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

Thursday, April 25, 2013


The Bible was deeply ingrained in Blake's psyche. It was natural for him to incorporate Biblical ideas throughout his work. 

John 9
[39] And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 

First John 2
[1] My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Revelation 12
[9] And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

John 12
[23] And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
[24] Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
[25] He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

An additional way in which Blake viewed the Last Judgment was in terms of Satan and Jesus. Satan the accuser, the deceiver, the punisher must be cast out before the Judgment Seat of Jesus who receives all who came to him for forgiveness. It is death who dies before the Judgment Seat as those seeking a new life in Christ are born to Life Eternal. In this image of the Day of Judgment, the fall of those in the state of Satan is pictured on the left side of Jesus, on his right are those who are forgiving and forgiven. At the very bottom of the picture are souls coming from under ground, about to choose which path to follow: that of forgiving or accusing. 

Jerusalem, Plate 31 [35], (E 177)
"Then the Divine hand found the Two Limits, Satan and Adam,
In Albions bosom: for in every Human bosom those Limits stand.
And the Divine voice came from the Furnaces, as multitudes without
Number! the voices of the innumerable multitudes of Eternity.
And the appearance of a Man was seen in the Furnaces;            
Saving those who have sinned from the punishment of the Law,
(In pity of the punisher whose state is eternal death,)
And keeping them from Sin by the mild counsels of his love.
Albion goes to Eternal Death: In Me all Eternity.
Must pass thro' condemnation, and awake beyond the Grave!"

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 565)
 "In Hell all is Self
Righteousness there is no such thing there as Forgiveness of Sin
he who does Forgive Sin is Crucified as an Abettor of Criminals.
& he who performs Works of Mercy in Any shape whatever is punishd
& if possible destroyd not thro Envy  or Hatred or Malice but
thro Self Righteousness that thinks it does God service which God
is Satan 
Forgiveness of Sin is only at the Judgment Seat of Jesus the
Saviour where the Accuser is cast out. not because he Sins but
because he torments the Just & makes them do what he condemns as
Sin & what he knows is opposite to their own Identity 
     It is not because Angels are Holier than Men or Devils that
makes them Angels but because they do not Expect Holiness from
one another but from God only" 

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 564) 
"Christ comes
as he came at first to deliver those who were bound under the
Knave not to deliver the Knave He Comes to Deliver Man the
[Forgiven]  not Satan the Accuser we do not
find any where that Satan is Accused of Sin he is only accused of
Unbelief & thereby drawing Man into Sin that he may accuse him. 
Such is the Last Judgment a Deliverance from Satans Accusation
Satan thinks that Sin is displeasing to God he ought to know that
Nothing is displeasing to God but Unbelief & Eating of the Tree
of Knowledge of Good & Evil 
     Men are admitted into Heaven not because they have
 governd their Passions or have No Passions but because
they have Cultivated their Understandings.  The Treasures of
Heaven are not Negations of Passion but Realities of Intellect
from which All the Passions Emanate  in their Eternal
Glory   The Fool shall not enter into Heaven let him be ever so
Holy.  Holiness is not The Price of Enterance into Heaven Those
who are cast out Are All Those who having no Passions of their
own because No Intellect.  Have spent their lives in Curbing &
Governing other Peoples by the Various arts of Poverty & Cruelty
of all kinds   Wo Wo Wo to you Hypocrites   Even Murder the
Courts of Justice  are compelld to
allow is not done in Passion but in Cool Blooded Design &
     The Modern Church Crucifies Christ with the Head Downwards"  

Everlasting Gospel, (in Blake's Notebook), (E 876)
British Museum
Illustrations to Robert Blair's The Grave
Designed by Blake engraved by Schiavonetti
Day of Judgment
     "It was when Jesus said to Me
     Thy Sins are all forgiven thee
     The Christian trumpets loud proclaim
     Thro all the World in Jesus name
     Mutual forgiveness of each Vice
     And oped the Gates of Paradise
     The Moral Virtues in Great fear
     Formed the Cross & Nails & Spear
     And the Accuser standing by
     Cried out Crucify Crucify
     Our Moral Virtues neer can be
     Nor Warlike pomp & Majesty
     For Moral Virtues all begin
     In the Accusations of Sin"

Revelation 12
[10] And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

The picture can be greatly enlarged by right clicking to open in a new window. Then click on picture for more detail.

No comments:

Post a Comment