Tuesday, April 25, 2017

MANSIONS IN ETERNITY

British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Larry posted this to his blog Reflections of a Happy Old Man on Friday, December 30, 2011.

Ageing

For many years I used to say, "this is the best year of my life".

But everything comes to an end.
 
2012 looms ahead as a stopping point.  There will be many challenges; there will be triumphs -- and failures.  This is par for the course, but right now with greater intensity than ever before.
 
Two years ago, when Ellie took up Blake, a great new vitality came into our lives. What had been my (occasional) obsession became a primary interest for us. For two years we have posted on William Blake: Religion and Psychology, one or the other each day (ramhornd.blogspot.com).
 
That was a new discipline for me; heretofore I did Blake sporadically for a few months and then something else for a few months.   But every day!! No way, until two years ago. A salutary development.  (It occurred to me that this might have been the shape of my life, had not ten wartime years intruded over most of my twenties.)
 
However this intensive mental activity came at a cost.  After an intense two hours doing research I discovered I was sleepy (you might say my brain started getting sluggish). Strangely enough it was much like what happened to me after two intense hours of tennis.
 
Wow! a Discovery! Intense mental activity and/or physical activity led to a diminution of energy - for one or the other.
 
For an old man the challenge of this is to learn balanced habits that use the appropriate amount of the two activities -- to go from one to the other.  Perhaps this was simple second nature to many people much younger that my (advanced) age, but for me it was a Revelation.
 
Memory is the greatest problem. Strangely enough a fairly large vocabulary was still in force, but I was frequently guilty of making up a sentence with appropriate words, only to the find the appropriate words forgotten before I got around to writing them; like going to the kitchen for something and forgetting the purpose before I got there.
 
Memory is something to fight for. There are in fact two levels: the immediate memory continually diminished, but a (largely) unconscious reservoir exists available under certain circumstances. The challenge is to learn how to use it more consciously.  Memory loss is one of the primary concomitants of Alzheimer's disease and similar disabilities.
 
How can we learn to remember?
Letters, To Hayley, 1800, (E 705)
"Thirteen years ago.  I lost a
brother & with his spirit I  converse daily & hourly in the
Spirit.  & See him in my remembrance in the  regions of my
Imagination.  I hear his advice & even now write from his
Dictate--Forgive me for expressing to you my Enthusiasm which I
wish all to  partake of Since it is to me a Source of Immortal
Joy even in this world by it  I am the companion of Angels.  May
you continue to be so more & more & to  be more & more perswaded. 
that every Mortal loss is an Immortal Gain.  The  Ruins of Time
builds Mansions in Eternity." 
Four Zoas, Night VII, PAGE 87 [95] (FIRST PORTION), (E 367)
"Mourning the daughters of Beulah saw nor could they have sustaind
The horrid sight of death & torment   But the Eternal Promise
They wrote on all their tombs & pillars & on every Urn     
These words   If ye will believe your Brother shall rise again
In golden letters ornamented with sweet labours of Love
Waiting with Patience for the fulfilment of the Promise Divine"

One friend made this comment:
 Vincent said...
Hi Larry
 

It's a delight to discover this blog after we already know one another through Blake. I discovered this blog through googling Ellie Divine Economy, in connection in the project Ellie & I have recently brought to fruition, & deciding to make it the topic of my next post on A Wayfarer’s Notes.
 

I reached 72 the other day which is nothing much by the standards of you and Ellie, but I notice a diminution gradually but probably inexorably advancing, especially in physical activity.
 

Being retired like you both, it's daily on my mind that my primary task is to go gracefully and to bequeath what I have to offer in a clean and tidy state. In material things my main asset is this little house. There are two younger children to leave it to. A previous one was shared between the two elder ones, enabling them to buy their own properties - not easy for young people in England today. The other thing to bequeath is my writings. The project with Ellie and Divine Economy has revealed a straightforward model: to publish and give them away freely: divine economy in action.
 

It doesn't matter how important these tasks are to the world. We do our little bit with the strength that we have.
 

Bless you both for the inspiration you have provided and continue to provide.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

JOB - PAGE 21


Wikipedia Commons
Job and His Wife Restored to Prosperity
Linnell Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:

Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints (Revelation 15: 3)
So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning (Job 42: 12)
After this lived Job and hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days (Job 42: 16-17)
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou has had no pleasure (Hebrews 10: 6)

Revelation 15
[2] And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
[3] And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

Job 42
[12] So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
[13] He had also seven sons and three daughters.
[14] And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Keren-happuch.
[15] And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
[16] After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations.

Hebrews 10
[6] In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
[7] Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
[8] Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
[9] Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
[10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
...
[16] This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
[17] And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Blake's final illustration of the Book of Job is titled Job and His Wife Restored to Prosperity. Job had traveled a journey through destruction, doubt and despair. He had sunk into the darkness of his own distorted psyche and had been brought out by the Wind of the Spirit which replaced worn out hand-me-down images to which he had tenaciously clung. He had been guided into building new understandings and new ways of relating in the exterior world. He now had the perspective and the tools to live in the joyous knowledge of being a human vehicle in which the Spirit dwells. The image which Blake  choose to represent Job's new status was music. Job and his family, representing the Brotherhood of Man, joined in producing the song which expressed the gifts that they had received and then returned joyfully to a world unaccustomed to their offering of saving grace.

Kathleen Raine in Golgonnoza : City of Imagination, makes this statement about Blake's use of the term 'Art':
"In Eastern civilizations some form of meditation is the norm of spiritual practice. For Blake art was such a practice and the arts are the channels through which visions of these 'eternal things displayed' are embodied and disseminated. 'Prayer is the Study of Art. Praise is the Practice of Art.' Prayer is receptive, praise active: the one must precede the other." (Page 6)

Producing music together is the Practice of Art for which Job's long journey was the study or preparation. Blake pictures images in his final illustration which allude to the bringing together of the Four Zoas (instinct, emotion, intellect and intuition), of Male and Female (the sun and moon), and of Earth and Heaven (job stands on earth and reaches for heaven). What remains of the process which was described in the Book of Job is for the Holy Spirit as Imagination to remain active as Job continues to live in the knowledge of the presence of God Within.

Europe, Plate iii, (E 60)
"Five windows light the cavern'd Man; thro' one he breathes the air;
Thro' one, hears music of the spheres; thro' one, the eternal vine
Flourishes, that he may recieve the grapes; thro' one can look.
And see small portions of the eternal world that ever groweth;
Thro' one, himself pass out what time he please, but he will not;
For stolen joys are sweet, & bread eaten in secret pleasant.
 
Milton, Plate 27 [29], (E 125)
"But in Eternity the Four Arts: Poetry, Painting, Music,          
And Architecture which is Science: are the Four Faces of Man.
Not so in Time & Space: there Three are shut out, and only
Science remains thro Mercy: & by means of Science, the Three
Become apparent in time & space, in the Three Professions
Poetry in Religion: Music, Law: Painting, in Physic & Surgery: 

That Man may live upon Earth till the time of his awaking,
And from these Three, Science derives every Occupation of Men."

Jerusalem, Plate 3, (E 146)
"Poetry Fetter'd, Fetters the Human Race! Nations are Destroy'd,
or Flourish, in proportion as Their Poetry Painting and Music,
are Destroy'd or Flourish! The Primeval State of Man, was Wisdom,
Art, and Science."

Vision of Last Judgment, (E 559)
"Poetry Painting & Music the three Powers in
Man of conversing with Paradise which the flood did not Sweep
away"   

Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 231)
 "I know of no other
Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body
& mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination.   
  Imagination the real & eternal World of which this Vegetable
Universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our
Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies
are no more.  The Apostles knew of no other Gospel.  What were
all their spiritual gifts? What is the Divine Spirit? is the Holy
Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain? What is the
Harvest of the Gospel & its Labours? What is that Talent which it
is a curse to hide? What are the Treasures of Heaven which we are
to lay up for ourselves, are they any other than Mental Studies &
Performances? What are all the Gifts. of the Gospel, are they not
all Mental Gifts? Is God a Spirit who must be worshipped in
Spirit & in Truth and are not the Gifts of the Spirit Every-thing
to Man? O ye Religious discountenance every one among
you who shall pretend to despise Art & Science! I call upon you
in the Name of Jesus! What is the Life of Man but Art & Science?
is it Meat & Drink? is not the Body more than Raiment? What is
Mortality but the things relating to the Body, which Dies? What
is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit, which Lives
Eternally! What is the joy of Heaven but Improvement in the
things of the Spirit? What are the Pains of Hell but Ignorance,
Bodily Lust, Idleness & devastation of the things of the
Spirit?
...
 Let every Christian as much as in him lies engage himself
openly & publicly before all the World in some Mental pursuit for
the Building up of Jerusalem"
 
Here I Am Lord

Friday, April 14, 2017

JOB - PAGE 20


Wikipedia Commons
Job And His Daughters
Linnell Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
Page 20
This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:17)
And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren (Job 42:15)
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make bed in hell, behold, thou art there (Psalm 139:8)
Psalms 139
[16] Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
[17] How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
[18] If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
...
[23] Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
[24] And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Job 42
[12] So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
[13] He had also seven sons and three daughters.
[14] And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Keren-happuch.
[15] And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
[16] After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations.
[17] So Job died, being old and full of days.

Psalms 139
[7] Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
[8] If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
[9] If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
[10] Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

First Chronicles 28
[9] And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

Hebrews 4
[10] For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
[11] Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
[12] For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
[13] Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

There is little in the Book of Job which could explain this picture. Yes, Job was restored to prosperity and his three beautiful daughters were allowed to inherit along with their brothers.  But Blake wanted us to look beyond the obvious to find deeper meanings. If the last three pages of Blake's illustrations of Job were meant to represent the response of gratitude which Job expressed following his acceptance by God when he offered himself in service, this picture shows a way to express the profound feelings of thankfulness which one feels in the heart. The feminine to Blake is the outward expression of the inward activity. Blake was showing that Job's experiences as shown in the pictures displayed behind him, were transmitted to his daughters through words and images. The daughters themselves become the manifestation of the transformative journey which Job underwent as he explored his relationship to the true God behind the image of God which he had accepted. 

The concept of daughters often appears in Blake's thought. There are Daughters of Albion, Beulah, Los, Jerusalem, Memory, Inspiration, Urizen, Enitharmon, Vala, Luvah and others. The ultimate daughters for Blake himself were his production of visual and verbal art which came from his Imagination which was the Holy Spirit acting through him.

Jerusalem, Plate 73, (E 229)
"The Spectres of the Dead bowl round the porches of Los
In the terrible Family feuds of Albions cities & villages
To devour the Body of Albion, hungring & thirsting & ravning
The Sons of Los clothe them & feed, & provide houses & gardens
And every Human Vegetated Form in its inward recesses            
Is a house of pleasantness & a garden of delight Built by the
Sons & Daughters of Los in Bowlahoola & in Cathedron"
 
Jerusalem, Plate 74, (E 229)
"The Spectre is the Reasoning Power in Man; & when separated      
From Imagination, and closing itself as in steel, in a Ratio
Of the Things of Memory. It thence frames Laws & Moralities
To destroy Imagination! the Divine Body, by Martyrdoms & Wars

Teach me O Holy Spirit the Testimony of Jesus! let me
Comprehend wonderous things out of the Divine Law" 

Milton, Plate 2, (E 96)
"Daughters of Beulah! Muses who inspire the Poets Song
Record the journey of immortal Milton thro' your Realms
Of terror & mild moony lustre, in soft sexual delusions
Of varied beauty, to delight the wanderer and repose
His burning thirst & freezing hunger! Come into my band    
By your mild power; descending down the Nerves of my right arm
From out the Portals of my Brain, where by your ministry
The Eternal Great Humanity Divine. planted his Paradise,
And in it caus'd the Spectres of the Dead to take sweet forms
In likeness of himself." 
Vision of Last Judgment, Page 68, (E 554)
"The Last Judgment is not Fable or Allegory
but   Vision. Fable or Allegory are a totally distinct & inferior
kind of Poetry.  Vision or Imagination is a Representation of
what Eternally Exists.  Really & Unchangeably.  Fable or Allegory
is Formd by the Daughters of Memory.  Imagination is Surrounded
by the daughters of Inspiration who in the aggregate are calld
Jerusalem" 

Monday, April 10, 2017

JOB - PAGE 19

Wikipedia Commons
Job Accepting Charity 
Linnell Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
Page 19


This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:


The lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up (I Samuel 2:7)
Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God (Job 38:41)
. . . every man also gave him a piece of money (Job 42: 11)
Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever (Psalm 136: 23)

First Samuel 2
[1] And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
[2] There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
[3] Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
[4] The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
[5] They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
[6] The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
[7] The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.

Job 38
[36] Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
[37] Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
[38] When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?
[39] Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
[40] When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
[41] Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

Job 42
[10] And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
[11] Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
[12] So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
[13] He had also seven sons and three daughters.

Psalms 136
[21] And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
[22] Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
[23] Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
[24] And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
[25] Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
[26] O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Philippians 4
[10] But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
[12] I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.


Job had reached another stage in his spiritual development. Perhaps Blake would call it the consciousness of the Brotherhood of Man. Characteristic of this stage is awareness that God is the source of all of our abilities or our disabilities, of our blessings or our hardships, of our wealth or our poverty. As is expressed in a Shaker hymn, "Tis the gift to be simple" (which was adapted and adopted by the Quakers): 'To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed."

"And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,
'Till by turning we come down right."


By accepting gifts from those who had previously shown disapproval, Job and his wife display an attitude of humility. The pride of the couple in their ability to acquire all they needed by their own efforts has been replaced by gratitude to those who show concern for them. The tree behind Job is growing and bearing fruit, symbolizing the productive life which is entered when man sees others as brothers, not enemies or rivals.  

Milton, Plate 31 [34], (E 130)
"Thou hearest the Nightingale begin the Song of Spring;
The Lark sitting upon his earthy bed: just as the morn
Appears; listens silent; then springing from the waving Corn-field! loud
He leads the Choir of Day! trill, trill, trill, trill,
Mounting upon the wings of light into the Great Expanse:
Reecchoing against the lovely blue & shining heavenly Shell:
His little throat labours with inspiration; every feather
On throat & breast & wings vibrates with the effluence Divine    
All Nature listens silent to him & the awful Sun
Stands still upon the Mountain looking on this little Bird
With eyes of soft humility, & wonder love & awe.
Then loud from their green covert all the Birds begin their Song
The Thrush, the Linnet & the Goldfinch, Robin & the Wren         
Awake the Sun from his sweet reverie upon the Mountain:
The Nightingale again assays his song, & thro the day,
And thro the night warbles luxuriant; every Bird of Song
Attending his loud harmony with admiration & love.
This is a Vision of the lamentation of Beulah over Ololon!"  

Poetical Sketches, Contemplation, (E 442)
"Who is this, that with unerring step dares tempt the wilds, where
only Nature's foot hath trod? 'Tis Contemplation, daughter of the
grey Morning! Majestical she steppeth, and with her pure quill on
every flower writeth Wisdom's name.  Now lowly bending, whispers
in mine ear, "O man, how great, how little thou! O man, slave of
each moment, lord of eternity! seest thou where Mirth sits on the
painted cheek? doth it not seem ashamed of such a place, and grow
immoderate to brave it out? O what an humble garb true joy puts
on! Those who want Happiness must stoop to find it; it is a
flower that grows in every vale.  Vain foolish man, that roams on
lofty rocks! where, 'cause his garments are swoln with wind, he
fancies he is grown into a giant! Lo then, Humility, take it, and
wear it in thine heart; lord of thyself, thou then art lord of
all."

Monday, April 03, 2017

JOB - PAGE 18

Wikipedia Commons
Job's Sacrifice
Butts Set of Illustrations for the Book of Job
Page 18
This is the Legend on the engraving which Blake later made of this image:

. . . the Lord also accepted Job (Job 42:9)
. . . and my servant Job shall pray for you (Job 42:8)
And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends (Job 42: 10)
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them at curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44)
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5: 45)
________________________
Job 42
[5] I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
[6] Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
[7] And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
[8] Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
[9] So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.
[10] And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

 
Matthew 5
[38] Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
[39] But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
[40] And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
[41] And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
[42] Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
[43] Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
[44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
[45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
[46] For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
[47] And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
[48] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.


When Job gained a new confidence in his ability to experience God's presence within himself, he found that he was able to relate differently to the outside world. When he felt accepted by a God who loved him and whom he could love, he was ready to stand before the altar and offer himself in service to God. One form which this service took was becoming an intercessor for his friends. Blake shows Job in the crucifix position to emphasize that Job is sacrificing himself in order to become a blessing to those who have been the enemies of his spiritual development. 

This is the point on the spiritual journey at which one is overwhelmed by gratitude. The inclusive nature of God's love elicits the response in man of generosity. Prayer is an offering which cements the circle of obligation among men and between mankind and God.

There are other implications to Blake's 18th illustration of the book of Job which may be be less obvious. The background of the figure of Job is a stone altar on which the flames indicate that an offering is being consumed. Both stones and fire are ambivalent symbols: stone is associated with the Old Testament, the law and a God of wrath; fire is associated with the New Testament, faith, and the God of forgiveness. But the same stone of law and sacrifice was the means God used to shape man into a consciousness receptive to the message of love. The same fire which consumed the offerings for sin became the symbol for the advent on the Holy Spirit entering the minds of men and breaking down the separations among them.

Twice Blake used the phrase 'stones of fire' found in Ezekiel. His implication was that the spirit of man must learn to traverse the dangers implicit in living in two worlds, of knowing himself as susceptible to the temptations of his mortal flesh although being in essence an immortal spirit. If Job had indeed learned this lesson he was capable of forgiving and becoming an intercessor for his fellow man.

J. B. Phillips Translation

Hebrews 10:1-18
The Law possessed only a dim outline of the benefits Christ would bring and did not actually reproduce them. Consequently it was incapable of perfecting the souls of those who offered their regular annual sacrifices. For if it had, surely the sacrifices would have been discontinued - on the grounds that the worshippers, having been really cleansed, would have had no further consciousness of sin. In practice, however, the sacrifices amounted to an annual reminder of sins; for the blood of bulls and goats cannot really remove the guilt of sin.

Therefore, when Christ enters the world, he says:

    'Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure. Then I said, Behold, I have come - in the volume of books it is written of me - to do your will, O God' (Psalm 40:6-8).

After saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin you did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are made according to the Law), Christ then says, "Behold, I have come to do your will, O God."

That means he is dispensing with the old order of sacrifices, and establishing a new order of obedience to the will of God, and in that will we have been made holy by the single unique offering of the body of Christ.

Every human priest stands day by day performing his religious duties and offering time after time the same sacrifices - which can never actually remove sins. But this man (Jesus), after offering one sacrifice for sins for ever, took his seat at God's right hand (in heaven), from that time offering no more sacrifice, but waiting until "his enemies be made his footstool". For by virtue of that one offering he has perfected for all time every one (of those Christians) whom he makes holy. The Holy Spirit himself endorses this truth for us, when he says, first:

    'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them' (Jeremiah 31:33).

And then, he adds,

    'Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more' (Jeremiah 31:34).

Where God grants remission of sin there can be no question of making further atonement.


Hebrews 10 (King James Version)

Acts 2
[2] And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
[3] And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
[4] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
[5] And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
[6] Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
[7] And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
[8] And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
[9] Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
[10] Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
[11] Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
[12] And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?


GATES of PARADISE: For The Sexes, Prologue, (E 259)
"Mutual Forgiveness of each Vice
Such are the Gates of Paradise
Against the Accusers chief desire
Who walkd among the Stones of Fire
Jehovahs Finger Wrote the Law
Then Wept! then rose in Zeal & Awe
And the Dead Corpse from Sinais heat 
Buried beneath his Mercy Seat        
O Christians Christians! tell me Why
You rear it on your Altars high"
Jerusalem, Plate 49, (E 199)
"Learn therefore O Sisters to distinguish the Eternal Human
That walks about among the stones of fire in bliss & woe
Alternate! from those States or Worlds in which the Spirit travels:
This is the only means to Forgiveness of Enemies"    
Europe, Plate 2, (E 61)
"Unwilling I look up to heaven! unwilling count the stars!
Sitting in fathomless abyss of my immortal shrine.
I sieze their burning power
And bring forth howling terrors, all devouring fiery kings.

Devouring & devoured roaming on dark and desolate mountains      
In forests of eternal death, shrieking in hollow trees.
Ah mother Enitharmon!
Stamp not with solid form this vig'rous progeny of fires.

I bring forth from my teeming bosom myriads of flames.
And thou dost stamp them with a signet, then they roam abroad    
And leave me void as death:
Ah! I am drown'd in shady woe, and visionary joy.

And who shall bind the infinite with an eternal band?
To compass it with swaddling bands? and who shall cherish it
With milk and honey?                                             
I see it smile & I roll inward & my voice is past.

She ceast & rolld her shady clouds
Into the secret place." 
Jerusalem, Plate 62, (E 213) 
"But Los beheld the Divine Vision among the flames of the Furnaces
Therefore he lived & breathed in hope. but his tears fell incessant
Because his Children were closd from him apart: & Enitharmon
Dividing in fierce pain: also the Vision of God was closd in clouds
Of Albions Spectres, that Los in despair oft sat, & often ponderd
On Death Eternal in fierce shudders upon the mountains of Albion 
Walking: & in the vales in howlings fierce, then to his Anvils
Turning, anew began his labours, tho in terrible pains!" 
Jerusalem, Plate 95, (E 254)
"Her voice pierc'd Albions clay cold ear. he moved upon the Rock
The Breath Divine went forth upon the morning hills, Albion mov'd
Upon the Rock, he opend his eyelids in pain; in pain he mov'd
His stony members, he saw England. Ah! shall the Dead live again

The Breath Divine went forth over the morning hills Albion rose 
In anger: the wrath of God breaking bright flaming on all sides around
His awful limbs: into the Heavens he walked clothed in flames
Loud thundring, with broad flashes of flaming lightning & pillars
Of fire, speaking the Words of Eternity in Human Forms, in direful
Revolutions of Action & Passion, thro the Four Elements on all sides  
Surrounding his awful Members." 
Milton, Plate 21 [23], (E 116)
"Seven mornings Los heard them, as the poor bird within the shell
Hears its impatient parent bird; and Enitharmon heard them:
But saw them not, for the blue Mundane Shell inclosd them in.    

And they lamented that they had in wrath & fury & fire
Driven Milton into the Ulro; for now they knew too late
That it was Milton the Awakener: they had not heard the Bard,
Whose song calld Milton to the attempt; and Los heard these laments.
He heard them call in prayer all the Divine Family;              
And he beheld the Cloud of Milton stretching over Europe.

But all the Family Divine collected as Four Suns" 
Songs and Ballads, From Blake's Notebook, (E 481)
"I am in Gods presence night & day         
And he never turns his face away
The accuser of sins by my side does stand                      
And he holds my money bag in his hand

For my worldly things God makes him pay   
And hed pay for more if to him I would pray
And so you may do the worst you can do
Be assurd Mr Devil I wont pray to you                         
                
Then If for Riches I must not Pray
God knows I little of Prayers need say
So as a Church is known by its Steeple    
If I pray it must be for other People"
Four Zoas, Night IX, Page 123, (E 393)
"Four Starry Universes going forward from Eternity to Eternity
And the Falln Man who was arisen upon the Rock of Ages           

PAGE 124
Beheld the Vision of God & he arose up from the Rock
And Urizen arose up with him walking thro the flames
Still to the Rock in vain they strove to Enter the Consummation
Together for the Redeemd Man could not enter the Consummation"