Philosopher's Stone

It was the doctrine of the Alchemists, that there was a certain mineral, the discovery of which was the object of their art, because, being mixed with the baser metals, it would transmute these into gold. This mineral, known only to the adepts, they called Lapis Philosophrum, or the [wikipedia:philosopher's_stone philosopher's stone]. Hitchcock, who wrote a book in 1857 on Alchemy and the Alchemists, to maintain the proposition that Alchemy was a symbolic science, that its subject was Man, and its object the perfection of man, asserts that the philosopher's stone was a symbol of man. He quotes the old Hermetic philosopher, Issac Holland, as saying that "though a man be poor, yet he may very well attain unto it - the work of perfection - and may be employed in making the philosopher's stone." If this interpretation be correct, then the philosopher's stone of the Alchemists, and the spiritual temple of the Freemasons are identical symbols.

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