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William Blake was, perhaps, more than a bit mad, but he knew beauty. He lived just when the ugliness of the Industrial Revolution was most obvious, but the benefits harder to see. He could see what was going wrong, dark Satanic mills like those of Dante, though he lacked the prophetic vision to see what good might come. Turmoil, revolutionary zeal, was opening up good possibilities for human dignity, but also being used to kill.
Heads were rolling and hearts were breaking. A sensitive soul found it all hard to stand and Blake did not endure with sound mind or doctrine.
Jesus - Blake - Jesus - Jesus - Reality
He loved Jesus so much that Blake was irritated with the Jesus he loved for not existing. The Jesus of reality, God in the flesh, could not be, because Newton. To Blake, this scientist had turned the lovely world into a mechanistic monster, lacking soul and innocence. This would have surprised Newton himself, theist and not-so-orthodox-but-still Christian. Blake, however, saw something Newton did not: his science would be used by materialists to try to disenchant the world.
Yet in the madness, just when you might give up on Blake, comes the beauty of his art and his poetry. He was a plain man on the edge who when he fell into despair, delirium, or delusion could still reach out to God. Nobody should admire Blake, everyone must pity him, but all of us could learn from him.
Beauty - Innocence - Beauty - Jesus - God
Beauty, I hope, saved him as innocence, beauty, and Jesus kept calling to him. He saw God in nature, in the changing of the seasons, and the faces of children. He despaired in the dirt of...
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