Blake calls Paine a better Christian than the Bishop, but does not clarify what type of Christian he is referring to. What he means to say about him may vary depending on the connotation of being a Christian. In An Apology for the Bible, Blake says, “There is a vast difference between an accident brought on by a mans own carelessness & a destruction from the designs of another” (457). Paine is the latter Christian. He desires a change in the governmental system by changing the natural behaviors of humankind. In theory, he is taking on the role of God in Paine’s The Rights of Man Part 1 when he says “that a general revolution in the principle and construction of governments is necessary” and though he speaks of principles, he later defines revolutions as “little more than a change of persons or an alteration of local circumstances. They rose and fell like things of course” (26). Essentially, he sees that those who might not be the best fit should be replaced like they are mere objects.

Blake’s uncertainty about labeling Paine as a devil or inspired man is understandable because perhaps he sees himself in him. In Blake’s “A Memorable Fancy” on page 75, he makes a statement that has an allegorical relation to Paine’s ideas about power and revolution. He says, “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, whereas it now appears finite & corrupt.”  They both believed that by getting rid of any forms of power that rules a nation, natural order will return. This is a very sinister view of Blake, but knowing that he defies any forms of regulations that may hinder one’s imagination, it is also very innocent.

-Van Vang