Can anyone verify this statement, or point to places in
Luther's writings which confirm this as his view of
Even Luther approved of the science of alchemy, regarding it in his Tischreden
(first published in 1566) as "the natural philosophy of the ancient sages".
But he particularly savoured the allegorical explanation of alchemy as a
science pointing to the resurrection of the righteous dead after the Last Judgement:
as the fire in the alchemist's oven separated the pure from the impure,
he said, so God on the Day of Judgement would separate the god-fearing
people from the godless ones.
Last edited on Mon Jul 28th, 2014 07:32 am by adammclean
"The science of alchemy I like well, and, indeed, `tis the philosophy of the ancients. I like it not only for the profits it brings in melting metals, in decocting preparing, extracting, and distilling herbs, roots; I like it also for the sake of the allegory and secret signification, which is exceedingly fine, touching the resurrection of the dead at the last day. For, as in a furnace the fire extracts and separates from a substance the other portions, and carries upward the spirit, the life, the sap, the strength, while the unclean matter, the dregs, remain at the bottom, like a dead and worthless carcass; even so God, at the day of judgment, will separate all things through fire, the righteous from the ungodly. The Christians and righteous shall ascend upward into heaven, and there live everlastingly, but the wicked and the ungodly, as the dross and filth, shall remain in hell, and there be damned."
THE TABLE-TALK OF MARTIN LUTHER TRANSLATED BY WILLIAM HAZLITT, Esq. Section DCCLX.
Also found this:
John Warwick Montgomery, "Lutheran Astrology and Lutheran Alchemy in the Age of the Reformation," Ambix: The Journal of the Society for the Study of Alchemy and Early Chemistry, 11 (June 1963), pp. 65–86.