It is not the maliciousness of the present times, or the detracting tongues of men in this Criticall Age, that shall hinder me from benefiting posterity with my labour; for although this peevish Generation might justly cause me to bury my conceptions in silence and obscurity, yet in regard of the great affection I bear unto all those who are lovers of Art and Learning, I am induced to engage upon this subject: it were needlesse here to shew what great necessity there is for every physician to be an astrologer, or to practice physic astrologically, in regard of the great influence and dominion the planets and stares have on our bodies, seeing no rationall man can deny or disprove the same, although many have indeavoured what they can to contradict the truth.
I confesse many there are of men in these our times, which labour strongly to prove, if it were possible, by their many weak arguments, that the Heavens have no power or influence on inferior things here below; these I answer, Ars non habet inimicum, praeter ignorantem, which indeed is really verified in these sort of men which deny the starres to have influence upon the inferior and elementary things, in regard ignorance causeth this their foolish opinion but I shall leave these, and apply to the judicious and more sober spirited men, for whose sakes I have composed this ensuing worke, that so I might benefit all those who desire to proceed in the study and practice of Physick Astrologically, whose kinde acception hereof shall animate me to acquaint posterity with my future labours.
In the ensuing Treatise, I have very briefly shewed how to judge upon any disease or sicknesse whatsoever, and to finde out and discover the Nature, cause and quality thereof, according to the secret rules of Astrology. I have also clearly shewed the Diseases and Infirmities signified by the seven planets, by themselves, and by their severall positions, in any of the twelve signs: I have further for the benefit of all Astrologicall Physicians, or any others, who desire to study Physick Astrologically, plainly, and very copiously shewed how to discover what part of the body is afflicted, whether the sick be curable or not, or designed for Life or Death, according to naturall causes; with exact rules how to discover the same; as also, a succinct method to judge, whether any fascination or witchcraft cause the sicknesse and distemper, or whether the disease be naturall or not.
I have also shewed how to finde the exact or true Crysis, with the criticall and judiciall days, yet notwithstanding, I have not been so copious upon the discovery of the true crysis, as I doe intend hereafter (God willing) in another worke.
If this small piece shall finde your kinde acceptation, it shall encourage me to prosecute my study in this kinde, for your benefit and profit hereafter: In the mean time, if any carping Criticks shall be offended with me for this worke, I shall not much value or regard their malice and envy, being already acquainted therewith, knowing the better how to bear it: I have no more at present to informe you of, but that I am
Reader, your reall friend more then you expect,
December 20, Anno Christi, 1655.
1. The original book, as published in 1656, used the spelling, “Physitian.” Here, we changed the word to use the modern spelling, “Physician.”