The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Plate 2 The Argument
Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burden'd air
Hungry clouds swag on the deep.
Once meek, and in a perilous path,
The just man kept his course along
The vale of death.
Roses are planted where thorns grow,
And on the barren heath Sing the honey bees.
Then the perilous path was planted;
And a river and a spring
On every cliff and tomb;
And on the bleached bones
Red clay brought forth;
Till the villain left the paths of ease,
To walk in perilous paths, and drive
The just man into barren climes.
Now the sneaking serpent walks
In mild humility,
And the just man rages in the wilds
Where lions roam.
Rintrah raors & shakes his fires in the burden'd air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep.
As a new heaven is begun, and it is now thirty-three years since
its advent, the Eternal Hell revive. And lo! Swedenborg is the
Angel sitting at the tomb; his writings are the linen clothes
folded up. Now is the dominion of Edom, & the return of
Adam into Paradise. see Isaiah XXXIV & XXXV Chap.
Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and
Repulsion, Reason and energy, Love and Hate, are necessary
to Human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil.
Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active
springing from Energy.
Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.
Plate 4 The Voice of the Devil
All Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the
1. That Man has two real existing principles, Viz: a Body
& a Soul.
2. That Energy, call'd Evil, is alone from the Boy, & that
Reason, call'd Good, is alone from the Soul.
3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his
But the following Contraries to these are True:
1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul; for that call'd
Body is a portion of Soul discern'd by the five senses, the
chief inlets of Soul in this age.
2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body, and Reason
is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
3. Energy is Eternal Delight.
Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough
to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place &
governs the unwilling.
And being restrain'd it by degrees becomes passive, till it is
only the shadow of desire.
The history of this is written in Paradise Lost, & the Governor
or Reason is call'd Messiah.
And the original Archangel, or possessor of the command
of the heavenly host, is call'd the devil or Satan, and his
children are call'd Sin & Death.
But in the Book of Job Milton's Messiah is call'd Satan.
For this history has been adopted by both parties.
It indeed appear'd to Reason as if Desire was cat out; but
the Devil's account is that the Messiah fell, & formed a heaven
of what he stole from the Abyss.
This is shewn in the Gospel, where he prays to the father to
send the comforter, or Desire, that reason may have the desire to
build on, the Jehovah of the Bible being no other than he who
dwells in flaming fire. Know that after Christ's death, he
But in Milton, the Father is destiny, the Son a Ratio of the
five senses, & the Holy-ghost Vacuum!
Note. the reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of
Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because
he was a true Poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it.
Plates 6-7 A Memorable Fancy
As I was walking among the fires of hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius, which to the Angels look like torment and insanity, I collected some of their Proverbs, thinking that as the sayings used in a nation mark its character, so the proverbs of Hell shew the nature of Infernal wisdom better than any description of buildings or garments.
When I came home, on the abyss of the five senses, where a flat sided steep frowns over the present world, I saw a mighty Devil folded in black clouds hovering on the sides of the rock. With corroding fires he wrote the following sentence now perceived by the minds of men, & read by them on earth:
|How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way|
Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?
|Plates 7-10||Proverbs of Hell (selected)|
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.
The cut worm forgives the plow.
No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.
Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bring of Religion.
The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.
The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.
The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.
The nakedness of women is the work of God.
Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.
What is now proved was once only imagin'd.
The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.
Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
Expect poison from standing water.
The weak in courage is strong in cunning.
Damn braces. Bless relaxes.
Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not!
The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands and feet Proportion.
Exhuberance is Beauty.
Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.
The ancient poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountians, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses coudl perceive.
And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity;
Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav'd the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects; thus began Priesthood,
Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.
And at length they pronounc'd that the Gods had order'd such things.
Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.
Plates 12-13 A Memorable Fancy
|The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekial dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert that God spake to them; and whether they did not think at the time that they would be misunderstood, & so be the cause of imposition.|
Isaiah answer'd: 'I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover'd the infinite in everything, and as I was then perswaded & remain confirm'd, that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I car'd not for consequences, but wrote.'
|Then I asked: 'Does a firm perswasion that a thing is so mak it so?'|
He replied: 'All poets believe that it does, & in ages of imagination this firm perswasion removed mountains; but many are not capable of a firm perswasion of anything'.
Then Ezekiel said: 'The philosophy of the east taught the first principles of human perception. Some nations held one principle for the origin & some another. We of Israel taught that the Poetic Genius (as you now call it) was the first principle, and all the others merely derivative, which was the cause of our despising the Priests & Philosophers of other countries, and prophecying that all Gods would at last be proved to originate in ours & to be the tributaries of the Poetic Genius. It was this that our great poet, King David, desired so fervently & invokes so pathetically, saying by this he conquers enemies & governs kingdoms. And we so loved our God, that we cursed in his name all the deities of surrounding nationsm and asserted that they had rebelled. from these opinions the vulgar came to think that all nations would at last be subject to the Jews.'
'This,' said he, 'like all firm perswasions, is come to pass; for all nations believe the Jews' code and worship the Jews' god, and what greater subjection can be?'
I heard this with some wonder, & must confess my own conviction. After dinner I ask'd Isaiah to favour the world with his lost works;mhe said noe of equal value was lost. Ezekiel said the same of his.
I also asked Isaiah what made him go naked and barefoot three years? He answer'd, 'The same that made our friend Diogenes the Grecian.'
I then asked Ezekiel why he eat dung, & lay so long on his right & left wide? He answer'd, 'The desire of raising other men into a perception of the infinite. this the North American tribes practise, & is he honest who resists his genius or conscience only for the sake of present ease or gratification?'
The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire at the end of six thousand years is true, as I have heard from Hell.
|For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave his guard at tree of life; and when he does, the whole creation will be consumed and appear infinite and holy, wheras it now appears finite & corrupt.|
This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment.
But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his soul is to be expunged. this I shall do, but printing in the infernal method, by corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away, and displaying the infinite which was hid.
If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks in his cavern.
|PLATE 15||A Memorable Fancy|
I was in a Printing house in Hell & saw the method in which knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation.
|In the first chamber was a Dragon-Man, clearing away the rubbish from a cave's mouth; within, a number of Dragons were hollowing the cave.|
In the second chamber was a Viper folding round the rock & the cave, and others adorning it with gold, silver and precious stones.
In the third chamber was an Eagle with wings and feathers of air; he caused the inside of the cave to be infinite. Around were numbers of Eagle-like men, who built palaces in the immense cliffs.
In the fourth chamber were Lions of flaming fire, raging around & melting the metals into living fluids.
In the fifth chamber were Unnam'd forms, which cast the metals into the expanse.
There they were receiv'd by Men who occupied the sixth chamber, and took the forms of books & were arranged in libraries.
The Giants who formed this world into its sensual existence, and now seem to live in it in chains, are in truth the cause of its life & the sources of all activity; but the chains are the cunning of weak and tame minds, which have the power to resist energy - according to the proverb, the weak in courage is strong in cuning.
|Thus one portion of being is the Prolific, the other the Devouring. to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in his chains, but it is not so; he only takes portions of existence and fancies that the whole.|
But the Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the Devourer as a sea received the excess of his delights.
Some will say, 'Is not God alone the Prolific?' I answer, 'God only Acts and Is in existing beings or Men.'
These two classes of men are always upon earth, & they should be enemies: whoever tries to reconcile them seeks to destroy existence.
Religion is an endeavour to reconcile the two.
Note. Jesus Christ did not wish to unite, but to separate them, as in the Parable of sheep and goats! & he says, 'I came not to send Peace but a sword.'
Messiah or Satan or tempter was formerly throught to be one of the Antedeluvians who are our Energies.
|PLATES 17-20||A Memorable Fancy|
An Angel came to me and said: 'O pitiable foolish young man! O horrible! O dreadful state! consdier the hot burning dungeons thou art preparing for thyself to all eternity, to which thou art going in such a career.'
|I said: 'Perhaps you will be willing to shew me my eternal lot, & we will contemplate together upon it, and see whether your lot or mine is most desirable.'|
So he took me thro' a stable & thro' a church & down into the church vault, at the end of which was a mill. thro' the mill we went, and came to a cave; down the winding cavern we groped our tedious way, till a void boundless as a nether sky appear'd beneath us, & we held by the roots of tress and hung over this immensity. But I said: 'If you please we shall commit ourselves to this void, and see whether providence is here also; if you will not, I will.' But he answer'd: 'Do not presume, O young man, but as we here remain, behold thy lot which will soon appear when the darkness passes away.'
So I remained with him, sitting in the twisted root of an oak. He was suspended in a fungus, which hung with the head downward into the deep.
By degrees we behld the infinite Abyss, fiery as the smoke of a burning city; beneath us at an immense distance was the sun, black but shining. Round it were fiery tracks on which revolv'd vast spiders crawling after their prey, which flew or rather swum in the infinite deep, in the most terrific shapes of animals sprung from corruption; & the air was full of them & seem'd composed of them. these are Devils, and are called Powers of the air. I now asked my companion which was my eternal lot; he said, 'Between the black & white spiders.'
Bit now, from between the black white spiders, a cloud and fire burst and rolled thro' the deep, blackning all beneath, so that the nether deep grew black as a sea & rolled with a terrible noise. beneath us was nothing now to be seen but a black tempest, till looking east between the clouds & the waves, we saw a cataract of blood mixed with fire, and not so many stone's trhow from us appear'd and sunk again the scaly fold of a monstrous serpent. At last, to the east, distant about three degrees, appear'd a fiery crest above the waves; slowly it reared like a ridge of golden rocks till we discover'd two globes of crimson fire, from which the sea fled away in clouds of smoke; and now we saw it was the head of Leviathan. His forehead was divided into streaks of green & purple like those on on a tyger's forehead; soon we saw his mouth and red gills hang just above the raging foam, tinging the black deep with beams of blood, advancing toward us with all the fury of a spiritual existence.
My friend the Angel climb'd up from his station into the mill. i remain'ed alone, & then this appearance was no more, but I found myself sitting on a pleasant bank beside a river by moonlight, hearing a harper who sung to the harp; & his theme was: 'The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, & breeds reptiles of the mind.'
But I arose, and sought for the mill, & there I found my Angel, who surprised asked me how I escaped?
I answer'd: 'All that we saw was owing to your metaphysics; for when you ran away, I found myself on a bank by moonlight hearing a harper. But now we have seen my eternal lot, shall I shew you yours?' He laugh'd at my proposal; but I by force suddenly caught him in my arms, & flew westerly thro' the night, till we were elevated above the earth's shadow. Then I flung myself with him directly into the body of the sun. here I clothed myself in white, & taking in my hand Swedenborg's volumes, sunk from the glorious clime, and passed all the planets till we came to Saturn. Here I staid to rest, & then leap'd into the void between Saturn and the fixed stars.
'Here,' said I, 'is your lot, in this space, if space it may be call'd.' Soon we saw the stable and the church, & I took him to the altar and open'd the Bible, and lo! it was a deep pit, into which I descended, driving the Angel before me. soon we saw seven houses of brick; one we enter'd; in it were a number of monkeys, baboons, & all of that specieis, chain'd by the middle, grinning and snatching at one another, but withheld by the shortness of their chains. However I saw that they sometimes grew numerous, and then the weak were caught by the strong and, with a grinning aspect, first coupled with & then devour'd, by plucking off first one limb and then another, till the body was left a helpless trunk. This after grinning & kissing it with seeming fondness they devour'd too; and here 7 there I saw one savourily pciking the flesh off his own tail. As the stench terribly annoy'd us both we went into the mill, & I in my hand brought the skeleton of a body, which in the mill was Aristotle's Analytics.
So the Angel said: 'Thy phantasy has imposed upon me & thou oughtest to be ashamed.'
I answer'd: 'We impose on one anothoer, & it is but lost time to converse with you whose works are only Analytics.'
I have always found that Angels have the vanity to speak of themselves as the only wise; this they do with a confident insolence sprouting from systematic reasoning.
|Thus Swedenborg boasts that what he writes is new, tho' it is only the Contents or Index of already publish'd books.|
A Man carried a donkey about for a shew, & because he was a little wiser than the monkey, grew vain; and coceiv'd himself as much wiser than seven men. It is so with Swedenborg; he shews the folly of churches & exposes hypocrits, till he imagines that all are the religious, & himself the single one on earth that ever broke a net.
Now hear a plain fact: Swedenborg has not written one new truth. Now hear another: he has written all the old falsehoods.
And now hear the reason. He conversed with Angels who are all religious, & conversed not with Devils who all hate religion, for he was incapable thro' his conceited notions.
Thus Swedenborg's writings are a recapitulation of all superficial opinions, and an analysis of the more sublimer, but no further.
Have now another plain fact: any man of mechanical talents may, from the writings of Paracelsus or Jacob Behmanm produce ten thousand volumes of equal value with Swedenborg's, and from those of Dante or Shakespear an infinite number.
But when he has done this, let him not say that he knows better than his master, for he only holds a candle in sunshine.
|PLATES 22-24||A Memorable Fancy|
Once I saw a Devil in a flame of fire, who arose before an Angel that sat on a cloud, and the Devil utt'd these words:
|'The worship of God is: Honouring his gifts in other men, each according to his genius, and loving the greatest men best. those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there is no other God.'|
The Angel hearing this became almost blue, but mastering himself he grew yellow, & at last white pink & smiling, and then replied:
'Thou idolater, is not God One? & is not he visible in Jesus Christ? and has not Jesus Christ given his sanction to the law of ten commandments? and are not all other men fools, sinners, & nothings?'
The Devil answer'd: 'Bray a fool in a morter with wheat, yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him. If Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree. Now hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the sabbath's God? murder those who were murder'd because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labour of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defence before Pilate? covet when he prayed for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off th dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can esist without breaking these ten commandments. Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.'
|When he had so spoken, I beheld the Angel, who stretched out his arms embracing the flames of fire, & he was consumed and arose as Elijah.|
Note. This Angel, who is now become a Devil, is my particular friend. We often read the Bible together in its infernal or diabolical sense, which the world shall have if they behave well.
I have also: The Bible of Hell, which the world shall have whether they will or no.
|One Law for the Lion & Ox is Oppression.|
|PLATES 25-27||A Song of Liberty|
|1.||The Eternal Female groan'd! it was heard over all the Earth.|
|2.||Albion's coast is sick, silent; the American meadows faint!|
|3.||Shadows of Prophecy shiver along by the lakes and the rivers, and mutter across the ocean: 'France, rend down thy dungein!|
|4.||Golden Spain, burst the barriers of old Rome!|
|5.||Cast thy keys, O Rome, into the deep, down falling, even to the eternity down falling,|
|7.||In her trembling hands she took the new born terror, howling.|
|8.||On those infinite mountains of light, now barr'd out by the atlantic sea, the new born fire sttod before the starry king!|
|9.||Flag'd with grey brow'd snows and thunderous visages, the jealous wings wav'd over the deep.|
|10.||The speary hand burned aloft, unbuckled was the shield; forth went the hand of jealousy among the flaming hair, and hurl'd the new born wonder thro' the starry night.|
|11.||The fire, the fire, is falling!|
|12.||Look up! look up! O citizen of London, enlarge thy countenance; O Jew, leave counting gold! return to thy oil and wine; O African! black African! (go, winged thought, widen his forehead.)|
|13.||The fiery limbs, the flaming hair shot like the sinking sun into the western sea.|
|14.||Wak'd from his eternal sleep, the hoary element roaring fled away.|
|15.||Down rush'd, beating his wings in vain, the jealous king; his grey brow'd councellors, thunderous warriors, curl'd veterans, among helms, and shields, and chariots, horses, elephants, banners, catles, slings and rocks,|
|16.||Falling, rushing, ruining, buried in the ruins, on Urthona's dens.|
|17.||All night beneath the ruins; then, their sullen flames faded, emerge round the gloomy king.|
|18.||With thunder and fire, leading his starry hosts thro' the waste wilderness, he prolmulgates his ten commands, glancing his beamy eyelids over the deep in dark dismay,|
|19.||Where the son of fire in his eastern cloud, while the morning plumes her golden breast,|
|20.||Spurning the clouds written with curses, stamps the stony law to dust, loosing the eternal horses from the dens of night, crying: 'Empire is no more! and now the lion & wolf shall cease.'|
Let the Priests of the Raven of dawn no longer, in deadly black, with hoarse note curse the sons of joy. Nor his accepted brethren whom, tyrant, he calls free, lay the bound or build the roof. Nor pale religious letchery call that Virginity that wishes but acts not!
|For everything that lives is Holy.|
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