Tuesday, August 06, 2013

MHH 23

The debate between Angel and Devil (religious types and Blake) continues.

loving the [PL 23] greatest men
best, those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there
is no other God.
  The Angel hearing this became almost blue but mastering
himself he grew yellow, & at last white pink & smiling, and then
  Thou Idolater, is not God One? & is not he visible in Jesus
Christ? and has not Jesus Christ given his sanction to the law of
ten commandments and are not all other men fools, sinners, &
  The Devil answer'd; bray a fool in a morter with wheat. yet
shall not his folly be beaten out of him: if Jesus Christ is the
greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now
hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten
commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the
sabbaths God? murder those who were murderd because of him? turn
away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of
others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making
a defence before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples,
and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against
such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist
without breaking these ten commandments: Jesus was all virtue,
and acted from im[PL 24]pulse: not from rules.

In this plate Blake debates with the pious, conventional religious type
(a message coming down to the 21st Century).

The Angel rebuts Blake's definition of God by claiming that all other 
men (than Jesus are) fools, sinners, & nothings? The conventional
wisdom is that all goodness centers in Jesus and other men are utterly lacking in
the goodness, that belongs only to Jesus.  His grounds might be based
on the verse in Psalm  14:3
"They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: 
there is none that doeth good, no, not one", quoted by Paul in 
Romans 3;10: "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not 

Blake's treatment of the use of the Ten Commandments is a
colorful exaggeration. 

He ends with the famous statement: Jesus was all virtue,
and acted from im[PL 24]pulse: not from rules.

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