This small (80 pages) and very expensive (about E 17,- / $ 15,-) book is a translation of the “Sacra Scriptura, de Dolcissimo Nomine & Cruce Iesu Christi” written by “Daniele Cramero D.” The “Sacra Scriptura” was published in Germany in the year 1617, just one year after the famous “Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rozencreutz” that caused a big stir in the society of these times. Still the “Sacra Scriptura” is fairly unknown.
There are 40 emblems, each accompanied by a quote from the Bible and two lines in latin. The texts are translated by Fiona Tait. The emblems the Protestant theologian drew are really simple and nothing like the famous “secret symbols of the Rosicrucians”, which on first hand made me feel a little disappointed. I love the layered symbology and the mathematic design of for example the secret symbols. But, when reading through this little book here, the drawings together with the quotes and ‘poems’ are actually quite beautiful. It seems that there were meant for meditative purposes.
This little book is part of the series “Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks” that is run by Adam McLean, probably the expert on Alchemy/Hermeticism of our times. He wrote the introduction and commentary which shed some extra light on this little work. The Sourceworks series contains some other titles that I find extremely interesting, so I think I will get some more in the future. Just imagine, the “Splendor Solis” in english with images, “The Amphitheatre Engravings Of Heinrich Khunrath”, “The Steganographia Of Trithemius”, the “Alchemical Engravings Of Mylius”, the “Atalanta Fugiens of Michael Maier” and the list continues. McLean makes classical alchemical writings available to a normal audience.
Does anyone know where I may obtain the original Latin text for comparison?
Jean, unfortunately not. For some reason the English translation is well available in print and on the web, but the original Latin/German version not. Not even in Google books. Try looking for the original title: “Societas Iesu et Roseæ Crucis Vera: Hoc est, Decades Quatuor Emblematum Sacrorum” (often only the last four words are listed). Perhaps you are more lucky than me.