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William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
 
Appendix to the Prophetic Books
There is No Natural Religion
 
[Part the First] 1

THE ARGUMENT
  MAN has no notion of moral fitness but from Education. Naturally, he is only a Natural Organ, subject to Sense.
  1
 
I
  Man cannot naturally perceive but through his Natural or Bodily Organs.
  2
 
II
  Man, by his Reasoning Power, can only compare and judge of what he has already perceiv’d.
  3
 
III
  From a Perception of only three Senses, or three Elements, none could deduce a fourth or fifth.
  4
 
IV
  None could have other than Natural or Organic Thoughts if he had none but Organic Perceptions.
  5
 
V
  Man’s Desires are limited by his Perceptions; none can desire what he has not perceiv’d.
  6
 
VI
  The Desires and Perceptions of Man, untaught by anything but Organs of Sense, must be limited to Objects of Sense.
  7
 
CONCLUSION
  If it were not for the Poetic or Prophetic Character, the Philosophic and Experimental would soon be at the Ratio of all things; and stand still, unable to do other than repeat the same dull round over again.
  8
 
[Part the Second]
I
  Man’s Perceptions are not bounded by Organs of Perception; he perceives more than Sense (tho’ ever so acute) can discover.
  9
 
II
  Reason, or the Ratio of all we have already known, is not the same that it shall be when we know more.
  10
 
III
[Deest]
  11
 
IV
  The Bounded is loathed by its possessor. The same dull round, even of a Universe, would soon become a Mill with complicated wheels.
  12
 
V
  If the Many become the same as the Few, when possess’d, ‘More! More!’ is the cry of a mistaken soul: less than All cannot satisfy Man.
  13
 
VI
  If any could desire what he is incapable of possessing, Despair must be his Eternal lot.
  14
 
VII
  The Desire of Man being Infinite, the possession is Infinite, and himself Infinite.
  15
 
APPLICATION
  He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only, sees himself only.
  16
 
THEREFORE
God becomes as we are, that we may be as He is.
  17
 
Note 1. This and the following tractate dealing with the same subject would appear to be the first examples of Blake’s use of Illuminated Printing, 1788. On the order and arrangement of the plates here followed see my Bibliographical Introduction to the present work. [back]
 
 
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