Some weeks ago the Royal Wedding Ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey.
I was very touched by the songs of the Ceremony. I felt like heaven, when they sang the song “Jerusalem”:
And did those feet in ancient time
There are at least two interpretations of the song:
Firstly, Blake wanted to express the love of the English to their Church (heavenly Jerusalem).
Secondly, Blake wanted to express, the country England itself would be Jerusalem.
I am an adherent of the first interpretation. The second interpretation is very harsh, and I would not find it adequate to imply this meaning of the song.
Of course, regarding the song, it is not important, whether Jesus Christ has ever been in England. The first verse just expresses the joy an Englishman could feel, when he would know that his home country had had the honour to be visited by God’s Son. And no matter whether it is historical or not, the pure imagination Jesus Christ had walked around in England is somehow striking and breathtaking. I feel such a sympathy for England that I wish, Jesus had ever been in England.
Verse two is not easy to interpret. There is no report in the Bible that Jesus had yet started his mission as a youngster, even if there is a report about Him, being twelve years old, sitting in the Temple, teaching the Scribes and the priests (Luke 2: 41-52). This single verse proves that Jesus was a supernatural person. Imagine a pupil of a today primary school would go to Cambridge University, and start to teach the theologians! The Christian mission in England started yet in the second century (very early), but it is hard to imagine that yet Jesus had started the Christian mission there. I do not know, if yet the Celts, which lived in England at Jesus’ time, had satanic mills (factories). At least they produced weapons for the Romans (according to wikipedia). Maybe they had armories. Historical or not it would be a wonderful thought to imagine people, converting from the nasty pagan culture of the Celts to Christianity by the direct influence of the visible Jesus Christ.
Verse three cannot be related to the Christian Church, because the Body of Christ is not allowed to use violence to reach any aim. Seemingly a member of the perhaps converted british authority or even the king had a longing for forcefull weapons, to be able to fight for the young british Church. According to the Holy Bible and according to Luther a good authority protects and defends the Christian Church. Wicked authorities persecute the Christian Church, they are even satanic, because they do the opposite of what God meant them to do. Indeed it is true, the authorities are the defenders of faith by protecting the Church.
Verse four could be related to a Christian king or Christian soldier. Every Christian (soldier or not) has to participate in the mental fight every day. Every day Satan and his servants try to destroy our faith. They want to stop our discipleship. No nonbeliever can imagine the hardship of mental fight a Christian has to stand sometimes. Here we pray: Guide me o thou great Redeemer! (also a most beautiful song). I agree with Blake, the sword of a Christian sodier (a soldier, serving in the host of a true Christian country) should never sleep in his hand, but he should stand up and fight against the Satanic hosts of Satanic countries, when they dare to attack guiltless Christian countries. Even the sword may be used to battle criminals inside the Christian country, attacking the Church.
May Jerusalem be built, not solely in the beautiful country England, but everywhere by the prayer of the Christians and by the sword of Christian soldiers (of course aggressive wars are strictly forbidden; I mean defensive wars against Satanic hosts).
In conclusion: There is an interpretation of the song according to the Bible.
Just for fun: Even historically seen, it is not impossible that Jesus has ever been in England. There are some very interesting historical facts. One of the Herods has lived for a period of time in France. The Roman emperors have sometimes lived in Germany (city of Trier, Porta Nigra). In Acts we can read that yet at former times there were international relationships between the countries. St. Paul for example used a ship, which transported wheat from Egypt to Italy. In ancient Jerusalem you could find people from the whole world (read Acts 2). I would wish that anytime someone finds a proof for Jesus having been in England. It is quite possible.
The gospel shall not distributed by violence or by sword and arrow, but by Christian missionaries, preaching the gospel humbly and kindly and politely. Assumed a Moslem doesn’t want to convert, who cares? The missionaries just walk to the next place and keep on preaching the gospel. The authority is supposed to protect the missionaries from fanatics, attacking them. Muslim authorities are not allowed to prohibit the preaching of the gospel. God wants the gospel to be preached everywhere, it is his command. No king, leader, president, government, parliament or someone else has the right to hinder Christian mission. Christian mission is the most noble job on earth.
Liberty is the most precious good of Western world. The source of liberty is the Christian love. Christianity is the religion, prescribed by God, for every human being. Nevertheless missionaries, led by Christian love, will accept when someone rejects the gospel, they preach. They leave him (somewhat sad, but leaving together with God’s Word) and go to another place. There is no feeling of anger, hatred or anything else, they just accept God’s will.
Satan accuses us for sins, we have done. He wants to bring desperation about us. Accusation is Satan’s most forceful weapon. How can we defend ourselves? We need private confession. We confess our sin to a pastor or Christian brother, and he absolves us in the name of the triune God. After confession I can be sure that God himself has forgiven me according to his promise:
Look at John 20: