near the end of his life. The common meaning of 'Prophet' for most
ordinary people was 'someone who foretells the future'.
In biblical days bands of roving prophets used to roam around the country.
Here is a more incisive definition:
"A prophet is basically a spokesman for G-d, a person chosen by G-d to speak to people on G-d's behalf and convey a message or teaching. Prophets were role models of holiness, scholarship and closeness to G-d. They set the standards for the entire community."
My definition: a prophet is someone who understands what's happening and tells people what they might expect if it continues.
Blake saw the misery resulting from the Industrial Revolution, just as some people today will tell us what may happen as a consequence of the Global Revolution. In both cases the poor will pay, many people will become poor, while a few will get rich.
The end of the preface to Milton (better known as the hymn called Jerusalem:
Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets. Numbers XI. ch 29 v.
(or Numbers 11.29) In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 12, Erdman 38 Blake wrote: "The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert. that God spake to them;" (Read on.) The 'Eternal Prophet' appears five times in the Book of Urizen and several times in various other books. In the mythological writings of William Blake, Los is the fallen (earthly or human) form of Urthona, one of the four Zoas. He is referred to as the "eternal prophet" and creates the visionary city of Golgonooza.
|Los, as depicted in The Book of Urizen,|
copy G, in the collection of
the Library of Congress
Milton Plates 22 and 22 (Erdman 118):
"But then I rais'd up Whitefield, Palamabron raisd up Westley,
And these are the cries of the Churches before the two Witnesses['] Faith in God the dear Saviour who took on the likeness of men: Becoming obedient to death, even the death of the Cross The Witnesses lie dead in the Street of the Great City No Faith is in all the Earth: the Book of God is trodden under Foot: He sent his two Servants Whitefield & Westley; were they Prophets Or were they Idiots or Madmen? shew us Miracles! PLATE 23  Can you have greater Miracles than these? Men who devote Their lifes whole comfort to intire scorn & injury & death Awake thou sleeper on the Rock of Eternity Albion awake"
(A Descriptiv Catalogue Erdman 541:
"The Prophets describe what they saw in Vision as real and existing men whom they saw with their imaginative and immortal organs; the Apostles the same;"
Milton, Plate 24 , (E 121):
"Los is by mortals nam'd Time Enitharmon is nam'd Space
But they depict him bald & aged who is in eternal youth
All powerful and his locks flourish like the brows of morning
He is the Spirit of Prophecy the ever apparent Elias
Time is the mercy of Eternity; without Times swiftness
Which is the swiftest of all things: all were eternal torment:
All the Gods of the Kingdoms of Earth labour in Los's Halls.
Every one is a fallen Son of the Spirit of Prophecy"