IX. Progress of Rosicrucianism in Germany



THE immediate result of the “Fama” and “Confessio
Fraternitatis” in Germany has been so well described by
Professor Buhle that I cannot do better than transcribe this
portion of his work as it is interpreted by Thomas De
“The sensation which was produced throughout Germany
. . . is sufficiently evidenced by the repeated editions . . . (of
the manifestoes) which appeared between 1614 and 1617,
but still more by the prodigious commotion which followed
in the literary world. In the library at Göttingen there is
a body of letters addressed to the imaginary order of
Father Rosy Cross, from 1614 to 1617, by persons offering
themselves as members. These letters are filled with
complimentary expressions and testimonies of the highest
respect, and are all printed, the writers alleging that, being
unacquainted with the address of the society, they could
not send them through any other than a public channel.
As certificates of their qualifications, most of the candidates
have enclosed specimens of their skill in alchemy and cabalism.
Some of the letters are signed with initials only,
or with fictitious names, but assign real places of address.
Many other literary persons there were at that day who
forbore to write letters to the society, but threw out small
pamphlets containing their opinions of the Order, and of its

page 247

place of residence. Each successive writer pretended to be
better informed on that point than all his predecessors.
Quarrels arose; partisans started up on all sides; the
uproar and confusion became indescribable; cries of heresy
and atheism resounded from every corner; some were for
calling in the secular power; and the more coyly the invisible
society retreated from the public advances so much
the more eager and amorous were its admirers, and so much
the more bloodthirsty its antagonists. Meantime, there
were some who, from the beginning, had escaped the
general delusion, and there were many who had gradually
recovered from it. It was remarked that of the many
printed letters to the society, though courteously and often
learnedly written, none had been answered; and all
attempts to penetrate the darkness in which the order was
shrouded by its unknown memorialist were successfully
baffled. Hence arose a suspicion that some bad designs
lurked under the ostensible purpose of these mysterious
publications. Many vile impostors arose, who gave themselves
out for members of the Rosicrucian order; and upon
the credit which they thus obtained for a season, cheated
numbers of their money by alchemy, or of their health by
panaceas. Three in particular made a great noise at
Watzlar, at Nuremburg, and at Augsburg; all were
punished by the magistracy—one lost his ears in running
the gauntlet, and one was hanged. At this crisis stepped
forward a powerful writer, who attacked the supposed
order with much scorn and homely good sense. This was
Andrew Libau. He exposed the impracticability of the
meditated reformation, the incredibility of the legend of
Father Rosy Cross, and the hollowness of the pretended
sciences which they professed. He pointed the attention

page 248
of governments to the confusions which these impostures
were producing, and predicted from them a renewal of the
scenes which had attended the fanaticism of the Anabaptists.”1
Andreas Libavius was born at Halle in Saxony about the
year 1560. He was appointed professor of history and
poetry at Jena in 1588, practised as a physician at Rotembourg
on the Tauber from 1591 till 1605, when he became
rector of the college of Casimir at Coburg in Franconia,
where he died in 1616. He was the first writer who
mentioned the transfusion of blood from one animal to
another, and the property of oxide of gold to colour glass
red. He also invented a chemical preparation, called the
liquor of Libavius, “a highly concentrated muriatic acid,
much impregnated with tin,” and which has been long used
in laboratories. He has been falsely represented by M.
Hoefer as a follower of Paracelsus, but appears to have
believed in the transmutation of metals, and in the medical
virtues of various auriferous preparations. He is considered
to rank among the first students of chemistry who pursued
experimental researches upon the true method. His
“Alchymia Recognita” and his “History of Metals” are
among the best practical manuals of the period. Though
seeking the Philosophick Stone, he attached no credit to
the Rosicrucian manifestoes, and was one of the first writers
who attacked them, in two Latin folios dated 1615, and
in a smaller German pamphlet which appeared in the following
year. The first of those works contains an exhaustive
criticism of the Harmonico-Magical Philosophy of the
mysterious Brotherhood. It is entitled “Exercitatio
Paracelsica nova de notandis ex scripto Fraternitatis de

1 De Quincy, “Rosicrucians and Freemasons,” c. ii.

page 249
Rosea Cruce,” and forms part of a larger “Examen Philosophiæ
Novæ, quæ veteri abrogandæ Opponitur.”
Professor Buhle is one of those interesting literary characters,
by no means uncommonly met with, whose luminous
hypotheses completely transfigure every fact which comes
within the range of their radiation. Few persons who have
taken the pains to labour through the ponderous folios of
Libavius would dream of terming him a powerful writer,
and personally I have failed to discern much of that
“homely good sense” which manifested itself so gratuitously
before the discerning eyes of the acute German savant. The
criticisms, on the contrary, are weak, verbose, and tedious,
and the investigations, as a whole, appear to have little
raison d’être. It may, in fact, be impartially declared that
there is only one thing more barren and wearisome than the
host of pamphlets, elucidations, apologies, epistles and
responses written on the Rosicrucian side, and that is the
hostile criticism of the opposing party, and the dead level
of unprofitable flatness which characterises its prosaic commonplace
is an infliction which I honestly trust will be
spared to all my readers.
Master Andreas Libavius, though he wrote upon Azoth,
was a practical thinker, and he refused to contemplate the
projected universal reformation through the magic spectacles
of the Rosicrucian. He had not read Wordsworth,
and he had no definite opinions as to “the light that never
was on land or sea.” So he penned what Professor Buhle
might call a searching criticism; he was right in so far as
the reformation is still to come, but in these days we have
read Wordsworth, and we prefer the vague poetry of Rosicrucian
aspirations to the perditional dulness of Master
Libavius’ prose. Still we respect Professor Buhle, chiefly

page 250
because we love De Quincy, and we have a thin streak of
kindly feeling for his alchemical protégé, so we recommend
him as an antidote to Mr. Hargrave Jennings, who has
doubtless never read him, and seems only to have heard by
report of such documents as the Fame and Confession of
the meritorious order of the Brethren R. C.
Though he disbelieved in the universal reformation,
Libavius did not reject the signs of the times. “No one
doubts that we are in the last age of the world, by reason
of the signs which have preceded nearly every important
event, and are still at this day repeatedly appearing.” He
takes exception to the philosophical peregrination of the
high illuminated C. R. C. in Arabia, because it was superfluous
to seek magicians in the east when they abounded at
home. Some of his objections are, however, sufficiently
pertinent. “If the society hath been ordained and commissioned
of God, it ought to be in a position to prove its
vocation in some conclusive manner.” Incidentally he denounces
astrology. “We have heard and read innumerable
astrological theories, but we have not discovered their
rational basis. On the contrary, we are daily deceived by
lying predictions.” With regard to the secrecy of the
Order, he flings at it the following text—Omnis qui male agit,
odit lucem et non venit ad lucem, ne arguantur opera ejus.
Condemning their anonymous mystery, he asks—”Is their
danger greater than Luther’s, threatened by the proscription
of the Pope and the Emperor both?” Representing
the Rosicrucians as promising a new Theologia, Physica,
and Mathematica, he asks—”What manner of new
theology is this, seeing there is nothing new under the sun?
Again, where is its novelty, if it be that of the primitive
Church? Is it of the Gentile, Mahometan, Jew, Papist,

page 251
Arian, Anabaptist, Lutheran, or disciple of Paracelsus?
Make unto yourselves also a new God, with a new heaven,
and beware lest you are plunged into the old perdition!
On our part, we will cling to the antiquity of the canonical
Scriptures.” And then in regard to the new physics, “If
it be after the fashion of Paracelsus, chew the cud of your
own reflections in silence, and slumber placidly in your
absurdity. . . . If ye come with the cabalistic calculations
concerning the fifty gates of understanding, scrutinising
the mysteriarcham Dei, take care that ye are not consumed
by the fire which is therein, for those who will become
searchers of majesty shall be overwhelmed with glory.”
The “Analysis Confessionis Fraternitatis de Rosea Cruce
pro admonitione et Instructione eorum, qui, quia judicandum
sit de ista nova factione scire cupiant,” extracts, after
the author’s own fashion, the thirty-seven “reasons of our
purpose and intention” which are to be found hidden in that
Rosicrucian manifesto, and criticises the Viæ accedendi,
or methods of approaching the Order, which are—I. By a
written petition. II. By the study of the Scriptures and
their interpretation in the cabilistico-magical manner of the
Paracelsists. III. By the writings and precepts of Paracelsus.
IV. By the symbolical characters inscribed on the
These two Latin treatises were supplemented by a less
tedious German pamphlet, which appeared at Francfurt in
1616 under the title of “Well-wishing objections concerning
the Fame and Confession of the Brotherhood of the R. C.,
and their universal reformation of the whole world before
the day of Judgment, and transformation thereof into an
Earthly Paradise, such as was inhabited by Adam before
the fall, and the restitution of all arts and wisdom as

page 252
possessed by Adam, Enoch, Salomon, &c. Written with
great care, by desire and command of some superior
persons, by Andrew Libavius.” It claims to be inspired
by a spirit of friendly criticism, decides that the Order does
exist, advises the accomplishment of a limited and private
reformation, leaving the universal one to God, as the
world is far too corrupt for improvements before the judgment
day, and that a pretension so large will never by any
possibility be carried out. Though posing as a critic, he
advises all persons to join the Order, because there is much
to be learned and much wisdom to be attained by so doing.
He praises their sound doctrine in matters of religion,
particularly the denunciation of the Pope and Mahomet,
the value they set on the Bible, &c. It is evident, in
fact, that in spite of his “homely good sense” he had
radically changed his ground. The treatise is divided into
forty-three chapters, and among the subjects discussed are
the Spheric Art, the Lapis Philosophorum, and the Magical
What we seek as vainly in the most authoritative
Rosicrucian apologists as in their critics, is any additional
information concerning the society, its members, or its
whereabouts. Such information is promised frequently on
the title-pages of the innumerable pamphlets of the period,
but it is not given, and the proffered proofs of the existence
of the Order are confined to abstract considerations devoid
of historical value.
Professor Buhle considers that the attacks of Libavius
joined to other writings “of the same tendency” might
possibly have dispelled the delusion, except for the conduct
of Andreas, whom he represents as doing his best to
increase it by the publication of other documents, and for

page 253
that of the Paracelsists. “With frantic eagerness they had
sought to press into the imaginary order; but, finding
themselves lamentably repulsed in all their efforts, at length
they paused; and, turning suddenly round, they said to one
another, ‘What need to court this perverse order any
longer? We are ourselves Rosicrucians as to all the
essential marks laid down in the three books. We also are
holy persons of great knowledge; we also make gold, or
shall make it; we also, no doubt, give us but time, shall
reform the world: external ceremonies are nothing: substantially
it is clear that we are the Rosicrucian Order.’
Upon this they went on in numerous books and pamphlets
to assert that they were the identical Order instituted by
Father Rosycross, and described in the ‘Fama Fraternitatis.’
The public mind was now perfectly distracted;
no man knew what to think; and the uproar became
greater than ever.”
Here is a dramatic situation well conceived and described;
its only fault is the very slender foundation of actual fact
on which it appears to be based. I have failed altogether
to discover those numerous books and pamphlets wherein
the Paracelsists assert that they are to all intents and
purposes identical with the invisible and unapproachable
Brotherhood. Their anxiety to be admitted into its ranks
may be freely granted, but it is remarkable how few of the
pamphleteers who wrote favourably on the Rosicrucian
mystery made any claim to be personally connected therewith.
In the pages which follow I shall give a brief account,
arranged in chronological order, of the most important and
interesting publications that appeared in elucidation of this

page 254
A work of considerable interest was printed in 1615, under
the title “Echo of the God-illuminated Brotherhood of the
worthy Order R. C., to wit, an absolute proof that not
only all which is stated in the ‘Fama’ and ‘Confessio’ of
the R. C. Brotherhood is possible and true, but that it has
been known already for nineteen years and more to a few
God-fearing people, and has been laid down by them in
certain secret writings; as it has all been stated and made
public in an excellent magical letter and pamphlet by the
Worshipful Brotherhood R. C., in print in the German
language.” The accredited author was Julius Sperber of Anhalt,
Dessau. This work was printed at Dantzig by Andreas
Huenfeldts. It maintains that there have been only
a few human beings who have been worthy to become
recipients of the wisdom of God, the reason being that so
few have sought it with the necessary earnestness. When
Christ was on the earth he had innumerable listeners, of
whom only a small portion could discern the significance of
His teachings. It was for this cause that He said to his
disciples—”To you it is given to know the mysteries of
the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.”
Peter, James, and John were the only three of His apostles
to whom he revealed these mysteries, and to them He
showed the same sight that had been vouchsafed by God to
Elias and Moses. Only those who renounce the world and
their own fleshly lusts can become worthy to know such
secrets. Nobody who is addicted to mundane wisdom can
ever attain them, for the wisdom of God and the wisdom
of this world are contradictory.
The preface is addressed to the R. C.. Brotherhood. It
admonishes the members to persevere in the way they have
chosen, and to get possessed of the secrets of God. It

page 255
praises their wisdom and knowledge, but says that much of
what is stated in the “Fama” and “Confessio” must appear
foolish to the worldly wise. It calls upon the Brethren to
meet together in the name of the Holy Trinity, and to
teach the true light to the world, as it is contained in the
secret meaning of Holy Scripture and of Nature. Some
curious information, not always relevant to the main object,
is scattered throughout the volume. The second preface
mentions a certain Petrus Wirtzigh of Presslau as one of
the greatest and wisest men of his time, who, being by
profession a medical man, studied the secret arts with such
zeal that he became master of many wonderful mysteries.
He was the author of many large unpublished volumes which
the writer of the “Echo,” being his great friend, has been
allowed to dip into, and he aver that they contain much
wisdom and curious lore. Another wise and God-loving man
was Ægidius Guttmann in Suaria, who wrote a book
which he divided into twenty-four volumes. The author
of the “Echo” compares this work, having regard to the
wisdom of its contents, with the seventy volumes which
God dictated by His angel to the prophet.
Like other writers on the Rosicrucian side, the author
of the “Echo” deals in vague generalities, and even the
Laws of the Fraternity which he publishes are worthless as
regards information. They run as follows:—
1. Love your neighbour.
2. Talk not badly of him, neither hold him in contempt.
3. Be faithful.
4. Be modest and obedient.
5. Do not ridicule the secret studies.
6. Keep silent about what you learn from these studies.
7. Share your fortune with your fellow-creatures.

page 256
According to this apologist of the secret order, “Adam
was the first Rosicrucian of the Old Testament and Simeon
the last.” The golden chain of the esoteric tradition was not
broken by Christ, who established “a new college of magic.”
In 1615, Julianus de Campis published an “open letter or
report,” addressed to all who have read anything concerning
the new Brotherhood of R. C., or have heard anything
of the position of this matter. It accounts for the Rosicrucians
not revealing their whereabouts, “and not answering
the letters addressed to them. He was himself,” he said,
“a member of the Order, but in all his travels he had met
but three other members, there being (as he presumed) no
more persons on the earth worthy of being entrusted with
its mysteries.” It is needless to say that an initiate of the
Fraternity would be accurately acquainted with its numerical
strength, and that the writer’s statement on this point
contradicts the “Fama Fraternitatis.” The pamphlet otherwise
is not of great importance. “There are many who
run for, but few who gain, the jewel. Therefore I, Julianus
de Campis, admonish all who are governed by a fortunate
disposition not to be made obstinate by their own diffidence,
nor by the judgments of ignorant people.” Many great
secrets are concealed by Nature, and those who study them
are worthy of every praise. The R. C. are defended against
various accusations and the theologians who attack them
are reminded that the questions raised are without their
province, because they are theologi and not theosophi. The
secret art of the R. C. is declared to be a matter of fact,
and not all abstract or fanciful thing; and the profanum
vulgus are assured that those who are in the possession of
such an imperial secret can dispense with the praise of the

page 257
The “Fama Remissa ad Fratres Roseæ Crucis,” which appeared
in 1616, is to a great extent an anonymous pamphlet
written against the pretensions and ideas of the Brethren,
principally denouncing their impracticable and Utopian
ambition to reform the whole world. It complains bitterly
of their religious opinions, and absolutely declines to acknowledge
them as a good society until they openly accept
and subscribe to the Confession of Augsbourg. A brief
Latin appendix incidentally discusses the doctrine of transubstantiation
and to reconcile the words of Hesus, “Hoc
est corpus meum,” with the statement of this Evangelist, et
ascendit in coelum, it speculates on the distance which intervenes
between the earth and the Empyrean. According to
Pencerus the eighth sphere is distant 20081 1/28 semidiameters
of the earth, and the distance, according to the “Fama
Remiasa,” from the Mount of Olives to the Empyrean
Heaven is, in its summa tota, 17,266,001 milliaria Germania!
The following year behe1d the publication of Brotoffer’s
curious and perverse alchemical interpretation of the Universal
Reformation, another edition of the Rosicrucian
manifestoes, with additions by Julianus de Campis and
Georg Molthers, and two works from the pen of Michael
Maier, which will be noticed in the next chapter. Among
the curious pamphlets of this year professing to treat of the
mysterious Order, must be included the ” ‘Fraternitatis
Rosatæ Crucis Confessio Recepta,’ to wit: A short and
well-wishing report concerning the Confession or Faith of
the Brethren of the Rosy Cross, useful to all readers who
not only consider their well-being in this world, but their
salvation in the next. Written by A. O. M. T. W.”
This appeared in defence of the Order, and maintains that
it is a good and useful Society, which is not merely in pos-

page 258
session of many and great secrets, but is righteous in the
eyes of Almighty God. The author distinguishes at length
between the different ways whereby God makes Himself
known, and declares that it requires much study and careful
research, as well as personal sacrifice, to become the
possessor of transcendental secrets, but that anyone can do
so by following the Divine counsels. He concludes with
an admonition to “the highly-wise and God-beloved R. C.”
to press on with their sublime work.
About this time a somewhat vicious attack was made on
the supposed Society by a writer calling himself Fredericus
G. Menapius, but whose real name was Johann Valentin
Alberti, and who is associated by Buhle with Irenæus
Agnostus as a personal friend of Andreas. It is clear, however,
from the evidence of all the pamphlets, that Agnostus
and Menapius are one and the same person. “Epitimia,
F. R. C., to wit: The final manifestation or discovery
and defence of the worthy and worshipful Order R. C.
Also of the true and well-known confession addressed to
all classes of literati and illustrious persons in Europe.
Written by command of the above-mentioned society by
Irenaeus Agnostus (Menapius).” The only edition of this
work which have seen is dated 1619, but it seems to
have been originally published about two years previously.
It is a skit written against the R. C. by Menapius, but pretends
to be printed and published by the command of the
Order. The principal purpose of the pamphlet is to prove
that the Rosicrucian Fraternity was founded by the Jesuits
for the purpose of the secret propaganda of their doctrines
in opposition to the Protestant religion. It begins with a
lengthy and pseudo-authoritative laudation of the writer,
who is declared to be an eminently learned and godly man,

page 259
having saved the lives of a number of persons in a miraculous
manner, and disputed victoriously with the most
learned Catholic divines. It proceeds to a vigorous denunciation
of the Roman Church for its manifold corruptions
and abuses, citing a good many historical examples of
princes who have expressed themselves in similar terms,
and concluding with an admonition to live well and act
uprightly. Speaking in his own person, the author addresses
his supposed confrères in the following fashion:-—”I know
not, my Brothers of the R. C., what manner of men to consider
you. I have troubled my mind about you this long
time, but can attain to no conclusion, because all that you
set down in your writings has been so long familiar. Could
you tell me anything of the unicorn, or anything more
trustworthy than has emanated from Andreas Baccius,1 your
productions would be much more valuable. A number of
books have been written by you, or have appeared in your
name, but they teem with such violent contradictions that
I should imagine you were yourselves in doubt as to who
or what you are, and as to your own performances.” Afterwards
he very reasonably declares that if the Rosicrucians
are the depositaries of a beneficial knowledge, they ought
to proclaim it publicly in their own persons and not in
anonymous pamphlets. He upbraids them as magicians
who falsely pretend to great power, says that he has travelled
in many countries without hearing anything concerning
them, and concludes by expressing his conviction that

1 A voluminous writer on medicine, philosophy, natural history,
and antiquities. The reference is to a treatise entitled “De Monocerote
seu Unicornu ejusque viribus et usu tractatus per A. B.,”
afterwards published in Italian, Fiorenza, 1573, 4to. Bacci flourished
at the end of the sixteenth century; he was physician to Sixtus V.,
and professor of botany at Rome from 1557 to 1600.

page 260
their supposed wisdom is a shallow pretence, and that they
are in reality ignorant people.
This attack was presently followed by a tract entitled
“I. Menapius Roseæ Crucis, to wit: Objections on the part
of the unanimous Brotherhood against the obscure and unknown
writer, F. G. Menapius, and against his being
classed among the true brethren. II. A Citation of the
same person to our final Court at Schmejarien contra
Florontinus de Valcetia. III. Finally, a convocation of
the R. C. Fratres to the same invisible place. By order of
the worshipful society. Written and published by Theophilus
Schweighart. 1619. Here Menapius presents himself
under another name, and poses as his own opponent.
The pamphlet contains a sort of legal process, with citation,
defence, &c. One of the arguments used against the Rosicrucian
Fraternity, who believed in the manufacture of gold
from Ignoble metals, is as follows:—”A grown up man is
a reasoning being; so is a young boy. A cow is an unreasoning
being ; so is a calf. But this does not prove that
the cow is a calf; and the transmutation of ignoble metals
into gold is just as easy as to transform a cow into a calf.
of you ask why there is so little gold, it is for the same reason
that there are so few cows, namely, in the one case,
because the young calves are killed, and in the other, because
the ignoble metals are not left long enough in the
earth, but are extracted by avaricious people.” Menapius
is the most entertaining of the dull race of Rosicrucian
critics, but his analogical arguments are not of a convincing
nature. He concludes with an admonition to all and
several—literati, nobles, merchants, peasants, &c.—to live
well and to do their duty.
Menapius, as I have said, is represented by Buhle as a

page 261
friend of Andreas, and Andreas is accredited with two
Rosicrucian pamphlets which appeared under the name of
“Florentinus de Valentia.” The authority may be questionable
or not, but the reference is somewhat suicidal to
the Buhle-Andrean hypothesis, for not only do we discover
the pseudonymous author attacking his personal friend, but
hurrying forward full of zeal to the defence of the Rosicrucian
pretensions. “Rosa Florescens contra F. G. Menapii
Calumniis, to wit: A short notice and refutation of the
libels published on June 3, 1617, in Latin, and on July 15
of the same year in German by F. G. Menapius, against the
Rosicrucian Society. Written by Florentinus de Valentia
in great zeal.” It is a reply to the first pamphlet of
Menapius, the Latin original of which I have been unable
to trace. It begins, by blaming Menapius for his extravagant
self-laudation, then refers to the attack on the secresy
of the Society, and on the anonymous publication of their
manifestoes. It declares any other method than that of
secresy to be contrary to the will of God, and in other
ways dangerous, asserting that nobody suffers by the concealment
of their names and places of abode. The writer
further accuses Menapius of blind hatred of the Rosicrucians,
when he compares them to the devils, for the whole
intent of the Society is the welfare of all humanity. He
says:—”The opinion of the Fraternity is not that all men
should be made or become equal, because the majority are
too hard and sinful, but that the few who love God, and
live to please Him, should be like Adam in Paradise.” The
desire of the Order is to serve God as faithfully as possible,
to discover the secrets of Nature, and to use them in diffusing
a true belief in Christ, and for the glory of God.
Therefore, the author requests Menapius to desist from

page 262
blaming and libelling the members of the Fraternity, but
rather to turn round and to love them, because they are
true seekers of the veritable wisdom.
In a Latin appendix to a tract entitled “Fons Gratiæ,” by
Irenæus Agnostus, Johann Valentin Alberti, alias F. G.
Menapis, alias Theophilus Schweighart, alias Irenæus
Agnostus, published a short rejoinder in prose and verse to
the defence of Valentia.
“Judicia de Statu Fraternitatis de Rosea Cruce” is a
mélange of prose and verse, with addresses ad venerandos,
doctissimos, et illuminatissimos, viros Dnn. Fratres S. Roseæ
Crucis conjunctissimos, and as the judgment is professedly
that of an outsider seeking initiation, it does not throw any
light upon the proceedings of the Society. It is crammed
with extravagant adulation of the pious, learned, and illuminated
Brothers, but, is otherwise not inelegantly written,
and has apt classical quotations. A lofty ambition is claimed
by the aspirant to association, who avers that he is in
search of no common and metallic gold, but that Philosophical
and Spiritual Treasure, one particle of which is sufficient
to transmute and perfectionise the soul, and conduct
it from illumination to illumination. This is that veritable
gold, says the alchemical enthusiast, none other than the
first and all-containing knowledge whereby
Mens pura et nullo mortali pondera pressa,
Libera terrenis affectibus, artria coeli
Scandit, et ætherea cum diis versatur in aula.
None can expect to attain it unless he shall first have
expelled— A sese omne nefas, purgatus crimine ab omni,
Quippe habitare negat foedum Sapientia pectus,
Impurasque odit, cum sit purissma, mentes.

page 263
Those who believe in the existence and magical endowments
of the Rosicrucian Brethren will hope that this
promising pupil received the recomponse so undoubtedly
due to the beauty of his aspirations. The Latin Epistle is
supplemented by a post datum, which refers to the “Nuptiæ
Chymicæ” as containing “the whole chymical artifice enigmatically
“Responsum ad Fratres Rosaceæ Crucis Illustres” is a
printed letter addressed to the Fraternity in the year 1618,
by Hercules Ovallodius, Alsatus; Heermannus Condesymus;
and Martinus à Casa Cegdessa Marsiliensis. It is a piece of
piteous pleading for admission into the ranks of the
Brethren by three writers who believe themselves to have
fallen upon evil times, and know that there is no entrance
into the mystic temple which is filled with the glory and
power of God, till the seven last plagues have been poured
out upon the earth. They acknowledge the Viri Fratres
as the instruments of the Divine vengeance in the consummation
of the age. Ipse est malleus noster et arma vos ipsius
A curious Rosicrucian reverie, entitled “F. R. C. Fama e
scanzia Redux,” written in execrable Latin, and printed in a
style corresponding with its literary merits, appeared Anno
Christi M.DC.XVIII., as the title has it. It professes to be the
trumpet Jubilei ultimi, that is, presumably, of the last jubilee
year among the Jews, and bears for one of its mottoes, “One
woe hath passed; behold, there come yet two other woes
after this one.” It is precisely one of those mysterious and
problematical productions which are sometimes supposed
to conceal deep secrets, because they are completely unintelligible
and barbarous. It professes to contain a Judicium
de Fraternitatis R. C. Sigillo et Buccina et futuræ Reformationis

page 264
Mysterie, and is mystically separated into seven parts or
chapters, each terribly intituled. Thus the seventh is the
“voice of the dove speaking concerning the jawbone of the
ass,” and the “Judgment” itself is averred to proceed from
a similar quarter “ex asini mandibula.” The statement is
apparently serious, for this extraordinary local habitation
is parenthetically explained to be the fons vitæ, or fount of
life. The whole pamphlet is a raving chaos of scriptural
quotations concerning the Corner Stone, the Keys of David,
and the proximity of the Regnum Dei. It concludes with
the following triumphant admonition to the reader:—
Quisquis de Roseæ dubitas Crucis ordine Fratrum,
Hoc lege, perlecto carmine certus eris.

It is needless to say that the whole pamphlet does not
contain a single reference to the Rosicrucians.
“φλενσθιουρεδας. Hoc est Redintegratio,” addressed to
the “Brotherhood of the Rose-Cross,” appeared in 1619,
with the motto, Omnes de Saba veniunt, aurum et thus deferentes,
et laudem Domini annunciantes, and prefaced by the
following lines:—
O Roseæ Fratres crucis, O pia turba sophorum,
Vestro præsentes esse favore mihi.
Fama velut cunctis vos respondere paratos
Exhibet; Ah ne sint irrita vota precor.
Fidus amicus ero, fidos quoque gestit amicos
Mens mea de musis conciliare novem.
At, si scripta fient quædam minus apta, flabello
Fratrum non Momi sint abigenda, pio.
Usus enim Famæ potiori ex parte loquelis
Fratres propitios hinc mage spero mihi.

This little pamphlet compares different expressions of
opinions by opposed parties, and concludes that any person
may take part with a good conscience in the Brotherhood,

page 265
and without prejudice to their Christianly convictions. It
cites the common reproach cast at the Order, to wit:
that they are enemies of all lawful government, Jesuits, or
Calvinists, also the suspicion that there is no order at all,
but that the whole business is a farce, written for some undefined
purpose. It maintains that there is such an order,
and that it is in possession of great secrets, because it consists
of pre-eminently learned men. Finally, the author
exhorts all to join it.
Among the acknowledged works of Andreas which contain
satirical references to the Rosicrucian mystery may be
mentioned “Menippus, sive, Dialogorum Satyricorum Conturia,
inanitatum nostratium speculum,” 1673, 8vo; “Institutio
Magica pro curiosis,” and “Turris Babel, sive,
Judicium de Fraternitatis Roseæ Crucis Chaos.” Argentorati,
1619, 12mo. They contain absolutely nothing which can be
tortured into a confession of the authorship of the manifestoes,
nor any gleam of light on any subject connected
with the Society. They express simply the personal
opinions of Andreas, and those who make a contrary assertion
have read their own hypotheses between the lines of
their author.
By the year 1620, the subject of the Rosicrucians was
completely exhausted in Germany. It had been discussed
from all standpoints by men of the most various character,
but, in the absence of ascertainable facts, no man was wiser;
and as the Rosicrucians, supposing them to have existed,
kept silent amidst the confusion of opinions and the unproductive
clamour which they had created, making no further
sign, the interest concerning them gradually died away.
Seekers for the magnum opus, and persons imbued with the
ambition to reform the world, looked elsewhere for light

page 266
and assistance. Pseudo-Rosicrucian societies, of course,
appeared on the field, and gangs of miserable tricksters who
traded on individual credulity by the power of the magical
name. Buhle cites from the “Occulta Philosophia” of
Ludovicus Conradus Orvius, the unhappy personal experience
of that writer concerning such a society, “pretending
to deduce themselves from Father Rosy-Cross, and who
were settled at the Hague in 1622. After swindling him
out of his own and his wife’s fortune, amounting to eleven
thousand dollars, they kicked him out of the order, with
the assurance that they would murder him if he revealed
their secrets, ‘which secrets,’ says he, ‘I have faithfully
kept, and for the same reason that women keep secrets—
viz., because I have none to reveal; for their knavery is no
secret.’ ”
Vague rumours of veritable Rosicrucian adepts were
occasionally heard, but in spite of their boasted powers, in
spite of their projected reformation of all the world, and in
spite of the seven years’ strife of tongues which they occasioned,
they had no influence whatsoever upon the thought
of their age. An isolated and doubtful transmutation is
occasionally ascribed to them, which is the sum total of
their alchemical achievements. They posed principally as
a healing fraternity, yet their influence on the medical
science of their century is less still than that which they
exerted upon alchemy. “In medicine,” says Figuier,
“that art which they were pledged to practice wherever they
wandered, according to the first commandment of their
master, the catalogue of their triumphs is speedily exhausted.
We have already seen that they boasted of having cured the
leprosy in an English count. They also claimed to have
restored life to a Spanish King after he had been dead for

page 267
six hours. Apart from these two cures, the second of
which is undoubtedly a miracle, but can boast only of their
own testimony, their whole medical history consists in
vague allegations and a few unimportant facts, as, for instance,
that which Gabriel Naudé cites in the following
“In the year 1615, a certain pilgrim suddenly appeared
in a German town, and assisted, as a doctor, at the prognostication
of the death of a woman whom he had helped
by some of his remedies; he assumed to be proficient in
several languages, related what had occurred in the town
during his sojourn at the house; in a word, apart from
the doctrine in which he shone still more, he was in every
way similar to that Wandering Jew described by Cayot in
his “Histoire Septenaire”—moderate, reserved, carelessly
clad, never willingly remaining a long time in any one
place, and still less desirous to be taken for what he nevertheless
claimed to be, the third brother of the R.C., as he
testified to the doctor Moltherus, who could not be so
certainly persuaded to give credence to his statements, but
has presented us with this history, leaving our judgment free
to decide if it could establish a certain proof of the existence
of this company.”1
According to Sprengel, a true Rosicrucian had only to
gaze fixedly on a person, and however dangerous his disease,
he was instantaneously healed; the Brethren claimed
to cure all diseases, without the help of drugs, by means
of imagination and faith. But the matter remains at this
day just where the claim originally left it, wholly unsupported
by fact.

1 L’Alchimie et les Alchimistes,” p. 301.