suggests that "Blake brings about the beginning of a
rapprochement between his Devil and his Angel...Yet
there is something of the Angel in the Devil". You and
I may or may or may not see that.
She goes on "except as man experiences God in his own
life, God is incomprehensible to him."
|MHH Plate 22|
Here's the text:
Now hear a plain fact: Swedenborg has not written one new truth: Now hear another: he has written all the old falshoods. And now hear the reason. He conversed with Angels who are all religious, & conversed not with Devils who all hate religion,for he was incapable thro' his conceited notions. Thus Swedenborgs writings are a recapitulation of all superficial opinions, and an analysis of the more sublime, but no further. Have now another plain fact: Any man of mechanical talents may from the writings of Paracelsus or Jacob Behmen, produce tenthousand volumes of equal value with Swedenborg's.and from those of Dante or Shakespear, an infinite number. But when he has done this, let him not say that he knows better than his master, for he only holds a candle in sunshine.
Once I saw a Devil in a flame of fire. who arose before an Angel that sat on a cloud. and the Devil utterd these words. The worship of God is. Honouring his gifts in other men each according to his genius. and loving the [PL 23] greatest men best
These words of the Devil express Blake's own heart felt sentiments"
"Thou art a Man God is no more
Thy own humanity learn to adore
For that is my Spirit of Life"
(from The Everlasting Gospel; Erdman 520)
(This was Blake's mantra; he worked on it all his life.)
In this plate Blake has picked a somewhat different set of writers whom he valued, than he did at his letter to John Flaxman in 1800. It included:
" Milton lovd me in childhood &
shewd me his face Ezra came with Isaiah the Prophet, but Shakespeare in riper years gave me his hand Paracelsus & Behmen appeard to me.
The list is the same except that here he omitted Isaiah and added Dante.
Isaiah appears in MHH, and Dante.
C.S.Lewis and Narnia for Dummies there is a fascinating story of MHH and Dante.