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Sunday, February 21, 2010


'voices of children are heard on the green'

I was struck by the following lines in Jerusalem because they reminded me of words I was familiar with in another context.

Jerusalem, Plate 55, (E 204)
"To be their inferiors or superiors we equally abhor;
Superior, none we know: inferior none: all equal share
Divine Benevolence & joy, for the Eternal Man
Walketh among us, calling us his Brothers & his Friends:"

To Quakers, those who belong (a loosely used term not signifying official membership) to the Religious Society of Friends, this has a familiar ring. One of our Testimonies is to Equality. Those of any age, sex, station, race, position, wealth, background, ability or disability: all are recognized as equally valuable to God and equally capable of manifesting His Spirit and responding to the His touch. We aim not to consider anyone superior or inferior, but all equal.

In the passage quoted Blake is speaking of the Eternals. But what he describes is the reality which Blake wants us all to experience - to 'equal share in that Divine Benevolence & joy', to know the 'Eternal Man who walks among us, calling us his Brothers & Friends.'

Quaker Equality Testimony on Page 2

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