Page:The letters of William Blake (1906).djvu/24

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xviii
INTRODUCTION

and god-like energy begotten of this faith. The union with the Divine through Art and Love—that is the central fact of his life and work, his one and ever-present ideal; and it is not surprising to find it his principal topic when he is writing to his friends. The only possible redemption was, he believed, through the imagination; he was, therefore, continually occupied with casting out from himself everything that was not imagination, and adjuring others to do the same, that the same eternal life, which he already possessed in himself, might be theirs too. "I know of no other Christianity," he writes in Jerusalem, "and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body and mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination: Imagination, the real & eternal World of which this Vegetable Universe is but a faint shadow, and in which we shall live in our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more.... Is the Holy Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain?... Is God a Spirit, who must be worshipped in Spirit & in Truth, and are not the Gifts of the Spirit Everything to Man?... 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?... Answer this to yourselves, & expel from among you those who pretend to despise the labours of Art