Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/281

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257
CRABB ROBINSON'S DIARY

is any purity in God's eyes? The angels in heaven are no more so than we—"he chargeth his angels with folly."' He afterwards extended this to the Supreme Being—he is liable to error too. Did he not repent him that he had made Nineveh?

It is easier to repeat the personal remarks of Blake than these metaphysical speculations so nearly allied to the most opposite systems. He spoke with seeming complacency of himself—said he acted by command. The spirit said to him, 'Blake, be an artist and nothing else.' In this there is felicity. His eye glistened while he spoke of the joy of devoting himself solely to divine art. 'Art is inspiration. When Michael Angelo or Raphael or Mr. Flaxman does any of his fine things, he does them in the spirit.' Blake said, 'I should be sorry if I had any earthly fame, for whatever natural glory a man has is so much detracted from his spiritual glory. I wish to do nothing for profit. I wish to live for art. I want nothing whatever. I am quite happy.'

Among the[1] unintelligible sentiments which he was continually expressing is his distinction between the natural and the spiritual world. The natural world must be consumed. Incidentally Swedenborg was spoken of. He was a divine teacher—he has done much good, and will do much good—he has corrected many errors of Popery, and also of Luther and Calvin. Yet he

  1. 'More remarkable' crossed out.