"Before you disclose this Revelation of the Secrets of your Art, there remains one thing I need to know, Father, you attest that a certain Book will certainly be a source of great good for us: is it the one I now bring to light in the first Tome?
"No, my Son, but the first Book and the three others are keys to opening it: for it contains the supreme apex and center of human Science and Wisdom: and if the most senseless of my enemies could fathom the Secret of this Book which he attacks so vehemently, he would give infinite thanks to our most glorious and supreme GOD on high, the Giver of all the greatest gifts from whom everything has come, including the inestimable worth of this Book."
"I beg you, Father, to name this Book by its proper name so that such a great treasure may not remain hidden from your Disciples."
"Gladly! This is the Great Book of Contemplation in God comprised of thirty Volumes, five Books, forty Distinctions and 366 Chapters, the last Chapter is divided into four parts on account of the intercalary day, moreover each chapter is divided into exactly 30 paragraphs. And although this Book is better, loftier, more profound, more perfect, more useful than my other Books, due to the fact that whatever is good, lofty, profound, perfect, useful in my Books and regardless of the innumerable other gifts contained in them, all are united in this Book like fruit on a great tree; nonetheless the said noble properties in it have ascending degrees so that 'the goodness of the Book is greater and better in the second Volume than in the first, and in the third Volume than in the second.' (Lib. Contemp. cap. 366 ab initio). And I tell you this so that when you come to read this Book, the method for studying and learning it will not be unknown to you: 'since man must first learn things that are easier to grasp, anyone who wants to learn and know this book must first begin with the first Volume, and then go on to the second, and then to the third; and this is because the second Volume is more obscure and difficult to understand than the first and the third more so than the second' (Lib. Contemp. cap. 366, pars 2) 'therefore it behooves man to elevate his intellect as high as he can in this Book.' (Lib. Mir. Dem. in Prol. f. 2.) and the reason and cause of this is that this Book was written through the grace and with the help of GOD; because as the Soul increasingly enjoys and contemplates its Creator, so it prepares its memory, intellect and will more and more clearly and beautifully to dictate and compose this Book: and, no doubt, the memory, intellect and will of the reader's Soul must have reached the same degree of readiness if it wants to understand the writer's mind, as you will see in the first rule.' (Com. super Art. Demon.) 'And as this is the reason and the method, and as it is orderly and convenient to find greater sweetness and pleasure in good things whenever they are more abundantly used, so in the order of this Book of Contemplation the second Volume is greater and better than the first, and the third Volume is greater and better than the second.' (Lib. Contemp. cap. 366 par. 1.)
Therefore, to increase the love and fervor for studying this book in you and in your fellow Disciples, and for acquiring the Art and Science through which its Secrets are opened and revealed, in the first Chapter I will elucidate for you some of the incomparable Properties and Dignities of my Art and Science so that you may 'recognize a lion from just seeing its claw' as the proverb says; now if the key that opens the Palace is so noble, how should you then esteem the Palace itself? So, my dearest Sons, come and see, 'See ye that I have not labored for myself only, but for all that seek out the truth.' (Ecclesiasticus 24 v 47) 'For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known.' (Matthew 10 v 26) 'For I make doctrine to shine forth to all as the morning light, and I will declare it afar off.' (Ecclesiasticus 24 v 44)