Bring me my Chariot of Fire

Much like Lewis in his Reflections on the Psalms, this musing is not the work of any real scholarship on my part. It stems from an interesting connection that I have seen between the poem "And did those feet in ancient time" by William Blake and the curious pondering of Samuel Sewall about the role of the New World in Christian eschatology. Sewall was a native of England and one of the early Puritan North American settlers. He was an abolitionist who argued against slavery from a Biblical perspective and repented of his role in the Salem Witch Trials. He authored a pamphlet that presented the New World as having a significant part in Christ's return to earth and the establishment of his Kingdom here. While I do not see eye to eye Sewall on this point, I did find this a rather curious line of thinking and thought it came out of left field. That is until I read the poem by Blake.
In the poem "And did those feet in ancient time", published much later than the Sewall writing, Blake contemplates what the the visitation of Christ would bring to England. To think that Christ would grace both America and England with his physical presence is quite interesting. Given the different publication dates (1697 and 1808) I am curious about the common roots of both of those ideas. It seems to be connected to the desire of both Blake and Sewall to see God's will take hold on earth as it has in heaven although Blake's focus seems to be a bit more in the present tense than Sewall's interest in Christ's millennial kingdom.
I just have to wonder when these ideas entered their minds and if there are other writings during this span of time that broached the same subject. Are these ideas exclusively part of the British culture or were there other European or non-European people groups that had similar inquiries? I would love to plumb the depths of this but, alas, I am left with making observations based on my scant reading on the subject for now.


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