Friday, June 10, 2011

The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory

As everyone knows, the Lord's Prayer ends with "for thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory". For years I went through that ritual without any real understanding of what it meant. Then I looked to Blake for help:

1. Blake's Kingdom: In 1927 a man named Dr. Thornton published a book called The Lord's Prayer, Newly Translated. In a devastating critique (Annotations ...)
Blake expressed his contempt (on pages 667-70 in Erdman) expressly addressing the Kingdom,the Power and the Glory. Addressing the title page 'The Lord's Prayer, Newly Translated' Blake wrote:
" I look upon this as a Most Malignant & Artful attack upon the Kingdom of Jesus By the Classical Learned thro the Instrumentality of Dr Thornton The Greek & Roman Classics is the Antichrist I say Is & not Are as most expressive & correct too".

In Annotations to Bacon's Essays Moral, Economical and Political he replies to Bacon's statement about the kingdom of Heaven as follows:
Bacon: "
"The Kingdom of heaven is compared, not to any great Kernal or nut but,
to a grain of mustard seed; which is one of the least grains, but hath
in it a property and spirit hastily to get up and spread."
Blake's response:
"The Kingdom of Heaven is the direct Negation of Earthly domination" (I wonder if Bacon would have agreed with that.)

Blake, like many of us today, found the idea of kingdom distasteful. It flies in the face of 'democracy'. In an earlier post you may read:
" Jesus directed his followers to pray 'thy kingdom come'.In general Blake had negative feelings about kingdoms. In America he emphatically affirmed the American Revolt against King George."

And in contrast Blake often spoke of the 'kingdom of Satan' or the 'kingdom of this world':

"Good Advice for Satans Kingdom" (Annotations to Bacon....; Erdman 620)

In Letter 21, to Flaxman Blake wrote:
"The Kingdoms of this World are now become the Kingdoms of God & his Christ, & we shall reign with him for ever & ever." (In Erdman 717)

In Plate 3 of Jerusalem (Blake's prose introduction) he wrote:

"The Spirit of Jesus is continual forgiveness of Sin: he who waits to be righteous before he enters into the Saviours kingdom, the Divine Body; will never enter there. I am perhaps the most sinful of men! I pretend not to holiness! yet I pretend to love, to see, to converse with daily, as man with man, & the more to have an interest in the Friend of Sinners. Therefore [Dear] Reader, [forgive] what you do not approve, & [love] me for this energetic exertion of my talent."

In all Blake referred to 'kingdom' 34 times.

No comments: