|Illustrations to Pilgrim's Progress|
The Gate is Opened by Good-wil
Two of Blake's illustrations for Pilgrim's Progress, Plates 10 and 11, are devoted to the scene at the wicket-gate. Blake saw passing though gates as symbolic of undergoing transition to altered states of consciousness. Blake's Gates of Paradise depicts man passing through 18 gates as he traverses life from birth to death. Bunyan's Pilgrim was directed to pass through the wicket-gate in order to proceed in his quest to escape the 'wrath to come.'
In his illustrations Blake desires to change the emphasis on wrath to an emphasis on forgiveness. In the prologue to Gates of Paradise Blake states: "Mutual Forgiveness of each Vice Such are the Gates of Paradise." Jesus called himself "the door" and ''the way" indicating that his function is not to limit or restrict but to advance man as he progresses toward completion. Through Jesus man is able to forgive God, himself and his brothers, thereby receiving forgiveness in return.
The gate which Pilgrim passes through in Blake's images is the process of embracing the essence of forgiveness and being embraced by it. The potential energy of forgiveness has been changed to kinetic action.
 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
 And he arose, and departed to his house.
 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
This from Opening the Gate.