Home  »  The Poetical Works by William Blake  »  [The Worship of God]

William Blake (1757–1827). The Poetical Works. 1908.

Selections from ‘Jerusalem’

[The Worship of God]

(Jerusalem, f. 91, ll. 1–30.)

IT is easier to forgive an Enemy than to forgive a Friend.

The man who permits you to injure him deserves your vengeance;

He also will receive it. Go, Spectre! obey my most secret desire,

Which thou knowest without my speaking. Go to these Friends of Righteousness,

Tell them to obey their Humanities, and not pretend Holiness,

When they are murderers. As far as my Hammer and Anvil permit,

Go tell them that the Worship of God is honouring His gifts

In other men, and loving the greatest men best, each according

To his Genius, which is the Holy Ghost in Man: there is no other

God than that God who is the intellectual fountain of Humanity.

He who envies or calumniates, which is murder and cruelty,

Murders the Holy One. Go tell them this, and overthrow their cup,

Their bread, their altar-table, their incense, and their oath,

Their marriage and their baptism, their burial and consecration.

I have tried to make friends by corporeal gifts, but have only

Made enemies; I never made friends but by spiritual gifts,

By severe contentions of friendship, and the burning fire of thought.

He who would see the Divinity must see Him in His Children,

One first in friendship and love, then a Divine Family, and in the midst

Jesus will appear. So he who wishes to see a Vision, a perfect Whole,

Must see it in its Minute Particulars, organized; and not as thou,

O Fiend of Righteousness, pretendest! thine is a disorganized

And snowy cloud, brooder of tempests and destructive War.

You smile with pomp and rigour, you talk of benevolence and virtue;

I act with benevolence and virtue, and get murder’d time after time;

You accumulate Particulars, and murder by analysing, that you

May take the aggregate, and you call the aggregate Moral Law;

And you call that swell’d and bloated Form a Minute Particular.

But General Forms have their vitality in Particulars; and every

Particular is a Man, a Divine Member of the Divine Jesus.