An Open Letter
to the
Rosicrucian Fraternity

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To the perfectly united, eminent, wise, and true philosophers and brothers, R. C., Theodosius Verax, and Theophilus Caelnatus, wishing you all health and peace.
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I have great comfort in contemplating those things of which the possession itself would be unlawful. And as ambition often proceeds by impulse where ordinarily one would be afraid to go, I hope to recommend myself, supported by piety, expecting your candor, having discarded low envy and ignorances. Whatever judgment you may form concerning me must be to my profit. If favorable, I shall shortly enjoy an easy boon, but if harsh, the better my opportunity to improve myself.
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Understanding that the Art has been corrupted by the religious and social establishments, and daily produces more dread monsters than Hades herself, I begin to feel terrified. Aristotle and others of his school have compelled our philosophy to become a mere servant of its own glory, recognizing no truth but its own inventions. I do not deplore the loss of so many secret writings which, having perished in the fire, did only at their destruction show signs of their brilliancy. Truth is naked, it does not wear a mask, and incapable of deceit, she herself uncovers false persons. Those who pursue truth not only reach the goal but leave a track behind which may be followed by others. For my own part, unless I receive assistance, old age will overtake me, and yet I shall be no further than the threshold. Nevertheless, I prefer to die seeking the goal rather than to yield to shameful idleness. I will accordingly, most prudent men, continue with earnest desire, looking toward you in whom my help lies! I am sufficiently conscious of my own feebleness, and therefore seek a remedy. The gentle ray of your humanity has animated my sterile hopes and encouraged the vintage song. Where others finished have you begun. Pardon us, most excellent men, if we speak of those things whereof we are still ignorant! Whatsoever is brought forth into the light under your auspices is deserving of praise. I believe that your book is so much what I need that it might have been written for me alone; I recognize that no ordinary providence has taken me from cimmerian darkness and placed me in a twilight which will shortly be flooded by the rising day. I am not of those conceited Peripatetics who swear by Aristotle, while their books swarm with stupidities. Your philosophy, most learned men, is not full of kindred absurdities! It displays the greatest secrets in light, and the darkness which blinds most men has sharpened your own eyesight. Furthermore, it is modest and truly learned, and, having fallen from heaven, derives its origin from the Holy Scriptures, wherein nothing is suspicious or erring. Whoever studies these writings will arrive at the knowledge of that matter from which all that lives has been derived. Those who persistently deny that there are men whom God has elected to the knowledge of the intimate mysteries, suspect the solicitude of the Creator, who withholds nothing useful or necessary. He who manufactured the whole machine of the universe for the human race, willed, both for his own glory and our benefit, that His works should be understood. There is, however, no profit in mere study without light from God. Therefore, as God, thrice excellent and most great, created the light, wherein all creatures flourish, so a light has kindled over the chaos of letters, a great cosmos has been produced, heaven has descended to earth, and the external appearances being removed the center itself comes into view, while if I spoke of even greater things there are some from whom the meaning would not be hidden. For I have good reason to believe that there is a true Society, your own, unto which God has revealed the oracles. It is much more probable that God would reveal such mysteries to his church than to the heathen, and those who possess divine truth are not likely to be ignorant of Nature's secrets. You also are few and wise, while the multitude is rude and hurtful, and wise Nature has deeply hidden her treasures that they may not become common. In like manner, art also has its penetralia; its gems are to be sought, its gold is to be dug up, and the divine operation is an assistant in the investigation of both. Your Fama, translated into the English tongue, has come into my hands, being edited with a preface by the illustrious gentleman E. P. Therein you have invited worthy persons to join your Society. Meanwhile a bitter strife has risen up within me, because I am well aware that I do not deserve so great a blessing, and yet my weakness gave way before your favor.
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Another difficulty presently appeared, concerning where or to whom I should apply, and I was again plunged into sadness. There was no comfort in the conviction of your wisdom and benevolence if I could not reach you. But in the silence which followed, a sacred voice assured me that I should at length, by the grace of God, find the Fraternity I desired so anxiously. I have, therefore, cast away fear and again breathe hopefully. Mere gold-seekers have doubtless inquired of you, and also the votaries of pleasure, whose brains have turned into a belly, while they apply arts to their orgies. But I have followed the path of Mercury. There are also many given over to much writing, who discourse of the elixir and the panacea in an enigmatic manner, purposefully deceptive, while others coming after them have pretended to find what the writers themselves did not know. Do not consider me thoughtless who scorns the promises of pseudo-philosophers that I might give myself to truth. Those versed in Nature's secrets are taciturn; they do not write much or attractively. Hence little can be gained from books, which are less means of instruction than mental confusion.
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I therefore ask you to take pity on me; I am no longer a young man, but yet a novice, as my nervous tone indicates, and perhaps an aged mind has been infused into me. As regards religion, I believe in God the Creator and recognize Him in His works. I smile at all which you have said concerning the pope; that religion, if so it can be called, will be involved in the same ruin as other sects and heresies. I trust that there are no other obstacles which separate us from your Society; I ask much, but it is within your power. Pardon me, most loving brethren, if I seem to force myself upon you, and if my desire in itself is pleasing to you, may there be no difficulty from the length of my epistle.