Anyone may learn to know and love William Blake. Small steps include reading, asking questions, making comments about posts made here (or anywhere else for that matter). We are ordinary people interested in Blake and anxious to meet and converse with any others. Tip: The primary text for Blake is on line. The url is Contents.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blake's Church

Blake was born and reared in a Dissenting world; his family was at one time associated with the Swedenborg's New Church and with the Moravians. Both of these groups had grown beyond the usual religious sexual prohibitions, and his early positive attitude toward sexual practices reflects that.

Blake was what the French referred to as anti-clerical. He knew too well the enormous religious corruption and depravity that characterized the Established Church for 1800 years,

"The Church Universal was the only Church that he recognized; its congregation was the Brotherhood of Man.....All other Churches Blake rejected with the Dissenter's loathing..." (Damon Page 82)

His primary doctrines were the forgiveness of sins and the annihilation of the Selfhood. He rarely spoke of sin; he considered people's deficiencies as errors rather than evil. As stated in an earlier post, hindering another was the primary 'sin' he recognized: "Murder is Hindering Another; Theft is Hindering another; Backbiting, Undermining, Circumventing, and whatever is Negative is Vice" (Erdman 601)

Blake spoke of the 27 churches-- a religious history of the Judeo-Christian world:
"Satan and Adam are States Created into Twenty-seven Churches"
(Milton plate 32/35; Erdman 132)

"And these the names of the Twenty-seven Heavens & their Churches
Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch,Methuselah, Lamech: these are Giants mighty Hermaphroditic
Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Cainan the second, Salah, Heber,
Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, these are the Female-Males
A Male within a Female hid as in an Ark & Curtains,
Abraham, Moses, Solomon, Paul, Constantine, Charlemaine
Luther, these seven are the Male-Females, the Dragon Forms
Religion hid in War, a Dragon red & hidden Harlot"

With these images he was describing the 'dominant voice'
in each of the 27 periods of history that he had devised.

Think about what Blake meant with the last seven of the
or ask me.

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