“Is Professor Cooke, so eminent in modern chemistry, equally proficient in the knowledge of what the alchemists did or did not know? Is he quite sure that he understands the meaning of the alchemical diction? We are not. But let us compare his views as above expressed with but sentences written in plain and good, albeit old English, from the translations of Van Helmont and Paracelsus. We learn from their own admissions that the alkahest induces the following changes:
“(1.) The alkahest never destroys the seminal virtues of the bodies thereby dissolved: for instance, gold, by its action, is reduced to a salt of gold, antimony to a salt of antimony, etc., of the same seminal virtues, or characters with the original concrete.
(2.) The subject exposed to its operation is converted into three principles, salt, sulphur, and mercury, and afterwards into salt alone, which then becomes volatile, and at length is wholly turned into clear water.
(3.) Whatever it dissolves may be rendered volatile by a sand-heat; and if, after volatilizing the solvent, it be distilled therefrom, the body is left pure, insipid water, but always equal in quantity to its original self.”
Further, we find Van Helmot, the elder, saying of this salt that it will dissolve the most untractable bodies into substances of the same seminal virtues, “equal in weight to the matter dissolved”; and he adds, “This salt, by being several times cohobated with Paracelsus’ sal circulatum, loses all its fixedness, and at length becomes an insipid water, equal in quantity to the salt it was made from.””
H. P. Blavatsky