The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

William Blake

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THE ARGUMENT

Rintrah roars and shakes his fires in the burden'd air, Hungry clouds swag on the deep.

Once meek, and in a perilous path The just man kept his course along The Vale of Death. Roses are planted where thorns grow, And on the barren heath Sing the honey bees.

Then the perilous path was planted, And a river and a spring On every cliff and tomb; And on the bleached bones Red clay brought forth: Till the villain left the paths of ease To walk in perilous paths, and drive The just man into barren climes.

Now the sneaking serpent walks In mild humility; And the just man rages in the wilds Where lions roam.

Rintrah roars and shakes his fires in the burden'd air, Hungry clouds swag on the deep.

As a new heaven is begun, and it is now thirty-three years since its advent, the Eternal Hell revives. And lo! Swedenborg is the angel sitting at the tomb: his writings are the linen clothes folded up. Now is the dominion of Edom, and the return of Adam into Paradise.--See Isaiah xxxiv. and xxxv. chap.

Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.

From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil. Good is the passive that obeys reason; Evil is the active springing from Energy.

Good is heaven. Evil is hell.

THE VOICE OF THE DEVIL

All Bibles or sacred codes have been the cause of the following errors:--

1 - That man has two real existing principles, viz., a Body and a Soul.

2 - That Energy, called Evil, is alone from the Body; and that Reason, called Good, is alone from the Soul.

3 - That God will torment man in Eternity for following his Energies.

But the following contraries to these are true:--

1 - Man has no Body distinct from his Soul. For that called Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age.

2 - Energy is the only life, and is from the Body; and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.

3 - Energy is Eternal Delight.

Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place and governs the unwilling.

And being restrained, it by degrees becomes passive, till it is only the shadow of desire.

The history of this is written in Paradise Lost, and the Governor or Reason is called Messiah.

And the original Archangel or possessor of the command of the heavenly host is called the Devil, or Satan, and his children are called Sin and Death.

But in the book of Job, Milton's Messiah is called Satan.

For this history has been adopted by both parties.

It indeed appeared to Reason as if desire was cast out, but the Devil's account is, that the Messiah fell, and formed a heaven of what he stole from the abyss.

This is shown in the Gospel, where he prays to the Father to send the Comforter or desire that Reason may have ideas to build on, the Jehovah of the Bible being no other than he who dwells in flaming fire. Know that after Christ's death he became Jehovah.

But in Milton, the Father is Destiny, the Son a ratio of the five senses, and the Holy Ghost vacuum!

Note. --The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels and God, and at liberty when of Devils and Hell, is because he was a true poet, and of the Devil's party without knowing it.

A MEMORABLE FANCY

As I was walking among the fires of Hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius, which to Angels look like torment and insanity, I collected some of their proverbs, thinking that as the sayings used in a nation mark its character, so the proverbs of Hell show the nature of infernal wisdom better than any description of buildings or garments.

When I came home, on the abyss of the five senses, where a flat-sided steep frowns over the present world, I saw a mighty Devil folded in black clouds hovering on the sides of the rock; with corroding fires he wrote the following sentence now perceived by the minds of men, and read by them on earth:--

"How do you know but every bird that cuts the airy way Is an immense world of delight, closed by your senses five?"

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