THIS Work of Solomon is divided into two books. In the first thou mayest see and know how to avoid errors in Experiments, Operations, and in the Spirits themselves. In the second thou art taught in what manner Magical Arts may be reduced to the proposed object and end.
It is for this reason that thou shouldest take great heed and care that this Key of Secrets fall not into the hands of the foolish, the stupid, and the ignorant. For he who is the possessor hereof, and who availeth himself hereof according to the ordinances herein contained, will not only be able to reduce the Magical Arts herein unto their proposed end, but will, even if he findeth certain errors herein, be able to correct them.
Any Art or Operation of this kind will not be able to attain its end, unless the Master of the Art, or Exorcist, shall have this Work completely in his power, that is to say, unless he thoroughly understand it, for without this he will never attain the effect of any operation.
For this reason I earnestly pray and conjure the person into whose hands this Key of Secrets may fall, neither to communicate it, nor to make any one a partaker in this knowledge, if he be not faithful, nor capable of keeping a secret, nor expert in the Arts. And I most humbly entreat the possessor of this, by the Ineffable Name of God in four Letters, YOD, HE, VAU, HE, and by the Name ADONAI, and by all the other Most High and Holy Names of God, that he values this work as dearly as his own soul, and that he makes no foolish or ignorant man a partaker therein.
[1. This Prefatory Note is only found in 3991 Harleian MSS., 3091 Sloane MSS., and 288 King's MSS.]