Page:Life of William Blake 2, Gilchrist.djvu/246

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demon, with a key, has the charge of Sin, and is dragging her down by the hair. Beside them a figure is seen, scaled with iron scales from head to feet, precipitating himself into the abyss with the sword and balances: he is Og, king of Bashan.

On the right, beneath the cloud on which Abel kneels, is Abraham, with Sarah and Isaac, also with Hagar and Ishmael on the left. Abel kneels on a bloody cloud, descriptive of those Churches before the Flood, that they were filled with blood and fire and vapour of smoke. Even till Abraham's time the vapour and heat were not extinguished. These states exist now. Man passes on, but states remain for ever: he passes through them like a traveller, who may as well suppose that the places he has passed through exist no more, as a man may suppose that the states he has passed through exist no more: everything is eternal.

Beneath Ishmael is Mahomed: and beneath the falling figure of Cain is Moses, casting his tables of stone into the deeps. It ought to be understood that the persons, Moses and Abraham, are not here meant, but the states signified by those names; the individuals being representatives, or visions, of those states, as they were revealed to mortal man in the series of divine Revelations, as they are written in the Bible. These various states I have seen in my imagination. When distant, they appear as one man; but, as you approach, they appear multitudes of nations, Abraham hovers above his posterity, which appear as multitudes of children ascending from the earth, surrounded by stars, as it was said: 'As the stars of heaven for multitude.' Jacob and his twelve sons hover beneath the feet of Abraham, and receive their children from the earth. I have seen, when at a distance, multitudes of men in harmony appear like a single infant, sometimes in the arms of a female. This represented the Church.

But to proceed with the description of those on the left hand. Beneath the cloud on which Moses kneels are two figures, a male and a female, chained together by the feet.