|Yale Center for British Art|
For Blake there is no division between God and man. Within man himself the Divine Image is providing through mercy the means through which he may complete the circle and return to immortality following his journey through death.
Christ became incarnate in the body of Jesus. The immortal took on mortality to facilitate the return of the mortal to immortality.
Jerusalem, Plate 13, (E 156) "(But whatever is visible to the Generated Man, Is a Creation of mercy & love, from the Satanic Void.)"Four Zoas, Page 34, (E 321)
"For the Divine Lamb Even Jesus who is the Divine Vision
Permitted all lest Man should fall into Eternal Death
For when Luvah sunk down himself put on the robes of blood
Lest the state calld Luvah should cease. & the Divine Vision
Walked in robes of blood till he who slept should awake
Thus were the stars of heaven created like a golden chain
To bind the Body of Man to heaven from falling into the Abyss"
The Robe of Blood is the image Blake chose to represent the Body of Man as it became incarnate in flesh. This is the garment which is to be cast off to reveal the Human Form Divine.
Phillips New Testament
5:1-4 - We know, for instance, that if our earthly dwelling were taken down, like a tent, we have a permanent house in Heaven, made, not by man, but by God. In this present frame we sigh with deep longing for the heavenly house, for we do not want to face utter nakedness when death destroys our present dwelling - these bodies of ours. So long as we are clothed in this temporary dwelling we have a painful longing, not because we want just to get rid of these "clothes" but because we want to know the full cover of the permanent house that will be ours. We want our transitory life to be absorbed into the life that is eternal.
5:5-8 - Now the power that has planned this experience for us is God, and he has given us his Spirit as a guarantee of its truth. This makes us confident, whatever happens. We realise that being "at home" in the body means that to some extent we are "away" from the Lord, for we have to live by trusting him without seeing him. We are so sure of this that we would really rather be "away" from the body (in death) and be "at home" with the Lord.
5:9-10 - It is our aim, therefore, to please him, whether we are "at home" or "away". For every one of us will have to stand without pretence before Christ our judge, and we shall be rewarded for what we did when we lived in our bodies, whether it was good or bad.
Songs of Innocence & of Experience, Song 52, (E 30) "To Tirzah Whate'er is Born of Mortal Birth, Must be consumed with the Earth To rise from Generation free; Then what have I to do with thee? The Sexes sprung from Shame & Pride Blow'd in the morn: in evening died But Mercy changd Death into Sleep; The Sexes rose to work & weep. Thou Mother of my Mortal part. With cruelty didst mould my Heart. And with false self-decieving tears, Didst bind my Nostrils Eyes & Ears. Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay And me to Mortal Life betray: The Death of Jesus set me free, Then what have I to do with thee? [text on illustration: It is Raised a Spiritual Body]"
Jerusalem, Plate 95, (E 254) "Her [Brittiannia's] voice pierc'd Albions clay cold ear. he moved upon the Rock The Breath Divine went forth upon the morning hills, Albion mov'd Upon the Rock, he opend his eyelids in pain; in pain he mov'd His stony members, he saw England. Ah! shall the Dead live again The Breath Divine went forth over the morning hills Albion rose In anger: the wrath of God breaking bright flaming on all sides around His awful limbs: into the Heavens he walked clothed in flames"