Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
In our age the message of Jesus would be the same. As Blake says he would send those who had seen and heard and understood into the world of those who were afflicted by the ills that the rulers of this world inflict on the helpless. The object is to gain release from the mental prisons which cause the simple to react through anger, violence, depression, doubt, and self-hatred.
What solutions does our society have to offer to those who feel lost and abandoned, whose every effort must be devoted to providing basic necessities, who turn to mind altering drugs to escape their depression and doubt, who project their self-hatred in violence and abuse toward others? We offer them what the underprivileged were offered in Blake's day: poor paying jobs, incarceration, exclusion from the churches and schools and medical care which serve the wealthy, ready access to the drugs which condemn them to destitution and mental disease.
Blake assumed the role of the prophet. He saw that the message of Jesus had been buried or distorted or institutionalized. He expressed the wrath and pity he felt because Jesus was not followed. Blake wanted to show as clearly as he could that man could gain release from his prison once he knew what manacles his own mind had forged.
Jerusalem, PLATE 77, (E 232) "To the Christians.
I stood among my valleys of the south And saw a flame of fire, even as a Wheel Of fire surrounding all the heavens: it went From west to east against the current of Creation and devourd all things in its loud Fury & thundering course round heaven & earth By it the Sun was rolld into an orb: By it the Moon faded into a globe, Travelling thro the night: for from its dire And restless fury, Man himself shrunk up Into a little root a fathom long. And I asked a Watcher & a Holy-One Its Name? he answerd. It is the Wheel of Religion I wept & said. Is this the law of Jesus This terrible devouring sword turning every way He answerd; Jesus died because he strove Against the current of this Wheel: its Name Is Caiaphas, the dark Preacher of Death Of sin, of sorrow, & of punishment; Opposing Nature! It is Natural Religion But Jesus is the bright Preacher of Life Creating Nature from this fiery Law, By self-denial & forgiveness of Sin. Go therefore, cast out devils in Christs name Heal thou the sick of spiritual disease Pity the evil, for thou art not sent To smite with terror & with punishments Those that are sick, like the Pharisees Crucifying &,encompassing sea & land For proselytes to tyranny & wrath, But to the Publicans & Harlots go! Teach them True Happiness, but let no curse Go forth out of thy mouth to blight their peace For Hell is opend to heaven; thine eyes beheld The dungeons burst & the Prisoners set free."
 These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans,
 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
 And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.