Blake was appalled at the unwillingness of men to see the errors which they accepted as normal and necessary. He called on men to look at themselves and the world they constructed in the light of the possibilities for a world in which Imagination prevailed. To Blake man was not distant from God but lived in God, and God lived in him. This gave man the power to change himself and change his surroundings.
|Yale Center for British Art|
Jerusalem, Copy E, Plate 41
Like Albion, the Universal Man of Blake's Jerusalem, man is asleep and must awake to fulfill his human potential of living with the consciousness of being God incarnate. Blake's call to every man is to wake from his stupor; to recognize how his own brokenness contributes to the brokenness of the world. Like Los, the individual can assume responsibility for breaking down the systems internally and externally which sustain the errors which cause man to at war within himself, at war with his brothers and at war with God.
Milton, Plate 14 , (E 108) "And Milton said, I go to Eternal Death! The Nations stills Follow after the detestable Gods of Priam; in pomp Of warlike selfhood, contradicting and blaspheming. When will the Resurrection come; to deliver the sleeping body From corruptibility: O when Lord Jesus wilt thou come? Tarry no longer; for my soul lies at the gates of death." Milton, Plate 25 , (E 122) "Go forth Reapers with rejoicing. you sowed in tears But the time of your refreshing cometh, only a little moment Still abstain from pleasure & rest, in the labours of eternity And you shall Reap the whole Earth, from Pole to Pole! from Sea to Sea Begining at Jerusalems Inner Court, Lambeth ruin'd and given To the detestable Gods of Priam, to Apollo: and at the Asylum Given to Hercules, who labour in Tirzahs Looms for bread Who set Pleasure against Duty: who Create Olympic crowns To make Learning a burden & the Work of the Holy Spirit: Strife. T[o] Thor & cruel Odin who first reard the Polar Caves Lambeth mourns calling Jerusalem. she weeps & looks abroad For the Lords coming, that Jerusalem may overspread all Nations Crave not for the mortal & perishing delights, but leave them To the weak, and pity the weak as your infant care; Break not Forth in your wrath lest you also are vegetated by Tirzah Wait till the Judgement is past, till the Creation is consumed And then rush forward with me into the glorious spiritual Vegetation; the Supper of the Lamb & his Bride; and the Awaking of Albion our friend and ancient companion. So Los spoke. But lightnings of discontent broke on all sides round" Jerusalem, Plate 73, (E 228) "Voltaire insinuates that these Limits are the cruel work of God Mocking the Remover of Limits & the Resurrection of the Dead Setting up Kings in wrath: in holiness of Natural Religion Which Los with his mighty Hammer demolishes time on time In miracles & wonders in the Four-fold Desart of Albion Permanently Creating to be in Time Reveald & Demolishd Satan Cain Tubal Nimrod Pharoh Priam Bladud Belin Arthur Alfred the Norman Conqueror Richard John [Edward Henry Elizabeth James Charles William George] And all the Kings & Nobles of the Earth & all their Glories These are Created by Rahab & Tirzah in Ulro: but around These, to preserve them from Eternal Death Los Creates Adam Noah Abraham Moses Samuel David Ezekiel [Pythagoras Socrates Euripedes Virgil Dante Milton] Dissipating the rocky forms of Death, by his thunderous Hammer As the Pilgrim passes while the Country permanent remains So Men pass on: but States remain permanent for ever" Jerusalem, Plate 37 , (E 183) "The Twenty-eight trembled in Deaths dark caves, in cold despair They kneeld around the Couch of Death in deep humiliation And tortures of self condemnation while their Spectres ragd within. The Four Zoa's in terrible combustion clouded rage Drinking the shuddering fears & loves of Albions Families Destroying by selfish affections the things that they most admire Drinking & eating, & pitying & weeping, as at a trajic scene. The soul drinks murder & revenge, & applauds its own holiness They saw Albion endeavouring to destroy their Emanations. [illustration, with inscription, reversed: "Each Man is in his Spectre's power Untill the arrival of that hour, When his Humanity awake And cast his Spectre into the Lake"] Jerusalem, Plate 38 , (E 184) "They saw their Wheels rising up poisonous against Albion Urizen, cold & scientific: Luvah, pitying & weeping Tharmas, indolent & sullen: Urthona, doubting & despairing Victims to one another & dreadfully plotting against each other To prevent Albion walking about in the Four Complexions. They saw America clos'd out by the Oaks of the western shore; And Tharmas dash'd on the Rocks of the Altars of Victims in Mexico. If we are wrathful Albion will destroy Jerusalem with rooty Groves If we are merciful, ourselves must suffer destruction on his Oaks! Why should we enter into our Spectres, to behold our own corruptions O God of Albion descend! deliver Jerusalem from the Oaken Groves! Then Los grew furious raging: Why stand we here trembling around Calling on God for help; and not ourselves in whom God dwells Stretching a hand to save the falling Man: are we not Four Beholding Albion upon the Precipice ready to fall into Non-Entity: Seeing these Heavens & Hells conglobing in the Void. Heavens over Hells Brooding in holy hypocritic lust, drinking the cries of pain From howling victims of Law: building Heavens Twenty-seven-fold. Swelld & bloated General Forms, repugnant to the Divine- Humanity, who is the Only General and Universal Form To which all Lineaments tend & seek with love & sympathy All broad & general principles belong to benevolence Who protects minute particulars, every one in their own identity."