pure gold" (The Works of Thomas Vaughan, p.262). S i m i l a r ideas s h a l l be found in the mi 11enari an prophecies of Jacob Boehme. and-of .'hi s Engl i sh d i s c i pies (see Chapter IV). 0 4  78  In  summary, i t  millenarian  can be s a i d that the  purpose of  alchemist was to complete, so to speak, the  demptive mission i n i t i a t e d ,  reformers,  re-  but not completed, by C h r i s t .  C h r i s t ' s mission was u n f i n i s h e d , according to the  Hermetic  because the s a l v a t i o n He brought embraced only  man's s p i r i t u a l  nature.  C h r i s t ' s ' mission l e f t  man's body, his w o r l d , nature deemed and c o r r u p t . 'messianic'  itself.  They remained  the prophecy of  renovation of the e a r t h .  were to be freed from t h e i r  unre-  ancient  bondage to c o r r u p t i o n by  people would once again i n h a b i t  would once again be l i k e  Revelation  Both man and nature  alchemy, which was given to mankind to save the Through i t ,  unaffected  The alchemist saw himself as God's  agent i n f u l f i l l i n g  concerning the  the earth  the  it-was  world.  p a r a d i s e , and  in Eden.  Myths of the Hermeti c Messi ah i n the Occult Tradi t i on Given the millenarian often  reformationist  expectations  and d e s i r e s of  a l c h e m i s t s , it. i s not s u r p r i s i n g that they were  attracted  to,  and many times themselves advanced,  prophecies of a new age, a Golden Age, of a m i l l e n a r i a n dise to be wrought  by a messiah i n i t i a t e d  into  the  para-  Hermetic  mysteries. Thomas Norton, the  late-medieval  English alchemist,  prophesied of a realm to be e s t a b l i s h e d by a s o r t of messianic thaumaturge:  79  One who s h a l l have obtained his honours by means of t h i s Art [ i . e . , alchemy], w i l l mend old manners, and change them f o r the b e t t e r . When he comes, he w i l l reform the kingdom, and by his goodness and v i r t u e he w i l l set an e v e r l a s t i n g example to r u l e r s . In his time the common people w i l l r e j o i c e , and render p r a i s e to God in mutual neighbourly l o v e . 0 K i n g , who art to accomplish a l l t h i s , pray to God the K i n g , and implore His a i d in the matter! So the g l o r y of thy mind w i l l be crowned with the g l o r y of a golden age, which s h a l l not then be hoped f o r as f u t u r e . 65 The same sort of mi 11 enari an v i s i o n of a Hermetic a reformer  initiated  into  the  s e c r e t art  of alchemy or  can be found in the works of the most important of the  seventeenth  century.  in the o c c u l t m i l i e u  the  Revolutionary  England, as we w i l l  in some d e t a i l  magic-  magicians  Such v i s i o n s were also  of P u r i t a n  see when we i n v e s t i g a t e  messi ah —  prominent come to  the o c c u l t sciences of  years.  Paracelsus was p a r t i c u l a r l y  preoccupied with v i s i o n s of  a reformed world and e a r t h l y  p a r a d i s e , and vented many of  these V i s i o n s in mi 11enarian  prophecies.  In  the l a s t  s e r i e s of . p r e d i c t i o n s , he connects the d i s c o v e r y of "pearl"  of alchemy, that i s , the Stone i t s e l f ,  lishment  of an e a r t h l y  with the  paradise under an imperial  Museum, II,  4.  his  the estab-  monarch:  Then s h a l l the P e a r l , so long l o s t , be found by one of humble e s t a t e , and w i l l be s e t , as a jewel , in g o l d . It w i l l be given to the P r i n c e of a l l b e a s t s , that i s , to the r i g h t Lion. He w i l l hang i t about his neck, and wear i t with honour. He w i l l r e s i s t the Bear  Hermetic  of  80  and the Wolf, and rend them asunder; so that the beasts of the f o r e s t s h a l l be s a f e . Then w i l l the Old Art [ i . e . , alchemy] f l o u r i s h and no heed w i l l be given to the New [Galenism?]. Then w i l l the New World b e g i n , and the White and the Black s h a l l d i s a p p e a r . A l l Vain glory w i l l be ended, and the plumes of the b i r d of the East s h a l l be burnt by the Sun of the South. 66 His e q u a l l y  cryptic t h i r t y - f i r s t  v i s i o n of the  prophecy a l s o advances a  new age:  There s h a l l be such a t o t a l renewal and change that they w i l l be as c h i l d r e n that  The: Propheci es of Pa r a c e ! s u s , t r a n s . 0. K. (London: W i l l i a m R i d e r , 1915), pp.119-20. The prophecies were f i r s t p r i n t e d in 1530. In t h e i r e f f o r t s to speed that "general r e f o r m a t i o n , both of d i v i n e and humane t h i n g s " (p.27) which they expected, the R o s i c r u c i a n s . o f f e r e d to the German p r i n c e who would move a g a i n s t the Pope and the Turk "our p r a y e r s , s e c r e t s , and great treasures of Gold" (The Fame and Confessi on of the F r a t e r n i ty of R: C_: Common!y, of the Rosi e Cross , a facsTmi 1 e r e p r i n t of tTfe London edn. of T6"52, with an i n t r o d u c t i o n and notes by F. N. Pryce [Margate: W. J . Parr e t t L t d . , 1923], p . 3 5 ) . The animal imagery of P a r a c e l s u s ' prophecy probably d e r i v e s from the h e r a l d i c emblems of European r u l e r s . The e d i t o r of P a r a c e l s u s ' p r e d i c t i o n s det e c t s the m i l l e n a r i a n t r a d i t i o n w i t h i n the Western o c c u l t movement. He r e p r i n t s the f o l l o w i n g prophecy he "found in a contemporary alchemical work: "'Many prophecies there are of times to come, and those days are even s a i d to be at hand, when the Fourth Monarchy, which i s the I n t e l l e c t u a l reign of Truth and Peace, s h a l l predominate, when the Mother of Sciences w i l l come f o r t h , and greater things be d i s c o v e r e d than have been h i t h e r t o in the past monarchies of the world. . . . A b e t t e r age is a p p r o a c h i n g , which at some period of time must come, when abundance of a l l things by an e q u i t a b l e d i s t r i b ution of al 1, shal 1 help to break down the competitive b a r r i e r of s o c i e t y , and introduce a c o - o p e r a t i v e a l l i a n c e among mank i n d , then t h i s i n c e n t i v e to i n q u i r y may not be inopportunely o f f e r e d in the s e r v i c e of t r u t h . ' C u r i o u s l y enough [continues the e d i t o r ] Paracelsus also connects the establishment of the ' F o u r t h Monarchy' . . . with a r e d i s c o v e r y of Alchemy and a u n i v e r s a l knowledge of the s e c r e t of transmutation of metals" (•pp..32-3). SendiVogius was the basis f o r t h i s modern prophecy.  81  know nothing of the cunning and i n t r i g u e s of the o l d . This s h a l l be when they count LX, a l i t t l e l e s s , but not more. Therefore i t i s well that we should remember that the time appeareth to be a long time according to a man's l i f e t i m e , but as a short time should we observe and consider i t . For to cause so much to f a l l and to be overthrown, with such a raging and r o a r i n g l i o n that has so long grown, t h i s cannot be done in a moment. 67 It  was t h i s  prophecy that John Rogers , the mi 11enarian , revived  in 1654 to r e i n f o r c e his own F i f t h nouncements (see above, p . 1 8 ) .  Monarchist hopes and p r o -  Other myths of the  Hermetic  messiah and other o c c u l t prophecies of the millennium were used by both adepts and Puritan . c h i 1 i a s t s as v a l i d a t i n g  charters  f o r messianic and r e f ormati oni s't dreams. Another very i n f l u e n t i a l  prophecy was uttered  by the  al-  chemist, Michael Sendivogius , a d i s c i p l e of Paracelsus , and a f i g u r e widely In  known in the o c c u l t c i r c l e s of Puritan England.  his prophecy, Sendivogius c o n f l a t e d the v i s i o n of the  Monarchy (computed n u m e r i c a l l y and h i s t o r i c a l l y ) sibylline  with  Fifth  the  v i s i o n of the Northern Monarchy, a messianic reign  computed g e o g r a p h i c a l l y : Now those times are coming, in which many s e c r e t s of Nature s h a l l bee r e v e a l e d . Now that f o u r t h Monarchy of the North i s about to begin: Now the times are at hand; the Mother of Sciences w i l l come: greater things s h a l l bee discovered then hath been done in these three l a s t past Monarchies. Because t h i s Monarchy  The Prophecies of Paracelsus , p.101. The o v e r t l y revo l u t i o n a r y f e r v o r of t h i s prophecy no doubt made i t that much more a t t r a c t i v e to Rogers and his F i f t h Monarchist c o l l e a g u e s .  82  (as the Ancients have f o r e t o l d ) God w i l l plant by one of his P r i n c e s , being enriched with a l l manner of v e r t u e s , whom haply times have already brought f o r t h . . . . In t h i s Northerne Monarchy God the maker of a l l t h i n g s , w i l l without doubt bring to l i g h t greater s e c r e t s in Nature, then in those t i m e s , when Pagan, and Tyrant Princes r e i g n e d . . . . In t h i s Northern Monarchy, where the a t t r a c t i v e pole i s . . . Mercy and Truth are met t o g e t h e r ; Peace, and J u s t i c e s h a l l k i s s e each o t h e r , Truth s h a l l r i s e out of the e a r t h , and J u s t i c e s h a l l looke from heaven. One sheepf o l d , and one Shepheard. 68 As Sendivogius sees i t , s e c r e t s of nature mysterious  will  northern  an Hermetic  soon take place under the  p r i n c e , who w i l l  bring back the Golden Age. during the  Puritan  so rampant  at  the  John F r e n c h , the  enlightenment  Puritan  It  reform the w o r l d , and revived  to support the mi 1.1 enari ani sm-  was t r a n s l a t e d  Independent  the o c c u l t mi 1ieu of Puritan  occult  reign of a  This prophecy was also  Revolution time.  of the  England.  into  E n g l i s h by  who was very a c t i v e Sendivogius  1  in  prophecy  appealed to him because he also harbored expectations  of a  new age through magic.  trans-  lation  A. year a f t e r  he published his  of Sendivogius he wrote:  A New L i g h t of A l c h y m i e , t r a n s . John French (London, 1650), pp.79-80. For a d i s c u s s i o n of the i d e n t i c a l nature o f \ the F i f t h and Fourth (Northern) monarchies, see Ezerel Tonge, The Northern S t a r : The B r i t i s h Monarchy: o r , the Northern the Fourth Universal Monarchy (London, 1680), s i g . B 2 . Both Tonge and the o r i g i n a l compiler expected a "Transcendent Metamorphosis of Humane A f f a i r s . " Tonge claims that t h i s anthology, of o c c u l t prophecies was compiled during the Puritan Revolut i o n , around 1648. S e n d i v o g i u s , P a r a c e l s u s , the R o s i c r u c i a n s and sundry other o c c u l t i s t s are quoted to v a l i d a t e and support t h i s prophecy of an expected metamorphosis of human a f f a i r s .  83  I am of the same mind with S a n d i v o g i u s , that that fourth Monarchy which is Northerne, is dawning, in which . . . a l l Arts and sciences shal f l o u r i s h , and g r e a t e r and more things shalbe d i s c o v e r e d then in the three former. These Monarchies the Philosophers reckon not according to the more p o t e n t , but according to the corners of the w o r l d , whereof the Northerne i s the l a s t , and indeed i s no other then the golden Age, in which a l l t y r a n n y , o p p r e s s i o n , e n v i e , and covetousnesse shal c e a s e , when there shal be one p r i n c e and one people abounding with love and mercy & f l o u r i s h i n g in peace: which day I e a r n e s t l y expect.69 The ' Sendivogian prophecy had wide currency in Puritan England; in f a c t ,  it  was c i t e d not only by adepts l i k e  the most important  millenarians  H e i n r i c h A l s t e d and Nathanael to lend added support to t h e i r nium. its  We w i l l  return  to t h i s  of the  F r e n c h , but by  age, i n c l u d i n g Johann  Homes, both of whom used own p r e d i c t i o n s of the  it millen-  prophecy, and to the subject  use by P u r i t a n m i l l e n a r i a n s ,  in Part  3 of t h i s  of  chapter.  John F r e n c h , The Art of D i s t i l l a t i o n (London, 1651), "To the Reader." During the Puritan Revolution there were many prophecies concerning a northern monarch who would come to r e s t o r e the world. One such prophecy can be found in A b r i e f D e s c r i p t i o n of the Future H i s t o r y of Europe (1650; s i g s . A3v-A4, and p.28) ; another can be found in William Li 11y s Monarchy or No Monarchy i n Engl and (1651), an attack on the notion that the ' n o r t h e r n ' country was S c o t l a n d . Concerning the author of A b r i e f Descri pti on L i l l y w r i t e s : "I_n hi s 28. page, he w i l l h~ave us to understand, that he [the monarch] must not be a Moyses of the Jewes b l o o d , but a_ Captai ne from the North, who s h a l l r e s t o r e the Jewes, and worke the w'orkes of God in r i g h t e o u s n e s s , and make peace, and 1 ike a mi ghty stream overf1ow the whole Earth" (p. 1 4). Others argued that the prophecy r e f e r r e d to a German monarch, and thus the R o s i crucians c o l l e c t i v e l y came to be viewed by some as 'the r u l e r ' prophesied of by the S i b y l s and Sendivogius and o t h e r s . For another prophecy of an Hermetic reformer of the w o r l d , see Grimmelshausen's S i m p l i c i u s S i m p l i c i s s i m u s (1668), III, ch.4. 1  84  Another prophecy that both C h r i s t i a n i t y tradition  had in common was the prophecy regarding the coming  of E l i a s (or  Elijah).  mentioned in several hint  The f i g u r e  "before  explicitly  and other passages  7 0  For our purposes, the two most  r e f e r e n c e s are to E l i a s the P r o p h e t , who i s to come  the  (Maiachi  of E l l a s i s  Biblical passages,  darkly of such a f i g u r e .  important  and the o c c u l t  coming of the great  4:5),  and dreadful  day of the  and to E l i a s the Restorer of a l l  things:  Jesus answered and s a i d unto them, E l i a s as t r u l y come, and r e s t o r e  all  things"  This mysterious f i g u r e appeal f o r a l c h e m i s t s . was the f a c t of E l i a s : ver:  "And  shall  first  7 1  seemed to have possessed s p e c i a l  No doubt part of the reason f o r  that Maiachi  "And he s h a l l  and he s h a l l  (Matt.17:11).  Lord"  purify  this  3:3 was a l s o b e l i e v e d to be a prophecy sit  as a r e f i n e r  and p u r i f i e r  the sons of L e v i ,  of  sil-  and purge them as  72  gold and s i l v e r "  (Ki ng James v e r . ) .  imagery could e a s i l y be i n t e r p r e t e d chemical  18:11.  De_ut.  it.  At any r a t e ,  18:18; Acts 3:22;  metallurgical  as possessing s e c r e t  s i g n i f i c a n c e , and that i s j u s t  no doubt i n t e r p r e t e d /u  This  al-  how many alchemists under the i n f l u e n c e of  John 15:26; Mai achi 4 : 5 ;  Matt.  F o r t y p i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s of the B i b l i c a l prophecy of E l i a s , see S i r John H a r i n g t o n , "A Discowrse Shewing that Elyas. must p e r s o n a l l y come before the Day of Judgment," in Nu.gae An t i quae, cbmp. Henry Harington (London: J . Wright, 1 804) , II, 281 -304 ; Nathanael Homes Apokalypsis Anastaseos (1 653), pp .352-5 ; Henry More, Divine Dialogues , .pp.. 355-69 . 7 1  72  More c a l l s t h i s  a d e s c r i p t i o n of E l i a s (p.357 ).  85  Paracelsus t h i s  f i g u r e was adopted into  of messianic prophecy. this  Christian  the o c c u l t  What Paracelsus did was to  'prophet'  into  prophecy, Paracelsus r e f e r r e d  an a l c h e m i s t :  As a r e s u l t ,  transmogrify influential  not to E l i a s the Prophet, but  to E l i a s the A r t i s t , that i s , one i n i t i a t e d alchemy.  in an  tradition  into the art  of  E l i a s became a s o r t of messianic a l -  chemist, the long-awaited  Hermetic messiah who would use  magic to renovate the e a r t h . l i e v e d themselves E l i a s ,  Many subsequent alchemists be-  and even the R o s i c r u c i a n brotherhood  was gi ven the name. The P a r a c e l s i a n prophecy concerning E l i a s the was t r a n s l a t e d mentary  Artist  by B a s i l V a l e n t i n e , who also provides a com-  on the p r e d i c t i o n .  entine encouragingly a s k s ,  Are not the times at hand, V a l in which E l i a s the A r t i s t ,  v e a l e r of the s e c r e t s of t r a n s m u t a t i o n ,  is to come?  reHe then  quotes from P a r a c e l s u s ' Book of Minerals the p r e d i c t i o n the s e c r e t s of nature would remain hidden u n t i l of " E l i a s as the A r t i s t , when he comes."  others r e a d , u n t i l  " T h e r e f o r e , " Valentine  "be comforted, 0 Lover of Chymi s t r y , Elias,  assures his  in t h i s A r t , let  reveal  readers,  more Secrets I n i q u i t y of  Whosoever thou a r t ,  confer some small matter of t h i s  conversing  felicity;  us give the World that M e d i c i n e , which by reason of  Humors predominant,  it  cannot take a l l  Elias,  and prepare the way of  who.brings happy t i m e s , and w i l l  Days durst d i s c o v e r .  the coming  the Art of  than our A n c e s t o r s , by reason of Envy, and the their  that  and evil  at once, by degrees,  86  that i t  may g r a d u a l l y  of E1i a s come . freely  .  recover of i t s  . where  it  will  D i s e a s e , and the Times  be l a w f u l l  for  us to speak  of those T h i n g s , and openly to do good to our Neigh73  b o u r s , without persecution of the As one can r e a d i l y  Impious.  s e e , the prophecy of t h i s  messiah became something of a talisman the m i l l e n a r i a n  mode.  f o r the alchemists of  The "Messiah of the Hermetic Mysteries ,"  as Edward Waite puts i t , s u c c e s s i v e generations" after  Hermetic  "was expected a r d e n t l y of a l c h e m i s t s .  another was thought  7 4  by several  One grand adept  to be E l i a s the A r t i s t .  The  impulse was to i d e n t i f y  Paracelsus himself with t h i s  reformer  but l a t e r  for  (Waite, p . 5 7 ) ,  a 'universal  reflection  reformation'  of the s a l v a t i o n a l  mysterious  adepts found in the  uttered  first  call  by the Ro'si c r u c i ans a  mission of the Restorer of A l l  Thi ngs (Wai te , p.242). One of the o r i g i n a l ment wrote in a l e t t e r manifesto,  "So we trace  supporters of the R o s i c r u c i a n move-  published as a preface to the  first  and conclude that ye now are the men  sent from God, to spread the knowledge of the eternal p h r a s t i a [ P a r a c e l s u s ? ] and of the until  now in such wonderful  guarded u n t i l  (rpt.  Divine Wisdom, reserved  manner; i t  may be, to be kept  the time of E l i a s the A r t i s t  Triumphant 74  Theo-  foretold  Chariot of Antimony (1670),  in proph-  p.90.  Arthur Edward Waite, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross New York: U n i v e r s i t y Books, n . d . ) , p.57.  87  ecy.  „75 This analogy was accepted by Englishmen as w e l l .  mid-century,  the  two R o s i c r u c i a n s c a l l i n g f o r  a  reformation  of the world were published in England under the .by Thomas Vaughan. [i.e.,  He says of the  light.""  own w r i t i n g s  Earlier,  7 6  Robert  F l u d d , the  first  supernatural  defender of  the  'philosophy,  1  members, "They have knowledge of the true mystery  and of that key which leads to the joy of P a r a d i s e . therefore  oseo  Fraternity,  t e s t i f y — walk in the  Brotherhood and an E n g l i s h exponent of t h e i r s a i d of i t s  pseudonym  R o s i c r u c i a n s , "Such E l i j a h s  E l i a s e s ] a l s o are the members of t h i s  who--as t h e i r  At  They have  the freedom of P a r a d i s e , even as E l i a s of  old."'  The Rosi c r u c i ans-thus were viewed -as'.a . "corporate'.El i as" p.242), and t h e i r  quest f o r  human and d i v i n e things  a universal  reformation  became i d e n t i f i e d  prophecy of a messianic f i g u r e  with the  who would r e s t o r e  of  7 7  (Waite,  both  Biblical  all  things.  7c Adam Haselmeyer, "Reply to the Laudable F r a t e r n i t y of Theosophists of the Rosy Cross N. N . , " t r a n s . F. N. P r y c e , in The Fame and Confession of the F r a t e r n i ty of R_: C_: Common ly of the Rosie Cross ( r p t . of the London edn. of 1652; Margate: W. J . P a r r e t t , 1923), " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " p.60. 7 6  T h e Works of Thomas Vaughan, ed. Waite,  p.107.  W a i t e , The Brotherhood of the Rosy C r o s s , p.291. 78 Robert Burton c a l l s " E l i a s A r t i f e x " the Theophrastian master "of the R o s i c r u c i a n s , " whom "some w i l l have to be the renewer of a l l Arts & Sci e n c e s , reformer of the w o r l d , & now l i v i n g " (The Anatomy of Melancholy, ed. Floyd Dell and Paul Jordan-Smith LNew York: Tudor Pub. C o . , 1 955] , p . 100). A R o s i c r u c i a n aura surrounds the f i g u r e of E l i a s in the alchemi c a l t r a c t e n t i t l e d "The Golden C a l f , " a l l e g e d l y w r i t t e n by 7 7  7 8  88  This f a c t  alone may very well  c r u c i a n movement more p a l a t a b l e to mainstream P u r i t a n s .  have made the whole  to Puritan  For expectations  radicals of the  were widespread in both o c c u l t and m i l l e n a r i a n the talk  Puritan  Revolution.  In more than one  of E l i a s occurs in a context  millenarian  and P u r i t a n .  when Robert G e l l ,  coming E l i a s  circles  instance,  of t h i s  clergyman l i n k e d  (Thomas, p . 3 7 7 ) , appeared before  and even  during  in  fact,  that is at once o c c u l t ,  One example  a Puritan  Rosi-  occured in to the  1650,  Familists  the S o c i e t y of A s t r o l o g e r s  of London to d i s c u s s his mi 11enarian  beliefs.  He reminded  his a u d i e n c e , most of whom were supporters of  Parliament, 7Q  that " E l i a s t r u l y s h a l l  first  come, and r e s t o r e  He also urged them to keep t h e i r the  first  eyes r i v e t e d  all  things."  on the  skies,  for  like  magi, E n g l i s h a s t r o l o g e r s w i l l  the  f i r s t , to see C h r i s t ' s return as the Messiah.  s u r e l y be  The prophecy of E l i a s acquired great c r e d i b i l i t y Englishmen because of i t s Johann H e i n r i c h A l s t e d  use by the European  (1627).  It  for  millenarian,  was almost his exact  words  Helvetius. He r e l a t e s a meeting between himself and E l i a s the A r t i s t , who came to him to reveal the s e c r e t s of t r a n s mutation. Concerning the subsequent disappearance of E l i a s , H e l v e t i u s s a y s , "Let the most wise King of Heaven Under the . Shadow of whose Wings he hath h i t h e r t o lay hid . . . accompany him." The p h r a s e , 'under the shadow of whose w i n g s , ' was a sort of Rosi c r u c i an password (Frances Y a t e s , The Ros i c r u c i an Enlightenment, ch. 91 "Franci s Bacon 'Under the Shadow of J e h o v a s Wings," pp.118-29). The t r a c t also r e f e r s to H e i n r i c h Khunrath, author of an important R o s i c r u c i a n text ( Y a t e s , RE_, p p . 3 8 - 9 , passim). 1  79  A Sermon Touching Gods government  of the World,  p.33.  89  that George Hakewill 1635,  just  "either  used when he assures his r e a d e r s ,  f i v e years before the s t a r t  E l i a s h i m s e l f , or some other  matchable to him, i s yet  of the C i v i l  great  in  War,  heroicall  that  spirit  to bee s e n t , f o r the accomplishing 80  of t h i s  great  businesse in r e s t o r i ng a l l  th i n g s . "  State-  ments such as these may have made E n g l i s h m i l l e n a r i a n s more sympathetic to o c c u l t prophecies of the Hermetic messiah who would reform the w o r l d .  A l s t e d , as a matter of f a c t , was  e v i d e n t l y most sympathetic to such o c c u l t p r o p h e c i e s . What should be pointed out i s that A l s t e d employed the Hermetic form of the form.  E l i a s i a n prophecy, not the  Scriptural  The prophecy of E l i a s he kept w i t h i n an alchemical  context.  Hakewill,  Gell,  and the  sundry other Englishmen  who read and revered A l s t e d were thus t o l d that "many Writers of the former,  and t h i s  present Age, have published many  things concerning E l i a s the A r t i s t , who i s to come; Of the Lion of the N o r t h , who i s neer at Monarchy; of a great  Reformati on .  hand; Of a fourth .  Northern  . and the l i k e . "  In a  side n o t e , A l s t e d d i r e c t e d h i s . readers to the o c c u l t prophecies of Paracelsus and S e n d i v o g i u s . from other  Thus, through A l s t e d , i f  sources, English millenarians  became f a m i l i a r  the o c c u l t form of the prophecy of E l i a s , another example  (along with L a c t a n t i u s )  not with  and were given  of a h i g h l y respected  George Hakewi 11 , An_ Apol ogi e or Peel a r a t i on of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the World ( O x f o r d , 1 635), 3rd edn. , r e v . , p.54.  90  millenarian  resorting  to the magical  tradition  to support  his  81 own c h i l i a s t i c  beliefs.  Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , the messianic prophecy of E l i a s Artist In  was also widely  fact,  native  popularize  current  in o c c u l t c i r c l e s in England.  o c c u l t p u b l i c a t i o n s must have done much to  the prophecy.  In  one  i n s t a n c e , an E n g l i s h  this  one a s s o c i a t e d with the H a r t l i b  self  as a kind of p r e c u r s o r of E l i a s ,  an Hermetic  to the promised Messiah of magic.  alethes'  (likely  coming of E l i a s the Alchemist with the  'John the  'Eirenaeus  the Puritan magus John Winthrop)  an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n  adept,  c i r c l e , presented him-  Baptist'  Jerusalem,  the  fuses  Philthe  descent of the New  that no doubt appealed to  Pur-  i t a n m i l l e n a r i a n s , whatever t h e i r s e c t : The time has a r r i v e d when we may speak more f r e e l y about t h i s A r t . For E l i a s the A r t i s t , i s at hand, and a l o r i o u s things are already spoken of the C i t y of God. . . . I hope that in a few years gold (not as given by God, but as abused by men) w i l l be so common that those who are now so mad a f t e r i t , s h a l l contemptuously spur aside t h i s bulwark of A n t i c h r i s t . Then w i l l the day of our d e l i v e r a n c e be at hand when the s t r e e t s of the new Jerusalem are paved with g o l d , and i t s gates are made of great  Johann H e i n r i c h A l s t e d [ i u s ] , The Beloved C i t y o r , The Saints Rei gn on Earth a_ Thousand Y e a r e s , t r a n s . William Burton (1 627 ; LorTcTon, 1 643) , p.61. For a d i s c u s s i o n of A l s t e d ' s mi 11enarianism and i n f l u e n c e , see R. G. C l o u s e , "The Rebirth of Mi 11enarianism ," in Peter Toon, e d . , Puri tans , The M i l l e n nium and the Future of I s r a e l (London: James C l a r k e , 1970), pp.42-56; and, Brian G. Cooper, "The Academic Re-Discovery of A p o c a l y p t i c Ideas in the 17th Century," B a p t i s t Q u a r t e r l y , 1 8 (1 959-60) , 358-62.  91  diamonds. The day i s at hand when by means of t h i s my Book, gold w i l l have become as common as d i r t ; when we Sages s h a l l f i n d r e s t for the soles of our f e e t , and render fervent thanks to God. . . . These words I u t t e r f o r t h with a h e r a l d ' s c l a r i o n tones. My Book i s the precursor of E l i a s , designed to prepare the Royal way of the Master; and would to God that by i t s means a l l men might become adepts in our A r t . 82 The a v a i l a b i l i t y suggest, w i l l  of alchemical  g o l d , the passage seems to  make covetousness and greed v a n i s h , and thus  lead to a new age of brotherhood and peace. The m i l l e n a r i a n l e a s e , then,  fervor  of e x o t e r i c  alchemy found  in prophecies of a Hermetic messiah,  he be a northern monarch or E l i a s h i m s e l f . Hermeticists  in both Europe and England,  and new e a r t h '  of Revelation  re-  whether  According to the  would be brought  'new about  heaven through  magic.  Hermetic Museum, II, 178. This prophecy seems to be echoed in the one quoted by the Engl ish. edi tor of the prophe c i e s of Paracelsus (see above, p.80, n . 6 6 ) . There i s also a s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t y between the sentiment expressed by 'Eirenaeus P h i l a l e t h e s ' ( l i k e l y the P u r i t a n , John Winthrop), and that of Gerrard W i n s t a n l e y , to whom g o l d , money, buying and s e l l i n g were the handiwork of . A n t i c h r i s t . ' Winstanley w i l l be mentioned in Part 3 of t h i s c h a p t e r , and in Chapter V. The messianic prophecy of E l i a s the A r t i s t was also popu l a r i z e d by an admirer of Boehme, Paul Felgenhaure. He wrote that E l i a s s h a l l come from the north and w i l l "put a l l the Prophets of Baal to the sword, and w i l l destroy them by the sword of the S p i r i t wherewith he k i l l e t h A n t i c h r i s t , and makes an End of him" ( P o s t i l i o n , or a_ New Al manacke and As t r o l o g i eke, propheti cal , Prognosti c a t i on [London, 1 655], p. TY. Fei genhaure seems to c o n f l a t e the prophecy of E l i a s with that of the Lion of the North. P r o f e s s o r Thomas mentions several f a n a t i c s who thought themselves E l i a s (Reli gi on and the Dec!i ne of Magi c , p p . 1 3 3 - 5 ) .  92  What we have i n v e s t i g a t e d so f a r the  relevance of t h i s material  England.  has r e v e a l e d , I  believe,  to the o c c u l t m i l i e u of  We have seen how the Hermetic r e v i v a l  Puritan  of the Ren-  aissance gave r i s e to a new kind of magic, to a magic with a millenarian  impulse towards the w o r l d .  And we have also  seen how t h i s mi 11enarian . impulse animated even E n g l i s h a d e p t s , men l i k e  E l i a s Ashmole, Thomas Vaughan, and John French.  the Hermetic reformers  before them, these men b e l i e v e d  the powers of magic to reform the w o r l d , to r e v i v i f y and to p e r f e c t  the human c o n d i t i o n .  the content of i t s the nature  salvational  of m i l l e n a r i a n  in  nature  This chapter has broadly  traced the e v o l u t i o n or development of t h i s m i l l e n a r i a n in the Western magical t r a d i t i o n ,  Like  and has d e s c r i b e d in  promise to man.  magic, t h i s  vision detail  By e x p l o r i n g  chapter'has  attempted  to e x p l a i n why and how the o c c u l t sciences of England came to possess t h e i r tions.  millenarian  b e l i e f s , v i s i o n s and expecta-  When we examine a s t r o l o g y , Behmenism, and Rosic.ru-  cianisfn, we w i l l  d i s c o v e r many more instances of the  arian obsession of the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s . dence to be brought forward study w i l l  millen-  The a d d i t i o n a l  evi-  in the subsequent chapters of  indeed demonstrate that between 1640  and 1660,  this the  o c c u l t m i l i e u of P u r i t a n England gave repeated expression to a wide assortment of m i l l e n a r i a n The material  beliefs.  we have reviewed so f a r  has also i n d i c a t e d  that o c c u l t prophecies of a Hermetic golden age, or of restoration  of p a r a d i s e , were often  the  used by seventeenth-century  93  millenarians validate  to s u p p o r t , lend credence t o , or in some way  their  own pronouncements concerning the  of the w o r l d , or the coming of the m i l l e n n i u m . we w i l l  reformation Once a g a i n ,  see more evidence of t h i s when we come to  the o c c u l t m i l i e u of P u r i t a n f i n d there w i l l were a t t r a c t e d validating  radicals  to magic because magic provided them with for their  The reason f o r  own m i l l e n a r i a n  beliefs  this  will  demonstrated in Part 3 of t h i s similarity  The evidence we s h a l l  strengthen my t h e s i s that P u r i t a n  charters  expectations.  England.  investigate  attraction  c h a p t e r , where  between the m i l l e n a r i a n  and  itself  be  I show the  v i s i o n s of m a g i c i a n s , and i  those of P u r i t a n But f i r s t  millenarians.  I should l i k e  to c o n s i d e r the work of one  seventeenth-century w r i t e r who implied some of the I  have been arguing h e r e - - t h a t  magic possessed  elements, and that Puritans were, (or would be) magic because of these m i l l e n a r i a n  elements.  points  millenarian attracted  to  Let us now turn  to Ben Jonson. Ben Jonson and the  'Fifth  One of the f i r s t millenarian  Monarchy' of Alchemy  (and few)  therefore  been u n a p p r e c i a t e d .  of h i t h e r t o  of t h i s new  His i n s i g h t into the  of alchemy has h i t h e r t o  treatment of the Hermetic art nature  to recognize the  impulse (and messianic i m p l i c a t i o n s )  form of magic was Ben Jonson. a r i a n nature  thinkers  been o v e r l o o k e d , and  But a b r i e f will  millen-  a n a l y s i s of his  not only uncover the  neglected passages, but support the  true prin-  94  c i pal  thesis o f this  chapter.  Although Jonson explores and Puritan  interest  of T r i b u l a t i o n millenary  the  connection between  in the o c c u l t arts  through the  and A n a n i a s , he develops the  nature  politics figures  theme of  the  of alchemy in his treatment of S i r Epicure  Mammon. Like so many real motivated  'lustful'  to use magic to r e c r e a t e heart's  world of e x q u i s i t e delirium,  time,  by both Faustian and p h i l a n t h r o p i c  Faustus., he wants to his  magicians of the  desire.  fleshly  Mammon is impulses.  the world  closer  Magic promises, to him, a  delights.  In  a fit  Mammon makes c l e a r that what i m p e l l s  d e s i r e to enter  Like  of  voluptuary  him i s  the  that enclosed garden of Solomon:  For I do mean To have a l i s t of w i v e s , and c o n c u b i n e s , Equal with Solomon; who had the stone A l i k e , with me; and I w i l l make me, a back With the E l i x i r , that s h a l l be as tough As H e r c u l e s , to encounter f i f t y a n i g h t . 83 Later  in the  earthly  play,  delights  this  v i s i o n of a hortus  conclusus of  gives way to a v i s i o n of U t o p i a , a brave new  world of r a v i s h i n g s e n s a t i o n s : W e ' l l t h e r e f o r e go with a l l , my g i r l , and l i v e In a f r e e s t a t e ; where we w i l l eat our m u l l e t s , Soused in h i g h - c o u n t r y wines, sup pheasants' eggs, And have our c o c k l e s , b o i l e d i n s i l v e r s h e l l s , Our shrimps to swim a g a i n , as when they l i v e d ,  Ben Jonson, The Alchemi s t , ed. Douglas Brown, New Mermaid s e r i e s (New York: H i l l & Wang, 1966), I, i i , 344-49.  95  In a rare b u t t e r , made of d o l p h i n s ' m i l k , Whose cream does look l i k e o p a l s : and with those D e l i c a t e meats, set ourselves high f o r p l e a s u r e , And take us down a g a i n , and then renew Our y o u t h , and s t r e n g t h , with d r i n k i n g the e l i x i r , And so enjoy a p e r p e t u i t y Of l i f e , and l u s t . 84 Mammon's v i s i o n i s hardly d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from that of F a u s t u s , who also imagines the d e l i g h t s he enters  the e a r t h l y  he personally wi 11. enjoy when  paradise of m a g i c .  But Mammon i s a l s o motivated be c a l l e d p h i l a n t h r o p i c .  by an impulse that can only  Many passages i n d i c a t e  to employ alchemy to help and g r a t i f y obviously genuine: 1  the  8 5  others.  that he wants  His d e s i r e i s  even before Subtle admonishes him to use  stone f o r the " p u b l i c good" and "dear c h a r i t y "  16-17), Mammon contemplates  (II,iii,  employing h i s expected wealth  and powers to confer honour, l o v e , r e s p e c t , long l i f e Give s a f e t y , v a l o u r : y e a , and v i c t o r y , To whom he w i l l . In eight and twenty d a y s , I ' l l make an o l d man, of f o u r s c o r e , a c h i l d . 86 B e l i e v i n g that the E l i x i r  "cures a l l d i s e a s e s , " that i t  wipe away "a month's g r i e f ,  in a d a y " - - a l l  l i e f s--Mammon promises to " f r i g h t dom, in three  B 4  IV,i,  months"  traditional  will be-  the plague/ Out o' the k i n g -  (II , i , 6 9 - 7 0 ) :  1 55-66.  85 Cf. Doctor F a u s t u s , I , i , 7 9 - 8 4 . The f a c t that Mammon i s a comic f i g u r e does not undermine my point here. I I , i , 5 0 - 5 3 ; 54-8.  96  I'll give away so much, unto my man, S h a l l serve t h whole c i t y , with p r e s e r v a t i v e . 1  And,  like  a good adept,  87  Mammon also vows:  I s h a l l employ i t a l l , in pious u s e s , Founding of c o l l e g e s , and grammar s c h o o l s , Marrying young v i r g i n s , b u i l d i n g h o s p i t a l s , And now, and t h e n , a church. 88 Even the  realistic  Subtle  recognizes the s i n c e r i t y  of Mammon's  "'11,1,73-4. Eirenaeus P h i l a l e t h e s w r i t e s : in the t h i r d p l a c e , the alchemist "has an U n i v e r s a l M e d i c i n e , with which he can cure every c o n c e i v a b l e d i s e a s e , and, i n d e e d , as to the q u a n t i t y of his. M e d i c i n e , he might heal a l l s i c k people in the world" (HM_, 1 1 , 1 9 8 ) . The s a l v a t i o n a l scope of t h i s p r o j e c t is m i l l e n a r i a n : h e a l i n g a l l people b o d i l y would be the' f u n c t i o n of the messiah; such h e a l i n g was a l s o thought to be one of the g i f t s of the m i l l e n n i u m . P r o f e s s o r Frank Manuel recognizes the p h i l a n t h r o p i c imperative of alchemy: "Concent r a t i o n on the production of gold was looked upon as a c o r r u p t i o n of the alchemical p h i l o s o p h e r ' s true mission which was . . . to cure a l l the diseases b e s e t t i n g mankind. The conc o c t i o n of t h i s u n i v e r s a l medicine and i t s d i s t r i b u t i o n to s u f f e r i n g m i l l i o n s was regarded as an act of C h r i s t i a n chari t y demanded by God of the chosen p h i l o s o p h e r whom He had guided to the s e c r e t " ( P o r t r a i t of Isaac Newton, p p . 1 6 7 - 8 ) . As we s h a l l s e e , E l i a s Ashmole's m i l l e n a r i a n expectations took the form of a v i s i o n of the r e v i v a l of Hermetic p h y s i c . oo  1 1 , i i i ,49-52. Although the humor of these l i n e s should not be o v e r l o o k e d , more important i s that Jonson understood the b a s i c s a l v a t i o n a l message of alchemy, and e v i d e n t l y knew that p r e c i s e l y such endeavors had been 'performed' by other alchemists. If he could only acquire the s t o n e , one adept s a i d , Then would I make upon the p l a i n e Of S a l i sbury g l o r i o u s to be fa i r e , F i f t e e n Abbi es in a l i t t l e w h i l e , One Abbie in the end of every m i l e . (Thomas Norton, "The O r d i n a l l of Alchimy ,". in Theatrum Chemi cum Bri tanni cum, p . 2 4 ) . In 1651, John French wrote, "as long as I have sense or r e a s o n , I s h a l l improve them to the honour of . . . Alchymie. In the p e r f e c t i o n thereof there are r i c h e s , honour, h e a l t h , & length of dayes: by i t A r t e s i us l i v e d 1000. y e a r e s , Flammell b u i l t 28. H o s p i t a l s with large revenues to them, besides Churches and C h a p p e l l s " (Art of D i s t i l l a t i o n , sig,A2v).  97  altruistic  dreams.  He e n v i s i o n s Mammon f r e n e t i c a l l y  ing about,  reforming the world around him. 'I  scurry-  see h i m ,  1  Subtle  muses, entering o r d i n a r i e s , Dispensing f o r the pox; and p i a g u e y - h o u s e s , Reaching his dose; walking M o o r f i e l d s f o r l e p e r s ; And o f f e r i n g c i t i z e n s wives p o m a n d e r - b r a c e l e t s , As his p r e s e r v a t i v e , made of the e l i x i r ; Searching the s p i t t l e , to make o l d bawds young; And the highways, f o r beggars, to make r i c h : •I see no end of h i s l a b o u r s . He w i l l make Nature ashamed, of her long s l e e p : when a r t , Who's but a step-dame, s h a l l do more, than s h e , In her best love to mankind, ever c o u l d . 89 The comic r i d i c u l e  of Mammon that we can detect  in these  lines  does not negate the point t h a t he i s indeed impelled by a des i r e to reform the w o r l d , the ' p h y s i c a l , • s o c i a l ,  and s p i r i t u a l  Subtle recognizes t h i s , he'll  to h e a l , l i k e  some crazed  ills  f o r he remarks,  thaumaturge,  of mankind.  Even  " i f his dream  turn the age, to gold" (I , i v , 2 9 ; i t a l i c s  last,  added).  Like  Norton, P a r a c e l s u s , S e n d i v o g i u s , and F r e n c h , Mammon too would employ magic to transform the world and r e s t o r e  the Golden Age.  That Mammon's dream i s e s s e n t i a l l y m i l l e n a r i a n , i s--in fact--overtly  mess i ani c , Jonson seemed to have  stood.  In his attempt to seduce Doll  state,'  Mammon says that he t a l k e d  Common to his  to her  Of a f i f t h monarchy I would e r e c t , With the p h i l o s o p h e r ' s s t o n e . ( I V , v , 2 5 - 6 )  I,i v , 1 8-28.  that  it  under-  'free  98  These are e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y his understanding  revealing  lines.  that the s a l v a t i o n a l  Both o f f e r ,  d i s e to l a s t  regard as w e l l . take an a c t i v e  i n alchemy, and thus foreshadow events  place during the P u r i t a n  para-  R e v o l u t i o n , when the r a d i c a l  to these two Puritans  of the realm.  inter-  sects  p.375).  only because  seems to promise them a way of gaining p o l i t i c a l  and of becoming r u l e r s  His  that were to take  a l l the o c c u l t sciences (Thomas,  Alchemy i s a t t r a c t i v e it  in another  Ananias and T r i b u l a t i o n ,  set out to revive  Christianity  1000 y e a r s .  Jonson was p e r c e p t i v e  est  of  as Jonson somehow knew, an e a r t h l y  at l e a s t  two P u r i t a n s ,  reveals  promise of alchemy i s  as messianic as the a p o c a l y p t i c t r a d i t i o n itself.  Jonson  power,  This c e r t a i n l y  i s the  constant message of S u b t l e ' s  'pitch'  the consummate con man.'Have  I t o l d y o u , ' he asks them, of  the  "good" the Stone " s h a l l  for  the " h i r i n g  objectives,  to them, and Subtle is  bring your cause?"  [ o f ] f o r c e s " to advance your  he informs them. And party  in the realm"  "Verily,  ' t i s true,"  Tribulation  temporal  l o r d s , o u r s e l v e s , I take i t . "  "we may be  Thus, s i n c e  they  of the s i l e n c e d  cannot be accomplished save "by the p h i l o s o p h e r ' s (III,i,39-40),  ther t h e i r is  use s h a l l  (111, i i ,20-6).  acknowledges,  have been convinced that the " r e s t o r a t i n g  stone"  s h a l l pay  revolutionary  "Even the medicinal  make you a f a c t i o n , /  Saints"  It  their  these two Puritans  holy cause ( 1 1 1 , i , 11 - 1 2 ) .  holy cause?  use alchemy to f u r -  And what,  Like Mammon's, i t  precisely,  is essentially m i l -  99  lenarian,  for their  struggle  Hierarchy of Bishops' will  i s against  (II,v,82-4),  'the A n t i c h r i s t i a n  the r o o t i n g out of which  usher in the millennium of the S a i n t s .  I cannot but  think that in these l i n e s Jonson himself was p r o p h e t i c . In a way, the a c t i o n of the The Alchemist could be viewed as a rehearsal eventful  of the 'movement'  years of the C i v i l War.  of ideas during the  For when John F r e n c h ,  A l s t e d , John Rogers, Hakewi11 , Nathanael others,  Homes, and sundry  use magic and alchemy to support t h e i r  of a F i f t h  Monarchy of e a r t h l y  when they themselves l i n k  perfection  together  they seem to be performing t h e i r drama Jonson p r e s c i e n t l y  own v i s i o n s  and P u r i t a n  sway-  Magic and the Millennium—  parts  in a r e v o l u t i o n a r y  perceived was about to be staged.  100  Part 3: The M i l l e n a r i a n  Milieu  of P u r i t a n England  I n t r o d u c t i on When Mammon dreams aloud of a " F i f t h wrought  by the  offered  substantially  did. lent  A brief  survey of the mill.enarian Puritan  The f a c t  for  that the  substantially  this  And i t  tively  English millenarians  pronouncements they 90 Puri tan England.  ele-  p r o v i d e s , I bel i eve ,' ad-di t i onal  characterizing will  same s o t e r i o l o g i c a l  'mi 1 1 e n a r i a n . ' easy f o r  chiliastic  found in the mode of magic we have  ments occur in both contexts justification  uncover  preva-  hopes, sometimes the same myths and  dreams, we have already been examining.  Monarchism  expectations  Revolution—when  were most i n t e n s e — w i 1 1  same s a l v a t i o n a l  tionist  i s implied that magic  the same millennium as F i f t h  in England during the  expectations the  philosopher's stone, i t  Monarchy" to be  mode of the o c c u l t as  also e x p l a i n why i t  was so r e l a -  to accept the  reforma-  found in the o c c u l t m i l i e u  of  The f o l l o w i n g a n a l y s i s concentrates on the more 'mundane' aspects of mi 11enarianism , those aspects which focused a t t e n t i o n on the k i n g l y mission of the messiah, and on the material or p o l i t i c a l b e n e f i t s which were to be derived from the messiah's e a r t h l y r u l e . Yet I have not ignored the other side of the m i l l e n a r i a n movement, the side which s p i r i t u a l i z e d , under the i n f l u e n c e of the d o c t r i n e of the Holy S p i r i t , the external m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the a p o c a l y p t i c hope. Professor Gohen has argued that these two types of m i l l e n a r i a n i s m were closely related. The S p i r i t u a l m i l l e n a r i a n s understood that the f u l l outpouring of the S p i r i t in the s a i n t s was determined  101  Millenarian  Rhetori c  The r e f o r m a t i o n i s t  v i s i o n s of magicians were  often  couched, as we have s e e n , in such terms as a reformati on of of the w o r l d , the renovati on or rej uvenati on of men and things,  the  r e s t i t u t i on of past times  These, and s i m i l a r  terms, can a l l  of P u r i t a n England.  (see above, p p . 4 1 - 5 ) .  be found in the o c c u l t m i l i e u  What i s e s p e c i a l l y important  that the same terms and concepts were often millenarians  to suggest t h e i r  would be l i k e . .  In  the  rard W i n s t a n l e y , the the  "Spirit  t i o n of the World."  91  millennium  years of the 1640s,  leader of the D i g g e r s , was c o n f i d e n t  of the whole Creation  . . .  fact  used by Puritan  notions of what the  'overturning'  i s the  Gerthat  is about the Reforma-  Others expected an " i n n o v a t i o n " or r e n -  h i s t o r i c a l l y and r e a l i z e d in time. A c e r t a i n age would be the age of the S p i r i t . As Cohen makes c l e a r , they b e l i e v e d that the culminating age was " t e r r e s t r i a l and not concerned with a supernatural world to come that followed the e s c h a t o l o g i c a l day of judgment" ( p . 2 3 4 ) . C o n v e r s e l y , the material m i l l e n a r ians a l s o expected s p i r i t u a l renewal i n the m i l l e n n i u m . In s h o r t , the f i n a l period expected by both of these groups i s to be a kind of f u s i o n of i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l g l o r y ( A l f r e d Cohen, "Two Roads' to the P u r i t a n M i l l e n n i u m : William Erbury and Vavasor P o w e l l , " Church H i s t o r y , 32 (1963); a l s o , John F. W i l s o n , "Comment on 'Two Roads to the P u r i t a n M i l l e n n i u m , ' " Ibid.). 91  The Law of Freedom i n a_ PI atform o r , True Magi s t r a c y R e s t o r e d , ed. Robert W. Kenny (1941; r p t . with a new i n t r o duction , New York: Schocken Books, 1973), p.50. The P u r i t a n clergyman Thomas Case was so c a r r i e d away by r e f o r m a t i o n i s t v i s i o n s , that he c a l l e d f o r a ' r e f o r m a t i o n of reformation i t s e l f (Two Sermons [London, 1641], s i g . A 4 v ; p p . 2 1 - 2 ) . Nathanael Homes (or Holmes) quotes the rabbi Aben Ezra concerning " ' a t o t a l , and u n i v e r s a l r e f o r m i n g , or new-framing of the world. And although the Text hath i t , New Heavens, yet there i s no n e c e s s i t y , nor doth the sense r e q u i r e i t , that we should  102  ovation,  that i s , the time promised by S t .  John i n Revelati o n ,  92 "when a l l  things  awaited renewal  shall  be made new."  or renovation  would come at  tauration,  wherein  saved."  John Archer also i d e n t i f i e d  t h i n g s " with the  all  Some held that  men s h a l l  "making  [of]  all  the  the  "generall  res-'  be r e c o n c i l e d to God and the  things  the mi 11enniurn was depicted as "the  " r e s t o r i ng [of] 94  new."  Restitution  all  Frequently, of a l l  things."  understand New Heavens, to be meant of other Heavens . . . but only that there s h a l l be a c e r t a i n I n s t a u r a t i o n , and Reformat i on of them into b e t t e r " (in The R e s u r r e c t i on Revealed [London, 1653], p.425). Homes also quotes C a l v i n concerning the "Reparation of the world" ( p . 1 9 0 ) . See also John N a p i e r , A p1 a i n e di scovery of the whole Revelation of Saint John (Edenburgh , 1593), in which he c a l l e d f o r "a speedy and generall Reformation both in Church and S t a t e ; and that from the h i g h e s t to the 1owest" ( p . 4 ) . 1  92  Johann H e i n r i c h A l s t e d , Beloved C i t y , p.31. See also James B r o c a r d , The reye 1 a t i on of S_. John re vel e d , t r a n s . J . Sanford (London, 1582), p . 1 5 5 f . v ; John Swan, Speculum Mundi (Cambridge, 1 635) , c h . l , s e c t . 2 , p . 5 ; Stephen Marshall couns e l l e d Parliament at the s t a r t of the war that i t s mission was "the p l a n t i n g of a new heaven and a new earth among us" (1641; in Michael Walzer, The Revolution of the Saints [1965; r p t . New York: Atheneum, 1969], p . l ) . 93 Thomas Edwards, Grangraena: or a Catalogue (London, 1 646), p.167, e r r o r 35. See also TFomas Vaughan, Works, p. 392 ; John Rogers, Othel or Beth-shemesh (London, 1653) , p.19. 94 The Personal 1 Rei gne of C h r i s t upon Earth (London, 1642), p.10. As one t r a c t puts i t , the dream of the F i f t h Monarchy party i s nothing l e s s than "the redeeming of whole Z i o n ," "the r e s t o r a t i o n of the whole Creati on" (A Standard Set Up [London, 1657], p . l 7 T 7 ~ 95 A Standard Set Up (1657), p.21 and t . p . The promise of a " r e s t i t u t i o n of a l l t h i n g s " occurs i n Acts 3:21 (St. James v e r . ) . The French mystic and o c c u l t i s t , Guillaume P o s t e l , helped p o p u l a r i z e the b e l i e f that the new age would bring a " r e s t i t u t i o omnium" (William J . Bouwsma, Concordi a Mundi [Cambridge, M a s s . : Harvard U. P . , 1957], p.216). "The  103  Eden and the Golden Age What the E n g l i s h m i l l e n a r i a n s  expected to be r e s t o r e d  was Eden or the Golden Age, that i s , some kind of paradise.  1  Mi 1 1 e n n i a l i s m , '  " i m p l i e d the r e s t o r a t i o n abundance of a l l  earthly  e x p l a i n s Mircea E l i a d e , always of P a r a d i s e .  . .  . There w i l l  t h i n g s , as in the Garden of Eden."  have already seen t h a t magic, at  least  in i t s  96  be an We  millenarian  f o r m , promised to r e s t o r e to mankind the existence Adam enjoyed in Eden before the  Fall  (see above, p p . 5 7 f f ) .  what most E n g l i s h m i l l e n a r i a n s an i n f l u e n t i a l  This i s  exactly  a l s o expected.  spokesman f o r the  Nathanael Homes, 97 c h i l i a s t cause, believed  whole time of C h r i s t ' s kingdom," e x p l a i n s John A r c h e r , " i s t r u e l y c a l l e d a time of r e s t i t u t i o n " ( P e r s o n a l ! Reigne, p . 1 0 ) ; what the s a i n t s s h a l l r e c e i v e as t h e i r i n h e r i t a n c e i s "the r e s t i t u t i o n of a l l t h i n g s " (T. B . , The S a i n t s Inheritance [London, 1643], p . 1 1 ) . Hansard Knollys a l s o expected in the messianic age "the R e s t i t u t i o n of a l l t h i n g s " (Apocalypti cal Mysteries [London, 1 667], Book III, p p . 1 1 - 1 2 ; see a l s o John Rogers, Othel or Beth-shemesh [1653], p . 5 3 , p . 2 8 ) . As the date of the miTTennium p r e d i c t e d by A l s t e d and many others drew near (ca.1700; "and the thousand yeares w i l l be about the yeare of our L o r d , 1700"--Personal1 R e i g n e ) , people began to t a l k once again about "the R e s t i t u t i o n of a l l t h i n g s " (A Short Survey of the Ki ngdom of Chri st [London, 1699], s i g . iii). For the concept of " r e s t i t u t i o n " in l e f t - w i n g s e c t a r i a n thought of the Reformation, see Frank J , Wray, "The Anabaptist Doctrine of the R e s t i t u t i o n of the Church," MOJ*, 28 (1954), 186-96; F. H. L i t t e l l , The O r i g i n s of S e c t a r i a n P r o t e s t a n t i s m ( 1 952 ; New York: Macmi11 an, paperback e d n . , 1964) , ch . 2. 96  Myth and R e a l i t y , t r a n s . Wi1 l a r d R. Trask ( 1963; r p t . New York: Harper & Row, Torchbook e d n . , 1968), p.65. Prof e s s o r E l i a d e ' s books have proved i n v a l u a b l e to me, and are a mine of b r i 1 1 i a n t o b s e r v a t i o n s on apocalypse and magic. Peter Toon, e d . , Puri t a n s , The Millennium and the Future of I s r a e l (1970), p.111.  104  that a l l  of Adam's i n h e r i t a n c e  (p.132),  and t h a t i t  millennium: fall."  "All  .  was not f o r e f e i t e d  at the  would be enjoyed once again during .  . shall  Fall the  be as in P a r a d i s e , before Adams  9 8  This longing f o r paradise was f r e q u e n t l y longing f o r  the Golden Age.  of such movements,  Mi 11enarianism,  " i s based on the b e l i e f  expressed as a explains  a student  in a Golden Age  which i s going to return or which can be r e s t o r e d  in the  full-  99 ness of t i m e . " which the rate"  It  is  "exactly  this  'Golden A g e , ' or  founder of the messianic movement wants  (p.12).  In the m i l l e n a r i a n  to  paradise,  inaugu-  mode of Western magic, as  ^"Nathanael Homes, Apokalypsi s Anastaseos. The Resurr e c t i o n Revealed (London , 1653), p.527 , h e r e a f t e r c i t e d as R e s u r r e c t i o n Revealed. Even "the lowest of t h i s s t a t e , " exp l a i n s Homes, " s h a l l be according to that of Adams innocency" (p.530). Mary Cary also taught that people wTTl be l i k e "Adam in innocency" (The L i t t l e Horns Doom [London, 1651], p.302). Another wrote that the r e s t i t u t i o n of a l l things to t h e i r f i r s t p e r f e c t i o n could only mean the r e s t o r i n g of them to t h a t s t a t e in which "Adam found them in . . . at his C r e a t i o n " (A Short Survey [1 699] , p.16-17 ; p . 3 7 ) . Homes also b e l i e v e d that the " r e s t a u r a t i on of a l l t h i n g s " meant t h e i r r e s t o r a t i o n "as at the f i r s t C r e a t i o n " ( p . 5 3 5 ) . He a l s o quotes the Koran (!) to the e f f e c t that " a f t e r the R e s u r r e c t i on [true b e l i e v e r s ] s h a l l enj oy the immense p i e a sures of Paradise" ( p . 4 1 6 ) . George Hakewi11 wrote that the reward of the f a i t h f u l would be "a pleasant garden or Paradise of d e l i g h t " (An Apologie or D e c l a r a t i o n , 3rd edn. [ O x f o r d , 1635], p.601). See a l s o , Mary C a r y , The L i t t l e Horns Doom, p.305; and, T. B . , The Saints I n h e r i t a n c e , p.26. Images of paradise were p a r t i c u l a r l y prominent in the R o s i c r u c i a n m i l i e u of P u r i t a n England (see Chapter V ) . 99  Stephen Fuchs, Rebel 1i ous Prophets: A Study of Mess i ani c Movements i n Indian R e l i g i o n s (London: A s i a P u b l i s h ing House, 1961 ), p.15. Prophecies of the Golden Age were very frequent in the a s t r o l o g i c a l m i l i e u of P u r i t a n England.  105  we have seen, r e s t o r a t i o n quently,  the  revivification  No l e s s a r d e n t l y , toration  of the Golden Age meant, of the  natural  E n g l i s h mi 11enarians  most  fre-  order through magic.  also expected the  of the Golden Age, and understood by the  res-  term the  same kind of fecund paradise being pursued by the m a g i c i a n s . The t r a n s l a t o r explains  of A l s t e d ' s messianic t r a c t ,  that the  "1000. yeares" "This t h r i c e Some years the  Soon a f t e r " ' the  [the]  a Fifth-Monarchist  dawning of the with the  Nathanael  restoration  fore  fall  the  almanac also  " g l o r i o u s R i s i n g of the  " ' t h a t Golden Age .  of man, f u l l  felicity  .  awaited the  Monarch." that  . in which, be-  flourished'"  same kind of e a r t h l y  its  be none other  Once again we see that both E n g l i s h magicians and millenarians  0  predicted  fifth  S t a t e ' " would  0  (sig.xx).  Homes quoted C a l v i n ' s explanation  of  1  "Golden Age," and i d e n t i f i e d  I n s t a u r a t i on of a_ P e r f e c t  than the  hand"  (1641 ) ,  last  Golden Age" (si g. xvi i i ) . .  happy and golden age i s now at  imminent  restoration  "great Sabbath and time of Rest" to  is "truely  later  Beloved Ci ty  (p.190). Puritan  paradise.  L a c t a n t i u s had w r i t t e n that the l a s t times would possess a l l those things "'which the Poets f a b l e to have beene in those golden Times of Saturnes r e i g n ' " (quoted in A l s t e d , Beloved C i t y , p . 4 9 ) . Images of the Golden Age were also very prominent in European R o s i c r u c i a n c i r c l e s . T h e Year of Wonders (London, 1652), t . p . Another a s t r o l o g e r , t h i s one not n e c e s s a r i l y a F i f t h M o n a r c h i s t , p r e d i c t e d that a f t e r the amazing s t e l l a r events of 1652, "there s h a l l immediatly succeed a golden Age" (Vincent Wing, Almanack and Prognosti c a t i o n [1 654], s i g . C 3 v ) . Brahe's prophecy of the Golden Age' was p a r t i c u l a r l y influential. 1 0 1  T  1 0 1  106  Visions  of Temporal  F e i i ci ty  As we have s e e n ,  in the magical t r a d i t i o n  of the Golden Age and of Eden stood f o r sires  on e a r t h '  (see above, pp.64-6).  the symbols  'whatsoever man deThese i n e x h a u s t i b l e  t r e a s u r e s were u s u a l l y summed up in such  often-repeated 102  phrases as " a l l "all  material  felicity." ists  good f o r t u n e , "  joy,"  "all  Similar  "the  temporal  g l o r i e of the w o r l d , "  happiness," "all  phrases were used by both E n g l i s h o c c u l t -  and P u r i t a n m i l l e n a r i a n s  millennium they mutually  to d e s c r i b e the g i f t s  expected.  Nathanael  have a l l  wi thout  sweet contentment,  di f f i c u l t y ,  or del a y ' "  and a l l  (p.419).  poral  (p.53).  temporal  leading Puritan millenarian  In  his own words  felicity,"  during the 1640s,  the age of p e r f e c t i o n would contain " a l l poral!  blessings"  make t h e i r  lives  in t h e i r  comfortable  alchemists  ("all  pertem-  John A r c h e r , a a s s e r t e d that  f u l n e s s e of a l l  ( P e r s o n a l ! Reigne, p . 2 9 ) .  tem-  Whatever may  and p l e a s u r a b l e , w i l l  by the S a i n t s in the m i l l e n n i u m . those of the  "'they  Like the magicians who expected " a l l  happiness" and " a l l  the  at thei r p i e a s u r e ,  Homes a s s e r t s "that the Sai nts may enjoy a l l fection"  of  Homes, using  the words of the Koran, persuades his readers that shall  temporal  be enjoyed  In phrases that resemble  material  joy,"  "all  the  comforts  The m i l l e n a r i a n , John Rogers, used the phrase "the q1ory of the world" to d e s c r i b e what he would have i n h e r i t e d i f he Fad made use of "Necromancy & Ni gromancy" and "Magi ck" (Othel or Beth-shemesh [1653J, p . 4 3 3 ] /  107  of t h i s  world"),  her readers ceivable fort"  Mary Cary, an outspoken m i l l e n a r i a n ,  that in the millennium  "outward  (Little  they  b l e s s i n g , " every  (p.536; p.533).  enjoy every  imaginable  Horns Doom , p.302).  "confluence of a l l  shall  promises  "creature  And Homes promises  con-  com-  the  Comforts" in the new age about to dawn  It  i s thus no wonder that Mary Cary echoed  Boehme's prophecy concerning an age of  'gold,'  and that Homes  c i t e d the o c c u l t prophecies of both Paracelsus and S e n d i v o g i u s . As both r e c o g n i z e d , magic promised what they  themselves  a fact  of the  which helps to e x p l a i n  the p o p u l a r i t y  during those years when P u r i t a n  mi 11enarianism  wanted,  occult  was most i n -  tense. The phrases we have j u s t circle  both the  more d i r e c t l y the  'emotional'  of everyday  i s the e l i m i n a t i o n  life  (Magic  n.56).  and tensions in s o c i a l  and the M i l l e n n i u m ,  political  p.365).  fort  to put to f l i g h t  ing a l l  adversity.  "personal  relationships,"  and s o c i a l oppression"  Magic, as we have  "anxiety  and r e f r e s h man's heart in the  and tensions  from a l l  seen, promised to mankind p r e c i s e l y these g i f t s . was thought  for  As P r o f e s s o r Wilson  u s u a l l y promises r e l i e f  "eradication•of  its  Concerning  promised  of the threats  (see above, p.74,  problems, and fears as the  joys as w e l l .  b l e s s i n g s , what i s f r e q u e n t l y  s a y s , mi 11enarianism  as well  b l e s s i n g s of p a r a d i s e , and  p h y s i c a l and m a t e r i a l  'emotional'  the millennium  reviewed were intended to en-  and c a r e , "  already  The Stone and to com-  hour of t r o u b l e ,  mitigat-  One adept taught that alchemy could put  108  an end to a l l  "Hatred and Sorrow,"  p l a c i n g them with " H e a l t h , things."  In  addition,  it  hope, and f e a r , "  people  "ambition,  all  social  and M i s e r y , "  J o y , Peace, Love," and " a l l was thought  i n a t e s o c i a l oppression as w e l l , glory,  "Poverty  good  that magic would  elim-  by p u t t i n g "an end to  vain-  and by removing  violence,  re-  from the  and e x c e s s . "  hearts  Even the  root  of of  e v i 1 - - " c o v e t o u s n e s s e " - - c a n be e x t i r p a t e d by a l -  103 chemy.  Thus, John F r e n c h , while endorsing the  prophecy of S e n d i v o g i u s ,  predicts  the  "golden Age," in which " a l l t y r a n n y , 104 covetousnesse shal What these  the  and  cease."  perfectly  in the mi 11ennium.  no more "sorrow,  return of  oppression, envie,  European and E n g l i s h alchemists  corresponds almost expected  imminent  messianic  with what P u r i t a n In the mi 11ennium  nor c r y i n g , n e i t h e r  shall  dreamed  of  millenarians there s h a l l  be  there be any more  105 pain."  Nor s h a l l  there be any " f e a r ,  t e r r o u r , and dread"  (p.175). ^ A f f l i c t i o n s such as these w i l l end because s o c i a l 103 E l i a s Ashmole, Theatrum Chemicum Bri ta.nni.cum, s i g . B 2 . 1  6  A r t of D i s t i l l a t i o n (1651), sig.<B4r. Both Ashmole (1652) and French mention the end of covetousness. At the same time (1652), Winstanley was declaiming against " K i n g l y Covetousness," the root of a l l e v i l according to him (The Law of Freedom, ed. R. W. Kenny, p . 7 8 ) . 1 0 4  105 I. F . , A Sober Inqui ry , or , Chri sts Rei gn wi th hi s Sai nts a_ Thousand Years (London, 1 660), p.l 18. H o m e s wrote that in the new age there would be "No f e a r s , " "No Wants" (p. 523 ). He looked forward to a "New E a r t h , " that i s , "a New n a t u r a l l y p o l i t i c k s t a t e . . . " ( p . 5 2 6 ) . 106  109  oppression s h a l l misery.  "There  For who i s l e f t  end, which was the likewise  will  to oppress?  reason f o r  be an end of a l l Violence shall  so much human oppression.  no more be heard  in her Land, wasting nor d e s t r u c t i o n w i t h i n her borders" Sober I nqui ry , p.173). "all  tyranny,  to the w i l l s  of oppression in i t , " of the w o r l d .  tions  1 0 7  and covetousnesse," so Eng-  expected the e l i m i n a t i o n  and Oppressing laws,  that magical  alchemists expected an end to  oppression, envie,  l i s h millenarians  "slavery  As the  shall  "Whatsoever  be e l i m i n a t e d  What i s becoming quite  v i s i o n s of the millennium  of Puritan  of a l l  and courts of j u s t i c e , " of men."  chiliasts  (A  in every  "Tyrannical  of " t i t h e s , "  and  bears but the  by the  reformation  obvious i s the  reinforced  face  the  respect, a fact  fact  expecta-  which no  doubt helps to e x p l a i n why the o c c u l t s c i e n c e s were so popu l a r with l e f t - w i n g P u r i t a n s  during the C i v i l  Both magicians and m i l l e n a r i a n s what s h a l l  replace fear  War y e a r s .  agreed, moreover,  and s o c i a l oppression w i l l  be  that "Health,  Thomas C o l l i e r , A Di s covery of the New C r e a t i on ( 1 647) , in Puritanism and Li b e r t y : Being the Army Debates (1 647-9) from the Clarke M a n u s c r i p t s , s e l . and e d . A. S. P. Woodhouse (Chi cago: U. of Chicago P. , 1938) , p.395. Nathanael Homes maintained that in the millennium there s h a l l be "No humane r u l i n g Majesty," "No p a i n f u l l l a b o u r . " It s h a l l be " u t t e r l y s u p e r i o r ! e s s , the l e a s t of the s a i n t s now being Adam in his f u l l d i g n i t y and power" ( p . 5 2 3 ) . Gerrard Winstanley wrote, "There s h a l l be no Tyrant K i n g s , Lords of Manors, Tything P r i e s t s , oppressing Lawyers, exacting L a n d l o r d s , nor any such l i k e p r i c k l i n g bryar in a l l t h i s holy Mountain of the Lord God our Righteousness and Peace" (The Law of Freedom, e d . R. W. Kenny, p . 8 2 ) . See Keith Thomas, R e l i g i o n and the Decline of Magic, p.143, f o r a resume of the m i l l e n a r i a n v i s i o n .  n o  Joy,  Peace, Love" and " a l l  t i o n of Hermes).  good t h i n g s "  The Fifth-Monarchy  by W i l l i a m Aspinwall was f i l l e d and peace, "health  .  .  (Book of the  Revela-  commonwealth envisioned  with  love,  mercy,  . and h o l i n e s s . "  It  truth  should be r e -  c a l l e d that the Golden Age p r e d i c t e d by the alchemist John French was a l s o "abounding with love and mercy & f l o u r i s h i n g in peace" (Art that a l l  of D i s t i l l a t i o n ,  enjoyments  "shall  sig.*fl4 ).  Homes b e l i e v e d  r  be varnished with beauty, envi roned  with peace , enlarged with 1i berty"  (p.533).  As we should  a l s o r e c a l l , Sendivogius expected in the Hermetic of the  Fourth Monarchy "Mercy and T r u t h , "  and 'one shepherd and one s h e e p f o l d . ' dreamed of a world-wide  "Peace and J u s t i c e , "  Similarly,  Christian union, just  Paradise before Adam f e l l "  (p.541).  enlightenment  Homes a l s o  as.there  was  "in  And, as the paradise of.  the magicians would be u t t e r l y secure from "any corrupt or sinister Fall  thoughts,"  such as those which provoked the  ( F a s c i c u l u s Chemicus, s i g . A ) , so the  state"  of E n g l i s h m i l l e n a r i a n s  Herein we s h a l l neither  fall,  vealed,  p.525).  fectly  nor be tempted  to f a l l "  on the  . . .  We s h a l l  (Homes, Resurrection Re-  Both Magician and P u r i t a n ,  with each other  glorious  bee T e m p t a t i o n - l e s s e .  be happier then Adam and Eve.  would enjoy in the f u t u r e  1653),  "shall  "future  first  'emotional'  t h e n , agreed  per-  b l e s s i n g s that man  age both expected.  A B r i e f Des c r i pti on of the p.13.  Fi f t h  Monarchy (London,  Ill They a l s o agreed on the m a t e r i a l  and p h y s i c a l  mankind would possess in the millennium. tradition  millenarian  of magic, as we have seen, promised mounds of  and j e w e l s , alchemist, the  The  benefits  a literally  'golden'  age.  Jacob Boehme, f o r example,  b u i l d i n g of Z i o n , " S i l v e r  gold  The German mystical prophesied that  and Gold s h a l l  after  be as common,  as in Solomons t i me" (Mercuri us Teutoni cus [1649], s i g . B 3 , v  a c o l l e c t i o n of Boehme's p r o p h e c i e s ) . Mary Cary, the  E n g l i s h mi 1 l e n a r i a n ,  would be "a p l e n t i f u l great abundance"  enjoyment  (p.302),  have every v e s t i g e  cluded in the  of s i l v e r ,  "outward  Monarchy, or can be had in t h i s Nathanae!  saints  shall  .in  would  conferred  in the  mil-  e l s e was enjoyed under any world"  (Personal!  Reigne,  Homes taught that in the millennium  best jewels and t r e a s u r e s  .  John Archer i n -  b l e s s i n g s " to be enjoyed  lennium " r i c h e s " and "whatsoever  29).  and gold .  g l o r y that was  Horns Doom, p.286).  "temporall  later  asserted that soon there  and that the Puritan  of the  upon Solomon" ( L i t t l e  Just two years  p.  "the  not be appropriated  to Hea-  t h e n s , A t h e i s t s , P o p i s h , H y p o c r i t e s , or g r a c e l e s s e K i n g s , " but be given to the them--and It  everything  Saints  else--in  their  full  enjoy  perfection  (p.534).  should not be s u r p r i s i n g that the o c c u l t v i s i o n of  the millennium e v e n t u a l l y ant  in abundance, who s h a l l  imposed i t s e l f  on the most  C h r i s t i a n symbol of messianic hope--the  Jerusalem.  This S c r i p t u r a l  as a symbol of t h e i r  import-  image of the New  symbol was viewed by o c c u l t i s t s  own Hermetic  golden age:  112  For E l i a s the A r t i s t i s at hand, and g l o r i o u s things are already spoken of the C i t y of God. I hope that in a few years gold . . . w i l l be so common that those who are now so mad a f t e r i t , s h a l l contemptuously spurn aside t h i s b u l wark of A n t i c h r i s t . Then w i l l the day of our d e l i v e r a n c e be at hand when the s t r e e t s of the new Jerusalem are paved with g o l d , and i t s gates are great diamonds. The day i s at hand when . . . g o l d w i l l have become as common as d i r t . 109 1  English millenarians this  would have had no d i f f i c u l t y  v i s i o n of the Hermetic  accepting  New J e r u s a l e m , f o r they  expected  the same t h i n g : As New Jerusalem i s new decked, &c. Rev. 21. So a l l her b u i l d i n g s , w a l l s , s t r e e t s , g a t e s , &c. (according to Is a-. 54. verse 11.) are compared to g o l d , and a l l precious s t o n e s , which comparison of g l o r i o u s g o l d , and p r e cious s t o n e s , &c. import a l l manner of g l o r y of the C h u r c h . 1 1 0 Evidence such as t h i s of the  indicates  occult tradition  E n g l i s h Puritanism. It occult for  that the m i l l e n a r i a n  were i d e n t i c a l  was natural  support of t h e i r  for  elements  to those elements Puritans  own m i l l e n a r i a n  to turn to  in the  visions.  Hermetic Museum, II, p.178. Winstanley maintained that the r e s t o r a t i o n of "ancient Peace and Freedom" could only be accomplished by f o r b i d d i n g a l l "buying and s e l l i n g . " For " t h i s takes o f f the Kingly Curse [ c o v e t o u s n e s s ] , and makes Jerusalem a p r a i s e in the Earth" (Law of Freedom, p . 8 0 ) . He forbad the use of gold and jewels as. money in his U t o p i a . N a t h a n a e l Homes, The R e s u r r e c t i o n Revealed (1653), p.534; also p.527. Hansard Knollys wrote: "It i s a most pure Church, and t h e r e f o r e is d e s c r i b e d ; The Walls to be precious S t o n e s , the C i t i e to be as c l e e r e as g l a s s e , and the Pavement to be pure go'l d". (A Gl impse of Si ons Gl ory , p . 22). 1 1 0  113  But w e a l t h , only the right  gifts  treasure,  of the  g o l d , jewels — a l l  'left  hand,'  as Ashmole put i t .  hand held the most precious of a l l  health,  longevity,  Wilson e x p l a i n s ,  immortality.  these were  Mi 11enarianism,  physical  ailments,  and death"  offering  the  (p.365).  As we have already  as well  At the  would r e s t o r e  very  expect,  of d a y s , " but at  least  those g i f t s  the  least,  the  Stone of the  for  all  of 1000  people to enjoy.  Martyr,"  "It  and which  life  of the  s t a t e of P a r a d i c e , was to s i n robbed his p o s t e r i t y time. liv'd  "But when a l l day s h a l l  rection,  Sober I n q u i r y , poral!  of the mysteries  t r e e of l i f e ,  of t h i s  things  shall  Revela-  or of man in  inheritance,  shall  live  pp.168-9).  of  the  c o n s i s t of a thousand y e a r s . " at  least  be r e s t o r e d , that  be r e s t o r e d to the  and they  v i s i o n s of  was the c o n c e i t of the same J u s t i ne  observes an i n t e r p r e t e r  t i on, "that the  years  As one might  that P r o f e s s o r Wilson mentions  chiliasts.  possibility  alchemists  magic promised can also be found in the m i l l e n n i a l Puritan  gifts,  (Ashmole, Theatrum Chemicum B r i t a n n i c u m ,  to mankind that Edenic l i f e - s p a n  which God had intended  of  s e e n , the  mode of alchemy promised p r e c i s e l y these  of immortality v  relief  " c e s s a t i o n of i l l n e s s , the ageing pro-  not only "length  sig.Bl ).  Professor  promises a f u t u r e time when i l l n e s s and old  not occur ( p . 3 4 9 ) , a time of permanent  millenarian  The  material b l e s s i n g s :  age w i l l  cess,  still  sons of the f i r s t  one thousand years"  (I.  "health"  for a  long resurF., A  John Archer i n c l u d e d in the  b l e s s i n g s " of the millennium  Adam's  and "long  "temlife"  114  (Personal 1 Reigne, p . 2 9 ) . Ashmole a year e a r l i e r , would o f f e r  was to be a s t a t e  Homes argued, not  that the new earth  a "deathless"  As Jonson so well  Nathanael  state.  knew, the  about to be created  1 1 1  'Golden Age' of  Hermeticism  of love and l u s t , a r e s t o r a t i o n  of the en-  c l o s e d garden of Solomon, who a l l e g e d l y enjoyed a l l sures l i f e  unlike  the  plea-  can a f f o r d because he owned the p h i l o s o p h e r ' s  112 stone.  Mammon's dreams would not have appeared e x c e s s i v e l y  libidinous  to most mid-century P u r i t a n m i l l e n a r i a n s ,  They expected almost the same kind of e a r t h l y made Mammon and Faustus g r a t e f u l  their  when the  days "eating  believe.  delights  users of magic.  wrote that in the millennium l i f e would be l i k e "Solomons time,"  I  that  One c h i l i a s t it  was in  "People of Judath and I s r a e l "  and d r i n k i n g , and making merry.  In  spent this  ' T h e R e s u r r e c t i o n Revealed, p.523. John Archer bel i e v e d that the renovation of mankind would bless man with "1ong 1 iife ," al1owing everyone to l i v e "an hundred y e a r s , " "and no i n f a n t or any other dye sooner; they s h a l l l a s t long as a Tree" (Personal 1 Rei gne , p . 3 0 ) . 1 1  112  From The Alchemi s t :  and, with these D e l i c a t e meats, set ourselves high f o r p l e a s u r e , And take us down a g a i n , and then renew Our y o u t h , and s t r e n g t h , with d r i n k i n g the e l i x i r ; And so enjoy a p e r p e t u i t y Of l i f e , and l u s t . ( I V , i , 1 55-69). For I do mean To have a l i s t of w i v e s , and c o n c u b i n e s , Equal with Solomon; who had the stone A l i k e , with me: and I w i l l make me, a back With the e l i x i r , that s h a l l be as tough As H e r c u l e s , to encounter f i f t y a n i g h t . (I , i i ,  34-9)  .115 time they s h a l l  PI a n t ,  b u i l d , marry,  generati on to generati on, i n p e r f e c t Rei gne, 'p. 30).  Even the  who c h e e r f u l l y  the  epicurean  of the  of  from  (Archer,  Personal 1  'Doomsday'  Sedgwick,  even l e s s c r e d i t a b l e  soubriquet  delights  chi1dren  peace"  pious v i s i o n a r y ,  adopted the  more a p p r o p r i a t e )  beget  'spiritual  (but  madman,  1  no doubt emphasized  millennium:  You s h a l l have your s p o r t s , p l e a s u r e s , we w i l l sing together i n the hi g h t of Zi on: young men and maids daunce together without offence or i n i q u i t y , a l l T~n the innocency, h o l i n e s s e and joy of God: your whol l i f e a course of p l e a s u r e ; a l l t h i n g s , yea labour and pains s h a l l be r e c r e a t i o n s : God r e c r e a t ing a l l t h i n g s , or making a l l things new, they s h a l l be sweet and d e l i g h t f u l l : you shal1 have your Holy-dayes , y e a , your whole l i f e s h a l l be spent in H o l y - d a y e s , a c o n t i n ual 1 r e s t , the great J u b i 1 e. 113 After it  a steady d i e t of such v i s i o n s f o r  i s no wonder that Englishmen, even a f t e r  were s t i l l In  about two decades,  willing  to l i s t e n  to mountebanks  the  l i k e John Heydon.  a s e r i e s of o c c u l t tomes Heydon promised the  a "golden world" "Long l i f e ,  of  health,  "Happiness,"  "Youth,"  and Y o u t h " - - a l l  Restoration,  English  "Pleasure,"  through  people  "Riches,"  R o s i c r u c i a n physic  114 and magical continue  the  nostrums.  that he d i d , in f a c t ,  promises that E n g l i s h o c c u l t i s t s  had been making f o r 113  All  at  least  was to  and mi 11enarians  twenty y e a r s .  William Sedgewick, The S p i r i t u a l ! Madman, o r , A_ Prophesi e ( n . p . , 1 648), p.13. See also Thomas Goodwin, A Sermon of the Fi f t h Monarchy (1654), p . 2 7 f , p.31. 114 John Heydon, The E n g l i s h Phy.si t i ans Guide: or a_ HolyGuide (London, 1662), Book III, p.163.  116  The New Eden So f a r we have d i s c o v e r e d in Puritan mi 11enarianism exactly  the same elements that we found in magic and in  'millennary  dream' of alchemy.  In our examination  of  this  Hermetic s c i e n c e , we found the promise that magic could erally  transform the world', r e s t o r i n g to mankind the  'landscape'  of paradise  (see above, p p . 7 4 - 7 7 ) .  of the millennium e n t e r t a i n e d also e n t a i l e d Just l i k e teenth  by most P u r i t a n  a new c r e a t i o n , a r e j u v e n a t i o n  the  lit-  actual  The v i s i o n millenarians  of a l l  nature.  the Hermetic reformers of the Renaissance and seven-  century,  E n g l i s h c h i l i a s t s wanted n a t u r e r e l e a s e d  the Curse and r e s t o r e d to i t s They not only wanted i t , expected i t .  original  they,  like  from  Edenic f e c u n d i t y .  Paracelsus and o t h e r s ,  With the advent of the mi 11enniurn, a Puritan  m i l l e n a r i a n wrote, "ever since the  the  fall  c o r r u p t i o n that has marked  of man, s h a l l be in a  nature  great measure  115 done away." shall  All  t h i n g s , i n c l u d i n g plants and a n i m a l s ,  be r e s t o r e d to t h e i r  c o n d i t i o n "when they f i r s t  out of the hand of God t h e i r found them in at  came  C r e a t o r , and the f i r s t Adam  his C r e a t i o n "  (A Short Survey, p . 1 7 ) . The  ' A Standard Set Up ( n . p . , 1657), p.21. Plants and animals s h a l l be "freed from t h i s bondage, under which they groane, and s h a l l be r e s t o r e d to t h e i r f i r s t p e r f e c t i o n " (T. B. , Saints Inheri tance A f t e r the Day of Judgement [London, 1643], p p . 2 - 3 ) . L a c t a n t i us l e g i t i m i z e d the n o t i o n , and even C a l v i n accepted the "'change of the nature of wilde B e a s t s , and the r e s t i t u t i o n of the Creation as at the f i r s t ' (in Homes, The R e s u r r e c t i o n Revealed, p.190). , J  117  earth shall be f e r t i l e , and "bring forth . . . corn, and trees of a l l  s o r t s , and a l l  p.296).  desirable f r u i t "  (The L i t t l e Horns Doom,  When the thousand-year reign a r r i v e s , Hansard Knollys  s a i d , "the world shall bring forth Fruite alone, and the Rocke shall d i s t i l l  Dew, and no Creature shall l i v e upon  Prey" (A Glimpse of Sions Glory, p.29).  The time of  restitu-  tion is near, urges John Rogers, the Fifth Monarchist,  "for  already things begin to have a new face, forme, and appearance.  . . . . The Meadows (me thinks)  begin to look green . . .  the young Figs . . . are . . . green . . . .  So that I am  perswaded . . . Si on i s to be restored, and the Wi1dernesse to be l i k e an Eden, or Garden of the Lord" (Othel , p.28). Prophecies such as this excited Puritans of all persuasions. This mi 11enarian  atmosphere f i n a l l y  provoked a group of l e f t -  wing L e v e l l e r s , or the True Levellers as they called themselves, to engage in one of the most extraordinary  acts of  these revolutionary years — the planting of the common ground on St. George's H i l l . for the downfall  Believing that "the time is now come"  of A n t i c h r i s t , a group led by William Ever-  ard and Gerrard Winstanley planted.a garden in the open f i e l d s . In no other millenarian movement, remarks Professor Coates , is there an i n i t i a t i n g  act to compare to the digging of the  common waste land for the purpose of sowing i t with parsnips, carrots, and b e a n s .  1 1 6  Wi11iam Coates, "A Note on the Diggers," in  Millennial  118  The p l a n t i n g was, of c o u r s e , a symbolic a c t , perhaps even a m i l l e n n i a l filling  of a l l  gesture designed to set in motion the  the prophecies of the Golden Age and the  turn of paradise which were so dominant at the Spirit  ful-  time.  re-  The  of the C r e a t i o n , e x p l a i n s the manifesto which accom-  panied the p l a n t i n g of the common ground, "showed u s , that all  the p r o p h e c i e s , v i s i o n s and r e v e l a t i o n  Prophets and A p o s t l e s , concerning the the  R e s t o r a t i o n of I s r a e l ,  inheritors  of the e a r t h ,  of s c r i p t u r e , of  c a l l i n g of the Jews,  and making of that people the  doth a l l  seat themselves in  this  117 work of making the earth  a common t r e a s u r y . "  sor Winthrop Huson p e r c e p t i v e l y w r i t e s ,  As P r o f e s -  "not only was human  nature to be completely t r a n s f o r m e d ; an even more change was to take p l a c e . to i t s  pristine  glory.  The earth  itself  These distempers of nature  men that i n f e c t e d the earth  t h i s would be changed." warm sun w i l l  .  .  At t h i s  thaw the  corruption as  their  . With the millennium t i m e , writes  frost,  fertile,