Death of Saint Joseph
1803 for Thomas Butts
 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
Joseph lies dying supported by Mary and attended by Jesus. There is no account of this scene in the Bible. Jesus was known in his community as a son of Joseph although the gospels attest that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit. On his deathbed Blake pictures Joseph as honored and beloved. In the sky above him is a rainbow comprised of the heads and wings of angels. Light radiates from the family group as Joseph prepares for death with a prayer.
Joseph anticipates the departure from his body of his Eternal Spirit.
 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 113 , (E 384)
"When the man gently fades away in his immortality
When the mortal disappears in improved knowledge cast away
The former things so shall the Mortal gently fade away
And so become invisible to those who still remain"
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 555) "[PAGE 69] This world of Imagination is the World of Eternity it is the Divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of the Vegetated body This World is Infinite & Eternal whereas the world of Generation or Vegetation is Finite & [for a small moment] Temporal There Exist in that Eternal World the Permanent Realities of Every Thing which we see are reflected in this Vegetable Glass of Nature All Things are comprehended in their Eternal Forms in the Divine [P 70] body of the Saviour the True Vine of Eternity The Human Imagination who appeard to Me as Coming to Judgment. among his Saints & throwing off the Temporal that the Eternal might be Establishd."