Monday, April 11, 2011

BLAKE'S JESUS

Blake's use of the Lamb of God as delineated in a previous post closely parallels what the writer of the Gospel of John says in his prologue. The pre-existing Word through whom all was created is Blake's Lamb of God. The Word made flesh for John and for Blake is Jesus. The world of generation (the created world of time, space and matter) is the field of operation of the incarnation which is Jesus.

John 1
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
[2] The same was in the beginning with God.
[3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
[4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
[5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
[6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
[7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
[8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
[9] That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
[10] He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
[11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
[12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
[13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
[14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his
glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace
and truth.

Jesus appears repeatedly in Blake's three major poems. With each appearance Blake adds dimensions to the portrait of Jesus which he presents.

Image of the Invisible God
Milton, Plate 2 (E 96)
"Jesus, the image of the Invisible God"

Continual forgiveness of sin
Jerusalem, Plate 3 (E 145)
"The Spirit of Jesus is continual forgiveness of Sin"

Imagination
Jerusalem, Plate 5, (E 148)
"Imagination
(Which is the Divine Body of the Lord Jesus. blessed for ever)"

Redeemer
Jerusalem, PLATE 32 [36], (E 179)
"the Divine Mercy
Steps beyond and Redeems Man in the Body of Jesus"

One Man
Jerusalem, PLATE 34 [38], (E 180)
"we behold as one,
As One Man all the Universal Family; and that One Man
We call Jesus the Christ: and he in us, and we in him,
Live in perfect harmony in Eden the land of life,"

Savior
Jerusalem, PLATE 40 [45], (E 187)
"O Lord descend and save!
Albions Western Gate is clos'd: his death is coming apace!
Jesus alone can save him;"

The Resurrection and the Life
Jerusalem, Plate 62, (E 213)
"Jesus replied. I am the Resurrection & the Life.
I Die & pass the limits of possibility, as it appears
To individual perception. Luvah must be Created
And Vala; for I cannot leave them in the gnawing Grave.
But will prepare a way for my banished-ones to return"


Triumphant in Mercy
Jerusalem, Plate 75, (E 231)
"But Jesus breaking thro' the Central Zones of Death & Hell
Opens Eternity in Time & Space; triumphant in Mercy

Thus are the Heavens formd by Los within the Mundane Shell"

The Good Shepherd
Jerusalem, Plate 96, (E 255)
"Then Jesus appeared standing by Albion as the Good Shepherd
By the lost Sheep that he hath found & Albion knew that it
Was the Lord the Universal Humanity, & Albion saw his Form
A Man. & they conversed as Man with Man, in Ages of Eternity
And the Divine Appearance was the likeness & similitude of Los"

The Christ
Four Zoas, PAGE 21, (E 310)
"Then those in Great Eternity met in the Council of God
As one Man for contracting their Exalted Senses
They behold Multitude or Expanding they behold as one
As One Man all the Universal family & that one Man
They call Jesus the Christ & they in him & he in them
Live in Perfect harmony in Eden the land of life"

Seventh Eye of God
Four Zoas, PAGE 21 [19], (E 312)
"So spoke the Messengers of Beulah. Silently removing
The Family Divine drew up the Universal tent
Above High Snowdon & closd the Messengers in clouds around
Till the time of the End. Then they Elected Seven. called the Seven
Eyes of God & the Seven lamps of the Almighty
The Seven are one within the other the Seventh is named Jesus
Consulting as One Man above the Mountain of Snowdon Sublime"

Lord
Four Zoas,PAGE 104 (SECOND PORTION), (E 377)
"We now behold the Ends of Beulah & we now behold
Where Death Eternal is put off Eternally
Assume the dark Satanic body in the Virgins womb
O Lamb divin[e] it cannot thee annoy O pitying one
Thy pity is from the foundation of the World & thy Redemption
Begun Already in Eternity Come then O Lamb of God
Come Lord Jesus come quickly

So sang they in Eternity looking down into Beulah."

Willing Victim
Four Zoas, PAGE 107 [115],(E 381)
"Then Jesus Came & Died willing beneath Tirzah & Rahab
Thou art that Rahab Lo the Tomb what can we purpose more"

Brother of the innocent accused
Four Zoas, PAGE 123,(E 392)

"the innocent accused before the Judges
Shines with immortal Glory trembling the judge springs from his throne
Hiding his face in the dust beneath the prisoners feet & saying
Brother of Jesus what have I done intreat thy lord for me"

In Book VIII of the Four Zoas we see the encompassing nature of the 'word' as it assumes differing appearances when viewed from differing perspectives. Within this passage is Jesus as the Light, as a Human form, as the Savior and as the Divine Vision. Each title enriches the symbol conveyed by the name Jesus.

Human form
Four Zoas, PAGE 100 (FIRST PORTION), (E 372)
"& the Divine Countenance shone

In Golgonooza Looking down the Daughters of Beulah saw
With joy the bright Light & in it a Human form
And knew he was the Saviour Even Jesus
& they worshipped

Astonishd Comforted Delighted in notes of Rapturous Extacy
All Beulah stood astonishd Looking down to Eternal Death
They saw the Saviour beyond the Pit of death & destruction
For whether they lookd upward they saw the Divine Vision
Or whether they lookd downward still they saw the Divine Vision
Surrounding them on all sides beyond sin & death & hell"

1 comment:

Larry said...

Astonished indeed.