CHAP. VI. Of the Number of three, and the Scale thereof.
THE number of three is an incompounded number, a holy number, a number of perfection, a most powerfull num∣ber. For there are three persons in God, there are three Theologicall vertues in Religion. Hence it is that this number conduceth to the Ceremonies of God, and Religion, that by the solemnity of which, prayers, and sacrifices are thrice re∣peated. Whence Virgil sings,
Odd numbers to the God delightfull are.
And the Pythagorians
use it in their sanctifications, and purifi∣cations, whence in Virgil,
The same did cleanse, and wash with Water pure
Thrice his companions—
And it is most fit inbindings, or ligations, hence that of Virgil,
—I walk a round
First with these threads, which three, and severall art,
'Bout th' Altar thrice I shall thy image bear.
And a little after;
Knots, Amaryllis, tye, of colours three,
Then say, these bonds I knit, for Venus be.
And we read of Medea.
She spake three words, which caus'd sweet sleep at will,
The troubled Sea, the raging Waves stand still.
And in Pliny
it was the custome in every medicine to spit with three deprecations, and hence to be cured. The number of three is perfected with three Augmentations, long, broad, and deep, beyond which there is no progression of dimension, whence the first number is called square. Hence it is said that to a body that hath three measures, and to a square number, no∣thing can be added. Wherefore Aristotle
in the beginning of his speeches concerning Heaven, cals it as it were a Law, accor∣ding to which all things are disposed. For Corporeall, and spirituall things consist of three things, viz.
beginning, middle, and end. By three (as Tresmegistus
saith) the world is perfected: He•
armene, necessity, and order (i. e.)
concurrence of causes,
which many call fate, and the execution of them to the fruit, or increase, and a due distribution of the increase. The whole measure of time is concluded in three, viz.
Past, present, to come; All magnitude is contained in three; line, superficies, and body, every body consists of three Intervals, length, bredth, thickness. Harmony contains three consents in time, Diapason, Hemiolion, Diatessaron. There are also three kinds of souls, Vegetative, sensitive, and intellectuall. And as saith the Pro∣phet, God orders the world by number, weight, and measure, and the number of three is deputed to the Ideall forms there∣of, as the number of two is to the procreating matter, and unity to God the maker of it. Magicians do constitute three Princes of the world, Oromasis, Mitris, Araminis (i. e.)
God, the Mind, and the Spirit. By the three square or solid, the three numbers of nine of things produced are distributed, viz.
of the supercelestiall into nine orders of Intelligencies: of Celestiall into nine Orbs: of inferiours into nine kinds of generable, and corruptible things. Lastly in this ternall Orb, viz.
twen∣ty seven, all Musicall proportions are included, as Plato,
do at large discourse. And the number of three hath in a harmony of five, the grace of the first voyce. Also in Intelligencies there are three Hierarchies of Angelicall spi∣rits. There are three powers of Intellectuall creatures, me∣mory, mind, and will. There are three orders of the blessed, viz.
of Martyrs, Confessors, and Innocents. There are three quaternions of Celestiall Signs, viz.
Of fixt, moveable, and common, as also of houses, viz.
centers, succeeding, and falling. There are also three faces, and heads in every Sign, and three Lords of each triplicity. There are three fortunes amongst the Planets. Three graces amongst the Goddesses. Three Ladies of destiny amongst the infernall crew. Three Judges. Three furies. Three headed Cerberus. We read also of a thrice double He∣cate. Three moneths of the Virgin Diana.
Three persons in the supersubstantiall Divinity. Three times, of Nature, Law, and Grace. Three Theologicall vertues, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Jonas
was three days in the Whales belly; and so many was Christ in the grave.
The Scale of the Number of three.
|In the Original world.
||adai. The Son.
||The Holy Ghost.
||The name of of God with three letters.
|In the Intel lectual world
||Lowest of all Confessors.
||Three Hierar∣chies of An∣gels. Three degrees of the blessed.
|In the Ce∣lestial world.
||Moveable. Corners. Of the day.
||Fixt. Succeeding. Nocturnall.
||Common. Falling. Partaking.
||Three quater∣nions of Signs. Three quater∣nions of houses. Three Lords of the Tripli∣cites.
|In the Ele∣mentary world.
||Three degrees of Elements.
|In the lesser world.
||The head, in which the Intellect grows, an∣swering to the intelle∣ctuall world.
||The breast, where is the heart, the seat of life, answering to the Ce∣lestiall world.
||The belly, where the faculty of gene ration is, and the genitall members, an∣swering the E∣lemental world.
||Three parts, answering the three-fold world.
|In the in∣fernal world.
||Alecto. Minos. Wicked.
||Megera. Acacus. Apostates.
||Cresiphone. Rhadaman∣tus. Infidels.
||Three infer∣nall furies. Three infer∣nall Judges. Three degrees of the damned.