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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
To Blake contraries did not contradict each other but complemented the other. We can see the thought of Blake and Paine as contraries. Although Blake was primarily guided by vision and Paine by reason, they agreed on the source of their image of reality. If the 'Almighty Power' chose to reveal himself to Blake through imagination and to Paine through nature, it was still God who was revealed. Just as Blake could say, 'everything is holy', Paine could say, 'everything, therefore, is miracle, in one sense'. The holiness or the miracle of everything is not always obvious from the world's point of view. One must be capable of seeing from the Eternal perspective to know that God is revealed in everyone and everything.
Blake and Paine agreed that there was no such thing as a miracle in Watson's sense - of God giving an arbitrary command to prove his superior power to unbelieving subjects. Miracles were discernible to those whose spiritual consciousness had been awakened. Blake saw that Paine himself had been the vehicle for the working of miracles by writing pamphlets which gave men the courage to release themselves from their 'mind forged manacles', and thereby forge free societies.
Thomas Paine wrote in Age of Reason:
"To an almighty power, it is no more difficult to make the one than the 
other, and no more difficult to make millions of worlds than to make 
one. Everything, therefore, is a miracle, in one sense, whilst in the 
other sense, there is no such thing as a miracle. It is a miracle when 
compared to our power and to our comprehension, if not a miracle 
compared to the power that performs it; but as nothing in this 
description conveys the idea that is affixed to the word miracle, it is 
necessary to carry the inquiry further.

Mankind have conceived to themselves certain laws, by which what they 
call nature is supposed to act; and that miracle is something contrary 
to the operation and effect of those laws; but unless we know the whole 
extent of those laws, and of what are commonly called the powers of 
nature, we are not able to judge whether anything that may appear to us 
wonderful or miraculous be within, or be beyond, or be contrary to, her 
natural power of acting."
William Blake wrote this in his annotations to Watson's Apology for the Bible which was his reply to Age of Reason
 "Jesus could not do miracles where unbelief hinderd hence we
must conclude that the man who holds miracles to be ceased puts
it out of his own power to ever witness one   The manner of a
miracle being performd is in modern times considerd as an
arbitrary command of the
agent upon the patient but this is an impossibility not a miracle
neither did Jesus ever do such a miracle.  Is it a greater
miracle to feed five thousand men with five loaves than to
overthrow all the armies of Europe with a small pamphlet.
look over the events of your own life & if you do not find that
you have both done such miracles & lived by such you do not see
as I do   True I cannot do a miracle thro experiment & to
domineer over & prove to others my superior power as neither
could Christ   But I can & do work such as both astonish &
comfort me & mine   How can Paine the worker of miracles ever
doubt Christs in the above sense of the word miracle   But how
can Watson ever believe the above sense of a miracle who
considers it as an arbitrary act of the agent upon an unbelieving
patient. whereas the Gospel says that Christ could not do a
miracle because of Unbelief 
     If Christ could not do miracles because of Unbelief
the reason alledged by Priests for miracles is false for those
who believe, want not to be confounded by miracles.  Christ & his
Prophets & Apostles were not ambitious miracle mongers"
(E 616)

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