Page:The sanity of William Blake.djvu/67
of William Blake 55
to him or other seers. "He only claimed," says Linnell, one of his most ardent disciples, "the possession of a power that all men have, but mostly lose because of their vanity and unrighteousness." To see visions is, in one sense, but seeing through and not with the eye. In another it is the involuntary instinctive personifying of abstractions. To a lady who asked Blake where he had seen certain lambs in a meadow that turned out to be sculptured he replied, tapping his fore-head, "Here, madam"—an answer quite sufficient to one who has never realized that, for instance, the mechanical droning of the Scriptures in church will never inspire the people. The point was simply this: that with him the spiritual was in all things supreme, and the real disaster attending life, the only danger of death, lay in dependence upon things, the worship of symbols, the mistaking the letter for the law, works for the faith, and so forth. And throughout his life he was sublimely consistent.
If I had only depended upon mortal things, both myself and my wife must have been lost. If we fear to do the dictates of our angels, and tremble at the tasks set before us; if we refuse to do spiritual acts because of natural fears or natural