The Everlasting Gospel (complete)

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The Everlasting Gospel (complete)
by William Blake
Reflects the order in the "Textual notes" of David Erdman's "The Complete Poetry & Prose" edition. Source: "Blake Archive". See also: The works of William Blake, poetic, symbolic and critical/2/The Everlasting Gospel.

The Everlasting Gospel




[ a ]

[ Page 1 ]

There is not one Moral Virtue that Jesus Inculcated but Plato & Cicero did Inculcate before him what then did Christ Inculcate. Forgiveness of Sins This alone is the Gospel & this is the Life & Immortality brought to light by Jesus. Even the Covenant of Jehovah, which is This If you forgive one another your Trespasses so shall Jehovah forgive you That he himself may dwell among you but if you Avenge you Murder the Divine Image & he cannot dwell among you [by his] because you Murder him he arises Again & you deny that he is Arisen & are blind to Spirit






* * *




[ b ]

[ Page 2 ]

What can this Gospel of Jesus be
What Life Immortality
What was [It]<it> that he brought to Light
That Plato & Cicero did not write

5 <The Heathen Deities wrote them all
These Moral Virtues great & small
What is the Accusation of Sin
But Moral Virtues deadly Gin>
The Moral Virtues in their Pride
10 Did [ove[r]]<oer> the World triumphant ride
In Wars & Sacrifice for Sin
And Souls to Hell ran trooping in
The Accuser Holy God of All
This Pharisaic Worldly Ball
15 Amidst them in his Glory Beams
Upon the Rivers & the Streams
Then Jesus rose & said to [men]<Me>
Thy Sins are all forgiven thee
Loud Pilate Howld loud Caiphas Yelld
20 When they the Gospel Light beheld
[Jerusalem he said to me]

[ Plage 3 ]

It was when Jesus said to Me
Thy Sins are all forgiven thee
The Christian trumpets loud proclaim
Thro all the World in Jesus name
25 Mutual forgiveness of each Vice
And oped the Gates of Paradise
The Moral Virtues in Great fear
Formed the Cross & Nails & Spear
And the Accuser standing by
30 Cried out Crucify Crucify
Our Moral Virtues neer can be
Nor Warlike pomp & Majesty
For Moral Virtues all begin
In the Accusations of Sin
35 <And [Moral]<all the Heroic> Virtues [all]<End>
In destroying the Sinners Friend>
Am I not Lucifer the Great
And you my daughters in Great State
The fruit of my Myster[i]ous Tree
40 Of Good & Evil & Misery

[ Page 4 ]

And Death & Hell which now begin
On every one who Forgives Sin

[ c ]


[ Page 4 CONTINUED ]

If Moral Virtue was Christianity
Christs Pretensions were all Vanity
And Caiphas & Pilate Men
[Of Moral]<Praise Worthy> & the Lions Den
5 And not the Sheepfold Allegories
Of God & Heaven & their Glories
The Moral Christian is the Cause
Of the Unbeliever & his Laws

The Roman Virtues Warlike Fame
10 Take Jesus & Jehovahs Name.
For what is Antichrist but those
Who against Sinners Heaven close
With Iron bars in Virtuous State
And Rhadamanthus at the Gate


[ d ]


[ NOTEBOOK PAGE 120: ]

Was Jesus Born of a Virgin Pure
With narrow Soul & looks demure
If he intended to take on Sin
The Mother should an Harlot been
5 Just such a one as Magdalen
With seven devils in her Pen
<Or were Jew Virgins still more Curst
And more sucking devils nurst>
Or what was it which he took on
10 That he might bring Salvation
A Body subject to be Tempted
From neither pain nor grief Exempted
Or such a body as might not feel
The passions that with Sinners deal
15 Yes but they say he never fell
Ask Caiaphas for he can tell
He mockd the Sabbath & he mockd
The Sabbaths God & he unlocked
The Evil spirits from their Shrines
20 And turnd Fishermen to Divines
[End(ed)]<Oerturnd> the Tent of Secret Sins
& its Golden cords & Pins
Tis the Bloody Shrine of War
Pinnd around from Star to Star
25 Halls of Justice hating Vice
Where the Devil Combs his Lice
He turnd the devils into Swine
That he might tempt the Jews to Dine
Since which a Pig has got a look
30 That for a Jew may be mistook
Obey your Parents what says he
Woman what have I to do with thee
No Earthly Parents I confess
I am doing my Fathers Business
35 He scornd [his]<Earths> Parents scornd [his]<Earths> God
And mockd the one & the others, Rod
His Seventy Disciples sent
Against Religion & Government
They by the Sword of Justice fell
40 And him their Cruel Murderer tell
He left his Fathers trade to roam
A wandring Vagrant without Home
And thus he others labour stole
That he might live above Controll
45 The Publicans & Harlots he
Selected for his Company
And from the Adulteress turnd away
Gods righteous Law that lost its Prey


[ e ]


[ Page 33 ]

The Vision of Christ that thou dost see
Is my Visions Greatest Enemy
Thine has a great hook nose like thine
Mine has a snub nose like to mine
5 Thine is the Friend of All Mankind
Mine speaks in parables to the Blind
Thine loves the same world that mine hates
Thy Heaven doors are my Hell Gates
Socrates taught what Melitus
10 Loathd as a Nations bitterest Curse
And Caiphas was in his own Mind
A benefactor of Mankind
Both read the Bible day & night
But thou readst black where I read white

[ f ]


[ Page 48-52 ]

Was Jesus Chaste or did he
Give any Lessons of Chastity
The morning blushd fiery red
Mary was found in Adulterous bed
5 Earth groand beneath & Heaven above
Trembled at discovery of Love
Jesus was sitting in Moses Chair
They brought the trembling Woman There
Moses commands she be stoned to Death
10 What was the sound of Jesus breath
He laid his hand on Moses Law
The Ancient Heavens in Silent Awe
Writ with Curses from Pole to Pole
All away began to roll
15 The Earth trembling & Naked lay
In secret bed of Mortal Clay
On Sinai felt the hand Divine
Putting back the bloody shrine
And she heard the breath of God
20 As she heard by Edens flood
Good & Evil are no more
Sinais trumpets cease to roar
Cease finger of God to Write
The Heavens are not clean in thy Sight
25 Thou art Good & thou Alone 25
Nor may the sinner cast one stone
To be Good only is to be
A Devil or else a Pharisee
Thou Angel of the Presence Divine
30 That didst create this Body of Mine 30
Wherefore has[t] thou writ these Laws
And Created Hells dark jaws
My Presence I will take from thee
A Cold Leper thou shalt be
35 Tho thou wast so pure & bright
That Heaven was Impure in thy Sightt
Tho thy Oath turnd Heaven Pale
Tho thy Covenant built Hells Jail
Tho thou didst all to Chaos roll
40 With the Serpent for its soul
Still the breath Divine does move
And the breath Divine is Love
Mary Fear Not Let me see
The Seven Devils that torment thee
45 Hide not from my Sight thy Sin
That forgiveness thou maist win
Has no Man Condemned thee
No Man Lord! then what is he
Who shall Accuse thee. Come Ye forth
50 Fallen Fiends of Heavnly birth
That have forgot your Ancient love
And driven away my trembling Dove
You shall bow before her feet
You shall lick the dust for Meat
55 And tho you cannot Love but Hate
Shall be beggars at Loves Gate
What was thy love Let me see it
Was it love or Dark Deceit
Love too long from Me has fled.
60 Twas dark deceit to Earn my bread
Twas Covet or twas Custom or
Some trifle not worth caring for
That they may call a shame & Sin
Loves Temple that God dwelleth in
65 And hide in secret hidden Shrine
The Naked Human form divine
And render that a Lawless thing
On which the Soul Expands its wing
But this O Lord this was my Sin
70 When first I let these Devils in
In dark pretence to Chastity
Blaspheming Love blaspheming thee
Thence Rose Secret Adulteries
And thence did Covet also rise
75 My Sin thou hast forgiven me
Canst thou forgive my Blasphemy
Canst thou return to this dark Hell
And in my burning bosom dwell
And canst thou Die that I may live
80 And canst thou Pity & forgive
Then Rolld the shadowy Man away
From the Limbs of Jesus to make them his prey
An Ever devo[u]ring appetite
Glittering with festering Venoms bright
85 Crying Crucify this cause of distress
Who dont keep the secrets of Holiness
All Mental Powers by Diseases we bind
But he heals the Deaf & the Dumb & the Blind
Whom God has afflicted for Secret Ends
90 He comforts & Heals & calls them Friends
But when Jesus was Crucified
Then was perfected his glittring pride
In three Nights he devourd his prey
And still he devours the Body of Clay
95 For Dust & Clay is the Serpents meat
Which never was made for Man to Eat

[ g ]


[ Page 54 ]

Seeing this False Christ In fury & Passion
I made my Voice heard all over the Nation
What are those &c


[ h ]


[ Page 48 ]

This was Spoke by My Spectre to Voltaire Bacon &c

Did Jesus teach Doubt or did he
Give any lessons of Philosophy
Charge Visionaries with Deceiving
Or call Men wise for not Believing

[ i ]


[ Pages 100-101 ]

Was Jesus gentle or did he
Give any marks of Gentility
When twelve years old he ran away
And left his Parents in dismay
5 When after three days sorrow found
Loud as Sinai's trumpet sound
No Earthly Parents I confess
My Heavenly Fathers business
Ye understand not what I say
10 And angry force me to obey
Obedience is a duty then
And favour gains with God & Men
John from the Wilderness loud cried
Satan gloried in his Pride
15 Come said Satan come away
Ill soon see if youll obey
John for disobedience bled
But you can turn the stones to bread
Gods high king & Gods high Priest
20 Shall Plant their Glories in your breast
If Caiaphas you will obey
If Herod you with bloody Prey
Feed with the Sacrifice & be
Obedient fall down worship me
25 Thunders & lightnings broke around
And Jesus voice in thunders sound
Thus I sieze the Spiritual Prey
Ye smiters with disease make way
I come Your King & God to sieze
30 Is God a Smiter with disease
The God of this World raged in vain
He bound Old Satan in his Chain
And bursting forth his furious ire
Became a Chariot of fire
35 Throughout the land he took his course
And traced Diseases to their Source
He cursd the Scribe & Pharisee
Trampling down Hipocrisy
Where eer his Chariot took its way
40 There Gates of Death let in the Day
Broke down from every Chain & Bar
And Satan in his Spiritual War
Dragd at his Chariot wheels loud howld
The God of this World louder rolld
45 The Chariot Wheels & louder still
His voice was heard from Zions hill
And in his hand the Scourge shone bright
He scourgd the Merchant Canaanite
From out the Temple of his Mind
50 And in his Body tight does bind
Satan & all his Hellish Crew
And thus with wrath he did subdue
The Serpent Bulk of Natures dross
Till he had naild it to the Cross
55 He took on Sin in the Virgins Womb
And put it off on the Cross & Tomb
To be Worshipd by the Church of Rome

[ j ]
[1]


(50) Do what you will this Lifes a Fiction
And is made up [o] of Contradiction

[ k ]


The Everlasting Gospelt
Was Jesus Humble or did he
Give any Proofs of Humility
Boast of high Things with Humble tone
And give with Charity a Stone
5 When but a Child he ran away
And left his Parents in Dismay
When they had wanderd three days long
These were the words upon his tongue
No Earthly Parents I confess
10 I am doing my Fathers business
When the rich learned Pharisee
Came to consult him secretly
Upon his heart with Iron pen
He wrote Ye must be born again
15 He was too proud to take a bribe
He spoke with authority not like a Scribe
He says with most consummate Art
Follow me I am meek & lowly of heart
As that is the only way to escape
20 The Misers net & the Gluttons trap
He who loves his Enemies betrays his Friends
This surely is not what Jesus intends
But the sneaking Pride of Heroic Schools
And the Scribes & Pharisees Virtuous Rules
25 For he acts with honest triumphant Pride
And this is the cause that Jesus died
He did not die with Christian Ease
Asking Pardon of his Enemies
If he had Caiphas would forgive
30 Sneaking submission can always live
He had only to say that God was the devil
And the devil was God like a Christian Civil
Mild Christian regrets to the devil confess
For affronting him thrice in the Wilderness
35 He had soon been bloody Caesars Elf
And at last he would have been Caesar himself
Like dr Priestly & Bacon & Newton
Poor Spiritual Knowledge is not worth a button
For thus the Gospel Sr Isaac confutes
40 God can only be known by his Attributes
And as for the Indwelling of the Holy Ghost
Or of Christ & his Father its all a boast
And Pride & Vanity of Imagination
That disdains to follow this Worlds Fashion
45 To teach doubt & Experiment
Certainly was not what Christ meant
What was he doing all that time
From twelve years old to manly prime
Was he then Idle or the Less
50 About his Fathers business
Or was his wisdom held in scorn
Before his wrath began to burn
In Miracles throughout the Land
That quite unnervd Lord Caiaphas hand
55 If he had been Antichrist Creeping Jesus
Hed have done any thing to please us
Gone sneaking into Synagogues
And not usd the Elders & Priests like dogs
But Humble as a Lamb or Ass
60 Obeyd himself to Caiaphas
God wants not Man to Humble himself
This is the trick of the ancient Elf
This is the Race that Jesus ran
Humble to God Haughty to Man
65 Cursing the Rulers before the People
Even to the temples highest Steeple
And when he Humbled himself to God
Then descended the Cruel Rod
If thou humblest thyself thou humblest met
70 Thou also dwellst in Eternity
Thou art a Man God is no more
Thy own humanity learn to adore
For that is my Spirit of Life
Awake arise to Spiritual Strife
75 And thy Revenge abroad display
In terrors at the Last Judgment day
Gods Mercy & Long Suffering
Is but the Sinner to Judgment to bring
Thou on the Cross for them shalt pray
80 And take Revenge at the Last Day
Jesus replied & thunders hurld
I never will Pray for the World
Once [I] did so when I prayd ill the Garden
I wishd to take with me a Bodily Pardon
85 Can that which was of Woman born
In the absence of the Morn
When the Soul fell into Sleep
And Archangels round it weep
Shooting out against the Light
90 Fibres of a deadly night
Reasoning upon its own Dark Fiction
In Doubt which is Self Contradiction
Humility is only Doubt
And does the Sun & Moon blot out
95 Rooting over with thorns & stems
The buried Soul & all its Gems
This Lifes dim Windows of the Soul
Distorts the Heavens from Pole to Pole
And leads you to Believe a Lie
100 When you see with not thro the Eye
That was born in a night to perish in a night
When the Soul slept in the beams of Light.

[ l ]


[ Plate 54 ]

I am sure This Jesus will not do
Either for Englishman or Jew

[ m ]


I will tell you what Joseph of Arimathea
Said to my Fairy was not it very queer
Pliny & Trajan what are You here
Come listen to Joseph of Arimathea
5 Listen patient & when Joseph has done
Twill make a fool laugh & a Fairy Fun

[ n ]


What can be done with such desperate Fools
Who follow after the Heathen Schools
I was standing by when Jesus died
(10) What I calld Humility they calld Pride





Notes


  1. The first version of the fragment "k" with two lines 50-51 different that correspond to 91-92 of "k".