Illustrations to Paradise Lost
Illustration 3 |
Christ Offers to Redeen Man
In testimony to the fact that this account is not taking place in time but in Eternity, early in his drama Milton places the scene of Son of God offering to take upon himself the wrath which should have fallen on man. The creation in time and the temptation had not yet occurred when the Son accepted his role in the process of redemption.
Blake's third illustration to Paradise Lost captures the moment when God in heaven accepts the offer of his Son to redeem Man. A mournful God embraces the Son who has assumed the human form. Satan has escaped from the hell into which he fell and is occupying the world made for man.
Book 3 Line 167 "To whom the great Creator thus replied. Oh son, in whom my soul hath chief delight, Son of my bosom, Son who art alone. My word, my wisdom, and effectual might, All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all As my eternal purpose hath decreed; man shall not quite be lost, but saved who will; Yet not of will in him, but grace in me Freely vouchsafed; once more I will renew His lapsed powers, though forfeit; and enthralled By sin to foul exorbitant desires; Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand On even ground against his mortal foe; line 213 Say, heavenly Powers, where shall we find such love? Which of you will be mortal, to redeem Man's mortal crime, and just the unjust to save? Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear? And silence was in Heaven: on man's behalf He asked, but all the heavenly quire stood mute, Patron or intercessor none appeared, By me upheld, that he may know how frail His fallen condition is, and to me owe All his deliverance, and to none but me. line 227 Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace; line 237 I offer: on me let thine anger fall; Account me Man; I for his sake will leave Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee Freely put off, and for him lastly die Well pleased; on me let Death wreak all his rage."
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
 The same was in the beginning with God.
 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Four Zoas, Night VIII, Page 107 , (E 381)
"And Satan not having the Science of Wrath but only of Pity
Was soon condemnd & wrath was left to wrath & Pity to Pity Rintrah & Palamabron Cut sheer off from Golgonooza Enitharmons Moony space & in it Satan & his companions They rolld down a dim world Crusted with Snow deadly & dark Jerusalem pitying them wove them mantles of life & death Times after times And those in Eden sent Lucifer for their Guard Lucifer refusd to die for Satan & in pride he forsook his charge Then they sent Molech Molech was impatient They sent Molech impatient They Sent Elohim who created Adam To die for Satan Adam refusd but was compelld to die By Satans arts. Then the Eternals Sent Shaddai Shaddai was angry Pachad descended Pachad was terrified And then they Sent Jehovah who leprous stretchd his hand to Eternity Then Jesus Came & Died willing beneath Tirzah & Rahab" Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 256) "Jesus said. Wouldest thou love one who never died For thee or ever die for one who had not died for thee And if God dieth not for Man & giveth not himself Eternally for Man Man could not exist. for Man is Love: As God is Love: every kindness to another is a little Death In the Divine Image nor can Man exist but by Brotherhood So saying. the Cloud overshadowing divided them asunder Albion stood in terror: not for himself but for his Friend
Divine, & Self was lost in the contemplation of faith And wonder at the Divine Mercy & at Los's sublime honour" Jerusalem, Plate 40 , (E 188) "So spoke, unheard by Albion. the merciful Son of Heaven To those whose Western Gates were open, as they stood weeping Around Albion: but Albion heard him not; obdurate! hard! He frown'd on all his Friends, counting them enemies in his sorrow" .