Blake seeks to provide the Golden String which can lead us through the labyrinth of our experience or his own poetry.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Mark 15
[25] And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
[26] And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
[27] And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.
[28] And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
[29] And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
[30] Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
[31] Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
[32] Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
[33] And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Christ Nailed to the Cross: the Third Hour
Wikimedia Commons
Original in
The Morgan Library
No one can take from you what you will freely give. Jesus is pictured as willing to give his life through suffering on the cross. Blake pictures him as relaxed and serene, offering himself for those who mock and revile him. To Blake this was not an expression of the humility of Jesus but of his supreme confidence in God and in his relationship to  God.

Blake sees Jesus as opposing religion that bars man from a direct and intimate relationship with God. He sees Jesus as opposing empire which has no respect for the value of the individual human. He sees Jesus as a man whose very integrity provokes a  reaction from men whose self-interest is threatened by the alternative that Jesus offers.

Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 232)
"And I asked a Watcher & a Holy-One
Its Name? he answerd. It is the Wheel of Religion
I wept & said. Is this the law of Jesus
This terrible devouring sword turning every way    
He answerd; Jesus died because he strove
Against the current of this Wheel: its Name
Is Caiaphas, the dark Preacher of Death
Of sin, of sorrow, & of punishment;
Opposing Nature! It is Natural Religion            
But Jesus is the bright Preacher of Life
Creating Nature from this fiery Law,
By self-denial & forgiveness of Sin.

Go therefore, cast out devils in Christs name
Heal thou the sick of spiritual disease           
Pity the evil, for thou art not sent
To smite with terror & with punishments
Those that are sick, like the Pharisees
Crucifying &, encompassing sea & land
For proselytes to tyranny & wrath,                
But to the Publicans & Harlots go!
Teach them True Happiness, but let no curse
Go forth out of thy mouth to blight their peace
For Hell is opend to heaven; thine eyes beheld
The dungeons burst & the Prisoners set free."

Everlasting Gospel, (E 519)
"If he had been Antichrist Creeping Jesus 
Hed have done any thing to please us
Gone sneaking into Synagogues

And not usd the Elders & Priests like dogs
But Humble as a Lamb or Ass
Obeyd himself to Caiaphas         
God wants not Man to Humble himself
This is the trick of the ancient Elf
This is the Race that Jesus ran          
Humble to God Haughty to Man
Cursing the Rulers before the People    
Even to the temples highest Steeple
And when he Humbled himself to God
Then descended the Cruel Rod
If thou humblest thyself thou humblest me
Thou also dwellst in Eternity       
Thou art a Man God is no more
Thy own humanity learn to adore
For that is my Spirit of Life
Awake arise to Spiritual Strife"

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