|British Museum |
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
In the picture Jesus does not point a finger, but offers a hand; he does not lock the suffering man out, but offers him a key which will let him in.
Redeeming the contraries known as Good & Evil is accomplished by Annihilation, subjecting them to the light of truth which reveals all. Truth shows that they work together to, as light and shadow do, provide dimension to space.
There is, however, the Negation which is incompatible with the unified psyche. It prevents the reconciliation of the Contraries by blocking expressions of love and forgiveness which are necessary for Annihilation. The Contraries are to be reconciled; the Negation to be destroyed.
 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
 For our God is a consuming fire.
 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Songs of Innocence & of Experience, SONGS 32, (E 19) "The CLOD & the PEBBLE Love seeketh not Itself to please, Nor for itself hath any care; But for another gives its ease, And builds a Heaven in Hells despair." Milton, Plate 14 , (E 108) "I will go down to self annihilation and eternal death, Lest the Last Judgment come & find me unannihilate And I be siez'd & giv'n into the hands of my own Selfhood The Lamb of God is seen thro' mists & shadows, hov'ring Over the sepulchers in clouds of Jehovah & winds of Elohim A disk of blood, distant; & heav'ns & earth's roll dark between What do I here before the Judgment? without my Emanation? With the daughters of memory, & not with the daughters of inspiration[?] I in my Selfhood am that Satan: I am that Evil One! He is my Spectre! in my obedience to loose him from my Hells To claim the Hells, my Furnaces, I go to Eternal Death." Milton, Plate 32 , (E 132) "And thou O Milton art a State about to be Created Called Eternal Annihilation that none but the Living shall Dare to enter: & they shall enter triumphant over Death And Hell & the Grave! States that are not, but ah! Seem to be. Judge then of thy Own Self: thy Eternal Lineaments explore What is Eternal & what Changeable? & what Annihilable!"
Milton, Plate 38 , (E 139) [Milton speaks] "Mine is to teach Men to despise death & to go on In fearless majesty annihilating Self, laughing to scorn Thy Laws & terrors, shaking down thy Synagogues as webs I come to discover before Heavn & Hell the Self righteousness In all its Hypocritic turpitude, opening to every eye These wonders of Satans holiness shewing to the Earth The Idol Virtues of the Natural Heart, & Satans Seat Explore in all its Selfish Natural Virtue & put off In Self annihilation all that is not of God alone: To put off Self & all I have ever & ever Amen Satan heard! Coming in a cloud, with trumpets & flaming fire Saying I am God the judge of all, the living & the dead Fall therefore down & worship me. submit thy supreme Dictate, to my eternal Will & to my dictate bow" Milton, Plate 40 , (E 142) "There is a Negation, & there is a Contrary The Negation must be destroyd to redeem the Contraries The Negation is the Spectre; the Reasoning Power in Man This is a false Body: an Incrustation over my Immortal Spirit; a Selfhood, which must be put off & annihilated alway To cleanse the Face of my Spirit by Self-examination." Jerusalem, Plate 12, (E 155) "I saw the finger of God go forth Upon my Furnaces, from within the Wheels of Albions Sons: Fixing their Systems, permanent: by mathematic power Giving a body to Falshood that it may be cast off for ever. With Demonstrative Science piercing Apollyon with his own bow! God is within, & without! he is even in the depths of Hell! Such were the lamentations of the Labourers in the Furnaces!"
Jerusalem, Plate 10, (E 152) "They take the Two Contraries which are calld Qualities, with which Every Substance is clothed, they name them Good & Evil From them they make an Abstract, which is a Negation Not only of the Substance from which it is derived A murderer of its own Body: but also a murderer Of every Divine Member: it is the Reasoning Power An Abstract objecting power, that Negatives every thing This is the Spectre of Man: the Holy Reasoning Power And in its Holiness is closed the Abomination of Desolation Therefore Los stands in London building Golgonooza" Jerusalem, Plate 17, (E 162) "Negations are not Contraries: Contraries mutually Exist: But Negations Exist Not: Exceptions & Objections & Unbeliefs Exist not: nor shall they ever be Organized for ever & ever: If thou separate from me, thou art a Negation: a meer Reasoning & Derogation from Me, an Objecting & cruel Spite And Malice & Envy: but my Emanation, Alas! will become My Contrary: O thou Negation, I will continually compell Thee to be invisible to any but whom I please, & when And where & how I please, and never! never! shalt thou be Organized But as a distorted & reversed Reflexion in the Darkness"
Blake's formulation of the the concepts of the Contraries and the Negation may be seen as his commentary on the 7th and 8th chapter of Romans. Blake and Paul sought to bring everything under the dominion of the Divine but they saw that there was a resistance which prevented man from entering the kingdom which is prepared for him. To Paul this was the Law of Sin & Death which acted as a barrier between accepting Christ as the Spirit Within, and seeking to be righteous before the Law. The Law as an abstraction will not allow infractions to be forgiven. This abstraction is Blake's Negation: the unwillingness to allow the Contraries to mutually exist.
The Contraries are to examined, evaluated, judged and assimilated; but Negations which will not let this process proceed are to be destroyed in the consuming fires.
 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: