UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Milton's orthodoxy and its relation to the form of Paradise Lost Gerard, Bernice M. 1967

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M I L T O N ' S O R T H O D O X Y A N D ITS R E L A T I O N T O T H E F O R M OF PARADISE  LOST  by BERNICE B.A.  M.  GERARD  U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ,  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D  1962  IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F  THE REQUIREMENTS  FOR THEDEGREE OF  M.A. i n the  Department of  ENGLISH  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g to the required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY  O F BRITISH  September,  1967  COLUMBIA  In p r e s e n t i n g the  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an  British  Columbia,  available for mission  representatives,,  cation  of  w i t h o u t my  this  by  Columbia  of  University  of  shall  thesis  Head o f my  permission.  fulfilment  make i t  I f u r t h e r agree that  this  English  .s» t»TT»W p  the  the  Library  It i s understood  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada Date  study.  thesis for financial  written  Department of  the  copying of  granted  in p a r t i a l  advanced degree at  r e f e r e n c e and  be  thesis  I agree that  for extensive  p u r p o s e s may his  this  copying or  shall  not  per-  scholarly  Department o r  that  gain  for  freely  be  by publi-  allowed  ii ABSTRACT T h e r e e x i s t s a w i d e d i v e r g e n c e of o p i n i o n a s to w h e t h e r is an orthodox C h r i s t i a n .  Milton  T h i s t h e s i s a r g u e s that u p o n e x a m i n a t i o n  M i l t o n ' s a l l e g e d h e r e s i e s c o m e out q u i t e c l e a r l y as of o r t h o d o x b e l i e f r a t h e r t h a n as d e p a r t u r e s f r o m i t ,  transpositions a n d that M i l t o n  as the a u t h o r of P a r a d i s e L o s t e m e r g e s as a n o u t s t a n d i n g  Christian  a p o l o g i s t b e c a u s e he s o a r e d i n h i s s i n g i n g r o b e s to p r e s e n t  the  o r t h o d o x C h r i s t i a n s t o r y of r e d e m p t i o n w i t h u n s u r p a s s e d b e a u t y a n d eloquence.  T h i s r e - e x a m i n a t i o n of the p r o b l e m of M i l t o n ' s r e l a t i o n -  s h i p to o r t h o d o x y c e n t e r s u p o n P a r a d i s e L o s t a n d T h e C h r i s t i a n Doctrine,  i n w h i c h there . is d o c t r i n a l  consistency.  A c c o r d i n g to the p o e t ' s o w n t e r m s of r e f e r e n c e the a p p e a l to S c r i p t u r e as d e s c r i b e d i n the W e s t m i n s t e r C o n f e s s i o n i s the t r u e c r i t e r i o n for orthodoxy.  In the f a c e of m a i n s t r e a m C h r i s t i a n i t y ' s  c l a i m that M i l t o n ' s b e l i e f s m u s t be m e a s u r e d a g a i n s t the  creedal  statements,  creeds  M i l t o n h o l d s that not o n l y h i s b e l i e f s but the  t h e m s e l v e s m u s t be w e i g h e d i n the b a l a n c e of S c r i p t u r e . M i l t o n ' s d e v i a t i o n f r o m the e s t a b l i s h e d n o r m of the c r e e d a l s t a t e m e n t s i s s e e n to be n e g l i g i b l e ,  early  but w h e n he u n e q u i v o c a l l y  d i s a g r e e s w i t h the N i c a e a n C r e e d w h i c h s t a t e s d e f i n i t i v e l y the tarian position, circle.  he h a s b e e n thought to put h i m s e l f o u t s i d e  However,  Trini-  orthodoxy's  t h i s t h e s i s a r g u e s that M i l t o n c a n o n l y be c h a r g e d  w i t h h e r e s y if the q u e s t i o n of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the N i c a e a n C r e e d i s  iii s u p e r f i c i a l l y r e g a r d e d or g r o s s l y o v e r s i m p l i f i e d . Accordingly, ism,  Milton's alleged heresies--his  anti-Trinitarian-  m a t e r i a l i s m , a n d m o r t a l i s m - - a r e e x a m i n e d a g a i n s t the b a c k -  g r o u n d not o n l y of the c o n t e n t of the c l a s s i c a l s t a t e m e n t s r e g a r d i n g t h e s e s u b j e c t s but a l s o of the f u n d a m e n t a l c o n c e p t i o n s that the  state-  m e n t s of A t h a n a s i u s , A u g u s t i n e a n d o t h e r s w e r e i n t e n d e d r a d i c a l l y to emphasize.  U l t i m a t e l y , the a r g u m e n t f o r M i l t o n ' s o r t h o d o x i m a g i n a -  t i o n a n d i n t e n t i o n d e p e n d s u p o n a d e m o n s t r a t i o n of the f a c t that M i l t o n ' s t h e o l o g i c a l d e v i a t i o n s a r e not the r e s u l t of the o m i s s i o n of a n y of c r e e d a l o r t h o d o x y ' s v i t a l e l e m e n t s but r a t h e r the r e s u l t of e m p h a s i s of c e r t a i n p o i n t s .  T h i s p r o p o s i t i o n finds its c r u c i a l test i n  M i l t o n ' s a t t i t u d e t o w a r d the d o c t r i n e of the In P a r a d i s e L o s t  atonement.  M i l t o n u s e s s e v e r a l t r a n s p o s i t i o n s of  o r t h o d o x b e l i e f r a t h e r t h a n h e r e s i e s a n d e m p l o y s t h e m to f o r w a r d h i s poetic p u r p o s e s .  T h e p r o c e s s of s e l e c t i o n a n d m a n i p u l a t i o n i s  to be g o v e r n e d not o n l y b y a p o w e r f u l a n d p o s i t i v e r e l i g i o u s  seen  sensibility,  but a l s o b y a n u n e r r i n g s e n s e of what i s a r t i s t i c a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e . Milton,  the P u r i t a n ,  in simple t e r m s ,  a c h i e v e d e x p r e s s i o n i n the f o r m of the e p i c  How is,  the a c c o u n t of how h i s e m p h a s i s o n w i l l p r o v i d e s the  m o m e n t u m of the g r e a t a r g u m e n t , Christianity are emphasized,  a n d h o w the e l e m e n t s of t r a d i t i o n a l  s u b o r d i n a t e d , o r t r a n s p o s e d to suit the  poet's driving p u r p o s e . M i l t o n ' s a n n o u n c e d p u r p o s e of j u s t i f y i n g the w a y s of G o d to  iv m e n i s f u l f i l l e d i n a s t r a n g e but r e v e a l i n g m a n n e r .  A G o d who i s  i p s o f a c t o b e y o n d c o m p r e h e n s i o n i s s u b j e c t e d to r a t i o n a l a n a l y s i s w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s absurdities result.  of e p i c c o n v e n t i o n .  Y e t , i n s p i t e of s o m e l o g i c a l i m p a s s e s ,  succeeds magnificently. but he e x p e r i e n c e s  Some low m o m e n t s  Not a l l A d a m ' s questions  are  and Milton  answered  a P a r a d i s e within h i m , happier f a r .  s u m a t i o n of M i l t o n ' s a r g u m e n t a n d the r e s o l u t i o n of the  The conreader's  doubt c o m e w i t h the r e a l i z a t i o n , O goodness infinite,  goodness  immense!  T h a t a l l t h i s g o o d of e v i l s h a l l p r o d u c e , A n d e v i l t u r n to g o o d ; m o r e w o n d e r f u l T h e n that w h i c h b y c r e a t i o n f i r s t b r o u g h t f o r t h L i g h t out of d a r k n e s s ! This ultimate triumph,  (XII,  469-73)  so M i l t o n i c a n d y e t s o e n t i r e l y o r t h o d o x ,  i m a g i n a t i v e l y s a t i s f y i n g a n d so i n k e e p i n g w i t h the w h o l e the p o e m ,  i s the f i n a l p r o o f t h a t ,  d o c t r i n a l l y as w e l l as  we h a v e h e r e " n o t h i n g but w e l l a n d f a i r " .  so  s t r u c t u r e of poetically,  TABLE OF CONTENTS  CHAPTER  Page  I  T o w a r d a D e f i n i t i o n of O r t h o d o x y  II  Milton's Theology  III  T h e E f f e c t of M i l t o n ' s O r t h o d o x y U p o n the C o n t e n t a n d S t y l e of P a r a d i s e  Bibliography  1  16  Lost  51  95  M I L T O N ' S O R T H O D O X Y A N D ITS R E L A T I O N T O T H E S T R U C T U R E OF PARADISE  LOST  CHAPTER I TOWARD A DEFINITION O F ORTHODOXY  A n d so t h e s e m e n of H i n d u s t a n D i s p u t e d loud and long, E a c h i n his own o p i n i o n E x c e e d i n g stiff a n d s t r o n g ; T h o u g h e a c h w a s p a r t l y i n the r i g h t A n d a l l w e r e i n the w r o n g . J o h n M i l t o n ' s p e r s o n a l t h e o l o g y i s i n the p o s i t i o n of the p r o v e r b i a l e l e p h a n t w h i c h u p o n e x a m i n a t i o n b y s i x b l i n d m e n of H i n d u s t a n w a s s a i d to be l i k e a w a l l , For  a snake,  a spear,  a tree,  a rope and a fan.  a l m o s t three c e n t u r i e s there has b e e n wide d i s a g r e e m e n t  over  the p r e c i s e n a t u r e of the p o e t ' s d o c t r i n e a n d o v e r i t s r e l a t i o n to h i s major poems.  " T h e t h e o l o g y of P a r a d i s e L o s t h a s b e e n c a l l e d A r i a n ,  Arminian,  Puritan, Presbyterian, Baptist,  heretical,  Catholic, Protestant,  mortalist,  Platonic, neo-Platonic,  Epicurean,  Socinian, atheistic,  orthodox,  heterodox,  Hebraic, millenarian, materialistic,  cabalistic,  mystical,  Q u a k e r , Independent,  Stoic,  quietist,  h u m a n i t a r i a n . . . . M o s t of t h e s e e p i t h e t s a r e j u s t i f i e d i n p a r t at l e a s t . '* S o m e of t h e s e d e s c r i p t i v e t e r m s a r e m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e . w o r t h o u r w h i l e to r e - e x a m i n e 1  J.G.  Saxe,  It w i l l be  two of M i l t o n ' s m a j o r w o r k s ,  in which  " A H i n d u F a b l e " , T h i r d R e a d e r ( T o r o n t o , 1921), p . 8 1 .  2 H a r r y F . R o b i n s , If T h i s B e H e r e s y : A Study of M i l t o n a n d O r i g e n ( U r b a n a , 1963), p . 3 .  2 h i s w i l l a n d i m a g i n a t i o n a r e c l e a r l y d i s p l a y e d , to see what u n i t y we c a n d i s c o v e r i n his theological  system.  A n y d i s c u s s i o n of M i l t o n ' s o r t h o d o x y w i l l c e n t r e u p o n P a r a d i s e L o s t and The C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e .  Within recent y e a r s ,  a n u m b e r of  c r i t i c s h a v e u n d e r t a k e n to r e i t e r a t e w h a t p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n s r e a d e r s took f o r g r a n t e d : orthodox p o e m .  of  that P a r a d i s e L o s t is b r o a d l y s p e a k i n g a n  C . S . L e w i s r e m a r k s that g e n e r a t i o n s  of o r t h o d o x  C h r i s t i a n s h a v e r e a d P a r a d i s e L o s t w i t h o u t n o t i c i n g that it i n c l u d e s h e r e t i c a l d o c t r i n e s ; i n his o p i n i o n , " H e r e t i c a l e l e m e n t s e x i s t i n it, but a r e o n l y d i s c o v e r a b l e b y s e a r c h : any c r i t i c i s m w h i c h f o r c e s into the f o r e g r o u n d i s m i s t a k e n ,  a n d i g n o r e s the f a c t that t h i s  was a c c e p t e d by m a n y g e n e r a t i o n s  them  poem  of a c u t e r e a d e r s w e l l g r o u n d e d i n  3 theology."  S i s t e r M i r i a m J o s e p h d e f e n d s the o r t h o d o x y of the p o e m  f r o m the p o i n t of v i e w of a s t r i c t  Trinitarian:  W i t h r e s p e c t to the t h r e e P e r s o n s of the T r i n i t y a n d the w o r k of c r e a t i o n . . . P a r a d i s e L o s t s e e m s i n h a r m o n y w i t h the of C a t h o l i c t h e o l o g i a n s .  E s p e c i a l l y i n e x p r e s s i n g the e q u a l i t y  teachings of the  S o n w i t h the F a t h e r , the p o e m a p p e a r s to a c c o r d w i t h C a t h o l i c d o g m a ; at l e a s t ,  it w o u l d h a r d l y l e a d the o r d i n a r y r e a d e r to s u s p e c t i t s a u t h o r  of the h e r e s i e s he h a d set f o r t h i n D e D o c t r i n a C h r i s t i a n a . ^ S i r H e r b e r t G r i e r s o n s a y s of P a r a d i s e L o s t , " O n e m u s t r e c o g n i z e  that  a l l the m a i n a n d p r o m i n e n t d o c t r i n e s of the p o e m a r e t h o s e of Evangelical Protestantism. "  5  3 C.S. 4 p.  L e w i s , A P r e f a c e to P a r a d i s e L o s t ( L o n d o n , 1942), p . 8 2 .  Sister M i r i a m Joseph, Orthodoxy in P a r a d i s e L o s t (Laval,  258. 5 Sir Herbert G r i e r s o n ,  M i l t o n and W o r d s w o r t h  1952),  ( L o n d o n , 1950), p . 98.  3 T h o u g h P a r a d i s e L o s t r e a d i l y finds defenders the c a s e i s d i f f e r e n t w i t h T h e C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e . i n c l u d i n g the t h r e e c i t e d a b o v e , material.  of i t s  orthodoxy,  Many critics,  h o l d that it c o n t a i n s m u c h h e r e t i c a l  T h e m o s t c a s u a l r e a d e r w i l l be s t o p p e d s h o r t b y s u c h a  s e n t e n c e as  this:  S i n c e t h e r e f o r e the S o n d e r i v e s h i s e s s e n c e f r o m the Father,  he is p o s t e r i o r to the F a t h e r not m e r e l y i n r a n k ,  a distinction  u n a u t h o r i z e d by S c r i p t u r e , and by w h i c h m a n y a r e d e c e i v e d , i n e s s e n c e ; a n d the f i l i a l c h a r a c t e r i t s e l f ,  they a r e c h i e f l y wont to b u i l d h i s c l a i m to s u p r e m e d i v i n i t y , the b e s t r e f u t a t i o n of t h e i r o p i n i o n .  but a l s o  o n the s t r e n g t h of w h i c h affords  ( C . E . X I V , 313)  If, t h e n , we t a k e the s i d e of t h o s e c r i t i c s , t e n d that " M i l t o n ' s t h e o l o g y i s c o h e r e n t ,  s u c h as R o b i n s , who  philosophically sound,  conand  7  consistently  a d h e r e d to i n b o t h the t r e a t i s e s a n d the e p i c s "  we i n t e n d to u s e  a n d if  T h e C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e i n i n t e r p r e t i n g the e p i c s ,  m u s t s e e k a new p e r s p e c t i v e ,  we  f r o m w h i c h the w h o l e c o n f i g u r a t i o n of  M i l t o n ' s thought m a y be v i e w e d . W e s h o u l d be c o n c e r n e d , i n s e a r c h i n g f o r a f r e s h  viewpoint,  w i t h i n d i r e c t as w e l l as d i r e c t e m b o d i m e n t s  T o say that  of d o c t r i n e .  t h e r e is great sympathy on i n t e l l e c t u a l subjects between Satan and  C i t a t i o n s f r o m J o h n M i l t o n i n m y text a r e f r o m T h e W o r k s of John Milton V o l s .  I-XVIII,  F o r the c o n v e n i e n c e by book and l i n e , R o b i n s , p . 2.  C o l u m b i a E d i t i o n (New Y o r k ,  of the r e a d e r r e f e r e n c e s  1931).  to m a j o r p o e m s a r e  to the p r o s e b y v o l u m e a n d p a g e .  4 Milton  8  o r to s u g g e s t t h a t , t h e r e b e i n g no r e a l c o u n t e r p a r t to S a t a n ,  the r e a l h e r o of the p o e m is M i l t o n h i m s e l f is i n e i t h e r c a s e to i n f e r s o m e t h i n g c r u c i a l about M i l t o n ' s theology.  S a u r a t a s s e r t s that 9  Milton,  not G o d o r the S o n as he p r e s e n t s t h e m ,  o v e r c o m e s Satan;  B l a k e ' s d i c t u m w a s to the effect that M i l t o n "was of the d e v i l ' s p a r t y " w i t h o u t k n o w i n g it: t h e s e a r e m e a n i n g f u l s t a t e m e n t s about M i l t o n ' s beliefs.  If,however,  we a r e s e e k i n g to d e s c r i b e w i t h s o m e a c c u r a c y  M i l t o n ' s r e l a t i o n to o r t h o d o x C h r i s t i a n f a i t h we m u s t t r a n s l a t e a l l our e v i d e n c e into c o m p a r a b l e t h e o l o g i c a l t e r m s .  P r e s e n t day  C h r i s t i a n s m i g h t w e l l be a s t o n i s h e d a n d s a d d e n e d if, i n a s t u d y of M i l t o n ' s poetry and theology,  it w e r e d i s c l o s e d that the  great  C h r i s t i a n p o e t of the E n g l i s h t r a d i t i o n i s not i n the c e n t r a l c u r r e n t of Christianity. B e f o r e g o i n g to the h i s t o r i a n s , the f a t h e r s o r the B i b l e  itself,  l e t u s p a y s o m e a t t e n t i o n to M i l t o n ' s o w n s t a t e m e n t s r e l e v a n t to o u r inquiry.  H i s s t a t e d a n d d e m o n s t r a b l e h a t r e d of h y p o c r i s y s u g g e s t s  t h a t we m a y d i s c a r d the p o s s i b i l i t y that he i s w i l f u l l y i n c o n s i s t e n t f o r h i s own poetic c o n v e n i e n c e .  He loathes  " H y p o c r i s i e , the o n l e y e v i l  that w a l k s I n v i s i b l e , e x c e p t to G o d a l o n e . " ( P . L . , III, 6 8 3 - 4 ) .  His  e s p e c i a l a v e r s i o n i s the l e a r n e d p r e v a r i c a t o r : Q  Denis Saurat, M i l t o n M a n and Thinker (London, ^Saurat, p.  184.  1944), p . 182.  5  A n d i n m a t t e r s of R e l i g i o n , t h e r e i s not a n y t h i n g m o r e intollerable then a l e a r n e d foole, ever cooptup  o r a l e a r n e d H y p o c r i t e , the one  at h i s e m p t y s p e c u l a t i o n s ,  a sot,  is  a n i d e o t f o r any u s e  that m a n k i n d c a n m a k e of h i m , o r e l s e s o w i n g the W o r l d w i t h n i c e , and idle questions.  ( C . E . I l l , I,  162)  We ought a l s o to l o o k at M i l t o n ' s c o n c e r n w i t h the i d e a i t s e l f of h e r e s y .  In h i s t r e a t i s e O f C i v i l " . P o w e r , he c o n d e m n s t h o s e who  a r e so u n j u s t a n d f o o l i s h as to " s t a m p w i t h the i n v i d i o u s n a m e • h e r e t i c ' o r ' h e r e s y ' w h a t e v e r a p p e a r s to t h e m to d i f f e r f r o m the r e c e i v e d o p i n i o n s , w i t h o u t t r y i n g the d o c t r i n e by a c o m p a r i s o n w i t h Scripture testimonies."  ( X I V , 13)  T o what u s e s this " G r e e k a p p a r i -  t i o n " of h e r e s y c a n be put M i l t o n i s f u l l y a w a r e : A c c o r d i n g to t h e i r n o t i o n s ,  to h a v e b r a n d e d any one at  r a n d o m w i t h t h i s o p p r o b i o u s m a r k , is to h a v e r e f u t e d h i m w i t h o u t any t r o u b l e , b y a s i n g l e w o r d . name heretic, (XIV,  B y the s i m p l e i m p u t a t i o n of the  they t h i n k they h a v e d i s p a t c h e d t h e i r m a n at one b l o w .  13)  "Heresie therefore  is a R e l i g i o n t a k e n up a n d b e l i e v ' d f r o m the  t r a d i t i o n s of m e n a n d a d d i t i o n s to the W o r d of G o d . " ( V I , And,  specifically,  167)  " P o p e r y i s the o n l y o r the g r e a t e s t H e r e s i e : a n d  he w h o i s so f o r w a r d to b r a n d a l l o t h e r s f o r H e r e t i c k s , the Papist,  the o n l y H e r e t i c k . " In M i l t o n ' s v i e w ,  (VI,  obstinate  167)  h e r e s y i s to be a v o i d e d ,  not o n l y b y d i r e c t  r e c o u r s e to the S c r i p t u r e s , but a l s o b y d e b a t e a m o n g s e e k e r s  after  t r u t h : " n o t h i n g m o r e p r o t e s t a n t l y c a n be p e r m i t t e d t h e n a f r e e a n d l a w f u l debate at a l l t i m e s by w r i t i n g , c o n f e r e n c e what o p i n i o n s o e v e r ,  d i s p u t a b l e by s c r i p t u r e . "  o r d i s p u t a t i o n of ( V I , 13)  " H e the o n l y  6 heretic,  w h o c o u n t s a l l h e r e t i c s but h i m s e l f . "  the S c r i p t u r e s , h o w e v e r , well  ( V I , 14)  g e n e r a t e s i t s own p r o b l e m s ,  R e c o u r s e to as M i l t o n i s  aware. Seeing,  men,  therefore,  that no m a n , no s y n o d , no s e s s i o n of  t h o u g h c a l l d the c h u r c h ,  c a n judge d e f i n i t i v e l y the s e n s e of  s c r i p t u r e to a n o t h e r m a n ' s c o n s c i e n c e ,  w h i c h i s w e l l k n o w n to be a  g e n e r a l m a x i m of the P r o t e s t a n t r e l i g i o n , it f o l l o w s p l a n e l y ,  that he  w h o h o l d s i n r e l i g i o n that b e l e e f o r t h o s e o p i n i o n s w h i c h to h i s conscience  and utmost understanding appeer with m o s t evidence  p r o b a b i l i t i e i n the s c r i p t u r e , t h o u g h to o t h e r s he s e e m can  or  erroneous,  no m o r e be j u s t l y c e n s u r ' d f o r a h e r e t i c t h a n h i s c e n s u r e r s ;  who  do but the s a m e t h i n g t h e m s e l v e s w h i l e they c e n s u r e h i m f o r d o i n g so.  ( V I , 12)  It i s at f i r s t d i f f i c u l t f o r u s to see how M i l t o n c a n j u s t i f y the s t a n c e of the l o n e o b j e c t o r ,  i n a s i t u a t i o n w h e r e a p r o l o n g e d f r e e debate o n s o m e  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of S c r i p t u r e has b r o u g h t a l l o t h e r s d o w n o n the c o n t r a r y side.  B u t if we r e c a l l that M i l t o n h a b i t u a l l y g r o u p s h i s i d e a s about  the s i n g l e a x i s b e t w e e n the m i n d of G o d a n d the m i n d of the i n d i v i d u a l Christian,  h i s p o s i t i o n b e c o m e s at l e a s t i n t e l l i g i b l e .  So c o n v i n c e d i s M i l t o n of the i n e r r a b l e T i g h t n e s s  of t h o s e who  r e l y on S c r i p t u r e as i n t e r p r e t e d b y the d i r e c t m i n i s t r a t i o n of the Spirit,  Holy  that he i s i n d i f f e r e n t to c h a r g e s of t e c h n i c a l l y h e r e t i c a l  doctrine. If t h i s be h e r e s y ,  I c o n f e s s w i t h St. P a u l ,  'that a f t e r the w a y w h i c h they c a l l h e r e s y , my  fathers,  A c t s 24:14,  so w o r s h i p I the G o d of  b e l i e v i n g a l l t h i n g s w h i c h a r e w r i t t e n i n the l a w a n d the  p r o p h e t s ' ; to w h i c h I a d d , w h a t e v e r i s w r i t t e n i n the N e w Any  Testament.  o t h e r j u d g e s o r p a r a m o u n t i n t e r p r e t e r s of the C h r i s t i a n  t o g e t h e r w i t h a l l i m p l i c i t f a i t h , as it is c a l l e d , the w h o l e P r o t e s t a n t C h u r c h ,  belief,  I, i n c o m m o n w i t h  r e f u s e to r e c o g n i z e .  ( C . E . X I V , 15)  7 T o t h i s we m u s t a d d the m o s t t r u l y M i l t o n i c s t a t e m e n t of a l l , a p o s i t i o n l o g i c a l e n o u g h i n v i e w of h i s p r e m i s e s the  and yet audacious in  extreme. H e r e s i e i s i n the W i l l a n d c h o i c e p r o f e s t l y a g a i n s t S c r i p t u r e ;  e r r o r i s a g a i n s t the W i l l ,  i n m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g the S c r i p t u r e a f t e r a l l  s i n c e r e e n d e a v o u r s to u n d e r s t a n d it r i g h t l y : H e n c e it w a s b y one of the A n c i e n t s ,  said well  ' E r r I m a y , but H e r e t i c k I w i l l not b e .  It i s  1  a h u m a n f r a i l t y to e r r , a n d no m a n i s i n f a l l i b l e h e r e o n e a r t h .  But  so l o n g as a l l t h e s e p r o f e s s to set the W o r d of G o d o n l y b e f o r e  them  a s R u l e of F a i t h a n d o b e d i e n c e ; a n d u s e a l l d i l i g e n c e a n d s i n c e r i t y of h e a r t , by r e a d i n g , by l e a r n i n g , by study, by p r a y e r for I l l u m i n a t i o n of the H o l y S p i r i t ,  to u n d e r s t a n d the R u l e a n d o b e y i t , they h a v e  what m a n c a n d o : G o d w i l l a s s u r e d l y p a r d o n t h e m . To Milton,  the P u r i t a n a n d m a n of the R e n a i s s a n c e ,  done  ( V I , 168) a true  Christian  is one who i s u n l i k e l y to l o s e a n a r g u m e n t w i t h h i s o p p o n e n t s ,  who  e v e n if he a p p e a r s to do so w i l l be j u s t i f i e d i n due t i m e by G o d , a n d who e v e n i f i n the w r o n g w i l l r e c e i v e h e a v e n l y a p p r o v a l b e c a u s e of h i s m e t h o d and intentions. It m u s t be a d m i t t e d that M i l t o n ' s s t a t e m e n t s o n h e r e s y c o n t r i bute l e s s t h a n one m i g h t hope to the s o l u t i o n of o u r p r o b l e m of f i n d i n g a s i m p l e w o r k i n g d e f i n i t i o n w i t h w h i c h to l o c a t e h i s p o s i t i o n i n the m a i n s t r e a m of C h r i s t i a n t h o u g h t .  T h e y do, however,  h e l p u s to  u n d e r s t a n d b o t h the c o m p l e x i t y of the i s s u e a n d the c o n s i s t e n c y M i l t o n ' s fundamental attitude. for  H e r e s y is a shifting t e r m ,  of  depending  i t s m e a n i n g o n the u s e r ; M i l t o n i s g l a d to be c a l l e d h e r e t i c a l if it  puts h i m i n the c o m p a n y of the A p o s t l e P a u l o r d e n o t e s s i m p l y a d e v i a t i o n f r o m the t r a d i t i o n s of m e n ; he i s , that i n the f a c e of a l l h i s r e a d i n g , l e a r n i n g ,  i n any c a s e , study,  convinced  p r a y e r , and  8 s i n c e r e r e a c h i n g after h e a v e n ' s h i g h e s t w i l l , to go s e r i o u s l y  G o d w i l l not p e r m i t h i m  astray.  C o m p l e x as the s i t u a t i o n a p p e a r s ,  it w o u l d b e m o s t  a n d u n j u s t to M i l t o n to s u g g e s t that t h e r e is not a n e a s i l y  inaccurate  identifiable  c r i t e r i o n f o r o r t h o d o x y a c c o r d i n g to the p o e t ' s o w n t e r m s of F o r h i m , as for a l l P r o t e s t a n t s , criterion,  a n d as a r e s u l t ,  the a p p e a l to S c r i p t u r e i s the t r u e  h i s r e j e c t i o n of the N i c a e a n f o r m u l a i s  not r e a l l y a d e p a r t u r e f r o m o r t h o d o x y . we a r e to c o n s i d e r a r e ,  reference.  of c o u r s e ,  The c r e e d a l statements which  of i n t e r e s t i n that t h r o u g h t h e m  M i l t o n ' s p o s i t i o n w i t h r e g a r d to the f a t h e r s is i l l u m i n a t e d ;  nevertheless;  M i l t o n ' s a p p e a l to S c r i p t u r e , a v e r y P r o t e s t a n t p r o c e d u r e , h a s the e f f e c t of f r e e i n g h i m f r o m b o n d a g e to the c r e e d s w h i l e w i t n e s s i n g his orthodoxy.  In f a c t ,  to  h i s p o s i t i o n o n S c r i p t u r e is p r e c i s e l y that of  t h o s e w h o s u b s c r i b e to the W e s t m i n s t e r C o n f e s s i o n . T h e a u t h o r i t y of the H o l y S c r i p t u r e . . . d e p e n d e t h not o n the t e s t i m o n y of any m a n or C h u r c h ; but w h o l l y u p o n G o d (who i s t r u t h i t s e l f ) the a u t h o r t h e r e o f . . . . O u r f u l l p e r s u a s i o n a n d a s s u r a n c e of the i n f a l l i b l e t r u t h a n d d i v i n e a u t h o r i t y t h e r e o f i s f r o m the i n w a r d w o r k of the H o l y S p i r i t , b e a r i n g w i t n e s s , b y a n d w i t h the W o r d ,  in our  h e a r t s . . . . N o t h i n g i s at a n y t i m e to be a d d e d - - w h e t h e r b y new r e v e l a t i o n s of the S p i r i t o r t r a d i t i o n s of m e n . . . T h e C h u r c h i s f i n a l l y to a p p e a l to t h e m . . .'. T h e i n f a l l i b l e r u l e of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of S c r i p t u r e i s the S c r i p t u r e i t s e l f . . . .  Henry Bettenson, (London,  1959),  p. 3 4 4 .  ^  e d . , D o c u m e n t s of the C h r i s t i a n C h u r c h  9 F r o m M i l t o n we m u s t t u r n to the o b j e c t i v e  s t a t e m e n t s of the  e a r l y e c u m e n i c a l C o u n c i l s a n d to t h e i r s u b j e c t i v e m o t i v e s i n s a y i n g what they do.  T h e s u b j e c t i s of s u c h c o m p l e x i t y as to r e n d e r the  c h r o n o l o g i c a l l i s t i n g of p r o n o u n c e m e n t s i n a d e q u a t e b y i t s e l f . Apostles' Creed, ^  The  thought to b e b a s e d o n the b a p t i s m a l c r e e d of the  e a r l y R o m a n C h u r c h w h i c h i n t u r n w a s s u p p o s e d to d e r i v e f r o m a r u l e of f a i t h c o m p o s e d b y the A p o s t l e s at J e r u s a l e m , o r a l t e r n a t i v e l y thought to h a v e b e e n f o r m u l a t e d b y M a r c e l l u s ,  B i s h o p of A n c y r a ,  and  g i v e n b y h i m to J u l i u s , B i s h o p of R o m e , about 340 A . D . , r u n s ( w i t h v e r y s l i g h t v a r i a t i o n s ) as  follows:  I believe in G o d almighty/ A n d in C h r i s t Jesus, son,  his only  o u r L o r d / W h o w a s b o r n of the H o l y S p i r i t a n d the V i r g i n M a r y /  W h o w a s c r u c i f i e d u n d e r P o n t i u s P i l a t e a n d w a s b u r i e d / A n d the t h i r d d a y r o s e f r o m the d e a d / Who a s c e n d e d i n t o h e a v e n / A n d s i t t e t h o n the r i g h t h a n d of the F a t h e r / W h e n c e he c o m e t h to j u d g e the l i v i n g a n d the d e a d . / A n d i n the H o l y G h o s t / T h e H o l y C h u r c h / T h e r e m i s s i o n of s i n s / T h e r e s u r r e c t i o n of the f l e s h / T h e l i f e 17  everlasting. W e m a y s a y s u m m a r i l y that t h i s d i f f e r s f r o m the g e n e r a l p r e s e n t a t i o n of d o c t r i n e i n the N e w T e s t a m e n t i n that it i s o b v i o u s l y a n a t t e m p t to s c h e m a t i z e what the a u t h o r s thought to be e s s e n t i a l s of the f a i t h . T h e d a t a of t h e i r s t a t e m e n t a p p e a r i n the N e w T e s t a m e n t ,  but the  N e w T e s t a m e n t i t s e l f i s not c o n c e r n e d w i t h d e f i n i t i o n s a s s u c h . Apostles'  The  c r e e d is w o r d e d i n s u c h a w a y as to be a c c e p t a b l e to a n  ^Bettenson,  p . 33.  12 Bettenson,  p. 33.  10 e x p l i c i t l y T r i n i t a r i a n t h i n k e r , but it m u s t be n o t e d that it i s not offensive  to the p e r s o n who r e j e c t s T r i n i t a r i a n t e r m i n o l o g y .  S o m e t h i n g of the c o m p l e x i t y of the p r o b l e m of f i n d i n g  adequate  d e f i n i t i o n s c a n be s e e n as we c o n s i d e r the N i c a e a n C r e e d i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l context.  The Council,  i n 325,  t o o k the c r e e d u s e d i n the  c h u r c h of E u s e b i u s of C a e s a r e a a n d r e v i s e d it to s e r v e as a n e x p l i c i t l y anti-Arian pronouncement.  The i t a l i c i z e d p h r a s e s are those added or  e m p h a s i z e d b y c h a n g e s of w o r d i n g , f o r t h i s p u r p o s e . We b e l i e v e  i n one G o d the F a t h e r A l l - s o v e r e i g n , m a k e r of  a l l t h i n g s v i s i b l e a n d i n v i s i b l e ; / A n d i n one L o r d J e s u s C h r i s t , S o n of G o d , b e g o t t e n of the F a t h e r , o n l y - b e g o t t e n , substance  that i s ,  of the F a t h e r , G o d of G o d , L i g h t of L i g h t ,  t r u e G o d , b e g o t t e n not m a d e ,  the  of the  t r u e G o d of  of one s u b s t a n c e w i t h the F a t h e r ,  through w h o m a l l things w e r e m a d e ,  things in heaven and things  on  e a r t h ; who f o r u s m e n a n d f o r o u r s a l v a t i o n c a m e d o w n a n d w a s made flesh,  and b e c a m e m a n ,  a s c e n d e d i n t o the h e a v e n s , A n d i n the H o l y S p i r i t .  suffered,  a n d r o s e o n the t h i r d d a y ,  i s c o m i n g to j u d g e l i v i n g a n d d e a d . /  ^  T h e N i c a e a n s t a t e m e n t d i d not f i n d u n a n i m o u s a c c e p t a n c e . fact,  the d i s p u t e about the p e r s o n a n d w o r k of C h r i s t ,  In  His relationship  to the F a t h e r , a n d r e l a t e d t o p i c s e x t e n d e d to the s e v e n t h c e n t u r y w h e n at the S i x t h E c u m e n i c a l C o u n c i l i n C o n s t a n t i n o p l e ( 6 8 0 - 8 1 ) the c h u r c h e x t e n d e d the e a r l i e r p r o n o u n c e m e n t s b y a d d i n g  something  c o n c e r n i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the d i v i n e a n d h u m a n e l e m e n t s i n the p e r s o n of C h r i s t .  F o r the p u r p o s e s of o u r d i s c u s s i o n it is  sufficient  to d r a w a t t e n t i o n to the c o m p l e x i t y of the p r o b l e m of f i n d i n g a d e q u a t e  Bettenson,  p . 35.  11 s t a t e m e n t s ; we c a n now go o n to c o n s i d e r the a s p e c t of the s t o r y of the f o r m u l a t i o n of the c r e e d s w h i c h i s r e l e v a n t to t h i s t h e s i s .  In  the d i s c u s s i o n about M i l t o n a n d the c r e e d s w h a t i s i m p o r t a n t i s not o n l y the c o n t e n t of the c r e e d a l s t a t e m e n t , b u t ,  in such a significant  i n s t a n c e as the c r e e d j u s t c i t e d , what a s s u m e d h e r e s y the w o r d i n g i s i n t e n d e d to c o m b a t .  F o r the s a k e of c l a r i t y , l e t u s  b r i e f l y the o r i g i n of the A p o s t l e s '  consider  Creed.  In the s e c o n d c e n t u r y the C h u r c h p a s s e d t h r o u g h a n i n t e r n a l c r i s i s e v e n m o r e t r y i n g t h a n the p e r s e c u t i o n s  of the f o l l o w i n g  cen-  turies and with results far m o r e m o m e n t o u s .  G n o s t i c i s m is the  g e n e r i c t e r m a p p l i e d to a v a r i e t y of t y p e s of t e a c h i n g a n d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e w h i c h w e r e c o l o u r e d b y O r i e n t a l  speculation  a n d f o u n d b o t h w i t h i n a n d a l o n g s i d e the C h u r c h i t s e l f .  sufficient  at t h i s p o i n t to m e n t i o n two of the G n o s t i c h e r e s i e s , a n d the m e a s u r e s  It i s their  significance  w i t h w h i c h the c h u r c h m e t t h e i r t h r e a t .  The Docetists  a f f i r m e d the " s e e m i n g " but not the  concrete  e x i s t e n c e of C h r i s t a n d d e n i e d that h i s l i f e w a s a r e a l a n d f u l l h u m a n experience.  T h e E b i o n i t e s , i g n o r i n g the d i v i n i t y of C h r i s t ,  accorded  h i m the s t a t u s of a p r o p h e t a n d v i e w e d h i s w o r k a s a c o n t i n u a t i o n of 15 the O l d T e s t a m e n t p r o p h e t i c t r a d i t i o n .  Irenaeus' Against  Heresies  14 J. C . Ayer,  ed. , A Source B o o k for A n c i e n t C h u r c h H i s t o r y  ( N e w Y o r k , 1941), p . 50. 15 R o b e r t L . F e r n , e d . , R e a d i n g s i n the H i s t o r y of C h r i s t i a n Thought (New Y o r k ,  1964), p .  185.  attacks them both.  T h e O l d R o m a n C r e e d a l s o r u l e s t h e m b o t h out.  It c a n b e s e e n t h e n , that h e r e s i e s w h i c h t h r e a t e n e d the l i f e of C h r i s t i a n i t y w e r e s w i f t l y d e a l t w i t h i n the c r e e d s ,  a n d y e t the  of d e v e l o p i n g f o r m u l a t i o n s went o n f o r y e a r s as f u r t h e r w e r e a d d e d to the b a s i c s t a t e m e n t s .  refinements  It w a s not u n t i l the l a t e  o r e a r l y e i g h t h c e n t u r y that the A p o s t l e s ' C r e e d i n i t s p r e s e n t was  stabilized.  process  seventh form  ^  T h e C r e e d of N i c a e a e n g a g e s i n what the l a y m a n c a n o n l y r e g a r d as a n e x c e s s of p e d a n t r y ; e . g . , i n s u c h a p h r a s e as "of one s u b s t a n c e w i t h the F a t h e r . "  T o put it a n o t h e r w a y ,  s u p p o s e that C h r i s t ' s d i s c i p l e s ,  it i s h a r d to  i n the d a y s of h i s f l e s h ,  were  con-  c e r n e d w i t h s u c h d i s t i n c t i o n s o r that the i n t r o d u c t i o n of d o g m a t i c definitions w o u l d have i n c r e a s e d t h e i r f a i t h or l o v e .  T h e point is  w o r t h g r a s p i n g , as it b e a r s o n M i l t o n ' s o w n a t t i t u d e . H.F.  R o b i n s , i n his c r i t i q u e on M i l t o n ,  If T h i s B e H e r e s y ,  a r g u e s c o n v i n c i n g l y t h a t , w h e n M i l t o n ' s b e l i e f s a r e m e a s u r e d b y the c r e e d s w h i c h i n the f i r s t  few c e n t u r i e s  s e r v e d a s a s t a n d a r d of  o r t h o d o x f a i t h , h i s d e v i a t i o n f r o m the e s t a b l i s h e d n o r m w i l l a p p e a r quite n e g l i g i b l e .  B u t , ".With the A t h a n a s i a n C r e e d  N i c a e a a n d its s u b s e q u e n t v a r i a n t s . /  1 6  Fern,  17  Fern,  p.  185.  p.  105.  ^the Creed,  of  . . . M i l t o n unequivocally dis-  agrees.  It w a s d e s i g n e d to state d e f i n i t i v e l y the T r i n i t a r i a n p o s i t i o n 18  and M i l t o n is,  of c o u r s e ,  anti-Trinitarian. "  M i l t o n a p p e a r s by  t h i s l a s t to have put h i m s e l f o u t s i d e o r t h o d o x y ' s c i r c l e , but (as s h a l l hope i n due c o u r s e to show) o n l y if the q u e s t i o n is r e g a r d e d and g r o s s l y  we  superficially  oversimplified.  In p u r s u i t of the p r e c i s e i m p l i c a t i o n s of M i l t o n ' s r e a l o r supposed heresy,  we s h o u l d n e v e r l o s e s i g h t of the h i s t o r i c a l  c o n t i n u u m of a r g u m e n t out of w h i c h the c r e e d s f i r s t r o s e .  Difficulties  i n the f o r m u l a t i o n of a s t a t e m e n t d e s c r i b i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the S e c o n d to the F i r s t P e r s o n of the T r i n i t y go b a c k at l e a s t as f a r as to O r i g e n , who i n D e P r i n c i p i i s d e f e n d e d the " u n i t y " of the T r i n i t y a n d i n d o i n g so e m p l o y e d t e r m s w h i c h w e r e o p e n to the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 19  that t h e y s u b o r d i n a t e d the S o n to the F a t h e r .  F r o m Origen's  a s s e r t i o n of the e t e r n a l t i m e l e s s g e n e r a t i o n of the S o n , A r i u s went on to i n s i s t that G o d the F a t h e r a l o n e w a s w i t h o u t b e g i n n i n g a n d that the S o n was brought into b e i n g .  A r i u s ' p o s i t i o n w a s a m b i g u o u s i n that  he h e l d the S o n to be b e l o w the l e v e l of the F a t h e r y e t not f u l l y m a n .  20  T o A t h a n a s i u s , who e m e r g e d as the f o r e m o s t o p p o n e n t of Arius' views,  the q u e s t i o n at i s s u e w a s one of s a l v a t i o n ; that he m a d e  ^Robins,  p . 56.  Fern,  p.  117.  Fern,  p . 127.  1 9  2 0  h i s a u d i t o r s f e e l it to be so w a s a  mark  of h i s p o w e r .  He  argues  that C h r i s t i s t r u l y m a n a n d v e r y G o d b e c a u s e the c o n s e q u e n c e s of l e t t i n g s l i p e i t h e r of t h e s e e s s e n t i a l s i s the l o s s of s a l v a t i o n f o r men. T h e r e f o r e l e t t h o s e who d e n y that the S o n i s f r o m the F a t h e r b y n a t u r e a n d p r o p e r to H i s E s s e n c e ,  d e n y a l s o that H e t o o k  t r u e h u m a n f l e s h of M a r y E v e r - V i r g i n ; f o r i n n e i t h e r c a s e h a d it b e e n of p r o f i t to u s m e n ,  w h e t h e r the W o r d w e r e not t r u e a n d  n a t u r a l l y S o n of G o d , o r the f l e s h not t r u e w h i c h he a s s u m e d . s u r e l y H e took t r u e f l e s h ,  though V a l e n t i u s  But  ja. G n o s t i c l e a d e r J  r a v e ; y e a the W o r d w a s b y n a t u r e V e r y G o d , t h o u g h A r i o m a n i a c s r a v e ; a n d i n t h a t f l e s h h a s c o m e to p a s s the b e g i n n i n g of o u r new  22  creation. M o v i n g f r o m the h i s t o r i c a l to the c o n t e m p o r a r y , we m a y c o n c l u d e t h i s c h a p t e r w i t h two s o m e w h a t complementary  opinions.  divergent,  but p e r h a p s  C o n c e r n i n g the N i c a e a n C r e e d :  S u c h i s the c r e e d that h a s e v e r s i n c e b e e n r e g a r d e d i n the G r e e k , L a t i n a n d m o s t P r o t e s t a n t C h u r c h e s as the s o l u t i o n of the C h r i s t o l o g i c a l p r o b l e m .  'orthodox  1  It i s e a s y to c r i t i c i z e .  Its a d o p t i o n w a s g r e a t l y i n v o l v e d i n e c c l e s i a s t i c a l  politics.  It  s o l v e d few of the i n t e l l e c t u a l d i f f i c u l t i e s r e g a r d i n g C h r i s t o l o g y w h i c h h a v e b e e n r a i s e d i n the E a s t . quarrels.  It d i d not e v e n h e a l the C h r i s t o l o g i c a l  B u t w h e n a l l is a d m i t t e d ,  it m u s t be s a i d that i t s  l a t i o n was fortunate and its c o n s e q u e n c e s u s e f u l .  n o r m of d o c t r i n e i n a f i e l d i n w h i c h t h e r e has b e e n g r e a t M o r e i m p o r t a n t than that,  York,  a  confusion.  it w a s t r u e to the f u n d a m e n t a l c o n v i c t i o n  of the C h u r c h that i n C h r i s t a c o m p l e t e 23 i n t e r m s of g e n u i n e h u m a n l i f e . Williston Walker  formu-  It e s t a b l i s h e d  r e v e l a t i o n of G o d i s  made  e d . , A H i s t o r y of the C h r i s t i a n C h u r c h  (New  1959), p . H O .  22 Athanasius, p.  149. 23 Walker,  p.  " A g a i n s t the A r i a n s , " c i t e d i n F e r n ,  139-  Readings,  15 E v e n so, and its e s s e n t i a l  a n d a d m i t t i n g the s e m a n t i c c o n v e n i e n c e r e l e v a n c e to o u r d i s c u s s i o n ,  of t h i s  creed  it f a l l s s h o r t of the  u s e f u l n e s s t r a d i t i o n a l l y a t t r i b u t e d to it a n d C h u r c h h i s t o r i a n s  are  i n c l i n e d to q u a l i f y t h e i r a s s e s s m e n t of w h a t i s g a i n e d f r o m h a v i n g a creed. W i t h t h i s g a i n t h e r e c a m e a l o s s , b e c a u s e of a t e n d e n c y to t h i n k that the m o s t i m p o r t a n t t h i n g i n C h r i s t i a n i t y w a s to h o l d c o r r e c t d e f i n i t i o n s of the C h r i s t i a n t r u t h .  T h e t e s t of a m a n ' s  C h r i s t i a n i t y w a s not so m u c h h i s l o y a l t y as h i s a g r e e m e n t  with  what the c h u r c h d e c l a r e d to be r i g h t d o c t r i n e , that i s ,  orthodoxy.  his  O n e who w a s not o r t h o d o x w a s c a s t out as a h e r e t i c h o w e v e r to C h r i s t h i s  faithful  life. ^  R. H . Nichol, 1941), p . 56.  2  T h e G r o w t h of the C h r i s t i a n C h u r c h ( P h i l a d e l p h i a ,  C H A P T E R II MILTON'S  THEOLOGY  M i l t o n ' s g e n e r a l t h e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n is quite c l e a r .  His  v i e w s a r e a p p a r e n t l y c o m p a t i b l e w i t h the e a r l y c r e e d s p r i o r that of the N i c a e a n ; h i s h e r e s i e s ,  if any,  a p p e a r to p a s s  to  easily  t h r o u g h the l o o s e l y w o r d e d s c r e e n i n g of p r i m i t i v e C h r i s t i a n m a n i festos. *  H i s v e r y s t r o n g s e n s e of h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e m a k e s  it  n a t u r a l f o r h i m to s p e a k f r e e l y of h i s p l a c e i n the s c h o o l of B i b l i c a l scholars,  p r i m i t i v e s and r e f o r m e r s .  Of P r e l a t i c a l E p i s c o p a c y  p r o v i d e s a n i n d e x to the u s e M i l t o n m a k e s of the p r i m i t i v e C h r i s t i a n s and  to the v a l u e he p l a c e s u p o n a u t h o r i t y . He  that t h i n k s that it is the p a r t of a w e l l l e a r n e d m a n ,  h a v e r e a d d i l i g e n t l y the a n c i e n t s t o r i e s of the C h u r c h ,  to  a n d to be no  s t r a n g e r i n the v o l u m e s of the F a t h e r s s h a l l h a v e a l l j u d i c i o u s m e n c o n s e n t i n g w i t h h i m ; not h e r e b y to c o n t r o u l e , Scripture,  God forbid,  c r e p t i n by d e g r e e s ,  a n d new f a n g l e  a n d to g a t h e r u p ,  w h e r e e v e r wee f i n d the  r e m a i n i n g s p a r k s of O r i g i n a l l t r u t h , w h e r e w i t h to stop the of o u r a d v e r s a r i e s ,  the  but to m a r k how c o r r u p t i o n , a n d A p o s t a c y  a n d to b r i d l e t h e m w i t h t h e i r o w n c u r b ,  w i l l i n g l y p a s s e b y that w h i c h is O r t h o d o x a l l i n t h e m , c u l l out that w h i c h is c o m m e n t i t i o u s ,  mouths who  and studiously  and best for their  turnes,  not w e i g h i n g the F a t h e r s i n the b a l l a n c e of S c r i p t u r e , but S c r i p t u r e i n the b a l l a n c e of the F a t h e r s .  ( C . E . I l l , I, 1 0 1 )  T h e r e i s no doubt that the a p o s t o l i c e r a b e i n g the f r e e s t f r o m c o r r u p t i o n i s the m o s t c o n g e n i a l to h i s m i n d ; h i s r e v e r e n c e f o r p r i m a r y  Robins, p.  56.  17  sources  i m m e d i a t e l y c a l l s f o r t h the a d m i r a t i o n of s c h o l a r s .  He c l e a r l y  c o n s i d e r s h i m s e l f a R e f o r m a t i o n m a n , but he i s u n w i l l i n g to l e a v e matter there.  the  T h e R e f o r m a t i o n w a s o n l y the b e g i n n i n g f o r the c h u r c h of  r e s t o r a t i o n to o r i g i n a l p u r i t y ; t h i s he m a k e s c l e a r w h e n he s u g g e s t s that h i s o w n C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e w i l l not be a s u p e r f l u o u s a d d i t i o n to the m a n y t r e a t i s e s of t h e o l o g y that h a v e a l r e a d y b e e n p u b l i s h e d .  S i n c e the v a l i d i t y  of h i s w h o l e a p p r o a c h to the f a i t h r e s t s u p o n w h a t M i l t o n c a l l s "a g e n e r a l m a x i m of the P r o t e s t a n t r e l i g i o n " it s e e m s w o r t h w h i l e at t h i s p o i n t to r e p e a t the p a s s a g e a l r e a d y c i t e d : S e e i n g t h e r e f o r e that no m a n , no s y n o d , no s e s s i o n of m e n , t h o u g h c a l l d the c h u r c h , c a n judge d e f i n i t i v e l y the s e n s e of s c r i p t u r e to a n o t h e r m a n ' s c o n s c i e n c e , w h i c h i s w e l l k n o w n to be a g e n e r a l m a x i m of the P r o t e s t a n t r e l i g i o n , it f o l l o w s p l a n e l y , that he who h o l d i n r e l i g i o n that b e l e e f o r t h o s e o p i n i o n s w h i c h to h i s c o n s c i e n c e  and utmost u n d e r -  s t a n d i n g a p p e e r w i t h m o s t e v i d e n c e o r p r o b a b i l i t i e i n s c r i p t u r e , t h o u g h to o t h e r s he s e e m e r r o n e o u s , c a n no m o r e be j u s t l y c e n s u r ' d f o r a h e r e t i c t h a n h i s c e n s u r e r s ; who do but the s a m e t h i n g t h e m s e l v e s w h i l e they c e n s u r e h i m f o r so d o i n g .  F o r a s k t h e m , or any P r o t e s t a n t , w h i c h hath m o s t  a u t o r i t i e , the c h u r c h o r s c r i p t u r e ?  T h e y w i l l a n s w e r , d o u b t l e s s , that the  s c r i p t u r e : a n d w h a t h a t h m o s t a u t o r i t i e , that no doubt b u t t h e y w i l l c o n f e s s i s to be f o l l o w e d .  12)  (VI,  E v e n i n its b r o a d e s t o u t l i n e s , especially  in his  Athanasians Luther is  or  a n d the  anyone  w r i t t e n i n the  h i m the f i n a l of the called,  time.  He is  generally  R e f o r m e r s but he  is  compatible far f r o m  w i t h the  law  a n d the  arbiter:  prophets  a n d the  Whatever  New T e s t a m e n t is for  " A n y other judges or p a r a m o u n t together  pre-  w i l l i n g to r e l y u p o n  e l s e f o r h i s c r e e d o r hope of s a l v a t i o n .  C h r i s t i a n belief, I,  M i l t o n ' s theological position is unusual,  interpreters  with a l l i m p l i c i t faith,  i n c o m m o n w i t h the w h o l e P r o t e s t a n t C h u r c h ,  as  it  refuse  is to  18 recognize."  (XIV,  15)  W i t h the " c r e e d i n g e n e r a l a c c e p t a t i o n " (that i s w i t h the T r i n i t a r i a n N i c a e a n C r e e d ) M i l t o n is in open d i s a g r e e m e n t .  Nor  d o e s he see w h y a n y o n e who b e l o n g s to the s a m e P r o t e s t a n t o r R e f o r m e d C h u r c h a n d p r o f e s s e s to a c k n o w l e d g e  the s a m e r u l e of f a i t h  a s h i m s e l f s h o u l d t a k e o f f e n s e at h i s f r e e d o m ; p a r t i c u l a r l y as he i m p o s e s h i s a u t h o r i t y o n no one but m e r e l y p r o p o s e s what he t h i n k s m o r e w o r t h y of b e l i e f t h a n the c r e e d w h i c h i s c o m m o n l y a c c e p t e d by his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s :  " F o r w i t h o u t i n t e n d i n g to o p p o s e the a u t h o r i t y  of S c r i p t u r e , w h i c h I c o n s i d e r i n v i o l a b l y s a c r e d ,  I only take upon  m y s e l f to r e f u t e h u m a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s as o f t e n as the requires, (XIV,  177)  occasion  c o n f o r m a b l y to m y r i g h t , o r r a t h e r to m y duty as a m a n . " H e r e a l i z e s that if he h a d b e e n b r o u g h t up a s a m e m b e r  of the C h u r c h of R o m e , w h i c h r e q u i r e s i m p l i c i t o b e d i e n c e to i t s c r e e d s o n a l l p o i n t s of f a i t h , he p r o b a b l y w o u l d h a v e a c q u i e s c e d e d u c a t i o n o r h a b i t , but s u c h w a s not the c a s e a n d n o w as the  from  result  of h i s o w n f r e e e n q u i r y he s t o u t l y h o l d s that the c r e e d s m u s t b e w e i g h e d i n the b a l a n c e of s c r i p t u r e . A g a i n a n d a g a i n M i l t o n b r i n g s f o r w a r d the i d e a that t h e r e a c e r t a i n f r a m e w o r k w i t h i n w h i c h he i s f r e e to m o v e ; that  is  heresy  ( w h e n it m e a n s d i s a g r e e m e n t w i t h the c o n s e n s u s of the m a j o r i t y o r r e c e i v e d o p i n i o n ) i s a n i n g r e d i e n t of the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h .  Diligent  r e s e a r c h a n d f r e e d i s c u s s i o n do not g u a r a n t e e c o m p l e t e u n i f o r m i t y of  19  o p i n i o n , but do e l i m i n a t e the d i s a g r e e a b l e p o s s i b i l i t y that one m a y because  of m e r e " i m p l i c i t f a i t h " b e a h e r e t i c i n the t r u t h . M i l t o n ' s astonishing audacity toward e a r l y and c o n t e m p o r a r y  a u t h o r i t i e s is e x a c t l y what s h o u l d be e x p e c t e d i n a m a n who e x p r e s s e s everywhere,  in p r o s e and in poetry,  his o v e r w h e l m i n g confidence  in  the i d e a of the u l t i m a t e t r i u m p h of r e a s o n . M a n y t h e r e be that c o m p l a i n of d i v i n P r o v i d e n c e f o r s u f f e r i n g A d a m to t r a n s g r e s s e , reason,  foolish tongues!  he g a v e h i m f r e e d o m to c h o o s e ,  he h a d b i n e l s e a m e e r a r t i f i c i a l A d a m , the m o t i o n s . or gift,  We o u r s e l v e s  When G o d gave h i m  f o r r e a s o n i s but c h o o s i n g ; s u c h a n A d a m as he i s i n  e s t e e m not of that o b e d i e n c e ,  w h i c h is of f o r c e : G o d t h e r e f o r e l e f t h i m f r e e ,  h i m a provoking object,  or love,  set  before  ever almost in his eyes; h e r e i n consisted  h i s m e r i t , h e r e i n the r i g h t of h i s r e w a r d , the p r a i s e of h i s a b s t i nence. . . . A n d were I a chooser,  a d r a m of w e l l - d o i n g s h o u l d be  p r e f e r r ' d b e f o r e m a n y t i m e s as m u c h the f o r c i b l e h i n d r a n c e of evill-doing.  F o r G o d s u r e e s t e e m s the g r o w t h a n d c o m p l e a t i n g of  one v e r t u o u s p e r s o n , m o r e t h a n the r e s t r a i n t of t e n v i t i o u s . (C.E.  I V , 319-20)  T h e v i e w that the p o e t p u t s f o r w a r d of the f u n c t i o n of r e a s o n i n m a n i n P a r a d i s e L o s t is p r e c i s e l y the s a m e as that w h i c h s h a p e s h i s p e r s o n a l a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d the a p p r e h e n s i o n of G o d ' s t r u t h . s a y s that m a n , the M a s t e r w o r k of c r e a t i o n , . u n l i k e o t h e r  Raphael creatures,  w a s e n d u e d w i t h s a n c t i t y of r e a s o n , m a d e to s t a n d u p r i g h t a n d g i v e n the p o w e r of s e l f - a w a r e n e s s  a n d of s e l f - k n o w l e d g e .  Later  Michael  r e v i e w s the c i r c u m s t a n c e s u n d e r w h i c h the s a n c t i t y of r e a s o n i s violated: R e a s o n i n m a n o b s c u r ' d , o r not o b e y ' d , Immediately inordinate  desires  A n d u p s t a r t P a s s i o n s c a t c h the G o v e r n m e n t F r o m R e a s o n , a n d to s e r v i t u d e M a n t i l l then f r e e .  (XII, 86-90)  reduce  20 M i l t o n c l e a r l y d e f i n e s the f u n c t i o n of r e a s o n . man  is f r e e .  When reason triumphs  T r u e l i b e r t y always with right r e a s o n dwells,  l i b e r t y is i m p a i r e d when m a n acts u n r e a s o n a b l y .  Adam,  but  having  b e e n w a r n e d b y R a p h a e l , t e l l s E v e of the d a n g e r s i n h e r e n t i n t h e i r situation: A g a i n s t h i s w i l l he c a n r e c e a v e no h a r m e . B u t G o d l e f t f r e e the W i l l , Reason,  is f r e e ,  for what o b e y e s  a n d R e a s o n he m a d e r i g h t ,  But b i d her w e l l b e w a r e ,  and s t i l l  erect,  L e a s t by some f a i r e appeering good s u r p r i s ' d She d i c t a t e f a l s e ,  a n d m i s i n f o r m e the  T o do w h a t G o d e x p r e s s l y  hath f o r b i d .  Will ( P . L . , I X , 350-6)  In M i l t o n ' s s c h e m e of t h i n g s r e a s o n i s r i g h t , p r o v i d e n t i a l l y , it i s l o g i c a l l y c o r r e c t f o r A d a m a n d E v e to s a y ,  so that  " O u r r e a s o n is o u r  law. " T h e i d e a "that k n o w l e d g e  c a n not d e f i l e . . . if the w i l l a n d  c o n s c i e n c e be not d e f i l e d " i s i m p o r t a n t to a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the f r e e d o m and ease with which M i l t o n m o v e s i n theological  discussions  b e c a u s e h i s s e n s e of f r e e d o m i n the p u r s u i t of t r u t h i s the r e s u l t of the v i e w that s u c h l i b e r t y i s the p r e r o g a t i v e of the man  direct regenerate  who b y v i r t u e of h i s s t a n d i n g i n C h r i s t h a s a n u n c o r r u p t e d w i l l  a n d a s one of the e l e c t i s u n d e r o b l i g a t i o n to m a i n t a i n a w a r y a n d active intelligence. notwithstanding,  However,  the s u b l i m i t y of M i l t o n i c d e c l a r a t i o n s  r i g h t r e a s o n a n d the w i l l as r e l a t e d i n h i s  a r e f a r f r o m f o r m i n g the p e r f e c t c i r c l e . obedience,  she f e l l d e c e i v e d ,  scheme  W h e n E v e f e l l into d i s -  her w i l l having been m i s d i r e c t e d ,  but  w h y w a s she not l i k e the L a d y i n C o m u s w h o s e u n c o r r u p t e d w i l l w o u l d not p e r m i t p a s s i o n to s w a y h e r j u d g m e n t ?  The Lady's un-  c o r r u p t e d w i l l s a v e s h e r f r o m the w r o n g r e a s o n i n g of C o m u s , a n d what o b e y s r i g h t r e a s o n i s f r e e .  The w i l l and r e a s o n serve  o t h e r i n p r e s e r v i n g the i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p to G o d . thing is w r o n g with r e a s o n ' s good s u r p r i s ' d  each  But  some-  s e r v i c e if "by s o m e f a i r e a p p e e r i n g  She d i c t a t e f a l s e a n d m i s i n f o r m e the W i l l  T o do  what G o d e x p r e s s l y h a t h f o r b i d . " The  s u g g e s t i o n that M i l t o n b e l i e v e d so s t r o n g l y i n the u l t i m a t e  t r i u m p h of r e a s o n that he w a s g u i d e d b y t h i s p r i n c i p l e i n h i s o w n a p p r o a c h to t r u t h m a y be a u t o m a t i c a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a n o t h e r possibility.  If W i l l a n d R e a s o n i n E v e ' s c a s e f a i l e d to i n t e r a c t i n s u c h  a w a y as to p r e v e n t the f a l l ,  M i l t o n and his c h e r i s h e d elect m a y  b e l i a b l e to e r r ; w h e t h e r i n f a c t the p o e t f a l l s s h o r t of the  also  standards  of m a i n s t r e a m C h r i s t i a n i t y i s a q u e s t i o n that s h o u l d r e c e i v e a  satis-  f a c t o r y a n s w e r i n the d e t a i l e d e x a m i n a t i o n of h i s a l l e g e d h e r e s i e s w h i c h i s n o w to o c c u p y o u r a t t e n t i o n . T o e x a m i n e J o h n M i l t o n ' s t h e o l o g i c a l s y s t e m b y w a y of the a l l e g e d h e r e s i e s i s the c o u r s e m o s t e x p e d i e n t f o r a p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h i s k i n d s i n c e one c a n get q u i c k l y to a r e s i d u e of c o n t r o v e r s i a l m a t e r i a l s i m p l y b y the p r o c e s s of e l i m i n a t i n g what is e a s i l y i d e n t i f i a b l e as u n q u e s t i o n a b l y o r t h o d o x .  H o w e v e r , m u c h of the v a l u e of  e x a m i n i n g the a l l e g e d h e r e s i e s w i l l be l o s t i f it i s not c o n s t a n t l y k e p t  22 i n m i n d that M i l t o n ' s c o n c e p t i o n a n d p r e s e n t a t i o n of the p r i n c i p a l t h e m e s of the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h a r e t r e m e n d o u s l y i m p r e s s i v e a n d to h i s e v e r l a s t i n g g l o r y as a p o e t . F o r a d e m o n s t r a t i o n of h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n of o r t h o d o x y ' s  great  t h e m e s t h e r e is no n e e d to l o o k f u r t h e r t h a n to the o p e n i n g t h i r t e e n l i n e s of P a r a d i s e L o s t : Of Mans F i r s t Disobedience, O f that F o r b i d d e n T r e e ,  Restore us,  and a l l our woe,  t i l l one g r e a t e r M a n  a n d r e g a i n the b l i s s f u l S e a t ,  Sing H e a v ' n l y M u s e , Of O r e b ,  Fruit  whose m o r t a l tast  B r o u g h t D e a t h into the W o r l d , W i t h l o s s of E d e n ,  a n d the  that o n the s e c r e t top  o r of S i n a i ,  didst i n s p i r e  T h a t S h e p h e r d , who f i r s t taught the c h o s e n  Seed,  In the B e g i n n i n g how the H e a v ' n s a n d E a r t h R o s e out of C h a o s : O r if S i o n H i l l D e l i g h t thee m o r e ,  a n d S i l o a ' s B r o o k that f l o w ' d  F a s t b y the O r a c l e of G o d ; I t h e n c e Invoke thy a i d to m y a d v e n t r o u s S o n g . (I,  1-13)  T h u s we a r e i n t r o d u c e d to C h r i s t i a n i t y ' s a n d M i l t o n ' s w o r l d  scheme.  U s i n g no l e s s t h a n f i f t e e n B i b l i c a l a l l u s i o n s he p l a c e s the r e a d e r i n c o n t a c t w i t h e v e n t s b e l o n g i n g to p a r t i c u l a r p l a c e s a n d p e r s o n s i n Scripture (Oreb, Man,  Sinai,  Sion, That Shepherd, chosen Seed,  greater  E d e n ) a n d s u g g e s t s the c e n t r a l d o c t r i n e s of C h r i s t i a n i t y (the  F a l l and consequent death, r e d e m p t i o n by C h r i s t , r e v e l a t i o n of G o d i n the B i b l e ) .  and an i n s p i r e d  T o d e a l w i t h the a l l e g e d h e r e s i e s  i n s u c h a w a y as to d e v e l o p u n d e r s t a n d i n g of that s i d e of M i l t o n at the e x p e n s e of f u l l y c o m p r e h e n d i n g how f i r m l y he h e l d the " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l t r u t h e s " of C h r i s t i a n i t y w o u l d be a m i s t a k e .  With these  q u a l i f i c a t i o n s i n m i n d we n o w go on to e x a m i n e the a l l e g e d Fortunately,  it i s not n e c e s s a r y to b e g i n de n o v o to  heresies. assemble  the n e c e s s a r y m a t e r i a l s f o r the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the t h e o l o g i c a l h o u s e that M i l t o n b u i l t . C.S.  O f the m a i n s t u d i e s o n the s u b j e c t ,  t h o s e of  L e w i s and H . F . R o b i n s p r o v i d e an excellent starting point for  d i s c u s s i o n b e c a u s e i n b o t h c a s e s , f i r s t the i n d i v i d u a l i t e m s i n the l i s t of M i l t o n ' s a l l e g e d h e r e s i e s  a r e dealt with, and then, after a good  d e a l of n o n - e s s e n t i a l m a t e r i a l i s c l e a r e d a w a y , t h o s e m a t t e r s w h i c h a r e of a s u f f i c i e n t l y s e r i o u s n a t u r e to c a l l into q u e s t i o n M i l t o n ' s orthodoxy are c l e a r l y identified i n a s u m m a r y statement. P r o f e s s o r L e w i s in dealing systematically with Saurat's list of M i l t o n ' s s o - c a l l e d h e r e s i e s  i d e n t i f i e s s o m e of the i t e m s  c o m m o n p l a c e s of C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g y ,  as  s o m e as not i n M i l t o n at a l l ,  a n d s o m e as o c c u r r i n g e i t h e r i n M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e o r i n Paradise Lost.  B y a p r o c e s s of e l i m i n a t i o n L e w i s a r r i v e s at the  c o n c l u s i o n that M i l t o n i s a n A r i a n  2  , a n d that he h o l d s u n u s u a l i d e a s  3 about c r e a t i o n , s u c h as that m a t t e r i s p a r t of G o d .  Quite properly  L e w i s t a k e s the o p p o r t u n i t y to d i s c u s s M i l t o n ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n of redemption,  a s u b j e c t w h i c h h a s to b e d e a l t w i t h e i t h e r i m p l i c i t y o r  e x p l i c i t l y i n any d i s c u s s i o n of C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g y .  2  Lewis,  3  Lewis,  p . 85. p . 87.  When Robins says  in summary,  " . . . M i l t o n i s i n t h r e e m a j o r r e s p e c t s at o d d s w i t h the  established dogmatics  of the C a t h o l i c a n d P r o t e s t a n t c h u r c h e s :  He 4  is a n t i - T r i n i t a r i a n , conclusions  he is a m a t e r i a l i s t ; a n d he i s a m o r t a l i s t , "  his  as to the c r u c i a l p o i n t s of the c o n t r o v e r s y o v e r M i l t o n ' s  theology are essentially  at one w i t h L e w i s ' s .  W i t h the k n o w l e d g e that L e w i s a n d R o b i n s c o n c u r as to the p r o b l e m areas in M i l t o n ' s theology, to a n e v a l u a t i o n of the s i g n i f i c a n c e  it i s p o s s i b l e to m o v e q u i c k l y of h i s d e v i a t i o n s ,  especially  with  r e g a r d to the i d e a s the o r t h o d o x c r e e d a l s t a t e m e n t s w e r e i n t e n d e d to lay stress upon.  A c c o r d i n g l y , a t t e n t i o n w i l l now be g i v e n to c e r t a i n  c l a s s i c a l theological discussions.  If M i l t o n i s i n the m a i n s t r e a m of  o r t h o d o x y h i s t h e o l o g y m u s t be c o m p a t i b l e not o n l y w i t h the p r e A t h a n a s i a n s a n d the R e f o r m e r s but a l s o w i t h the f u n d a m e n t a l c o n c e p t i o n s that the s t a t e m e n t s of A t h a n a s i u s , A u g u s t i n e a n d o t h e r s w e r e i n t e n d e d d e f i n i t e l y to  emphasize. 5  A r e a d i n g of H a r n a c k ' s  comments  o n A u g u s t i n e ' s v i e w s of  c r e a t i o n s h o u l d h a v e a s a l u t a r y effect o n the t h i n k i n g of t h o s e who hope to e v a l u a t e 4  o b j e c t i v e l y the i m p o r t a n c e of M i l t o n ' s r e f u s a l to go  R o b i n s , p . 59.  5 A d o l p h H a r n a c k i n the H i s t o r y of D o g m a , 4 v o l s .  (New  York,  1961) t r a c e s the d e v e l o p m e n t of the a u t h o r i t a t i v e C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n a l s y s t e m f r o m its b e g i n n i n g d o w n to the R e f o r m a t i o n a n d g i v e s a b r i e f s u r v e y of l a t e r d e v e l o p m e n t s  through  1870.  a l o n g w i t h the ex n i h i l o d o c t r i n e of c r e a t i o n .  If one i s u n d e r the  i m p r e s s i o n that the ex n i h i l o d o c t r i n e i s so u t t e r l y l o g i c a l , straightforwardly simple,  so  that a n y o n e who w a n t s to be a g o o d o r t h o -  d o x C h r i s t i a n s h o u l d a c c e p t it w i t h s c a r c e l y a s e c o n d t h o u g h t ,  a little  r e a d i n g o n the s u b j e c t w i l l q u i c k l y d i s s o l v e the i l l u s i o n . Augustine's  s t a t e m e n t s a r e b e s t u n d e r s t o o d a g a i n s t the b a c k -  g r o u n d of a k n o w l e d g e  of what the e a r l y a p o l o g i s t s t r i e d to d o .  s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h d e a l w i t h the k n o w l e d g e  of G o d a n d of the w o r l d a r e  d o m i n a t e d b y the f u n d a m e n t a l i d e a that the w o r l d i s c r e a t e d , ditioned,  and transient and is i n c o n t r a s t with something  unchangeable,  and eternal,  Their  con-  self-existing,  w h i c h i s the f i r s t c a u s e of the w o r l d .  T h e s e l f - e x i s t i n g B e i n g h a s none of the a t t r i b u t e s w h i c h b e l o n g to the w o r l d ; h e n c e he i s e x a l t e d a b o v e e v e r y distinctions.  This implies,  eternal Being; secondly,  first,  n a m e a n d h a s i n h i m s e l f no  the u n i t y a n d u n i q u e n e s s  his s p i r i t u a l nature,  of t h i s  for everything bodily  i s s u b j e c t to c h a n g e ; a n d f i n a l l y , h i s p e r f e c t i o n ,  f o r the  self-existent  6 and eternal r e q u i r e s nothing. T h e s e d o g m a s a r e set f o r t h b y one e a r l y a p o l o g i s t i n a m o r e detailed way,  and by another i n a m o r e c o n c i s e f o r m ,  but t h r e e  points a r e e m p h a s i z e d by a l l .  First,  as the F i r s t C a u s e .  the p r i n c i p l e of m o r a l g o o d i s  6  Harnack,  Secondly,  II, p p . 2 0 4 - 5 .  G o d i s p r i m a r i l y to be  conceived also  26 the p r i n c i p l e of the w o r l d . is,  the D e i t y ,  Thirdly,  the p r i n c i p l e of the w o r l d ,  as b e i n g the i m m o r t a l a n d e t e r n a l , f o r m s the  to the w o r l d w h i c h is t r a n s i e n t .  In the c o s m o l o g y  of the  that  contrast  Apologists  the two f u n d a m e n t a l i d e a s a r e that G o d i s the F a t h e r a n d C r e a t o r of the w o r l d , but that as u n c r e a t e d a n d e t e r n a l , he i s a l s o the  complete  7 c o n t r a s t to i t . B y the f o u r t h c e n t u r y the T r i n i t a r i a n c o n f l i c t s l e d to a p r e c i s e distinction being drawn between creating, m a k i n g , and emanating,  begetting,  a n d t h u s the n o t i o n of c r e a t i o n out of n o t h i n g now  f i r s t r e c e i v e d its s t r i c t i m p r e s s . . . . T h e f o l l o w i n g p r o p o s i t i o n s  may  be r e g a r d e d as c o n t a i n i n g the q u i n t e s s e n c e of the o r t h o d o x F a t h e r s f r o m the f i f t h c e n t u r y ,  a n d at the s a m e t i m e as the  that g a v e s c o p e to a l l t h e i r f u t u r e s p e c u l a t i o n s .  presuppositions  It c a n be  stated  t h u s : G o d f r o m e t e r n i t y b o r e i n h i s o w n m i n d the i d e a of the w o r l d . In f r e e s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n h e ,  i n o r d e r to p r o v e h i s  c r e a t e d b y the L o g o s , who e m b r a c e s  all ideas,  goodness,  this w o r l d , w h i c h  h a s h a d a b e g i n n i n g a n d w i l l have a n e n d , i n s i x d a y s out of n o t h i n g , i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h the p a t t e r n of the u p p e r w o r l d c r e a t e d b y h i m . T h e m o r e one s a m p l e s the F a t h e r s ' t h i n k i n g o n the ex n i h i l o d o c t r i n e the g r e a t e r b e c o m e s o n e s a w a r e n e s s that the  difference  b e t w e e n the c o m m e n t s  say,  of M i l t o n a n d the c o m m e n t s  o n the s a m e d o c t r i n e i s g r e a t ,  orthodoxy,  7  g  Augustine  a n d that t h e r e m u s t be a n i m p o r t a n t ,  p e r h a p s unique cause for this d i f f e r e n c e . what p o s s i b l e  of,  What this c a u s e i s ,  a n d of  s i g n i f i c a n c e it m a y be to the d e c i s i o n about M i l t o n ' s  we s h o r t l y s h a l l h a v e o c c a s i o n to d i s c o v e r .  Harnack,  II, p .  206.  Harnack,  II, p . 2 4 9 .  27 F o r the m o m e n t it is s u f f i c i e n t to note that m u c h of A u g u s t i n e ' s s p e c u l a t i o n is " N e o p l a t o n i c . " B y N e o p l a t o n i c s p e c u l a t i o n s of the a s c e n t A u g u s t i n e r e a c h e d the s u p r e m e u n c h a n g e a b l e ,  of the  soul  permanent Being,  the i n c o r p o r e a l t r u t h , the l i g h t i n c o m m u t a b l e . . . . S t a r t i n g w i t h t h i s , e v e r y t h i n g w h i c h w a s not G o d , i n c l u d i n g h i s o w n s o u l , w a s e x a m i n e d b y A u g u s t i n e f r o m two p o i n t s of v i e w . as the a b s o l u t e l y t r a n s i e n t ,  O n the o t h e r h a n d , it a p p e a r e d  t h e r e f o r e as n o n - e x i s t e n t ; f o r no t r u e  being e x i s t s , where there is also not-being; t h e r e f o r e G o d exists a l o n e ( G o d the o n l y s u b s t a n c e ) .  O n the o t h e r h a n d , as f a r as  possessed a relative existence,  it s e e m e d g o o d , as a n e v o l u t i o n of  d i v i n e b e i n g (the m a n y as the e m b o d i m e n t , returning,  of the  emanating,  is  and e v e r y  one).^  W i t h a p o l o g i e s to t h o s e who a r e i m p a t i e n t l y a w a i t i n g the f i n a l  state-  m e n t of A u g u s t i n e ' s v i e w s o n the ex n i h i l o d o c t r i n e i n the h o p e that it w i l l p r o v i d e the m u c h n e e d e d e l u c i d a t i o n , we take the o p p o r t u n i t y to note that w h e r e a s  present  M i l t o n i s a c c u s e d of " m a t e r i a l i s m "  and "pantheism" ( t e r m s w h i c h C o n k l i n says a r e m i s l e a d i n g ) , A u g u s t i n e i s a l s o o p e n to c r i t i c i s m .  H a r n a c k s a y s of h i m ,  How deeply i n e a r n e s t A u g u s t i n e was with this P a n t h e i s m w h i c h t h r e a t e n e d to d e g e n e r a t e he n e v e r w h o l l y a b a n d o n e d i t ,  10  acosmic  into c o s m i c M o n i s m ,  is s h o w n e v e n b y the  how  expression  ' p u l c h r i t u d o ' (beauty) f o r G o d , by h i s d o c t r i n e of p r e d e s t i n a t i o n , w h i c h h a s one of its r o o t s h e r e ,  a n d , f i n a l l y , b y the a e s t h e t i c  o p t i m i s m of h i s v i e w of the w o r l d w h i c h c o m e s out h e r e a n d t h e r e even i n his latest w r i t i n g s ,  a n d b y h i s u n c e r t a i n t y a s to the n o t i o n  of c r e a t i o n . ^ *  7  Harnack,  V , p.  114.  ^ G e o r g e Conklin, (New Y o r k ,  1949),  ^Harnack,  V , p.  B i b l i c a l C r i t i c i s m and H e r e s y in M i l t o n ,  p . 67. 115.  28 Harnack's comments  on A u g u s t i n e ' s u s e of the ex n i h i l o  c o n c e p t m a y u s e f u l l y be j u x t a p o s e d w i t h M i l t o n ' s s t a t e m e n t s .  Con-  cerning creation Milton says,  the  f o u n d a t i o n of the w o r l d , them,  " A s to the a c t i o n s of G o d b e f o r e  it w o u l d be the h e i g h t of f o l l y to i n q u i r e into  a n d a l m o s t e q u a l l y so to a t t e m p t a s o l u t i o n of the q u e s t i o n . "  W h e n he d e f i n e s  creation as,  "that a c t w h e r e b y G o d the F a t h e r p r o -  d u c e d e v e r y t h i n g that e x i s t s b y h i s W o r d a n d S p i r i t , will, (C.E.  that i s , b y H i s  f o r the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the g l o r y of h i s p o w e r a n d g o o d n e s s , " X V , 5)  however,  h i s v i e w i s i n h a r m o n y w i t h A u g u s t i n e s. 1  There is,  a s h a r p d i f f e r e n c e of o p i n i o n w i t h r e g a r d to the o r i g i n a l  m a t t e r of the u n i v e r s e .  Milton  says,  T h u s f a r it h a s a p p e a r e d that G o d the F a t h e r i s the p r i m a r y a n d e f f i c i e n t c a u s e of a l l t h i n g s . of the u n i v e r s e ,  however,  W i t h r e g a r d to the o r i g i n a l m a t t e r  t h e r e h a s b e e n m u c h d i f f e r e n c e of o p i n i o n .  M o s t of the m o d e r n s c o n t e n d  we h a v e d r a w n a t t e n t i o n to the  ex  n i h i l o f o r m u l a t i o n w h i c h w a s s o l i d i f i e d f r o m the f o u r t h c e n t u r y that it w a s f o r m e d f r o m n o t h i n g , a b a s i s as u n s u b s t a n t i a l as that of their own t h e o r y .  ( X V , 17)  At this point then M i l t o n and A u g u s t i n e a r e i n open ment,  not about Who c r e a t e d ,  c r e a t i o n p e r se,  disagree-  o r the v e r i t y of the d o c t r i n e of  but about how it w a s d o n e .  Similarly,  our present  c o n c e r n i s not w i t h the v a l i d i t y of the e n t i r e s c h e m e w h i c h d e p e n d s the e x i s t e n c e of G o d a n d r e l a t e d m a t t e r s but r a t h e r w i t h the  questions  w h i c h m a y p l a c e J o h n M i l t o n o u t s i d e the C h r i s t i a n m o d u s o p e r a n d i altogether.  A t t h i s m o m e n t on t h i s q u e s t i o n it i s i m p o r t a n t that we  r e c o g n i z e that A u g u s t i n e u s e d the t e r m n i h i l b e c a u s e  it w a s  on  p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y e x p e d i e n t f o r h i m to do s o . M i l t o n ' s d o c t r i n e c r e a t i o ex d e o , a s the l o g i c a l c o n s e q u e n c e  O n the o t h e r h a n d ,  as w i l l be d e m o n s t r a t e d ,  of a d i f f e r e n t n e e d ,  comes  which arises  out of a  d i f f e r e n t set of p r e - s u p p o s i t i o n s . Clearly,  A u g u s t i n e and M i l t o n have s i m i l a r intentions  devo-  t i o n a l l y , w r e s t l e w i t h m a n y of the s a m e p r o b l e m s i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , a r e t e m p t e d t o w a r d the s a m e e r r o r s . H a r n a c k s a y s of A u g u s t i n e ,  F o r e x a m p l e o n one  and  occasion  " B u t , at t h i s p o i n t , A u g u s t i n e h a d n e v e r -  t h e l e s s to m a k e a d i s t i n c t i o n i n G o d , i n o r d e r to d i s c r i m i n a t e the d i v i n e w o r l d - p l a n f r o m h i m , a n d not to f a l l c o m p l e t e l y into P a n t h e i s m . A t the s a m e t i m e c o m m e n t i n g o n A u g u s t i n e ' s r e a l i z a t i o n of the i n adequacies  of the i d e a of c a u s e a n d e f f e c t ,  Harnack says:  A u g u s t i n e . . . f e l t that m o r e c a u s a l i t y w a s u s e l e s s . a d o p t e d the e x p e d i e n t of c a l l i n g i n ' n i h i l ' (nothing) to h i s a i d , negation: G o d w o r k s i n nothing.  He the  T h i s ' n o t h i n g ' w a s the c a u s e of the  w o r l d not b e i n g a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o r e v o l u t i o n of G o d , but of i t s a p p e a r i n g a s a n i n f e r i o r i r i d e s c e n t p r o d u c t , w h i c h b e c a u s e it i s a divina operatio,  e x i s t s (yet not i n d e p e n d e n t l y of G o d ) , w h i c h ,  as i n d e p e n d e n t ,  d o e s not e x i s t ,  the n i h i l .  s i n c e its independence  T h e s e n t e n c e ' m u n d u s de n i h i l a d e o f a c t u s '  p r i n c i p l e of A u g u s t i n e c o s m o l o g y - - i s  - - the  root  ultimately taken dualistically;  but the d u a l i s m i s c o n c e a l e d b y the s e c o n d e l e m e n t c o n s i s t i n g negation,  so f a r  resides in  in  a n d t h e r e f o r e o n l y r e v e a l i n g i t s e l f i n the p r i v a t i v e f o r m  (of m u t a b i l i t y ,  transitoriness).  B u t i n the e n d the p u r e l y n e g a t i v e c h a r a c t e r of the e l e m e n t c a n n o t be a b s o l u t e l y r e t a i n e d ( A u g u s t i n e n e v e r ,  second  certainly,  i d e n t i f i e d it w i t h m a t t e r ) ; it p u r p o r t e d to be a b s o l u t e i m p o t e n c e , c o m b i n e d w i t h d i v i n e a c t i v i t y it b e c a m e the r e s i s t i n g f a c t o r , k n o w how it d o e s r e s i s t  sin.  A u g u s t i n e w o u l d have been:  Harnack,  V , p. 1 2 1 .  Accordingly,  but  a n d we  the q u e s t i o n m o s t f a t a l to  Who c r e a t e d t h i s n o t h i n g ?  A s a matter  30 of f a c t t h i s q u e s t i o n b r e a k s d o w n the w h o l e c o n s t r u c t i o n . it s o u n d s ,  it i s j u s t i f i e d .  A b s u r d as  A u g u s t i n e c a n n o t e x p l a i n n e g a t i o n w i t h it  d e t e r m i n a t i v e p o w e r e x i s t i n g s i d e b y s i d e w i t h the d i v i n a ope r a t i o ; f o r it i s no e x p l a n a t i o n to s a y that it d i d not e x i s t at a l l , s i n c e m e r e l y had negative effects.  it  ^  F o r A u g u s t i n e t h e n " n o t h i n g " i s not s i m p l y " n o t h i n g " ; a n d it i s a d m i t t e d b y the e x p e r t s o n o r t h o d o x y that the f a t a l q u e s t i o n f o r h i m i s , "Who c r e a t e d this n o t h i n g ? "  We n e e d not a s k that q u e s t i o n ; we  need  o n l y to p o i n t out that A u g u s t i n e b e g a n w i t h c e r t a i n p h i l o s o p h i c p r e suppositions,  a r g u e d to p r o t e c t what he thought w a s e s s e n t i a l ,  t h e n f i n a l l y , i n the o u t e r - l i m i t s of h i s m a t e r i a l f o u n d h i m s e l f with an insoluble p r o b l e m . different:  and faced  F o r M i l t o n the s i t u a t i o n is not too  he b e g i n s w i t h c e r t a i n p r e - s u p p o s i t i o n s  concerning God  a n d h i s w a y of r e v e a l i n g H i m s e l f to m a n k i n d , a r g u e s as as he c a n f r o m the r e v e a l e d f a c t s ,  consistently  and then finds h i m s e l f m a k i n g  s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h a r e c o n t r a r y to r e c e i v e d o p i n i o n , a n d w h i c h d e v e l o p for h i m some e m b a r r a s s i n g questions. however,  It d o e s not s e e m l i k e l y ,  that the h o l d i n g of u n i q u e v i e w s o n the d i f f i c u l t d o c t r i n e of  G o d a n d c r e a t i o n c o u l d have c o n s e q u e n c e s of s u c h a s e r i o u s n a t u r e  as  to u p s e t M i l t o n ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h . Unlike Augustine,  Milton argues  if C o n k l i n ' s t h e s i s i s c o r r e c t ,  solely f r o m S c r i p t u r e ; in fact  a n d t h e r e is a s t r o n g p o s s i b i l i t y that it  m a y be ( e v e n t h o u g h it c a n n o t be p r o v e n s o ) ,  M i l t o n ' s d i s a v o w a l of  c r e a t i o n ex n i h i l o d e r i v e s e n t i r e l y f r o m h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of G e n e s i s 1  ;  13  T  LJOC  cit.  31 H i s position was d e t e r m i n e d ( S c r i p t u r e P u c e ) ,  not by-  p h i l o s o p h i c a l d e d u c t i o n , but b y the s i m p l e l i n g u i s t i c f a c t that the k e y v e r b of the t e x t , d e s p i t e the g e n e r a l t h e o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to the c o n t r a r y , d i d not p e r s e  F r o m t h i s s t a r t i n g p o i n t he n e c e s s a r i l y . . . e v o l v e d h i s u n i q u e of the m a t e r i a l c o s m o s ,  .  m e a n 'to c r e a t e out of n o t h i n g ' .  the c o r a l l a r y of h i s e x e g e s i s .  system  ^  15 The inevitable  starting point for M i l t o n  the o r i g i n a l t e x t of S c r i p t u r e . nihilo position,  i s the m e a n i n g of  A s a g a i n s t t h o s e who u p h o l d the  ex  M i l t o n ' s e x e g e s i s of the o p e n i n g p h r a s e of G e n e s i s  d e f i n e s the a l l - i m p o r t a n t v e r b , c r e a t e ,  as s i g n i f y i n g " c r e a t i o n out  of m a t t e r . " M o s t of the m o d e r n s c o n t e n d that it w a s f o r m e d f r o m nothing,  a b a s i s as u n s u b s t a n t i a l a s that of t h e i r o w n t h e o r y .  first place, G r e e k XT nothing.  In the  it is c e r t a i n that n e i t h e r the H e b r e w v e r b i f T 3 * n o r the , n o r the L a t i n c r e a r e ,  can"signify  to c r e a t e out of  O n the c o n t r a r y , t h e s e w o r d s u n i f o r m l y s i g n i f y to  out of m a t t e r .  create  ( C . E . X V , 17)  C o n k l i n s a y s that M o s t of the l e x i c o n s , rences  of  m e r e l y b y n o t i n g the v a r i o u s o c c u r -  i n o t h e r p a r t s of S c r i p t u r e w h e r e it i s  that the v e r b d o e s not m e a n to c r e a t e out of n o t h i n g ,  obvious  show w i t h o u t  s t a t i n g the f a c t that s t r i c t l y the ex n i h i l o q u a l i f i c a t i o n i s  theological  rather than g r a m m a t i c a l . H e a d d s that the p h i l o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n of M i l t o n w a s w i d e l y by his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s .  acknowledged  ^  14 C o n k l i n , p . 74. ^See  C o n k l i n ' s " M i l t o n o n B a r a : the C r e a t i o n " ,  pp. 67-74,  m o r e d e t a i l o n the s p e c i f i c a l l y u n i q u e i n M i l t o n ' s m e t h o d a n d position. 16  Conklin,  p . 69.  for  A h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t a s p e c t of M i l t o n ' s d i s c u s s i o n of c r e a t i o n is s e e n w h e n he p r o c e e d s to c o n s i d e r the d o c t r i n a l c o n s e q u e n c e s his exegesis.  of  If "to c r e a t e " d o e s not m e a n to m a k e out of n o t h i n g it  m u s t m e a n to m a k e out of s o m e t h i n g ; thus it f o l l o w s that m a t t e r  must  e i t h e r h a v e a l w a y s e x i s t e d i n d e p e n d e n t l y of G o d , o r h a v e o r i g i n a t e d f r o m G o d at s o m e p a r t i c u l a r p o i n t of t i m e .  In i t s f i n a l s t e p , M i l t o n ' s  l o g i c i s i n h a r m o n y w i t h the i n t e n t i o n s of the F a t h e r s : he w i l l not a s s e n t to any k i n d of d u a l i s m (the i d e a that G o d i s not the s o l e o r i g i n of t h i n g s , self).  but has a l w a y s b e e n f a c e d w i t h s o m e t h i n g o t h e r t h a n H i m -  Finally,  M i l t o n e x t r i c a t e s h i m s e l f f r o m the d i f f i c u l t y i n t o  w h i c h h i s e x e g e s i s h a s l e d h i m w i t h the p h r a s e , of S c r i p t u r e n a m e l y ,  " W e h a v e the a u t h o r i t y  that a l l t h i n g s a r e of G o d . " ( X V , Z l )  H e d o e s not f a l l i n t o the h e r e s y a g a i n s t w h i c h the d o c t r i n e of " c r e a t e d out of n o t h i n g " w a s i n t e n d e d to g u a r d ,  A s C . S. L e w i s  says,  If he h a s e r r e d he h a s e r r e d b y f l y i n g too f a r f r o m i t , b e l i e v i n g that G o d m a d e the w o r l d 'out of H i m s e l f .  A n d this  and  view  m u s t i n a c e r t a i n s e n s e be a c c e p t e d b y a l l T h e i s t s : i n the s e n s e that the w o r l d w a s m o d e l l e d o n a n i d e a e x i s t i n g i n G o d ' s m i n d , invented matter,  that G o d  that ( s a l v a r e v e r e n t i a ) H e 'thought o f m a t t e r  D i c k e n s 'thought o f M r . P i c k w i c k .  as  ^  A l s o a m o n g t h o s e who d e n y that M i l t o n f e l l i n t o d u a l i s m w i t h h i s  ex  d e o d o c t r i n e i s the s c h o l a r l y C . A . P a t r i d e s i n h i s r e c e n t l y p u b l i s h e d M i l t o n a n d the C h r i s t i a n T r a d i t i o n  : " N o t that M i l t o n m a i n t a i n e d the  e t e r n a l c o - e x i s t e n c e of G o d a n d the r u d e p r i s t i n e m a t t e r , f o r he h a d  17  Lewis,  p. 89.  33 no w i s h to b e c o m e the p r e y of d u a l i s m . " Moreover,  18  P a t r i d e s ' a b l e a r g u m e n t to the e f f e c t that M i l t o n  i s not at v a r i a n c e w i t h o r t h o d o x y o n the d o c t r i n e of c r e a t i o n i s of s u c h f o r c e as to m e r i t i n c l u s i o n i n t h i s a c c o u n t . argument rests,  as d o e s m i n e ,  To  a l a r g e extent his  o n the p r e m i s e that the d o c t r i n e of  c r e a t i o n h a s d i f f i c u l t i e s i n h e r e n t i n its p r e c i s e f o r m u l a t i o n a n d that s i n c e the s t a t e m e n t of it h a s v a r i e d f r o m t i m e to t i m e ,  the c h i e f c o n -  c e r n i n e v a l u a t i n g a n i n d i v i d u a l ' s p o s i t i o n r e g a r d i n g it s h o u l d be a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of h i s attitude t o w a r d t h o s e h e r e s i e s w h i c h the of C h r i s t i a n i t y m o s t e m p h a t i c a l l y  mainstream  resists.  A f t e r a d m i t t i n g that M i l t o n ' s t h e o r y of c r e a t i o n m a y not particularly orthodox,  P a t r i d e s flatly  seem  states,  Y e t it i s not h e r e t i c a l e i t h e r : i n d e e d ,  the u s e of s u c h  labels  o n l y d i v e r t s o u r a t t e n t i o n f r o m the e s s e n t i a l f a c t that M i l t o n ' s v i e w of c r e a t i o n ex D e o ,  f a r f r o m b e i n g u n i q u e , f o r m s p a r t of ' a n a n c i e n t a n d  honourable C h r i s t i a n tradition  1  that p r o b a b l y b e g a n w i t h P l o t i n u s a n d  w a s t h e n c o n v e y e d b y the p r o p o n e n t s of the v i a n e g a t i v a to the Renaissance.^9 B a c k e d by "authoritative p r o n o u n c e m e n t s " P a t r i d e s b o l d l y a r g u e s  that  "for the e a r l y C h r i s t i a n s the b e l i e f that the w o r l d h a d b e e n f o r m e d out  °C.A. p . 32  Patrides,  M i l t o n a n d the C h r i s t i a n T r a d i t i o n ( O x f o r d ,  H e r e a f t e r c i t e d as M C T .  1966),  A note of g r a t i t u d e is due P a t r i d e s  w h o s e w o r k o n M i l t o n ' s c o n c e p t i o n a n d p r e s e n t a t i o n of the t h e m e s of the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h c a m e l a t e i n m y s t u d i e s . s t r e n g t h e n the a r g u m e n t of m y t h e s i s . 19  Patrides,  M C T . , p . 33.  H i s statements  greatly  of f o r m l e s s m a t t e r . . . w a s at f i r s t a c c e p t e d w i t h o u t q u a l i f i c a t i o n . " Furthermore,  he c l a i m s that the F a t h e r s t h e m s e l v e s r e a l i z e d that  the G e n e s i s n a r r a t i v e i m p l i e d b e l i e f i n a n a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g  matter:  W h e n the d u a l i s m i n h e r e n t i n t h i s a t t i t u d e ^~the b e l i e f that G e n e s i s i m p l i e s a n a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g matter_7 w a s s e e n to be o b v i o u s l y i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h m o n o t h e i s m , the C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g i a n s of A l e x a n d r i a p r o p o s e d that G o d h a d c r e a t e d the f o r m l e s s m a t t e r i n a d v a n c e of the s i x d a y s ' w o r k , a t h e o r y w h i c h w a s t i m e a n d a g a i n to s a v e a p p e a r a n c e s . . . 2 1 T o ' s a v e p h e n o m e n a ' the a p o l o g i s t s of the f a i t h p o s t u l a t e d two c r e a t i o n s : a f i r s t c r e a t i o n that r e s u l t e d i n the ex n i h i l o p r o d u c t i o n of c h a o s ( ' f r o m A b s o l u t e N o t b e i n g to B e i n g ) , a n d a s e c o n d a r y c r e a t i o n d u r i n g w h i c h o r d e r w a s i m p o s e d o n the ' f i r s t m a t t e r ' . ^2 P a t r i d e s ' a r g u m e n t m a y be s u m m a r i z e d as f o l l o w s :  Since  M i l t o n h o l d s to a n ex deo i n s t e a d of a n ex n i h i l o v i e w he a p p e a r s to f a l l into "dual ism',' but o n c l o s e r  e x a m i n a t i o n it i s c l e a r he d o e s n o t .  In any c a s e s c h o l a r l y r e s e a r c h on the i d e a of c r e a t i o n e x m a t e r i a praeexistente heretical.  r e v e a l s that the i d e a i n i t s e l f is not  categorically  T h e h e r e s y c o m e s w i t h the d u a l i s m f r o m w h i c h the F a t h e r s  and M i l t o n save t h e m s e l v e s ,  each with different expedients.  In the  c a s e of the p o s t u l a t i o n of two s t a g e s of c r e a t i o n , p r i m a r y a n d secondary,  M i l t o n i s a b l e to s u s t a i n the i d e a of the s e c o n d a r y  unreservedly,  a n d as P a r a d i s e L o s t r e v e a l s ,  the c r e a t i v e p o w e r of the F a t h e r A l m i g h t y .  2 0  Patrides,  ^Loc.  M C T . , p . 30.  cit.  Patrides,  MCT. ,  p. 31.  extol m o s t  creation  eloquently  W i t h P a t r i d e s I h o l d that  M i l t o n ' s q u a l i f i c a t i o n of the ex n i h i l o d o c t r i n e i s o n l y a s l i g h t d e v i a t i o n as c o m p a r e d w i t h h i s i m m e n s e  a p p r e c i a t i o n of the c o n t e n t  of the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h . Two transcendent forces, equally high r e g a r d for r e a s o n ,  his high r e g a r d for l i b e r t y and his exert a tremendous  influence  upon  M i l t o n ' s d o c t r i n e of c r e a t i o n w h i c h i n t u r n i n c l i n e s h i m t o w a r d m o r t a l i s m w h i c h w i l l be o u r n e x t s u b j e c t of d i s c u s s i o n .  For him  c r e a t i o n i s l i b e r a t i o n ; a n d the r e s u l t of c r e a t i o n , m a t t e r ,  is left  u n r e s t r a i n e d to b e c o m e g o o d o r e v i l a c c o r d i n g to the p o w e r g i v e s it f o r m .  which  Satan's f r e e d o m allows his downfall; C h r i s t ' s enables  h i m to b e c o m e K i n g .  M a n i s f r e e to f a l l a n d f r e e to r i s e a g a i n .  i n e x o r a b l e a p p l i c a t i o n of r e a s o n to the d a t a of r e v e l a t i o n i s  The  dictated  b y a s t e r n l o g i c w h i c h i n the c a s e of h i s m a t e r i a l i s m l e a d s to o t h e r deviations, however,  one of w h i c h is m o r t a l i s m .  T h e s i g n i f i c a n t p o i n t to n o t e ,  i s that M i l t o n ' s l o g i c a l s o o p e r a t e s to k e e p h i m  w i t h the m a i n t h e m e of the C h r i s t i a n s t o r y of the c r e a t i o n ,  straight fall and  r e d e m p t i o n of m a n .  If t h e y a r e a l l to be t a k e n at t h e i r w o r d , the F a t h e r s a n d M i l t o n shared a lifetime  of s e r v i c e  to g l o r i f y G o d ; t h e r e w a s ,  a n d d e v o t i o n i n w h i c h the c h i e f a i m w a s  however,  an e n o r m o u s d i f f e r e n c e  in p e r -  s p e c t i v e as has b e e n d e m o n s t r a t e d i n the l e n g t h y d i s c u s s i o n of creation.  The r e a l differences  of o p i n i o n b e t w e e n M i l t o n a n d the  F a t h e r s a r e n e v e r t h e l e s s a l m o s t n e g l i g i b l e w h e n c o m p a r e d w i t h the differences  that e x i s t b e t w e e n C h r i s t i a n b e l i e v e r s  and n o n - b e l i e v e r s .  T h u s M i l t o n ' s m o r t a l i s m is r e a l l y n e i t h e r h e r e n o r t h e r e i n the d e c i s i o n as to w h e t h e r he is o r t h o d o x ; the f a c t that he d i s c u s s e s it with all seriousness,  a n d , a s i n the c a s e of the d e v e l o p m e n t of the  d o c t r i n e of c r e a t i o ex d e o , b e g i n s w i t h the e x e g e s i s of s c r i p t u r e i s nothing against his C h r i s t i a n i t y .  Milton,  h i m s e l f i s c o n f i d e n t that no  h e r e s y i s i n v o l v e d i n d i s c u s s i n g the p r o b l e m , r e g a r d l e s s taken:  " A n d t h i s i s a s u b j e c t w h i c h m a y be d i s c u s s e d w i t h o u t  d a n g e r i n g our faith or devotion, w h i c h e v e r espouse  of s i d e s  "  en-  s i d e of the c o n t r o v e r s y  we  ( C . E . X V ,219)  T h e q u e s t i o n of what h a p p e n s to the s o u l i m m e d i a t e l y  after  d e a t h d i d not r e c e i v e v e r y s a t i s f a c t o r y t r e a t m e n t f r o m any of the authorities: Milton's orthodox contemporaries Calvinist position,  effected a straddle,  e i t h e r c h o s e the  a v o i d e d the i s s u e ,  or  shared  M i l t o n ' s v i e w that the s o u l a s w e l l as the b o d y s l e e p s t i l l the d a y of the r e s u r r e c t i o n .  ( X V , 214-51)  Says P a t r i d e s ,  "His view  was  s h a r e d by his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s S i r T h o m a s B r o w n e , S i r K e n e l m D i g b y , R i c h a r d O v e r t o n , a n d H o b b e s , a s w e l l as L u t h e r a n d a n i m p r e s s i v e 23 n u m b e r of t h e o l o g i a n s The questions  o n the l e f t w i n g of the R e f o r m a t i o n . " r e g a r d i n g m o r t a l i s m (the d o c t r i n e that the  a s w e l l as the b o d y s l e e p s t i l l the day of the r e s u r r e c t i o n ) a r e 23  Patrides,  M C T . , p . 265.  as  soul  follows:  W h e n the b o d y d i e s what h a p p e n s to the s o u l ?  p e r i s h w i t h the b o d y ?  Is the s o u l m o r t a l ?  Does  In C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g y  f i n a l d a y of j u d g m e n t r a i s e s the p r o b l e m of a n i n t e r m e d i a t e b e t w e e n d e a t h a n d the f i n a l r e s u r r e c t i o n .  state  o r d o e s the s o u l go to  r e s t i n g p l a c e to await the b o d y on the F i n a l D a y ? ^  of the f u n d a m e n t a l c l a i m s of the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h i s that d e a t h , t e r r o r b r o u g h t into the w o r l d b y m a n ' s f i r s t d i s o b e d i e n c e , t r a n s f o r m e d s i n c e the a d v e n t of C h r i s t into i n f i n i t e j o y , hands with G o d . " comments,  a  D o e s the s o u l s l e e p d u r i n g  the i n t e r v a l , d o e s it w a n d e r about w a i t i n g , its f i n a l  it  has  One the been  "a shaking  U p o n that s t a t e m e n t of f a i t h P a t r i d e s a p t l y  "If t h i s b e l i e f is u n a n i m o u s l y p r o f e s s e d b y a l l C h r i s t i a n s , 25  b e y o n d it a g r e e m e n t The questions  ceases abruptly. " a r e i m p l i c i t i n the m a i n e c u m e n i c a l c r e e d s ,  do not r e c e i v e a c o m p l e t e l y s a t i s f a c t o r y  answer.  but  T h e c r e e d s do not  a c c o u n t f o r , but r a t h e r a v o i d the p r o b l e m of what h a p p e n s b e t w e e n the d e a t h of the i n d i v i d u a l a n d h i s j u d g m e n t ; e q u a l l y t h e y a v o i d the s u g g e s t i o n that the s o u l s l e e p s o r t a k e s its f l i g h t w i t h o u t the b o d y . T h e R o m a n C h u r c h h e l d that the s o u l r e m a i n e d g u i l t i l y i n p u r g a t o r y until some expiation had been m a d e .  However,  as l a t e as  A u g u s t i n e i n the f i f t h c e n t u r y the d o c t r i n e of the i n t e r m e d i a t e was generally vague. 24 25  Conklin, Patrides,  state  M o r e o r l e s s i n d e f e n s e of p u r g a t o r y it c a n  pp. 75-85. M C T . , p.  264.  38 be s a i d that it d i d l o g i c a l l y a c c o u n t f o r the " h i d d e n r e t r e a t " of the soul between death and r e s u r r e c t i o n . T h e P r o t e s t a n t a b o l i t i o n of p u r g a t o r y n e c e s s i t a t e d a n o t h e r explanation. Calvinist,  T h e one t a k e n b y the o r t h o d o x t r a d i t i o n a l i s t ,  the  o r the A r m i n i a n s e e m s g e n e r a l l y to h a v e b e e n that the  s o u l g o e s i m m e d i a t e l y to h e a v e n ,  l e a v i n g b e h i n d the d e a d b o d y ,  w i l l be r e u n i t e d w i t h the s o u l o n the day of j u d g m e n t .  which  Chapter XXXII,  " O f the State of M e n a f t e r D e a t h " , i n the W e s t m i n s t e r C o n f e s s i o n of Faith,  1643,  m a k e s the f o l l o w i n g  statement:  T h e b o d i e s of m e n after d e a t h ,  r e t u r n to d u s t ,  and  see  c o r r u p t i o n ; but t h e i r s o u l s ( w h i c h n e i t h e r d i e n o r s l e e p ) , h a v i n g a n i m m o r t a l subsistence,  i m m e d i a t e l y r e t u r n to G o d who g a v e t h e m .  T h e s o u l s of the r i g h t e o u s ,  being then made perfect i n h o l i n e s s ,  r e c e i v e d into the h i g h e s t h e a v e n s ,  are  w h e r e they b e h o l d the f a c e of  G o d i n l i g h t a n d g l o r y , w a i t i n g f o r the f u l l r e d e m p t i o n of t h e i r b o d i e s . ^6 It i s not l i k e J o h n M i l t o n to c h o o s e a n y o n e e l s e ' s p o s i t i o n , effect a s t r a d d l e ,  o r a v o i d the i s s u e .  H i s a p p r o a c h to the  question  of what h a p p e n s to the s o u l i s d i r e c t ; the p o i n t he m a k e s i s f a i r l y simple:  n a m e l y that the " s o u l " i n the O l d T e s t a m e n t r e f e r s to the  w h o l e m a n a n d that t h e r e f o r e the w h o l e m a n i s s o u l a n d the s o u l m a n . M i l t o n h a s two m a i n t h e s e s h e r e :  First,  exegetically,  " s o u l " m e a n s the o r g a n i c w h o l e of m a n a n d , i n d e e d ,  C h u r c h of S c o t l a n d ,  the w o r d  is u s e d i n  T h e C o n f e s s i o n of F a i t h ( E d i n b u r g h ,  1952)  p. 46. 27 G e n e s i s 2:7,  G o d f o r m e d m a n of the dust of the g r o u n d , a n d  b r e a t h e d into h i s n o s t r i l s the b r e a t h of l i f e : thus m a n b e c a m e soul.  a living  S c r i p t u r e f o r a n i m a l a n d e v e r y k i n d of l i v i n g b e i n g ; hermeneutically,  second,  t h e r e i s n o t h i n g s a i d i n S c r i p t u r e to i n d i c a t e the  s e p a r a t i o n of s o u l a n d b o d y . Corinthians 15:42-50,  ( C . E . X V , 227-9)  C o m m e n t i n g on I  M i l t o n p o i n t s out that P a u l ' s r e a s o n i n g  pro-  c e e d s o n the s u p p o s i t i o n that t h e r e a r e o n l y two s t a t e s , the m o r t a l a n d i m m o r t a l , d e a t h a n d r e s u r r e c t i o n , a n d n o t h i n g i s s a i d of any intermediate condition.  ( C . E . X V , 225)  T h u s M i l t o n ' s i d e a of what h a p p e n s to the s o u l a f t e r d e a t h i s : that w h e n the b o d y d i e s ,  the s o u l d i e s t o o .  I n a s m u c h t h e n as the w h o l e m a n i s u n i f o r m l y s a i d to c o n s i s t of b o d y ,  s p i r i t , and soul (whatever  m a y be the  p r o v i n c e s s e v e r a l l y a s s i g n e d to t h e s e d i v i s i o n s ) , that the w h o l e m a n d i e s , s u f f e r s p r i v a t i o n of l i f e .  and, secondly,  distinct  I s h a l l f i r s t show  that e a c h c o m p o n e n t p a r t  (XV, 219)  A s f o r the i n t e r m e d i a t e p e r i o d b e t w e e n d e a t h a n d the r e s u r r e c t i o n , it is M i l t o n ' s o p i n i o n that the s o u l s l e e p s ; he s a y s of L a z a r u s w h o m the N e w T e s t a m e n t s a y s w a s r a i s e d f r o m the d e a d b y C h r i s t : "In s u c h a s l e e p I s h o u l d s u p p o s e L a z a r u s to h a v e b e e n l y i n g , if it w e r e a s k e d w h i t h e r h i s s o u l b e t o o k i t s e l f d u r i n g t h o s e f o u r d a y s of d e a t h . " ( X V , 235)  The sleep w i l l end,  o r the r e s u r r e c t i o n w i l l take  t h r o u g h the r e s u s c i t a t i o n of the d e a d :  place  " N e i t h e r i s it m o r e i n c r e d i b l e  that a b o d i l y p o w e r s h o u l d i s s u e f r o m a s p i r i t u a l s u b s t a n c e ,  than  that w h a t i s s p i r i t u a l s h o u l d a r i s e f r o m b o d y ; w h i c h n e v e r t h e l e s s we b e l i e v e w i l l be the c a s e w i t h o u r o w n b o d i e s at the r e s u r r e c t i o n . " (XV,  25)  40 In a d d i t i o n to M i l t o n ' s e x e g e s i s of the v e r s e s i n w h i c h the w o r d "soul" is u s e d ,  a n d h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the B i b l i c a l  c o n c e r n i n g the s o u l a n d b o d y , regarding creation,  it w o u l d s e e m that h i s  a n d the a l m i g h t i n e s s  pre-suppositions  of the F a t h e r h a d m u c h to  do w i t h the m a n n e r i n w h i c h he s e t t l e d the q u e s t i o n of the state of the d e a d , that i s ,  statements  by e s p o u s i n g m o r t a l i s m .  c r e a t i o ex deo b e c a u s e to a r g u e ex n i h i l o i s ,  intermediate  He argues  for  i n h i s o p i n i o n , to a t t r i b u t e  i m p e r f e c t i o n to G o d . T h o s e who a r e d i s s a t i s f i e d b e c a u s e , substance was i m p e r f e c t ,  a c c o r d i n g to t h i s  m u s t a l s o be d i s s a t i s f i e d  with G o d for '  h a v i n g o r i g i n a l l y p r o d u c e d it out of n o t h i n g i n a n i m p e r f e c t and without f o r m .  F o r what d i f f e r e n c e  d o e s it m a k e ,  p r o d u c e d it i n t h i s i m p e r f e c t state out of n o t h i n g , B y this reasoning, efficiency,  state  whether G o d  o r out of H i m s e l f ?  t h e y o n l y t r a n s f e r that i m p e r f e c t i o n to the  divine  w h i c h t h e y a r e u n w i l l i n g to a d m i t c a n p r o p e r l y be  a t t r i b u t e d to s u b s t a n c e c o n s i d e r e d as an e f f l u x of the D e i t y . XV,  view,  (C.E.  23)  In the s a m e p a s s a g e he s a y s ,  "It i s not t r u e that m a t t e r w a s i n i t s  own nature o r i g i n a l l y i m p e r f e c t . "  A few p a g e s l a t e r he a d d s that the  w h o l e h u m a n r a c e i s one of the c o m p o n e n t s ( X V , 37)  Eventually,  of the m a t e r i a l  the p o e t ' s v i e w of m a t t e r ,  a n d the a t t r i b u t e s of h i s  universe.  the n a t u r e of the  g o d b l e n d h a r m o n i o u s l y into one:  soul,  Matter  w h i c h i s not i n h e r e n t l y e v i l has its s o u r c e i n G o d as d o e s a l s o the m a n (total m a n ,  s o u l a n d b o d y ) who i s the d i r e c t r e s u l t of G o d ' s m o u l d i n g ,  breathing into,  and e m b e l l i s h i n g h i m with p r o p e r faculties.  A c c o r d i n g to M i l t o n the b o d y a n d s o u l w e r e m a d e  ( X V , 39)  simultaneously,  " w h i c h p r e c l u d e s u s f r o m a t t r i b u t i n g p r e - e x i s t e n c e to the s o u l " o r  41  t h i n k i n g that the s o u l c o u l d be a s e p a r a t e e n t i t y a b l e to f u n c t i o n w i t h out the b o d y . asked,  ( X V , 38)  Concerning Milton's view,  it m a y w e l l be  " W h a t t h e n d o e s it m e a n to say ' G o d takes, b a c k ' the s p i r i t o r  b r e a t h of l i f e ?  W h y i f G o d t a k e s it b a c k ,  c e a s e s to e x i s t ? "  a r e we to c o n c l u d e that it  M i l t o n ' s a n s w e r w o u l d l i k e l y be that G o d h a v i n g  t a k e n b a c k the s p i r i t o r b r e a t h of l i f e into H i m s e l f as S o u r c e Origin,  and  the i n d i v i d u a l o r g a n i s m as s u c h c e a s e s to e x i s t . M i l t o n ' s o b v i o u s a t t e m p t s to r e s i s t e x p l a n a t i o n s  that t e n d to  d e t r a c t f r o m the g l o r y a n d p o w e r of the F a t h e r m a y not be responsible  f o r h i s s t a t e m e n t of m o r t a l i s m , but c e r t a i n l y  s e r v e s his intentions which are constantly  directly mortalism  directed toward ascribing  a l l p o w e r a n d c o n t r o l i n the e n t i r e u n i v e r s e to the F a t h e r .  Mortalism  p r o v i d e s the s o u l no s o v e r e i g n t y of i t s o w n but l e a v e s a l l t h i n g s m o m e n t i n the d i r e c t c o n t r o l of the F a t h e r :  every  " E v e r y l i v i n g thing  r e c e i v e s a n i m a t i o n f r o m one a n d the s a m e s o u r c e of l i f e a n d b r e a t h ; i n a s m u c h a s w h e n G o d t a k e s b a c k to h i m s e l f that s p i r i t o r b r e a t h of life,  t h e y c e a s e to e x i s t . "  ( X V , 39) *ju .A. 'i> ' i * 'f* ' i - ' £  Ultimately,  the a r g u m e n t of t h i s t h e s i s f o r M i l t o n ' s  orthodox  i n t e n t i o n a n d i m a g i n a t i o n d e p e n d s o n the d e m o n s t r a t i o n of the f a c t that Milton's theological deviations  a r e not the r e s u l t of the o m i s s i o n  of  any of c r e e d a l o r t h o d o x y ' s v i t a l e l e m e n t s but r a t h e r the r e s u l t of a characteristic  e m p h a s i s of c e r t a i n p o i n t s .  T h i s p r o p o s i t i o n finds  its  42 c r u c i a l t e s t i n M i l t o n ' s attitude t o w a r d the d o c t r i n e of the  atonement.  W e i g h M i l t o n f o r a q u a l i t a t i v e m o d e of b e l i e f r a t h e r t h a n f o r a q u a n t i t a t i v e d e n i a l of d o g m a a n d the t r u t h about h i s C h r i s t i a n i t y emerges.  H e d e n i e d the d o c t r i n e of the T r i n i t y b e c a u s e ,  i n h i s p r e f a t o r y r e m a r k s o n the s u b j e c t ,  as he s a y s  "the d o c t r i n e of the  Trinity  as now r e c e i v e d , " c a n n o t be p r o v e d f r o m any p a s s a g e of s c r i p t u r e . (C.E.  X I V , 177)  Nevertheless,  c o n t r a r y to w h a t m i g h t be  expected,  h i s a n t i - t r i n i t a r i a n i s m d o e s not w e a k e n h i s a p p r e c i a t i o n of the r e d e m p t i v e w o r k at C a l v a r y .  T h e point h e r e ,  A t h a n a s i u s , A n s e l m and others  i s that  saw the d o c t r i n e of the T r i n i t y  c e n t r a l to the d o c t r i n e of the a t o n e m e n t ; i n g of the g o d h e a d w e r e d e f i c i e n t , h i s g r a s p of the d o c t r i n e of the  of c o u r s e ,  Son's  as  h e n c e if M i l t o n ' s u n d e r s t a n d -  the l a c k c o u l d be e x p e c t e d to effect  atonement.  T h e r e is no l a c k of t e s t i m o n y f r o m M i l t o n s c h o l a r s to the e f f e c t that M i l t o n i s b y no m e a n s a n o d d ,  un-Christian-Christian.  R o y D a n i e l l s a r g u e s that M i l t o n s h o w s no o r i g i n a l i t y , i n the s e n s e of introducing f r e s h theological concepts, emphasizes  but that he r e - o r d e r s a n d r e -  c o m m o n b e l i e f s to p r o d u c e new e f f e c t s a n d new  It i s no e x a g g e r a t i o n to say that M i l t o n r e - c a s t doctrine in his own t e r m s .  responses.  Christian  T h i s m a y not be e n t i r e l y a p p a r e n t so l o n g  as D e D o c t r i n e C h r i s t i a n a i s r e a d as a s e r i e s of c l a u s e s , t h e m l o o k i n g l i k e s i m p l e s t a t e m e n t s of o r t h o d o x y .  m o s t of  It i s w h e n we  get  i n t o the s w e e p of h i s c o n t e n t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the o m n i p o t e n c e of G o d as the c e n t r a l f a c t of a l l b e i n g a n d w h e n we m o v e i n t o the  argument  t h a t g u a r d s the p e r s o n of G o d f r o m a l l a t t e m p t s to i m p o s e a t r i n i tarian concept, concepts--of  that the c o n t r o l l i n g p a s s i o n s - - t h e y a r e f a r m o r e t h a n  M i l t o n ' s thought a r e r e v e a l e d .  the h i s t o r i c a l c r e e d s ,  the o l d R o m a n c r e e d ,  L e t anyone r e a d over the c r e e d s  of A n t i o c h ,  of  Eusebius,  of the N i c e n e C o u n c i l ,  Augsburg Confession, of 1560,  of A t h a n a s i u s , a n d go o n to the  the a r t i c l e s of Z u r i c h ,  the S c o t s  Confession  a n d the B o o k of C o m m o n P r a y e r , a n d l e t h i m t h e n t u r n to  M i l t o n ' s C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e w h e r e the o l d f a m i l i a r f i l e s  suddenly  28 f o r m up to p r o d u c e a n e n t i r e l y new i n t e l l e c t u a l  tactic.  M i l t o n ' s l a c k of o r i g i n a l i t y as d e m o n s t r a t e d i n h i s f a i l u r e to c o m e up w i t h new t h e o l o g i c a l c o n c e p t s a r g u e s  strongly for his pious  intentions.  N o t h i n g c o u l d be c l e a r e r t h a n that the p o e t h a d no d e s i r e to d i s t o r t the d a t a of the C h r i s t i a n g o s p e l . adopt h i s s e n t i m e n t s ,  H e u r g e s that the r e a d e r  neither  n o r r e j e c t t h e m , u n l e s s e v e r y doubt h a s  been  r e m o v e d f r o m h i s b e l i e f b y the c l e a r t e s t i m o n y of r e v e l a t i o n . (C.E.  X I V , 11)  T h e s t a t e m e n t s that he r e - c a s t C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e  ( a n d not s o m e o t h e r ) a n d that i n the m a i n he r e a d s l i k e the o l d c r e e d s a r e p r e s e n t e d h e r e w i t h s o m e s a t i s f a c t i o n b e c a u s e they g i v e v a l u a b l e s u p p o r t to the a r g u m e n t of the t h e s i s . N o t w i t h s t a n d i n g the e v i d e n c e orthodoxy,  o n the p o s i t i v e  side for M i l t o n ' s  it m u s t be a d m i t t e d that t h e r e a r e t e n d e n c i e s i n h i s  t h e o l o g y that c o u l d h a v e u p s e t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n . T h a t t h e s e t e n d e n c i e s d i d not d i s r u p t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l be c l e a r l y demonstrated,  it i s h o p e d , i n the e n s u i n g d i s c u s s i o n of the  v i e w s of the a t o n e m e n t ,  Arianism,  classical  a n d M i l t o n ' s a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d the  T r i n i t y a n d the d o c t r i n e of the a t o n e m e n t .  T h e d i s c u s s i o n in this  c h a p t e r w i l l be l i m i t e d to M i l t o n ' s a n t i - t r i n i t a r i a n i s m o r A r i a n i s m s o - c a l l e d ; the d o c t r i n e of the a t o n e m e n t w i l l be g i v e n f u r t h e r 2 8  p.  66.  Roy  Daniells,  Milton,  attention  M a n n e r i s m and B a r o q u e ( T o r o n t o ,  1963)^  44 i n the f i n a l c h a p t e r . T o r e a l i z e the s e r i o u s n e s s of d e v i a t i o n f r o m the t r i n i t a r i a n 29 d o g m a we m u s t t u r n to C u r D e u s H o m o  (1097-9) i n w h i c h St.  A n s e l m e x p o u n d s the " S a t i s f a c t i o n T h e o r y " of the a t o n e m e n t . treatise  Anselm's  c o n c e r n s m a i n l y the r e l a t i o n of m a n to G o d a n d i s m e a n t to  p r o v i d e a c o n v i n c i n g r a t i o n a l d e m o n s t r a t i o n of the n e c e s s i t y of C h r i s t a s the G o d - m a n ; s p e c i f i c a l l y ,  A n s e l m s p e a k s of "the i m p o s s i 30 b i l i t y that any m a n s h o u l d be s a v e d w i t h o u t H i m . " S i n i s d e f i n e d as 31 that w h i c h v i o l a t e s G o d ' s h o n o u r b y not r e n d e r i n g to H i m h i s d u e . T h e m a n who d o e s not r e n d e r to G o d t h i s h o n o r , w h i c h is H i s d u e , t a k e s a w a y f r o m G o d what i s H i s o w n ,  and d i s h o n o u r s G o d , and this  32 i s to s i n .  Satisfaction,  w h i c h e v e r y s i n n e r ought to r e n d e r b a c k to 33  God,  i s to r e n d e r b a c k to G o d the h o n o u r t a k e n a w a y .  A n d it i s  r i g h t e o u s n e s s o r r e c t i t u d e of w i l l that i s due to G o d , but the n e e d i s not o n l y f o r the r e s t o r a t i o n of w h a t h a s b e e n t a k e n a w a y but i n c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the i n s u l t o f f e r e d , be r e n d e r e d .  m o r e t h a n what w a s t a k e n a w a y  T h e s a t i s f a c t i o n ought to be i n p r o p o r t i o n to the  must sin  29 A n s e l m , St. A n s e l m B a s i c W r i t i n g s : P r o s l o g i u m , M o n o l o g i u m , C u r D e u s H o m o a n d T h e F o o l b y G u a n i l o n ( L a S a l l e , 1962), p . 177. 30  Anselm,  p.  177.  31 Anselm,  p.  202.  Anselm,  p.  202.  Anselm,  p.  203.  32 33  45 w h i c h is i n this c a s e infinite,  s i n c e it  is d i r e c t e d against  infinite  34 Being. T h e e l e m e n t s that p r o v i d e the d i l e m m a to w h i c h A n s e l m ' s s a t i s f a c t i o n t h e o r y i s the r e s o l u t i o n a r e as f o l l o w s : s a t i s f a c t i o n m u s t be m a d e ; s i n c e m a n has s i n n e d , and since m a n is sinful and finite, tion.  an infinite  o n l y he c a n m a k e it;  he c a n n o t o f f e r a n i n f i n i t e  satisfac-  A n s e l m ' s a n s w e r to the d i l e m m a b e g i n s i n the p r e m i s e that a n  i n f i n i t e a n d y e t h u m a n s a c r i f i c e c a n be o f f e r e d o n l y b y one who i s both G o d and m a n .  That p r e m i s e having been established a p r i o r i ,  he  g o e s o n to d e m o n s t r a t e that C h r i s t p o s s e s s e s t h i s s t a t u r e a n d h i s d e a t h a l o n e c a n m a k e a t o n i n g s a t i s f a c t i o n f o r the s i n s of m a n k i n d . A n s e l m ' s a r g u m e n t i s but the o t h e r s i d e of the d o c t r i n e of the atonement  as it r e l a t e s to the d o c t r i n e of the T r i n i t y as  described  b y A t h a n a s i u s i n the f o u r t h c e n t u r y , a n d that i s why of a l l t h o s e who c o n t r i b u t e d r i c h l y to the debate on the a t o n e m e n t , Athanasius are here selected for examination.  A n s e l m and  Anselm  concentrates  h i s a r g u m e n t o n the G o d - m a n , but e v e n as he g i v e s h i s o w n  exposition  i s a w a r e that A t h a n a s i u s ' D e I n c a r n a t i o n e V e r b i D e i i s c e n t e r e d o n the M a n - g o d , race,  o n the s o l i d a r i t y of m a n k i n d , the o n e n e s s of the h u m a n 35 a n d its i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n C h r i s t b y v i r t u e of the i n c a r n a t i o n .  "^Anselm,  p.  225.  35 Henry Bettenson,  ed.  " A t h a n a s i u s a n d the A t o n e m e n t " ,  of the C h r i s t i a n C h u r c h ( L o n d o n , 1959), p p . 4 7 - 9 -  Documents  46 It w i l l be r e m e m b e r e d that A n s e l m is c o n c e r n e d to p r o v e  "the 36  i m p o s s i b i l i t y that any m a n s h o u l d be s a v e d w i t h o u t H i m ^ C h r i s t y " 7  a n d that A t h a n a s i u s l i k e w i s e  is i n t e r e s t e d p r i m a r i l y in s a l v a t i o n for  m e n ; that he m a d e o t h e r s to see the q u e s t i o n as a f f e c t i n g t h e i r p e r s o n a l s a l v a t i o n w a s one of h i s s o u r c e s  of p o w e r .  p s y c h o l o g y of the d o c t r i n e of the a t o n e m e n t ,  H e r e we h a v e a k e y to the and this key p r o v i d e s  the s o l u t i o n to the d i f f i c u l t q u e s t i o n of M i l t o n ' s p o s i t i o n i n C h r i s t i a n theology.  The emphasis  i s o n " s a l v a t i o n " ; thus any d o c t r i n a l s t a t e -  m e n t s w h i c h s e e m to u n d e r m i n e the s t r u c t u r e u p o n w h i c h the of the g o s p e l d e p e n d , l o g i c of the G o d - m a n , sisted.  promises  o r p o s i t a p r e m i s e w h i c h is c o n t r a r y to the Man-god requirements,  are strenuously  re-  A r i u s i s c o u n t e d a n e n e m y of G o d b e c a u s e he t e a c h e s "that  C h r i s t w a s n e i t h e r G o d n o r m a n , but a c r e a t e d b e i n g 3<7 between divinity and humanity, "  intermediate  a doctrine w h i c h when c o m p a r e d  w i t h the v i e w s of A t h a n a s i u s a n d A n s e l m is s e e n to be i n m a j o r d i s agreement. W i t h A r i u s M i l t o n has l i t t l e i n c o m m o n .  C . A . Patrides,  who  i n v e s t i g a t e s w i t h g r e a t c a r e the extent to w h i c h M i l t o n m a y be c o r r e c t l y t e r m e d an A r i a n , of c o n t e x t ,  e m p h a t i c a l l y s t a t e s that " c o n s i d e r e d out  at l e a s t one of the i d e a s p r e s e n t e d b y A r i u s a n d w e l c o m e d  •^Anselm,  p.  178,  37 R . H . N i c h o l , e d . T h e G r o w t h of the C h r i s t i a n C h u r c h ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1941), p . 5 5 .  by M i l t o n is o r t h o d o x enough:  the c o n c e p t i o n of c r e a t i o n as a n a c t  of G o d ' s f r e e w i l l , but b e y o n d t h i s ,  however,  Milton diverges  from  38 e v e r y one of the A r i a n t e n e t s . " W i t h a t t e n t i o n to c o n t e x t ,  P a t r i d e s outlines and documents  specific points upon which A r i u s and M i l t o n a r e i n d i s a g r e e m e n t . 30  T h e s e m a y be s e e n i n the f o l l o w i n g p a r a p h r a s e d s u m m a r y  w h i c h is  7  p r e s e n t e d w i t h the a i m of d e f i n i t e l y c l a r i f y i n g M i l t o n ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the h e r e t i c a l A r i u s . 1 A r i u s h e l d that G o d i s u t t e r l y i n c o m m u n i c a b l e a n d a b s o l u t e l y i s o l a t e d f r o m H i s e n t i r e c r e a t i o n , whether p h y s i c a l or s p i r i t u a l , animate or i n a n i m a t e .  Milton,  o n the o t h e r h a n d , a s s e r t e d G o d ' s  d i r e c t i n v o l v e m e n t i n b o t h the o r i g i n a n d the h i s t o r y of the  created  order. 2 B e f o r e the a d v e n t of t i m e ,  A r i u s further maintained, God  "begat" ( c r e a t e d ) the S o n , of w h o m it m u s t p r o p e r l y be s a i d " t h e r e was once when H e was not. "  T h e S o n w a s p r o d u c e d not of the  F a t h e r ' s d i v i n e n a t u r e , but out of n o t h i n g .  T h e two p e r s o n s ,  in fact,  a r e utterly d i s s i m i l a r i n substance or essence and totally unequal i n  ( every respect,  even g l o r y .  T h e S o n m a y i n d e e d o n o c c a s i o n be  t e r m e d " G o d " , but t h i s i s m e r e l y a n o m i n a l c o n c e s s i o n b e c a u s e i n 38 C . A . P a t r i d e s , " M i l t o n a n d A r i a n i s m " , J o u r n a l of the H i s t o r y 39 of Ideas X X V ( J y - S e p t 1964), p p . 4 2 3 - 4 . P a t r i d e s , " M i l t o n and A r i a n i s m " , pp. 423-9.  48 reality,  H e i s not " t r u e " G o d .  In c o n t r a s t M i l t o n r e j e c t e d t h i s  scheme,  e v e n t h o u g h he a g r e e d i n p r i n c i p l e that " t h e r e w a s o n c e w h e n the S o n was not. " 3 A r i u s s c r u p u l o u s l y a v o i d e d the u s e of m e t a p h o r i c a l s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h h a d the e f f e c t of e m p h a s i z i n g the c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p  existing  b e t w e e n the F a t h e r a n d the S o n , but M i l t o n d i d n o t . 4 W h e r e a s A r i u s m a i n t a i n e d that the F a t h e r i s b o t h i n v i s i b l e a n d i n e f f a b l e to the S o n , M i l t o n t o o k g r e a t p a i n s to a s s e r t the c l o s e c o m m u n i o n b e t w e e n the two 5 A c c o r d i n g to A r i u s ,  Persons.  the S o n of G o d w a s e x p r e s s l y  i n o r d e r to c r e a t e the u n i v e r s e a n d t i m e "out of n o t h i n g " . disagreed in three respects.  extremely  First,  w o r l d ' s c r e a t i o n ex n i h i l o ; s e c o n d l y ,  produced Milton  he r e j e c t e d the i d e a of the he a s s e r t e d t i m e s ' e x i s t e n c e i n  e t e r n i t y p r i o r to the c r e a t i o n of the w o r l d ; a n d f i n a l l y , he d i d not h o l d t h a t the S o n w a s " b e g o t t e n "  s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h a v i e w to the c r e a t i o n of  the w o r l d . 6 W h e r e a s A r i u s m a i n t a i n e d that the S o n i s , creatures,  mutable and indeed p e c c a b l e ,  like all rational  Milton vehemently  that H e m a y be r e g a r d e d as i n any w a y l i a b l e to  denied  change.  7 W h e r e a s the A r i a n s s h a t t e r e d the u n i t y of the i n c a r n a t e S o n w i t h t h e i r a f f i r m a t i o n that H e a s s u m e d a b o d y w i t h o u t a soot},  Milton  m a i n t a i n e d that C h r i s t J e s u s w a s " v e r y m a n " i n b o t h b o d y a n d s o u l .  49 8 W h e r e a s A r i u s w a s of the o p i n i o n that the H o l y S p i r i t d o e s not p a r t a k e of the S o n ' s s u b s t a n c e ,  a n d s t i l l l e s s of the F a t h e r ' s ,  a s s e r t e d that the T h i r d P e r s o n ,  Milton  t h o u g h i n f e r i o r to b o t h the F a t h e r  a n d the S o n , w a s none the l e s s a l s o " b e g o t t e n " of the s u b s t a n c e of G o d . T h e e f f e c t of P a t r i d e s  1  r e s e a r c h o n A r i u s a n d M i l t o n i s to  put u s " i n a b e t t e r p o s i t i o n to a p p r e c i a t e M i l t o n ' s o r t h o d o x y no l e s s 40 than his h e t e r o d o x i e s . " A r i a n heresy  Indeed,  that M i l t o n is at o d d s w i t h the  i s of f u n d a m e n t a l i m p o r t a n c e b e c a u s e the  difference  b e t w e e n M i l t o n ' s s u b o r d i n a t i o n of the S o n to the F a t h e r a n d A r i u s ' r e l e g a t i o n of the S o n to the p o s i t i o n of a c r e a t e d b e i n g i s the  difference  between C h r i s t i a n i t y and mythology: F o r the A r i a n s ,  i n d e n y i n g that the S o n i s s i m i l a r to the  F a t h e r i n a n y w a y d e n i e d a l s o the h i s t o r i c a l b a s i s of the C h r i s t i a n faith; while M i l t o n ,  i n a s s e r t i n g that the S o n w a s c r e a t e d  ex  s u b s t a n t i a D e i a n d i s H i m s e l f G o d , a s s e r t e d a l s o the f u n d a m e n t a l C h r i s t i a n c l a i m that the I n c a r n a t i o n i s the c e n t r a l e v e n t of h i s t o r y , m a r k i n g the e n t r a n c e into the w o r l d not of any f a n t a s t i c  "body  w i t h o u t a s o u l " t o t a l l y a l i e n f r o m G o d , but of G o d H i m s e l f . has p l a i n l y r e c o g n i z e d ,  Milton  as d i d the e a r l y C h r i s t i a n s b e f o r e h i m ,  that A r i u s h a d i n e f f e c t r e d u c e d C h r i s t i a n i t y f r o m a h i s t o r i c a l r e l i g i o n to a p s e u d o - p h i l o s o p h i c a l In any c a s e ,  mythology.^  M i l t o n ' s s u b o r d i n a t i o n of the S o n to the F a t h e r  p r e s e n t s no p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t y i n h i s e x e r c i s e of w o r s h i p .  It i s  t r u e he e x c e l l e d i n p r a i s e s to the F a t h e r , but it i s e q u a l l y t r u e that he d i d not d e n y o r d e n i g r a t e the S o n .  Patrides,  " M i l t o n and A r i a n i s m " ,  p. 428.  Patrides,  " M i l t o n and A r i a n i s m " ,  p. 428.  50 T h e e F a t h e r f i r s t they s u n g O m n i p o t e n t , Immutable,  Immortal,  Infinite,  E t e r n a l K i n g ; thee A u t h o r of a l l b e i n g , F o u n t a i n of L i g h t ,  thyself invisible.  ( P . L . , III,  372-5)  W h e n the S o n ' s p r a i s e s a r e s u n g , the p o e t p u t s h i m s e l f i n the c h o i r , a n d s p e c i f i c a l l y p r o m i s e s n e v e r to f o r g e t to p r a i s e H i m : O unexampled love, L o v e no w h e r e to be f o u n d l e s s t h e n D i v i n e ! H a i l S o n of G o d , S a v i o u r of M e n , thy N a m e S h a l l be the c o p i o u s m a t t e r of m y S o n g Henceforth, Forget,  a n d n e v e r s h a l l m y H a r p thy p r a i s e  n o r f r o m thy F a t h e r ' s p r a i s e d i s j o i n s ,  (italics  ; P . L . , III,  mine  410-5)  " N o r f r o m thy F a t h e r ' s p r a i s e d i s j o i n e " i s u n d o u b t e d l y the p h r a s e that e x p r e s s e s M i l t o n ' s u n i q u e t h e o l o g i c a l b i a s ; the e m p h a s i s out the h y m n of the a n g e l s is c o n s i s t e n t l y Nevertheless,  through-  o n g l o r y to the F a t h e r .  the S o n r e c e i v e s due a n d l o v i n g p r a i s e ,  and there  is  not the s l i g h t e s t e v i d e n c e that w h e n M i l t o n s p e a k s of the " S a v i o u r of M e n " that the S a v i o u r - h o o d i s i n any r e s p e c t God-man,  s h o r t of  orthodoxy's  Man-god requirements.  T h e i m p a c t t h e n of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of M i l t o n ' s m a t e r i a l i s m , m o r t a l i s m a n d a n t i - t r i n i t a r i a n i s m is t o w a r d d e n i a l that h i s u n i q u e v i e w s i n a n y w a y d i s r u p t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h . It r e m a i n s f o r u s to e x a m i n e h i s a f f i r m a t i o n s w h i c h a r e both for their n u m b e r and quality.  impressive  CHAPTER  III  THE E F F E C T OF MILTON'S ORTHODOXY  UPON  THE CONTENT AND S T Y L E O F PARADISE  LOST  It m i g h t be e x p e c t e d that M i l t o n ' s h i g h l y i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c a p p r o a c h to s c r i p t u r e a n d h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y a u d a c i t y t o w a r d the F a t h e r s w o u l d h a v e l e d h i m into s e r i o u s  conflict with c r e e d a l ortho-  doxy; on c a r e f u l e x a m i n a t i o n ,  his alleged h e r e s i e s  however,  out q u i t e c l e a r l y as c e r t a i n t r a n s p o s i t i o n s t h a n as a d e p a r t u r e f r o m it. t i o n i s s e e n to be g o v e r n e d , and p o s i t i v e  religious  of o r t h o d o x b e l i e f  come rather  T h i s p r o c e s s of s e l e c t i o n a n d m a n i p u l a i n P a r a d i s e L o s t , not o n l y b y a p o w e r f u l  s e n s i b i l i t y but a l s o b y a n a l m o s t u n e r r i n g s e n s e  of what i s a r t i s t i c a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e . w i l l be to l o o k at the p o e m to see There is, furthermore,  P a r t of o u r t a s k i n t h i s c h a p t e r  how t h e s e two f a c u l t i e s  combine.  a n e e d to c o n s i d e r the d i s p a r i t y i n  P a r a d i s e L o s t b e t w e e n M i l t o n ' s d e c l a r e d a i m (to j u s t i f y the w a y s of G o d to m e n ) a n d the r e s u l t a n t p o r t r a y a l of G o d .  Clearly,  in attempt-  i n g to j u s t i f y the w a y s of G o d to m a n he m e e t s w i t h e x t r a o r d i n a r y difficulties,  s o m e of w h i c h a r i s e out of the c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n the  a r t i s t i c d e m a n d s of the e p i c c o n v e n t i o n a n d the t h e o l o g i c a l of the C h r i s t i a n r e v e l a t i o n .  S o m e c r i t i c s b l a m e the  demands  embarrassing  p a s s a g e s i n P a r a d i s e L o s t o n the i n f e r i o r q u a l i t y of M i l t o n ' s  Christianity,  and some like E m p s o n  t e n d to a s c r i b e the f l a w s to the  f a c t that C h r i s t i a n i t y is of s u c h p o o r stuff,  and t h e r e f o r e ,  to c o m m e n d  M i l t o n f o r d o i n g so w e l l w h e n he h a s so l i t t l e w i t h w h i c h to w o r k . B u t n e i t h e r of t h e s e t a c k s gets one n e a r e n o u g h to the t r u t h to be helpful.  If we a c c e p t the e v i d e n c e of the f o r e g o i n g c h a p t e r s of t h i s  t h e s i s ( c o r r o b o r a t e d b y a d i s c u s s i o n i n t h i s c h a p t e r of the b l e n d i n g of t r a d i t i o n a l o r t h o d o x e l e m e n t s into a h a r m o n i o u s w h o l e w h i c h s e r v e s the p o e t ' s d o m i n a n t u r g e s ) M i l t o n a s the a u t h o r of P a r a d i s e L o s t e m e r g e s a s an o u t s t a n d i n g C h r i s t i a n a p o l o g i s t .  Not because  he  solved  a l l o r a n y of the i n t e l l e c t u a l p r o b l e m s c o n n e c t e d w i t h the l o g i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n of the s y s t e m ,  but r a t h e r b e c a u s e he s o a r e d i n h i s  singing  r o b e s to p r e s e n t the s t o r y of C h r i s t i a n r e d e m p t i o n w i t h u n s u r p a s s e d beauty and eloquence. M i l t o n ' s intense interest i n i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y is a p r o p e r s u b j e c t w i t h w h i c h to b e g i n the d i s c u s s i o n of c e r t a i n t r a n s p o s i t i o n s of o r t h o d o x b e l i e f . is,  of c o u r s e ,  John Bunyan.  T h e e m p h a s i s on i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  s o m e t h i n g he s h a r e s w i t h o t h e r P u r i t a n s ; f o r  example,  The elements which c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y dominate  M i l t o n ' s thought a r e a l s o s e l e c t e d for e m p h a s i s  i n the o p e n i n g l i n e s  ^In M i l t o n ' s G o d , E m p s o n a t t e m p t s to d e m o n s t r a t e ,  "That Milton's  G o d i s m o r a l l y v e r y m u c h b e t t e r t h a n the t r a d i t i o n a l G o d of C h r i s t i a n i t y , not w o r s e as h a s often b e e n s a i d i n r e c e n t t i m e s . " ( p . I n s t e a d of u s i n g M i l t o n ' s a l l e g e d h e t e r o d o x i e s  272)  to d e p r e c i a t e h i m , he  u s e s what he u n d e r s t a n d s to be M i l t o n ' s attitude t o w a r d the  atonement  a n d the T r i n i t y to c o m p l i m e n t the p o e t at C h r i s t i a n i t y ' s e x p e n s e .  of P i l g r i m ' s P r o g r e s s .  T h e r e a d e r ' s a t t e n t i o n i s a r r e s t e d b y the  i n t e n s e l y p e r s o n a l note ("I w a l k e d , I s l e p t ,  I d r e a m e d , I saw,  I  l o o k e d . "); the c o n c e n t r a t i o n o n the B o o k b y the m a n i n r a g s ; a n d the e m p h a s i s on i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and a c t i o n as r e p r e s e n t e d i n 2 the c r y , " W h a t s h a l l I d o ? "  T h e a t m o s p h e r e is c h a r g e d with a sense  of e x i g e n c y ; the m o v e m e n t i s t o w a r d c o n c e n t r a t i o n of the h u m a n w i l l o n the d i v i n e c o m m a n d .  A l t h o u g h t h i s r e s o l u t i o n a n d s i n g l e n e s s of  p u r p o s e m a y be r e g a r d e d as t y p i c a l l y P u r i t a n it i s b y no m e a n s exclusively Puritan.  In c o n t r a s t to t h i s i n t r o s p e c t i v e ,  highly  subjec-  t i v e e m p h a s i s o n i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t h e r e is a n o t h e r s t r a n d i n the P u r i t a n s e n s i b i l i t y w h i c h r e a c h e s out a n d u p w a r d to G o d . Milton's case,  In  it s e e m s that the d e e p a n d h i d d e n p r e d i l e c t i o n w h i c h  a c c o u n t s f o r h i s a v e r s i o n to T r i n i t a r i a n c o n c e p t s theological eccentricities  a n d o t h e r of h i s  is the s a m e f o r c e that i m p e l s h i m t o w a r d  the w o r s h i p of a b s o l u t e u n i t y , g o o d n e s s , i n t e r a c t i o n of t h e s e two e l e m e n t s ,  and p o w e r .  T h e e f f e c t of the  that i s the e m p h a s i s o n i n d i v i d u a l  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a n d the e m p h a s i s o n the w i l l of G o d , i s the s u b o r d i n a t i o n o r e l i m i n a t i o n i n P a r a d i s e L o s t of a l l e l e m e n t s that do not p e r m i t the d i r e c t i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the p e r s o n a l d r i v e w i t h the e x t e r n a l w i l l of the t r a n s c e n d e n t G o d .  It i s M i l t o n ' s f e e l i n g f o r u n i t y that i m p e l s h i m  toward his s o - c a l l e d A r i a n i s m . 2  " H i s c o n c e p t of i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i -  J o h n B u n y a n , P i l g r i m ' s P r o g r e s s (New Y o r k ,  1949),  p. 9 .  54 b i l i t y l e a d s to a n a l m o s t t o t a l n e g l e c t of the r e d e m p t i o n , b y the 3 s a c r i f i c e of C h r i s t ,  of s i n f u l m a n . "  S p e c i f i c a l l y the " n e g l e c t " i s  the f a i l u r e to p o r t r a y the s a c r i f i c i a l s c e n e at C a l v a r y ,  not,  however,  a f a i l u r e to t r e a t the r e d e m p t i o n t h e m e as it i s w o v e n into the  story  of G o d ' s d e a l i n g s w i t h m a n k i n d . N o w h e r e is M i l t o n ' s P u r i t a n e m p h a s i s  on i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i -  b i l i t y m o r e e a s i l y i d e n t i f i a b l e as a s e l e c t i n g f a c t o r t h a n i n h i s m e n t of s a c r i f i c e a n d m a r t y r d o m .  treat-  In s p i t e of the f a c t that n e a r the  b e g i n n i n g of B o o k I X he s t a t e d h i s i n t e n t i o n to p r a i s e " h e r o i c m a r t y r dom",  the l a s t two b o o k s  of P a r a d i s e L o s t s h o w that he e v a d e d the  f a c t of m a r t y r d o m as m u c h as p o s s i b l e .  M o s t of the e a r l i e r  tableaux  of B o o k X I w h i c h M i c h a e l set b e f o r e A d a m d e p i c t e d i n d i v i d u a l s w h o s e d e v o t i o n to G o d p r o t e c t e d t h e m f r o m the o n s l a u g h t s enemies.  A b e l w a s m u r d e r e d , but E n o c h ,  of t h e i r  Noah, and others  p r e s e r v e d b y m e a n s of the d i r e c t i n t e r v e n t i o n of G o d .  were  Michael's  p o r t r a y a l of the C h u r c h p e r i o d of h i s t o r y a l s o d e m o n s t r a t e d M i l t o n ' s t e n d e n c y to e v a d e the f a c t of m a r t y r d o m .  W h i l e s o m e w o u l d be done  to d e a t h f o r t h e i r f a i t h i n C h r i s t , b e l i e v e r s w o u l d be "oft so as s h a l l a m a z e  Thir  p r o u d e s t p e r s e c u t o r s " a n d w o u l d go o n to  w i n great n u m b e r s for C h r i s t until 3 D a n i e l l s , p. 81.  supported  . . . at l e n g t h T h i r M i n i s t r y p e r f o r m e d , and r a c e w e l l r u n , T h i r d o c t r i n e and thir s t o r y w r i t t e n left, They die. Significantly,  ( P . L . , XII, 504-7)  the " s l a u g h t e r e d s a i n t s " a r e e n s h r i n e d i n the  sonnet,  "Avenge O L o r d " ,  not b e c a u s e m a r t y r d o m a d v a n c e s t h e m a b o v e the  ordinary believer,  but b e c a u s e they s h i n e i n a m o s t e x e m p l a r y w a y  a s t h o s e w h o k e p t G o d ' s t r u t h ; e v e n i n the f a c e of d e a t h they m a i n t a i n e d i n n e r r e c t i t u d e of w i l l . The ultimate i n h e r o i s m then,  is not m a r t y r d o m n e c e s s a r i l y ;  r a t h e r it i s the a b i l i t y to m a i n t a i n a c o n t i n u o u s , d e v o t i o n to h e a v e n ' s h i g h e s t w i l l . heaven,  Abdiel,  driving,  personal  In R a p h a e l ' s a c c o u n t of the w a r i n  the s e r a p h , i s s i n g l e d out to i l l u s t r a t e f o r A d a m the  m e a n i n g of t r u e h e r o i s m .  T h i s " f e r v e n t a n g e l " who r e m a i n e d t r u e :  to G o d i n the m i d s t of " i n n u m e r a b l e f a l s e " w a s a b l e b e c a u s e of the r e c t i t u d e of h i s w i l l to w i t h s t a n d the a r m e d h o s t s of S a t a n w i t h o u t raising a sword.  F o r t h i s he i s c o m m e n d e d d i r e c t l y b y G o d a f t e r he  r e t u r n s f r o m the e n e m y  camp.  S e r v a n t of G o d , w e l l d o n e , The better fight,  w e l l h a s t thou fought  who s i n g l e h a s m a i n t a i n d  A g a i n s t r e v o l t e d m u l t i t u d e s the C a u s e Of T r u t h ,  i n w o r d m i g h t i e r t h e n they i n A r m e s ;  A n d f o r the t e s t i m o n i e of T r u t h h a s t b o r n U n i v e r s a l r e p r o a c h , f a r w o r s e to b e a r e Then violence.  ( P . L . , V I , 29-35)  S i m i l a r l y the e m p h a s i s o n r e c t i t u d e of w i l l i n P a r a d i s e R e g a i n e d m a k e s the o l d s t o r y r e a d as s o m e t h i n g new w h i l e p r e s e r v i n g  56 a l l the o r i g i n a l e l e m e n t s .  W h e n the p o e t s i n g s of " d e e d s a b o v e  h e r o i c " h i s s o n g i s of R e c o v e r ' d P a r a d i s e to a l l . m a n k i n d , B y one m a n s f i r m o b e d i e n c e f u l l y t r i ' d T h r o u g h a l l t e m p t a t i o n , a n d the T e m p t e r In a l l h i s w i l e s ,  foil'd  defeated and r e p u l s ' t ,  A n d E d e n r a i s ' d i n the w a s t W i l d e r n e s s .  ( P . R . , I,  3-7)  T h o u g h the c o n c e r n of P a r a d i s e R e g a i n e d i s w i t h " m a n y a h a r d a s s a y " t h e r e i s n e v e r any doubt that the t e m p t a t i o n s to t r a n s g r e s s the w i l l of the F a t h e r a r e but the p r e l u d e to the d e a t h on the  cross.  T h i s c h i e f l y , that m y w a y m u s t l i e T h r o u g h m a n y a h a r d a s s a y e v e n to the d e a t h , E ' r e I the p r o m i s ' d K i n g d o m c a n a t t a i n , O r w o r k R e d e m p t i o n for mankind,  whose  sins  F u l l w e i g h t m u s t be t r a n s f e r r ' d u p o n m y h e a d .  ( P . R . , I,  263-7)  T h e e m p h a s i s o n w i l l t h r e a t e n s n o t h i n g that i s e s s e n t i a l to the w o r k of C h r i s t w h i l e it h a s the a d v a n t a g e of b r i n g i n g f o r c e f u l l y to m i n d a thought that h a s l o n g b e e n a p p r e c i a t e d b y C h r i s t i a n b e l i e v e r s : that the S o n ' s p o w e r to r e d e e m m a n k i n d r e s t e d s o l e l y i n H i s o b e d i e n c e to the F a t h e r . N o t w i t h s t a n d i n g the u n i q u e n e s s of M i l t o n ' s a p p r o a c h to s a c r i f i c e and m a r t y r d o m and r e l a t e d subjects,  a g e n e r a l s u r v e y of  h i s a f f i r m a t i o n s w i l l show q u i t e p l a i n l y that M i l t o n ' s w o r l d  scheme  i s the C h r i s t i a n one; at the s a m e t i m e it m a k e s l i t t l e d i f f e r e n c e w h i c h of the e l e m e n t s f r o m a m o n g the r i c h n e s s of a v a i l a b l e t r u t h M i l t o n c h o s e to w o r k w i t h b e c a u s e a l l the p a r t s u n d e r g o a t r a n s p o s i t i o n to t a k e on the c o l o u r of the f a m i l i a r M i l t o n i c f u n d a m e n t a l s : that the  F a t h e r is omnipotent,  that H i s w i l l is a b s o l u t e a n d t h e r e f o r e b e y o n d  q u e s t i o n a n d , f i n a l l y , that a l l that c a n be s a i d of G o d m a y q u i t e p r o p e r l y be s u b s u m e d u n d e r the a t t r i b u t e ,  Unity.  ( C . E . XIV, 49)  In P a r a d i s e L o s t the p o e t ' s s e n s i b i l i t y not o n l y t r a n s f o r m s but a l s o s e l e c t s w i t h the r e s u l t that the p o e m i s a u n i q u e b l e n d i n g of the t r a d i t i o n a l and individual. and c o u n t e r - t h e m e s of P a r a d i s e L o s t . scheme  H o w t r u l y c o m m o n p l a c e w e r e the t h e m e s  M i l t o n p r e s e n t e d c a n b e s e e n i n the o p e n i n g l i n e s A s the r e a d e r i s i n t r o d u c e d to the p o e t ' s w o r l d  a n d to s u c h w i d e l y s e p a r a t e d p e r s o n s as A d a m a n d C h r i s t ,  I s r a e l (the " C h o s e n S e e d " ,  d e s c e n d a n t of A b r a h a m ,  a n d a n c e s t o r of  C h r i s t who w a s h i m s e l f c a l l e d the ' s e e d of the w o m a n ' ) a n d M o s e s , M i l t o n a p p e a l s to h i s r e a d e r s to m a k e the k i n d of c o n n e c t i o n w h i c h they w e r e a c c u s t o m e d to m a k e w h e n they r e a d the B i b l e o r h e a r d it e x p o u n d e d f r o m the p u l p i t : a v e r t i c a l o r f i g u r a l c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n e v e n t s not h o r i z o n t a l l y o r c a s u a l l y c o n n e c t e d e x c e p t as t h e y w e r e as s t a g e s i n the h i s t o r y of m a n ' s s a l v a t i o n .  A s Sims  seen  says,  T h e d i s o b e d i e n c e of A d a m i n E d e n , the r e c e i v i n g of the l a w b y M o s e s o n S i n a i , a n d the p l a c i n g of the A r k of the C o v e n a n t i n the T e m p l e o n ' S i o n H i l l ' a r e not c a s u a l l y c o n n e c t e d as a h o r i z o n t a l c h a i n of e v e n t s , but the d i v i n e s c h e m e of s a l v a t i o n as s e e n b y c e n t u r i e s of C h r i s t i a n s s e e k i n g to a l i g n the O l d T e s t a m e n t w i t h the N e w h a d v e r t i c a l l y c o n n e c t e d t h e s e e v e n t s as s u c c e s s i v e s t a g e s i n G o d ' s plan for man's redemption. ^ T h a t P a r a d i s e L o s t i s M i l t o n ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n of the s t o r y of  4  J.H.  Sims,  The Bible in Milton's Epic (Gainesville,  1962),  p. 1 1 .  m a n ' s f a l l and r e d e m p t i o n is a g r e e d upon; nevertheless  some  critics  go o n to p o i n t out that M i l t o n d o e s not e n j o y the d o c t r i n e of the atone 5 ment,  but g i v e s o n l y a c o l d ,  a t t e n t i o n s h o u l d be g i v e n .  intellectual assent,  a n o p i n i o n to w h i c h  H o w e v e r , o p i n i o n s as to the m e a s u r e of  M i l t o n ' s e n j o y m e n t n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , the f a c t r e m a i n s that M i l t o n d o e s a f f i r m the d o c t r i n e a n d , f u r t h e r m o r e , that t h e r e i s a w o r l d of d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n h i m a n d t h o s e who c a t e g o r i c a l l y d e n y i t . g i v i n g a t t e n t i o n to T i l l y a r d ' s c o m m e n t ,  Before  a n d to what h a p p e n s to the  d o c t r i n e of the a t o n e m e n t i n the h a n d s of a C h r i s t i a n poet to w h o m the p o w e r a n d the w i l l of G o d m e a n e v e r y t h i n g , m a y we e s t a b l i s h b y example,  albeit a negative one,  that t h e r e i s a p r o f o u n d d i f f e r e n c e i n  a t t i t u d e b e t w e e n M i l t o n a n d t h o s e who deny the v a l i d i t y of the  Christian  i d e a of r e d e m p t i o n t h r o u g h C h r i s t . O n e n e e d r e a d o n l y a few p a g e s of M i l t o n ' s G o d (to w h i c h r e f e r e n c e h a s a l r e a d y b e e n m a d e ) to n o t i c e that E m p s o n h a s a t h e o l o g i c a l b i a s so u n l i k e that of M i l t o n as to m a k e it e x t r e m e l y d i f f i c u l t f o r h i m to m a k e a j u d g m e n t about M i l t o n ' s attitude t o w a r d the  atone-  m e n t a n d the T r i n i t y a n d t h e r e b y p l a c e the p o e t w i t h r e g a r d to orthodox Christianity.  Nevertheless,  E m p s o n has m a d e a v a l u a b l e  c o n t r i b u t i o n to the d i s c u s s i o n of M i l t o n ' s G o d i f f o r no o t h e r t h a n that E.M.  reason  h i s w o r k of d e v o t e d h o s t i l i t y i s a n t i - C h r i s t i a n i n a f a i r l y Tillyard,  .Studies i n M i l t o n ( L o n d o n ,  1956), p . 2 7 9 .  logical way,  a n d i n s p i t e of the f a c t that E m p s o n ' s w r a t h a g a i n s t  r e l i g i o n b l i n d s h i m to m u c h of M i l t o n ' s text a n d to the i d e a s of M i l t o n ' s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s ,  a n d f r e q u e n t l y i m p e l s h i m to  express himself in unscholarly phrases. God,  "Sometimes  religious  O n e c r i t i c s a y s of M i l t o n ' s  one w o n d e r s w h e t h e r the b o o k i s a g i g a n t i c  w r i t t e n to see how m u c h m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n we w i l l a c c e p t  hoax,  without  6 calling for shock t r o o p s . "  A l l o t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n s to the  side,  E m p s o n ' s a n t i - C h r i s t i a n s e n t i m e n t i s n o t e w o r t h y i n that he h a t e s m o s t what i s m o s t  i m p o r t a n t to the C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e - - t h e  atonement  E m p s o n t h i n k s C h r i s t i a n i t y ' s G o d v e r y w i c k e d a n d d o e s not f a i l to e x p r e s s a s often as p o s s i b l e h i s o p p o s i t i o n to H i m , as the u l t i m a t e i n m a l i g n i t y : " T h e C h r i s t i a n G o d the F a t h e r , the G o d of Tertullian,  A u g u s t i n e and A q u i n a s ,  v e n t e d b y the b l a c k h e a r t of m a n . "  i s the w i c k e d e s t t h i n g y e t i n 7  T h e i d e a of the T r i n i t y i s a  " m e a n s of d e c e i v i n g g o o d m e n into a c c e p t i n g e v i l ; it i s the d o u b l e - t a l k b y w h i c h C h r i s t i a n s h i d e f r o m t h e m s e l v e s the i n s a n e w i c k e d n e s s  of  g their G o d . "  N o r i s E m p s o n w i l l i n g to o p p o s e the c o n c e p t of G o d the  F a t h e r a l l by h i m s e l f , side.  but a c t u a l l y a t t e m p t s to b r i n g M i l t o n i n o n h i s  T h a t M i l t o n ' s G o d i s m o r a l l y v e r y m u c h b e t t e r t h a n the  ^ J . M i l t o n F r e n c h , " M i l t o n a n d the B a r b a r o u s D i s s o n a n c e " , T e x a s S t u d i e s i n L i t e r a t u r e a n d L a n g u a g e , I V , 1, S p r i n g 1962, p . 288. 7 8  Empson,  p . 251.  Empson,  p . 245.  60 t r a d i t i o n a l G o d of C h r i s t i a n i t y he a t t r i b u t e s to w h a t he a l l e g e s to b e 9 M i l t o n ' s d o c t r i n e of the a t o n e m e n t ,  the h a l l m a r k of w h i c h i s h i s  f i r m r e j e c t i o n of a n i n t e r e s t i n t o r t u r e .  ^  T h a t the m a i n a r g u m e n t of E m p s o n s b o o k i s . i n v a l i d w i l l b e 1  s e e n as we m o v e a l o n g to e x a m i n e M i l t o n ' s a t t i t u d e t o w a r d the a t o n e ment.  H o w e v e r , E m p s o n ' s s t a t e m e n t s a r e of i n t e r e s t at l e a s t i n  passing because,  v o c a l a n d m i l i t a n t as he i s ,  the p e r f e c t l y o r i e n t e d a n t i - C h r i s t i a n .  he s e r v e s a d m i r a b l y as  In the f a c e of E m p s o n ' s o n -  s l a u g h t a g a i n s t o r t h o d o x y e v e n the m o s t e x c l u s i v e of the c r e e d a l C h r i s t i a n s m u s t a d m i t that t h e r e i s a g r e a t gulf f i x e d b e t w e e n t h e m a n d E m p s o n ; a n d that t h e y a n d M i l t o n s t a n d t o g e t h e r . W h e t h e r he " e n j o y e d " the d o c t r i n e of the a t o n e m e n t o r n o t , t h e r e i s e v e r y e v i d e n c e that M i l t o n c o n s c i o u s l y s u b s c r i b e d to the i d e a s of s i n a n d g r a c e , that i s r e d e m p t i o n t h r o u g h C h r i s t ' s s a c r i f i c e . his p r o s e section  In  " O f the M i n i s t r y of R e d e m p t i o n " , u n d e r the s u b -  t i t l e " B y P a y m e n t of the R e q u i r e d P r i c e " ,  he p r o v i d e s a l i s t of  t e x t s a n d t h e n i n one s e n t e n c e c l a i m s that t h e y r e f u t e any S o c i n i a n view,  that i s ,  any t h e o r y that C h r i s t d i e d not to p a y f o r m a n ' s  s a l v a t i o n but m e r e l y to set a n e x a m p l e f o r m a n to f o l l o w . 317-9) 9 10  (C.E. XV,  T h e r e i s no r e l u c t a n c e o n M i l t o n ' s p a r t to s p e a k of the  Empson,  p . 272.  Empson,  p . 273.  61 atonement,  a n d we c a n n o t doubt that h a d he f o u n d the d o c t r i n e r e -  p u l s i v e he w o u l d h a v e e x p r e s s e d h i s r e j e c t i o n i n a f o r c e f u l w a y . the c o n t r a r y ,  he e x p r e s s e s h i m s e l f m o s t e n e r g e t i c a l l y ,  f o r the d o c t r i n e of g r a c e c o m p a r a b l e to that of L u t h e r  On  with a zeal  himself:  T h e G o s p e l i s the new d i s p e n s a t i o n of the c o v e n a n t of grace,  f a r m o r e e x c e l l e n t a n d p e r f e c t t h a n the l a w ,  announced first  o b s c u r e l y b y M o s e s a n d the p r o p h e t s , a f t e r w a r d s i n the t e r m s by C h r i s t H i m s e l f ,  clearest  and his apostles and e v a n g e l i s t s ,  s i n c e b y the H o l y S p i r i t i n the h e a r t s of b e l i e v e r s , c o n t i n u e e v e n to the e n d of the w o r l d ,  written  a n d o r d a i n e d to  c o n t a i n i n g a p r o m i s e of  e t e r n a l l i f e to a l l i n e v e r y n a t i o n who s h a l l b e l i e v e i n C h r i s t w h e n r e v e a l e d to t h e m , believe.  a n d a t h r e a t of e t e r n a l d e a t h to s u c h as s h a l l not  ( C . E . X V I , 113) Moreover,  h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the d o c t r i n e of g r a c e i s  such  that h i s e x p o s i t i o n of it r e a d s l i k e that of L u t h e r o r of the A p o s t l e Paul himself.  T h a t t h i s i s n o m e a n a c c o m p l i s h m e n t c a n b e s e e n as  one c o m p a r e s E m p s o n ' s c o m m e n t s o n the s u b j e c t w i t h M i l t o n ' s . E m p s o n not o n l y d o e s not a c c e p t the d o c t r i n e of g r a c e ( w h i c h i s h i s p r i v i l e g e ) but he s i m p l y c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d it ( w h i c h m a k e s w r i t i n g a b o u t it v e r y d i f f i c u l t ) .  F o r example,  he i n s i s t s on m a k i n g n o n s e n s e  of M i l t o n ' s c o n c e p t i o n of the state of g r a c e as one that m a k e s e n t i r e l y f r e e as a S o n .  man  A c c o r d i n g to M i l t o n g r a c e m a k e s p o s s i b l e a  r e c o n c i l i a t i o n between m a n and G o d whereby m a n ' s understanding is i l l u m i n a t e d and his w i l l e n f r a n c h i s e d .  E m p s o n says,  H e / [ M i l t o n . . / t h u s b e l i e v e d w h e n he w r o t e the p o e m that E v e w o u l d h a v e b e e n j u s t i f i e d if she h a d e a t e n the a p p l e w i t h f a i t h that G o d w a n t e d ] j i | r to do i t , t i o n s to the c o n t r a r y .  Empson,  p.  180.  sufficient  i n s p i t e of G o d ' s r e p e a t e d i n s t r u c -  E m p s o n a d m i t s that he d o e s not u n d e r s t a n d the d o c t r i n e of g r a c e : "I c o u l d n e v e r s e e that any b e l i e f e x c e p t ' l e g a l i s m ' i s p o s s i b l e to a C h r i s t i a n at any date who a t t e n d s to the d o c t r i n e l a i d d o w n f o r h i m . H e t h i n k s that " M i l t o n h a d l o n g b e l i e v e d that the M o d e r n E l e c t do not l i t e r a l l y h a v e to o b e y the W o r d of G o d , i n c l u d i n g the T e n 13 Commandments",  a n d i n that s t a t e m e n t a g a i n b e t r a y s the w e a k n e s s  of h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the o r t h o d o x c o n c e p t i o n a n d of M i l t o n ' s o u t s t a n d i n g a p p r e c i a t i o n of i t .  " T h e E l e c t do not l i t e r a l l y h a v e to o b e y " ,  i s a n i r r e l e v a n t s t a t e m e n t as f a r as the e l e c t a r e c o n c e r n e d b e c a u s e a c c o r d i n g to P a u l ,  Luther and M i l t o n ,  w h i c h the e m p h a s i s love.  t h e i r state i s one of l i b e r t y i n  is on s e r v i n g C h r i s t not u n d e r c o m p u l s i o n but i n  M i l t o n h i m s e l f i s i n no doubt a s to w h e r e C h r i s t i a n s s t a n d i n  r e l a t i o n s h i p to the l a w .  A n s w e r i n g the s t a t e m e n t that "to  redeem  t h e m that w e r e u n d e r the l a w " ( G a l a t i a n s I V . 4 - 5 ) m e a n s f i n a l l y that C h r i s t i a n s owe no m o r e o b e d i e n c e  to the l a w ,  Milton says,  . So f a r f r o m a l e s s d e g r e e of p e r f e c t i o n b e i n g e x a c t e d f r o m C h r i s t i a n s , it is e x p e c t e d of t h e m that they s h o u l d be m o r e p e r f e c t t h a n t h o s e who w e r e u n d e r the l a w ; as the w h o l e t e n o r of C h r i s t s precepts evinces. T h e o n l y d i f f e r e n c e i s , that M o s e s i m p o s e d the l e t t e r , o r e x t e r n a l l a w , e v e n o n t h o s e who w e r e not w i l l i n g to r e c e i v e it; w h e r e a s C h r i s t w r i t e s the i n w a r d l a w of G o d b y h i s S p i r i t o n the h e a r t s of b e l i e v e r s , a n d l e a d s t h e m as w i l l i n g f o l l o w e r s . ( C . E . X V I , 151) Further,  12 13  r e g a r d i n g M i l t o n ' s a p p r e c i a t i o n of the d o c t r i n e of  Empson,  p . 269-  Empson,  p.  177.  grace, ment,  a n d h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of i t s p l a c e i n the d o c t r i n e of the it s h o u l d be n o t e d that a p r i n c i p l e w h i c h is a n e s s e n t i a l  atonepart  of the f a b r i c of P a r a d i s e L o s t a n d P a r a d i s e R e g a i n e d i s that s i n a n d g r a c e a r e i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d ; s i n p r o v i d e s the o c c a s i o n f o r the m a n i f e s t i n g of g r a c e .  T h e b a r d who s a n g of m a n ' s f i r s t  disobedience  a n d the r e s t o r a t i o n b y one g r e a t e r m a n , l a t e r r e t u r n s to s i n g , R e c o v e r ' d P a r a d i s e to a l l m a n k i n d , B y one m a n s f i r m o b e d i e n c e f u l l y t r i ' d . T o t h o s e who c o m p l a i n that the a t o n e m e n t L o s t we put C . S . L e w i s ' s q u e s t i o n , w h i c h he h a s not d o n e ,  3-4)  is n e g l e c t e d , in P a r a d i s e  "What c o u l d M i l t o n have  done,  to f o r e s t a l l S a u r a t ' s c r i t i c i s m that the  f i x i o n p l a y s 'no n o t i c e a b l e p a r t  'vicarious atonement'  ( P . R . , I,  1  cruci-  i n the p o e t ' s t h e o l o g y a n d that 14  i s no M i l t o n i c c o n c e p t i o n ? "  N o r does M i l t o n  d i s t o r t the r e d e m p t i o n s t o r y i n P a r a d i s e R e g a i n e d .  T h e i d e a of  d i s t o r t i o n o c c u r s o n l y if the p o e m i s r e a d w i t h o u t due a t t e n t i o n to the major framework. the w i l d e r n e s s  T h e F a t h e r m a k e s it p l a i n that the t e m p t a t i o n i n  i s m e r e l y the b e g i n n i n g : But first I m e a n  T o e x e r c i s e h i m i n the W i l d e r n e s s , T h e r e he s h a l l f i r s t l a y d o w n the Of his great w a r f a r e ,  rudiments  e're I send h i m forth  T o c o n q u e r S i n a n d D e a t h the two g r a n d f o e s , B y H u m i l i a t i o n and strong  Sufferance:  His weakness shall o'recome  Satanic strength. . .  T o e a r n S a l v a t i o n f o r the Sons of m e n .  (I,  155-67)  14 F o r L e w i s ' s o p i n i o n o n M i l t o n ' s v i e w of r e d e m p t i o n see pp.  90-1.  Preface,  64 T h e S o n l a t e r s a y s that o n i n v e s t i g a t i n g the . l a w a n d the p r o p h e t s  he  found O f w h o m they I a m ; this chiefly,  spake  that m y w a y m u s t l i e  T h r o u g h m a n y a h a r d a s s a y e v e n to the  death,  E ' r e I the p r o m i s ' d K i n g d o m c a n a t t a i n . O r w o r k R e d e m p t i o n for m a n k i n d , whose sins F u l l w e i g h t m u s t be t r a n s f e r r ' d u p o n m y h e a d .  (I, 2 6 2 - 7 )  It i s i n c o r r e c t to s a y that the c r u c i f i x i o n p l a y s no p a r t i n P a r a d i s e R e g a i n e d ; the w o r l d v i s i o n into w h i c h the p o e m f i t s i s the C h r i s t i a n one of w h i c h the c e n t e r i s the c r o s s .  T h i s is c o n c l u s i v e l y  demon-  s t r a t e d i n the l a s t f e w l i n e s of the p o e m w h e r e the p o e t m a k e s it c l e a r that the t e m p t a t i o n h a s b e e n p r e p a r a t o r y to the w o r k of r e d e m p t i o n , E d e n - - n o t H e a v e n - - h a s b e e n r a i s e d i n the w i l d e r n e s s ,  a n d C h r i s t now  enters upon his w o r k . H a i l S o n of the m o s t H i g h ,  h e i r of b o t h w o r l d s ,  Q u e l l e r of S a t a n , o n thy g l o r i o u s w o r k Now enter,  a n d b e g i n to s a v e m a n k i n d .  It i s not n e c e s s a r y  (IV, 633-5)  to go o n m a r s h a l l i n g e v i d e n c e to p r o v e that  M i l t o n is orthodox i n g e n e r a l outlook, his attitude t o w a r d r e d e m p t i o n .  a n d that the p r o o f h i n g e s u p o n  C e r t a i n l y the f o l l o w i n g  w h i c h s e e m s to e m b r a c e e q u a l l y h i s o b s e s s i o n s a n d h i s  statement devotions  w o u l d be a c c e p t a b l e b y a n d l a r g e b y the m o s t c o r r e c t c r e e d a l Christian: T h e w h o l e p a s s a g e m u s t be u n d e r s t o o d of G o d the F a t h e r i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the S o n . m y s t e r y of g o d l i n e s s ' , Col.  F o r it i s not C h r i s t who i s 'the  but G o d the F a t h e r i n C h r i s t ,  great  as a p p e a r s f r o m  2:2 'the m y s t e r y of G o d a n d of the F a t h e r , a n d of C h r i s t . '  65 2 C o r . 5. 18,  19.  ' a l l t h i n g s a r e of G o d , who h a t h r e c o n c i l e d us to  h i m s e l f by J e s u s C h r i s t . . .to w i t , c i l i n g the w o r l d unto h i m s e l f , them.  1  Why therefore  that G o d w a s i n C h r i s t ,  recon-  not i m p u t i n g t h e i r t r e s p a s s e s unto  s h o u l d G o d the F a t h e r not be i n C h r i s t  t h r o u g h the m e d i u m of a l l t h o s e o f f i c e s of r e c o n c i l i a t i o n w h i c h the apostle enumerates  i n t h i s p a s s a g e of T i m o t h y ?  ' G o d was  manifest  i n the f l e s h ' - - n a m e l y i n the S o n , h i s o w n i m a g e ; i n a n y o t h e r w a y he i s i n v i s i b l e : n o r d i d C h r i s t c o m e to m a n i f e s t h i m s e l f , Father,  John X I V . 8 , 9 .  but h i s  ( C . E . X I V , 265)  H o w e v e r , to do j u s t i c e to M i l t o n the o r t h o d o x p o e t a n d M i l t o n the individualistic Puritan,  one m u s t a v o i d the e r r o r of a s s u m i n g that  his i m a g i n a t i o n is i n s o m e way s h a c k l e d by t r a d i t i o n a l i s m . powerful inner compulsions,  His  w h i c h d i r e c t the p r e s e n t a t i o n of h i s a r t ,  l i b e r a t e h i s i m a g i n a t i o n so that he is a b l e to i m p o s e h i s o w n e m p h a s e s on the t r a d i t i o n a l m a t e r i a l s of h i s f a i t h a n d o n t r a d i t i o n a l a r t f o r m s . Milton,  we h a v e s h o w n ,  w o r k s w i t h i n a P u r i t a n r a n g e of  s e n s i b i l i t y i n w h i c h the e m p h a s i s  o n i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a n d the  w i l l of G o d r e s u l t s i n the s u b o r d i n a t i o n o r e l i m i n a t i o n of a l l e l e m e n t s that c a n not be m a n o e u v e r e d a l o n g the f i x e d a x i s b e t w e e n the h u m a n a n d the d i v i n e . f o r m of the e p i c  H o w M i l t o n the P u r i t a n a c h i e v e d e x p r e s s i o n i n the is,  in simple terms,  o n w i l l p r o v i d e s the m o m e n t u m  the a c c o u n t of how the  of the g r e a t a r g u m e n t .  emphasis  T o put it i n  another way,  a l l of the e l e m e n t s of t r a d i t i o n a l C h r i s t i a n i t y a r e  emphasized,  s u b o r d i n a t e d , o r t r a n s p o s e d to s u i t the p o e t ' s d r i v i n g  purpose. T h e c o n s t a n t a x i s u p o n which' a l l a c t i o n i n P a r a d i s e L o s t m o v e s i s d e l i n e a t e d i n the o p e n i n g v e r s e s :  66 Say f i r s t what c a u s e M o v ' d o u r G r a n d P a r e n t s i n that h a p p y S t a t e , F a v o u r ' d of H e a v ' n so h i g h l y , to f a l l off F r o m thir C r e a t o r , and t r a n s g r e s s F o r one r e s t r a i n t ,  his  Will  L o r d s of the W o r l d b e s i d e s ?  (I, 2 8 - 3 2 )  T h o s e o p p o s i t e s b e t w e e n w h i c h a t e n s i o n e x i s t s t h r o u g h o u t the a p p e a r i n the f i r s t i n t r o d u c t i o n to a u n i v e r s e w h i c h i s u n i f i e d by G o d and i n w h i c h t h e r e is s e e m i n g l y his unity and his o m n i p o t e n c e .  epic  perfectly  no d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n  T h e s i n g l e n e s s of h i s p o w e r i s m a i n -  t a i n e d b y e m i s s i o n s of d i v i n e e n e r g y w h i c h c o m b a t r e b e l l i o n a n d b y the e x e r c i s e of f r e e w i l l o n the p a r t of the l o y a l .  The reader  is  p r o v i d e d i m m e d i a t e l y w i t h the o p p o r t u n i t y to l o o k up a n d d o w n the v e r t i c a l a x i s w h i c h e x t e n d s f r o m the F a t h e r A l m i g h t y i n H e a v e n to S a t a n the I n f e r n a l S e r p e n t a n d the d e e p t r a c t of H e l l . e m i s s i o n of e n e r g y w h i c h c h a r a c t e r i z e s  The dynamic  the d e s c r i p t i o n of S a t a n ' s  fall  o w e s i t s f o r c e i n g r e a t p a r t to the e n o r m o u s c o n c e n t r a t i o n of p o w e r i n the v e r t i c a l a x i s a n d M i l t o n ' s s e n s e of the p r i m a c y , i n a G o d sustained universe,  of d o i n g the w i l l of G o d .  H e t r u s t e d to h a v e e q u a l ' d the m o s t H i g h , If he o p p o s ' d ; a n d w i t h a m b i t i o u s  aim  A g a i n s t the T h r o n e a n d M o n a r c h y of G o d R a i s ' d impious War i n H e a v ' n and B a t t e l p r o u d With v a i n attempt.  H i m the A l m i g h t y P o w e r  H u r l d headlong f l a m i n g f r o m th' E t h e r e a l Skie W i t h hideous r u i n e and c o m b u s t i o n down T o b o t t o m l e s s p e r d i t i o n , t h e r e to d w e l l In A d a m a n t i n e C h a i n s a n d p e n a l F i r e , Who d u r s t d e f i e t h ' O m n i p o t e n t to A r m s .  (I,  40-9)  T h a t P a r a d i s e L o s t a n d the o t h e r m a j o r w o r k s a r e  constructed  67 a b o u t the a x i a l l i n e of the D i v i n e W i l l ,  w h i c h is d e m o n s t r a b l y right,  i s r e l a t e d i n t i m a t e l y to the f a c t that the u n i q u e t h i n g about M i l t o n , unique above a l l . his e x t r a o r d i n a r y attitudes, upon God's w i l l . Time",  is his simple r e l i a n c e  T h i s is e x p r e s s e d b e a u t i f u l l y i n " H o w S o o n H a t h  a n d d e m o n s t r a t e d f a i t h f u l l y i n h i s a p p l i c a t i o n of h i s p o w e r s  to  the s e r v i c e of h i s c o u n t r y , a s d e s c r i b e d b y h i m s e l f i n T h e S e c o n d Defense  of the E n g l i s h P e o p l e .  T h e r e i s i n the p o e t i c d e c l a r a t i o n of  h i s t h r e e a n d t w e n t i e t h y e a r the t y p i c a l l y P u r i t a n a p p r e h e n s i o n of the n e e d f o r a c t i o n a n d the s e n s e of i n t e n s e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to do  something  worthy: Y e t be it l e s s o r m o r e ,  or soon or  It s h a l l b e s t i l l i n s t r i c t e s t m e a s u r e T o that s a m e l o t ,  eev'n,  however m e a n or h i g h ,  T o w a r d which T i m e leads m e , A l l is,  slow,  a n d the w i l l of H e a v ' n ;  i f I h a v e g r a c e to u s e it s o ,  A s ever in m y great task M a s t e r ' s eye.  (Sonnet V I I , 9-14)  T h a t he w a s t r u e to the i n t e n t i o n e x p r e s s e d i n h i s e a r l y s o n n e t  is  c l e a r f r o m h i s o w n a c c o u n t of h i s r e a c t i o n to the p r o n o u n c e m e n t s of h i s p h y s i c i a n s that he w a s  s o o n to l o s e the s i g h t of h i s r e m a i n i n g e y e ,  a n d that to e n g a g e i n the w o r k of the D e f e n s e w o u l d b r i n g i r r e p a r a b l e loss.  He  says, Methought, that, by a c e r t a i n fatality i n m y b i r t h ,  d e s t i n i e s w e r e set b e f o r e m e , other,  on the one h a n d , b l i n d n e s s ,  two  on the  d u t y - - t h a t I m u s t n e c e s s a r i l y i n c u r the l o s s of m y e y e s ,  or  d e s e r t a s o v e r e i g n d u t y . . . . T h e s e a r e the r e a s o n s of m y c h o i c e ; t h e s e the c a u s e s of m y l o s s .  ( C . E . VIII,  69-70)  T h i s intensely p e r v a s i v e P u r i t a n i n d i v i d u a l i s m , living between c e l e s t i a l a n d i n f e r n a l p o l e s a n d b e l i e v i n g that G o d ' s w i l l i s a d i r e c t i n g  68 A b s o l u t e w h i c h is i n s o m e sense  a c c e s s i b l e to r e a s o n ,  leaves  its  stamp upon M i l t o n ' s m a j o r w o r k s . The movement  a l o n g the a x i a l l i n e i n P a r a d i s e L o s t i s t o w a r d  a u n i t y w h i c h c a n be m a i n t a i n e d b y o b e d i e n c e a n d d i s r u p t e d b y rebellion.  D u r i n g the c o n f l i c t i n H e a v e n the r e b e l l i o u s h o s t i s p l u n g e d  into d i s o r d e r and f e a r : to s u c h e v i l b r o u g h t B y s i n of d i s o b e d i e n c e ,  till.that hour  N o t l i a b l e to f e a r o r f l i g h t o r p a i n e . M e a n w h i l e the state of the S a i n t s i s f a r F a r o t h e r w i s e th' i n v i o l a b l e  otherwise:  Saints  In C u b i c P h a l a n x f i r m a d v a n c ' t Invulnerable,  (VII, 395-7)  entire,  impenitrably arm'd:  Such high advantages thir Gave them above thir foes, N o t to h a v e d i s o b e i ' d .  innocence not to h a v e  sinnd,  (VI, 398-403)  U n i o n w i t h G o d , w h i c h i s the a n t i t h e s i s of r e b e l l i o n , p r e s e r v e s t h e m p e r f e c t h a r m o n y a n d m a k e s t h e m i m p r e g n a b l e to h a r m . "than w h o m commands  in Abdiel  £ n o o n e j w i t h m o r e z e a l a d o r ' d the D i e t y a n d d i v i n e o b e y e d , " s t a n d s out a m o n g the r a n k s of the f a i t h f u l as  the  truly Miltonic hero. A b d i e l faithful found, A m o n g the f a i t h l e s s ,  faithful only  Among innumerable false,  hee;  unmov'd,  Unshak'n, unseduc'd,  unterrif'd  H i s L o y a l t i e he k e p t ,  his L o v e , his  Zeale;  Nor n u m b e r , nor example with h i m wrought T o s w e r v e f r o m t r u t h , or change his constant m i n d Though single. Above,  (V,  896-903)  the A l m i g h t y F a t h e r s i t s s h r i n e d i n h i s S a n c t u a r y of H e a v e n  69 secure,  " c o n s u l t i n g o n the s u m of t h i n g s " ( V I , 673),  c o n t r o l l i n g the p r o g r e s s  completely  of e v e n t s , h a v i n g a l r e a d y f o r e c a s t the day  w h e n the v i o l e n t a l t e r n a t i n g m o v e m e n t s i n the u n i v e r s e t o w a r d d i s i n t e g r a t i o n a n d u n i t y b e c o m e a p h e n o m e n o n of the p a s t , and w i l l d i s s o l v e b a c k into p e r f e c t Hell,  unity.  her n u m b e r s  T h e n c e f o r t h s h a l l be f o r e v e r The World shall burn,  and power  full shut.  M e a n while  and f r o m her ashes s p r i n g  New H e a v ' n and E a r t h ,  w h e r e i n the j u s t s h a l l d w e l l ,  A n d after a l l t h i r tribulations long See g o l d e n d a y s ,  f r u i t f u l of g o l d e n d e e d s ,  With Joy and L o v e t r i u m p h i n g , and fair T h e n t h o u thy r e g a l S c e p t e r  Truth.  shalt lay b y ,  F o r r e g a l S c e p t e r t h e n no m o r e s h a l l n e e d , G o d s h a l l be A l l i n A l l . M i l t o n is u n a b l e to see w h o l e as G o d i s w h o l e . influence  (Ill, 332-41) t h i s u n i v e r s e a n d m a n as a n y t h i n g but  This unifying i m p u l s e ,  w h i c h i s the  i n the c r e a t i o n of the t o t a l i t y of P a r a d i s e L o s t ,  shaping  determines  the m a n n e r i n w h i c h M i l t o n ' s s u p p o s e d A r i a n i s m a n d m a t e r i a l i s m a p p e a r i n the p o e m .  The so-called A r i a n i s m results f r o m a trans-  p o s i t i o n of the h o n o u r due to the T r i n i t y t o w a r d the F a t h e r ' s s i d e of the s p e c t r u m .  T o the S o n a l l g l o r y a n d h o n o u r a r e a s c r i b e d but it  i s the F a t h e r ' s c o u n t e n a n c e  without c l o u d w h i c h is m a d e v i s i b l e i n  h i m a n d the F a t h e r ' s S p i r i t " t r a n s f u s e d " w h i c h m a k e s h i m a p r o p e r r e c i p i e n t of u n b o u n d e d p r a i s e .  70 T h e e next they s a n g of a l l C r e a t i o n f i r s t , Begotten Son, Divine Similitude, In w h o s e c o n s p i c u o u s c o u n t ' n a n c e , w i t h o u t c l o u d Made visible, th  Almighty Father  1  shines,  W h o m e l s e no C r e a t u r e c a n b e h o l d ; o n thee I m p r e s s t the e f f u l g e n c e  of h i s G l o r i e  abides,  T r a n s f u s ' d o n thee h i s a m p l e S p i r i t r e s t s . E v e n judgment,  as He e x e r c i s e s  (Ill, 383-9)  it, is by his F a t h e r ' s thunder and  his F a t h e r ' s might: T h o u . , that d a y T h y F a t h e r s d r e a d f u l T h u n d e r d i d s t not  spare,  . N o r s t o p thy f l a m i n g C h a r i o t w h e e l s , that Heav'ns everlasting F r a m e ,  shook  w h i l e o ' r e the  necks  T h o u d r o v ' s t of w a r r i n g A n g e l s d i s a r r a i d . B a c k f r o m p u r s u i t thy P o w e r s w i t h l o u d a c c l a i m e T h e e o n l y e x t o l l ' d , S o n of thy F a t h e r s m i g h t , To execute f i e r c e vengeance  on his f o e s .  (Ill, 392-9)  T h e F a t h e r m u s t a c c o m p a n y the S o n to the s c e n e of c r e a t i o n a n d participate omnipotently. e v e n t s of P a r a d i s e L o s t ,  O n the m i s s i o n of c r e a t i o n , a s i n a l l the there is c a r e f u l insistence  o n the F a t h e r ' s  c o n t r o l l i n g a u t h o r i t y ; the S o n who g o e s f o r t h as the F a t h e r ' s a g e n t h a s no i n d i v i d u a l p o w e r : A n d t h o u m y W o r d , b e g o t t e n S o n , b y thee This I perform,  s p e a k t h o u , a n d be it d o n :  M y o v e r s h a d o w i n g S p i r i t a n d m i g h t w i t h thee I send along, ride forth,  a n d b i d the D e e p  W i t h i n a p p o i n t e d b o u n d s be H e a v ' n a n d E a r t h , B o u n d l e s s the D e e p , b e c a u s e I a m who f i l l Infinitude,  n o r v a c u o u s the s p a c e .  (VII,  163-9)  T h e p l a i n s t a t e m e n t of the ex d e o v i e w of c r e a t i o n w h i c h M i l t o n g i v e s i n T h e C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e i s t r a n s c e n d e d i n the i m a g i n a t i v e  illumina-  t i o n of p o e t r y w h e n the A l m i g h t y s a y s to the S o n as he r i d e s out on  71 h i s c r e a t i v e m i s s i o n into c h a o s : B o u n d l e s s the D e e p , b e c a u s e I a m who f i l l I n f i n i t u d e , n o r v a c u o u s the  space.  Though I u n c i r c u m s c r i b ' d m y self r e t i r e , A n d put not f o r t h m y g o o d n e s s , T o act or not, N e c e s s i t i e A p p r o a c h not m e e ,  which is free  and Chance  a n d what I w i l l i s F a t e .  ( V I I , 168-73)  T h e d e s c r i p t i o n of c r e a t i o n a s v o l u n t a r y w i t h d r a w a l by the  Creator  f r o m the i n f i n i t u d e w h i c h he p r e v i o u s l y f i l l e d a m o u n t s to but a n o t h e r e x p r e s s i o n of the p o e t ' s i n a b i l i t y to c o n c e i v e of G o d as l e s s t h a n the t o t a l i t y of a l l t h i n g s . M i l t o n ' s s h i f t s of e m p h a s i s a n d s e l e c t i v e e l a b o r a t i o n s of c h o s e n d o c t r i n e c o n f o r m , e i t h e r r a t i o n a l l y o r i n t u i t i v e l y , to the d e m a n d s of the c l a s s i c a l f o r m of the e p i c i n a m o s t r e m a r k a b l e w a y . H o w b e a u t i f u l l y a n d a l m o s t i n e v i t a b l y a c o n t r o l l i n g e m p h a s i s on the p o w e r a n d w i l l of the F a t h e r s u i t s the e p i c f o r m a n d how d i f f i c u l t it w o u l d h a v e b e e n to a c c o m m o d a t e a s a c r i f i c i a l C h r i s t to the f o r m a l framework! In b o t h the P a r a d i s e e p i c s the m y s t e r i o u s b i r t h of C h r i s t ,  the  m y s t e r y of the i n c a r n a t i o n a n d the S o n ' s h u m i l i a t i o n a n d s u f f e r i n g s a r e p a s s e d o v e r i n the p o e t ' s c o n c e r n to get to the q u e s t i o n of i n d i vidual dedication.  E v e n the l o v e of C h r i s t to f a l l e n m a n i s m a d e a  f u n c t i o n of h i s o b e d i e n c e t o the F a t h e r : H i s w o r d s h e r e e n d e d , but h i s m e e k Silent yet spake,  aspect  and b r e a t h ' d i m m o r t a l love  To m o r t a l m e n , above w h i c h only shon F i l i a l o b e d i e n c e : as a s a c r i f i c e G l a d to be o f f e r ' d , he a t t e n d s the w i l l Of his great F a t h e r . (Ill, 266-71)  However,  i n the s p e e c h b y the F a t h e r g i v e n e a r l i e r , it i s m a d e  a b u n d a n t l y c l e a r that the a t o n e m e n t i s p a r t of the e t e r n a l p u r p o s e s of G o d .  "So i s m y w i l l " (III, 184),  " A s m y E t e r n a l p u r p o s e hath  d e c r e e d " (172) a n d o t h e r s u c h p h r a s e s as " M y d a y of g r a c e "  (198)  p r e c e d e the s u c c i n c t s t a t e m e n t of the l a p s e d c o n d i t i o n of m a n a n d the plan for restoration: He with his whole p o s t e r i t i e m u s t dye, D y e hee o r J u s t i c e m u s t ; u n l e s s f o r h i m S o m other able,  a n d as w i l l i n g , p a y  The rigid satisfaction,  death for death.  (Ill, 209-12)  The F a t h e r then a s k s : Say H e a v ' n l y p o w e r s ,  w h e r e s h a l l we f i n d s u c h l o v e ,  W h i c h of y e w i l l be m o r t a l to r e d e e m M a n s m o r t a l c r i m e , and just t h  1  u n j u s t to s a v e ,  D w e l s i n a l l H e a v e n c h a r i t i e so d e a r e ?  (213-6)  N o doubt the P u r i t a n a v e r s i o n to i n t e r m e d i a r i e s a c c o u n t s f o r the a n t i - s a c e r d o t a l a n d a n t i - s a c r a m e n t a l i n M i l t o n as it d o e s i n Bunyan.  H a p p i l y the e m p h a s i s o n w i l l w h i c h the P u r i t a n o u t l o o k  d e m a n d s i s a d m i r a b l y s u i t e d to the p r o d u c t i o n of a g r e a t e p i c . d o m i n a t e s e m o t i o n ; t h e r e i s no t i m e f o r m y s t i c a l c o n t e m p l a t i o n , o p p o r t u n i t y to m o v e o u t w a r d f r o m the s i m p l e a x i s of m a n ' s w i l l thrusting upward against God's w i l l . the s u p e r n a t u r a l w i l l ,  Will no  rebellious  T h e poet r e l i e s w h o l l y upon  i n w h i c h t e n s i o n s m a y b e c o n t a i n e d , to p r o v i d e  a u n i f y i n g s w e e p a n d e m b r a c e the r o l l i n g s p l e n d o u r of the p a n o r a m a of epic s c e n e s .  In P a r a d i s e R e g a i n e d , the p o e m i n w h i c h a n e x t e n d e d  t r e a t m e n t of the p a s s i o n m i g h t be e x p e c t e d ,  the p o w e r a n d s c o p e of the  73 e p i c a r e p r e s e r v e d b y the a v o i d a n c e of m i n i m i z i n g g r a d a t i o n s .  The  u n i t y a n d d r i v e of the p o e m a r e m a d e to d e p e n d o n the o u t c o m e  of a  s i n g l e m o r a l d e c i s i o n : what w a s l o s t b y one m a n ' s d i s o b e d i e n c e  is  r e c o v e r e d by another m a n ' s obedience fully t r i e d . the v i c t o r y of the S o n l i e s , p l a n i s c a r r i e d out. to G a b r i e l ,  however,  T h e e s s e n c e of  i n the f a c t that the  Father's  T h e F a t h e r , i n d e s c r i b i n g the c o u r s e of e v e n t s  s a y s of the S o n ,  T o s h e w h i m w o r t h y of h i s b i r t h d i v i n e A  high p r e d i c t i o n , henceforth I expose  T o S a t a n ; l e t h i m t e m p t a n d now a s s a y His utmost  subtilty. . . .  (I, 141-4)  T h e d i r e c t p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the F a t h e r i n e v e r y a s p e c t of the  regaining  of p a r a d i s e i s p o w e r f u l l y e x p r e s s e d b y the r e p e a t e d u s e of the f i r s t person: H e /"Satanjj now s h a l l . k n o w I c a n p r o d u c e a m a n Of f e m a l e  Seed,  f a r a b l e r to r e s i s t  A l l his sollicitations, A l l his vast f o r c e ,  a n d at l e n g t h  a n d d r i v e h i m b a c k to H e l l ,  W i n n i n g b y C o n q u e s t what the f i r s t m a n l o s t By fallacy surpriz'd.  But first I m e a n  T o e x e r c i s e h i m i n the W i l d e r n e s s . . . . (I, 150-6) T h e p o w e r f u l d r i v i n g I_ d o m i n a t e s the F a t h e r ' s u n f o l d i n g of the p l a n f o r v i c t o r y a n d t r i u m p h b y the S o n of G o d who is e n t e r i n g u p o n h i s g r e a t d u e l , not b y a r m s , (173-5),  but b y w i s d o m to v a n q u i s h h e l l i s h w i l e s  so that the o b v i o u s ego s t r e n g t h of the d i v i n e d e c l a r a t i o n : "I  send.' h i m f o r t h to c o n q u e r S i n a n d D e a t h the two g r a n d f o e s " ( 1 5 8 - 9 ) i s . of  s u c h m a g n i t u d e as to s h i e l d the r e a d e r f r o m the f u l l m e a n i n g  of the n e x t l i n e ,  " B y H u m i l i a t i o n and strong Sufferance".  Once again  the o p p o r t u n i t y to d w e l l o n the p a s s i o n s c e n e i s p a s s e d b y q u i c k l y i n f a v o u r of a n e m p h a s i s  on w i l l a n d o b e d i e n t  action.  I have c h o s e T h i s p e r f e c t M a n , by m e r i t c a l l ' d m y Son, T o e a r n S a l v a t i o n f o r the Sons of m e n .  (165-7)  P a r a d i s e L o s t a n d P a r a d i s e R e g a i n e d s e e n as the e x p r e s s i o n of the c o n c e p t of w i l l c o u l d not be m o r e t y p i c a l l y P u r i t a n . In a d d i t i o n to the P u r i t a n m a n i f e s t a t i o n s  in his a r t ,  another  a s p e c t of the i n t e r a c t i o n of the p o e t ' s s e n s i b i l i t y a n d m a t e r i a l s ought not to be n e g l e c t e d i s h i s e n o r m o u s k i n d s of r e l i g i o u s e x p e c t a t i o n .  which  success in satisfying  various  T o e x p l o r e this t h o r o u g h l y w o u l d i n -  v o l v e a d i s c u s s i o n not o n l y of t h o s e s u b j e c t s to be d e a l t w i t h h e r e : baptism, penance,  the e u c h a r i s t ,  h o l y o r d e r s , m a t r i m o n y , a n d the  C h r i s t i a n v i e w of h i s t o r y , but a l s o of a n u m b e r of o t h e r It i s t r u e that M i l t o n ,  topics.  along with most P u r i t a n s , repudiated  m y s t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the c o m m u n i o n s e r v i c e as w e l l as  elabor-  15 ate c h u r c h c e r e m o n i e s , baptism,  he m a k e s  but it i s a l s o t r u e t h a t ,  some s u r p r i s i n g l y ingenious presentations  s e e m d e f i n i t e l y to a n s w e r to t r a d i t i o n a l C h r i s t i a n Consider,  as i n the c a s e of  for example,  that  expectations.  the r i t u a l p e r f o r m e d o n A d a m ' s b e h a l f b y  Michael: 15 M a u r i c e A s h l e y , E n g l a n d i n the S e v e n t e e n t h sworth,  Middlesex,  1961), p .  29.  Century (Harmond-  75 B u t to n o b l e r s i g h t s M i c h a e l f r o m A d a m s e y e s the F i l m e r e m o v ' d W h i c h that f a l s e F r u i t that p r o m i s ' d c l e a r e r  sight  H a d b r e d ; then p u r g ' d with E u p h r a s i e and Rue T h e v i s u a l N e r v e , f o r he h a d m u c h to  see;  A n d f r o m the W e l l of L i f e t h r e e d r o p s i n s t i l l ' d . ( P . L . , X I , 4 1 1 - 6 ) T h e a p p l i c a t i o n of the t h r e e d r o p s of w a t e r (no doubt i n the N a m e of the F a t h e r , S o n a n d H o l y S p i r i t ) i s to r e s t o r e the c l a r i t y of v i s i o n w h i c h w a s l o s t i n the F a l l . have drencht her  E v e a l s o u n d e r g o e s the r i t u a l :  e y e s , " (367)  says M i c h a e l .  "For I  P r i o r to the c e r e m o n i a l  washing A d a m and E v e experienced regeneration: T h u s they i n l o w l i e s t plight repentant Praying,  stood  f o r f r o m the M e r c i e - s e a t a b o v e  P r e v e n i e n t G r a c e descending had r e m o v ' d The stonie f r o m thir h e a r t s , Regenerate grow instead,  a n d m a d e new  flesh  that s i g h s n o w b r e a t h ' d  U n u t t e r a b l e , w h i c h the S p i r i t of p r a y e r Inspir'd,  and wing'd for H e a v ' n with speedier  T h e n loudest O r a t o r i e . A s for penance, ground.  (XI,  flight  1-8)  the two r e p e n t at g r e a t l e n g t h w i t h t e a r s w a t e r i n g the  A l l the p r e r e q u i s i t e s f o r C h r i s t i a n e x p e r i e n c e h a v e b e e n m e t  by the t i m e b o o k t e n c l o s e s : So s p a k e o u r F a t h e r p e n i t e n t ,  nor E v e  F e l t l e s s r e m o r s e : t h e y f o r t h w i t h to the p l a c e R e p a i r i n g w h e r e he j u d g ' d t h e m p r o s t r a t e f e l l Before him reverent,  and both  confess'd  H u m b l y thir faults , and p a r d o n b e g ' d , with tear s . . . There is,  of c o u r s e ,  . (1097-1101)  no d i r e c t c o r r e s p o n d e n c e to the e u c h a r i s t but  t h i s is not s u r p r i s i n g as the e v e n t t a k e s p l a c e p r i o r to the c r u c i f i x i o n . R e g a r d i n g " h o l y o r d e r s " , as M i c h a e l p r e d i c t e d , the t r u e o r d e r of t h i n g s w o u l d i n t i m e be u p s e t as the g r e a t e r p a r t of m a n k i n d  w o u l d r e p l a c e t r u t h and faith with "outward r i t e s and specious A c c o r d i n g to M i l t o n e a c h m a n h a s a n i n a l i e n a b l e r i g h t to s e r v e  forms. as  h i s o w n p r i e s t , a n d t h i s p r i e s t h o o d of e v e r y b e l i e v e r i s s u f f i c i e n t to f u l f i l l a l l that has b e e n c l a i m e d f o r e l a b o r a t e s y s t e m s of " h o l y o r d e r s T h a t any m a n s h o u l d t h i n k o t h e r w i s e M i l t o n l a y s to the c h a r g e of the R o m a n C a t h o l i c h i e r a r c h y : all God's people, it f r o m t h e m . " k i n d s : one,  " T h e t i t l e of c l e r g y St. P e t e r gave to  t i l l P o p e H i g i n u s a n d the s u c c e e d i n g p r e l a t e s t o o k ( C . E . I l l , I, 257)  O f p r i e s t s t h e r e a r e o n l y two  o n the e a r t h , i s s e e n as A d a m a n d E v e b e f o r e r e t i r i n g  to t h e i r f l o w e r s t r e w n b o w e r a p p r o a c h G o d d i r e c t l y n e e d i n g no h u m a n intermediary: Air,  " U n d e r o p e n s k i e t h e y a d o r ' d T h e G o d that m a d e S k i e ,  E a r t h and H e a v ' n . . . other R i t e s o b s e r v i n g none. " ( P . L . , I V ,  721-7; 736-7)  T h e o t h e r , the p r i e s t i n h e a v e n ,  i s the M e s s i a h ,  the  only m e d i a t o r between G o d and m a n : To H e a v ' n thir p r a y e r s F l e w u p , n o r m i s s e d the w a y , b y e n v i o u s B l o w ' n vagabond or f r u s t r a t e : i n they  windes  passed  Dimentionless through Heav'nly dores; then c l a d With incense,  w h e r e the G o l d e n A l t a r  B y thir great Intercessor, B e f o r e the F a t h e r s T h r o n e . Presenting,  fum'd  c a m e i n sight T h e m the g l a d S o n  thus to i n t e r c e d e b e g a n .  (XI,  14-21)  A s r e g a r d s m a r r i a g e : i n s p i t e of h i s a p p a r e n t l y h a r s h w o r d s about w o m a n a n d the o b v i o u s m a s c u l i n e a s c e n d e n c y i n P a r a d i s e L o s t , Milton's immense respect for,  "Wedded love! founded in r e a s o n ,  j u s t a n d p u r e " m a k e s p o s s i b l e a p r e s e n t a t i o n of m a r r i a g e w h i c h is s u p e r b l y the C h r i s t i a n i d e a l .  O n one l e v e l h i s m e s s a g e about w o m e n  77 i s c l e a r e n o u g h : they m u s t k e e p t h e i r p l a c e i n o b e d i e n c e  to the  husband or t r o u b l e w i l l ensue: T h u s it s h a l l b e f a l l H i m to w o r t h i n W o m e n o v e r t r u s t i n g L e t s h e r w i l l r u l e ; r e s t r a i n t she w i l l not b r o o k , And  l e f t to h e r s e l f ,  if e v i l thence ensue,  She f i r s t h i s w e a k i n d u l g e n c e w i l l a c c u s e .  ( P . L . , I X , 1182-6)  O f t h o s e u p o n w h o m e v i l f e l l b e c a u s e of " o v e r t r u s t " i n w o m a n ' s S a m s o n is notable.  H e t a k e s the o c c a s i o n of D a l i l a ' s r e t u r n to  d e n o u n c e a l l " f a l s e w o m e n " who b r e a k f a i t h . kind, breaks all vows, remorse,  deceives, betrays,  D a l i l a , t y p i c a l of h e r  a n d t h e n i n a s h o w of f e i g n e d  c o n f e s s e s h e r f a u l t s a n d p r o m i s e s to c h a n g e h e r  N o t t r u l y p e n i t e n t , but c h i e f l y to t r y H e r h u s b a n d , how f a r u r g ' d h i s p a t i e n c e  F o r w h a t e v e r t h e r e i s of h a r s h n e s s s e n t i m e n t s t h e r e i s no d e f e n s e ,  Mother",  (S. A . , 754-6)  a n d of the p o e t ' s o w n  anti-feminist  but M i l t o n ' s e l o q u e n t s t r e s s on the  b e a u t y a n d s a n c t i t y of m a r r i a g e a n d the i m m e n s e for E v e m o r e than c o m p e n s a t e  ways.  bears,  H i s v i r t u e o r w e a k n e s s e s w h i c h w a y to a s s a i l .  i n c i d e n t a l l y , was  worth,  r e s p e c t he s h o w s  f o r the p r o - m a s c u l i n e b i a s w h i c h ,  s h a r e d by his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s .  E v e , "our g e n e r a l  a Q u e e n , is a p u r e d e l i g h t to h e r r o y a l h u s b a n d . He i n delight  B o t h of h e r B e a u t y a n d s u b m i s s i v e S m i l ' d with superior L o v e , O n Juno s m i l e s ,  Charms  as J u p i t e r  w h e n he i m p r e g n s the C l o u d s  That shed M a y F l o w e r s ; and p r e s s ' d her M a t r o n lip With kisses pure.  (P.L.,  IV, 497-502)  F r o m h e r l i p s the m a s c u l i n e a s c e n d e n c y t h e m e c a r r i e s no o f f e n s e :  78 M y Author and D i s p o s e r ,  what t h o u b i d s t  U n a r g u ' d I o b e y ; so G o d o r d a i n s , G o d i s thy L a w , t h o u m i n e : to k n o w no m o r e Is w o m a n ' s h a p p i e s t k n o w l e d g e  and her p r a i s e .  (IV, 635-38)  H e r l o v e f o r A d a m has a l o g i c a l l its o w n w h i c h a l l o w s the w o m a n c o m p l e t e h a p p i n e s s w h i l e i n s u b m i s s i o n to h e r h u s b a n d ; a n d s h e ,  the  ideal wife,  g i v e s e l o q u e n t t e s t i m o n i a l to the j o y a r i s i n g f r o m s h a r i n g  physically,  i n t e l l e c t u a l l y and s p i r i t u a l l y w i t h her husband when i n  one of the p o e m ' s m o s t b e a u t i f u l p a s s a g e s she t e l l s A d a m of h e r  love  for h i m : W i t h thee c o n v e r s i n g I f o r g e t a l l t i m e , A l l seasons and thir change,  all please alike.  S w e e t i s the b r e a t h of m o r n ,  her r i s i n g sweet,  W i t h c h a r m of e a r l i e s t B i r d s ; p l e a s a n t the S u n W h e n f i r s t o n t h i s d e l i g h t f u l L a n d he His orient B e a m s ,  on h e r b , t r e e ,  spreads  f r u i t , and f l o u r ,  G l i s t r i n g with dew. . . . B u t n e i t h e r b r e a t h of M o r n w h e n she W i t h c h a r m of e a r l i e s t B i r d s ,  ascends  nor r i s i n g Sun  O n this delightful l a n d , nor h e r b , f r u i t , f l o u r e , G l i s t r i n g w i t h dew n o r f r a g r a n c e a f t e r Nor grateful Eevening m i l d , With this her s o l e m n B i r d ,  showers,  nor silent Night nor walk by M o o n ,  O r g l i t t e r i n g S t a r r - l i g h t without thee is s w e e t .  (IV, 639-56)  W e m a y w i s h to q u a r r e l w i t h M i l t o n ' s p r i n c i p l e of m a s c u l i n e ascendency,  but t h e r e i s n o t h i n g d i s a p p o i n t i n g about h i s t r e a t m e n t of  E v e o r h i s p o r t r a y a l of the i d e a l m a r r i a g e r e l a t i o n s h i p .  Undoubtedly,  it i s M i l t o n ' s a r t i s t r y that e n a b l e s h i m to c h a r m the r e a d e r to acquiescence,  a n d the f a c t that he has a n i n t u i t i v e T i g h t n e s s i n h i s  p r e s e n t a t i o n of m a j o r C h r i s t i a n t h e m e s . F r o m the s a c r a m e n t s  a n d m a r r i a g e we m u s t go o n to  discuss  M i l t o n ' s h a n d l i n g of h i s t o r y . s u p p o s e s a p o i n t of v i e w ,  S i n c e e v e r y a c c o u n t of h i s t o r y p r e -  it i s not d i f f i c u l t to a s c e r t a i n w h e t h e r  or  not M i l t o n ' s v i e w s a s p r e s e n t e d i n P a r a d i s e L o s t f u l f i l l t r a d i t i o n a l e x p e c t a t i o n s as f o r m u l a t e d b y A u g u s t i n e i n the l a t e f i f t h c e n t u r y i n T h e C i t y of G o d , a w o r k that is c o n s i d e r e d a c l a s s i c v i e w of h i s t o r y .  o n the  R . G . C o l l i n g w o o d i n T h e I d e a of H i s t o r y  Christian describes  the C h r i s t i a n v i e w of h i s t o r y as p r o v i d e n t i a l , u n i v e r s a l i s t i c , epochal. ^ ology,  In a g r e e m e n t  and  with h i m although using different t e r m i n -  C . A . P a t r i d e s i n a c h a p t e r o n " T h e C h r i s t i a n V i e w of  H i s t o r y " a l s o e m p h a s i z e s the p r o v i d e n t i a l a s p e c t : " G o d m a n i f e s t purposes  his  i n a n d t h r o u g h e v e r y d a y e v e n t s , u n t i l at l a s t a l l r i v e r s of 17  t e m p o r a l h i s t o r y t u m b l e into the v a s t o c e a n of e t e r n i t y . " a l s o d r a w s a t t e n t i o n to the t e l e o l o g i c a l  a s p e c t of h i s t o r y ,  the r e s u r r e c t i o n of the d e a d , f o r t h e y / t h e  Patrides "notably  e a r l y apologists_7  a p p r e c i a t e d that the u n i t y of m a n k i n d c a n be m a i n t a i n e d o n l y t h r o u g h a n a f f i r m a t i o n not m e r e l y of c o m m o n o r i g i n but a l s o of a c o m m o n 18 telos or end. "  T h i s last quotation e m b r a c e s  a l s o the u n i v e r s a l i s t i c  w h i c h P a t r i d e s s e e s f i t to d i s c u s s at l e n g t h i n B i b l i c a l t e r m s :  "that  u n d e r the one L o r d of the u n i v e r s e t h e r e e x i s t s but a s i n g l e f a m i l y of R . G . C o l l i n g w o o d , T h e Idea of H i s t o r y ( O x f o r d , 1946), p p . 4 9 - 5 0 . 1  6  17 Patrides, ^Patrides,  M C T . , p. p . 229.  224.  80 nations,  d i v i d e d at v a r i o u s p o i n t s i n h i s t o r y ,  yet retaining  still  19 their unity under G o d .  11  That M i l t o n abundantly f u l f i l l e d t r a d i t i o n a l expectations i n h i s h a n d l i n g of h i s t o r y i s i m m e d i a t e l y  obvious.  His declared aim in  P a r a d i s e L o s t i s "to a s s e r t E t e r n a l P r o v i n d e n c e , w a y e s of G o d to m e n . " C h r i s t i a n view was  (I, 2 5 - 6 )  M i c h a e l p o i n t e d out, Hebrew  the  T h e u n i v e r s a l i s m of the t r a d i t i o n a l  a l s o p a r t of M i l t o n ' s t h o u g h t ,  e x p r e s s e d the a l l - e n c o m p a s s i n g  A n d justifie  especially  p l a n s of G o d f o r m a n k i n d .  as it As  G o d ' s p r o v i d e n t i a l c a r e e x t e n d e d f a r b e y o n d the  race: N o t o n e l y to the Sons of A b r a h a m s L o i n e s S a l v a t i o n s h a l l be P r e a c h t ,  but to the Sons  Of A b r a h a m s F a i t h w h e r e v e r  t h r o u g h the w o r l d ;  So i n h i s s e e d a l l N a t i o n s s h a l l be b l e s s e d .  (XII, 447-50)  A s f o r M i l t o n ' s v i e w of t i m e ,  it w a s ,  in an entirely different way.  " M i l t o n d i d not adopt A u g u s t i n e ' s  s y m m e t r i c a l patterns  epochal,  but neat,  i n h i s p o r t r a y a l of the d e s t i n y of m a n k i n d i n  B o o k s X I a n d X I I of P a r a d i s e L o s t . the r e d e m p t i v e w o r k of C h r i s t , yet syncopated,  like Augustine's,  S t r e s s i n g the f a l l of m a n a n d  M i l t o n r e g a r d e d h i s t o r y as a d y n a m i c ,  p r o c e s s b y w h i c h G o d ' s w i l l w a s w o r k e d out t h r o u g h 20  individuals and nations."  A u g u s t i n e has d i v i d e d the h i s t o r y of  19  20  Patrides,  p.  224.  J o h n A n o n b y , M i l t o n ' s V i e w of H u m a n D e s t i n y ( U . B . C . , p.  28.  1965),  81 m a n k i n d into s e v e n e p o c h s ,  but f o r M i l t o n h i s t o r y w a s a d y n a m i c  p r o c e s s m a r k e d b y c a t a c l y s m i c e v e n t s s u c h a s the f a l l of m a n a n d the i n c a r n a t i o n of C h r i s t . N o t o n l y i s it t r u e that "In P a r a d i s e L o s t we h a v e the successful  a t t e m p t i n p o e t r y to f u s e the e s s e n t i a l  most  a s p e c t s of the 21  C h r i s t i a n v i e w of h i s t o r y i n t o a m a g n i f i c e n t w h o l e , "  but it m u s t  a l s o be a d d e d that M i l t o n d i s p l a y e d h i s f u l l a w a r e n e s s of the  Christian  v i e w of h i s t o r y i n h i s " N a t i v i t y O d e " w h i c h he w r o t e w h e n he  was  o n l y t w e n t y - o n e y e a r s of a g e .  H i s f u l l a w a r e n e s s of the  Christian  v i e w of h i s t o r y i s r e v e a l e d i n h i s c o n c e n t r a t i o n o n the a l l - e m b r a c i n g s i g n i f i c a n c e of the r u d e m a n g e r as it a f f e c t e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n G o d a n d a l l m a n k i n d , the t o t a l i t y of a l l h u m a n b e i n g s . far-ranging references  "Milton's  to the i d o l s a n d d e i t i e s of A s s y r i a a n d E g y p t ,  G r e e c e and R o m e , w e r e i m p e r a t i v e ,  a n d c o l l e c t i v e l y they a r g u e that  the A t o n e m e n t w a s a l l - e m b r a c i n g i n i t s e f f e c t , a c h i e v e d not m e r e l y p e a c e ,  that the infant J e s u s  but i n M i l t o n ' s w o r d s ,  'a u n i v e r s a l  22 Peace'.  " T h e d i s c u s s i o n of M i l t o n ' s h a n d l i n g of h i s t o r y b r i n g s u s to  c o n c l u s i o n s c o n g e n i a l to the p e r s p e c t i v e  of t h i s t h e s i s .  The P u r i t a n  p o e t a b u n d a n t l y f u l f i l l s t r a d i t i o n a l e x p e c t a t i o n s i n h i s h a n d l i n g of the 2 1  Patrides,  22  Patrides,  M C T . , p . 259. M C T . , p . 258.  82 C h r i s t i a n v i e w of h i s t o r y i n i t s p r o v i d e n t i a l , u n i v e r s a l i s t i c , and teleological aspects.  A t the s a m e t i m e ,  epochal  we d i s c o v e r t y p i c a l l y  M i l t o n i c t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s of t r a d i t i o n a l m a t e r i a l as it r e s p o n d s h i s c o n c e p t i o n of G o d ' s w i l l d y n a m i c a l l y o p e r a t i n g i n ' t h e men.  Finally,  i s the e m i n e n c e  a f f a i r s of  a n d of the u t m o s t i m p o r t a n c e to o u r p r e s e n t g i v e n the G o d - m a n .  to  purpose,  We m u s t a g r e e w i t h P a t r i d e s  "that the G o d - m a n i n P a r a d i s e L o s t , f a r f r o m b e i n g r e l a t i v e l y u n 23 i m p o r t a n t to M i l t o n ,  renders coherence  to the w h o l e e p i c . "  This  i d e a t a k e s n o t h i n g a w a y f r o m the v i e w that M i l t o n ' s c o n c e r n i n P a r a d i s e L o s t is with M a n .  It d o e s ^ h o w e v e r ,  a d d a g r e a t d e a l to the  a r g u m e n t f o r p l a c i n g M i l t o n i n o r t h o d o x y ' s m a i n s t r e a m to s a y he i s "Christocentric". We c o u l d e x p l o r e m u c h f u r t h e r the q u e s t i o n of the i n t e r a c t i o n of the p o e t ' s s e n s i b i l i t y a n d h i s m a t e r i a l s ,  but s o m e a t t e n t i o n  must  n o w be g i v e n to the e x t r a o r d i n a r y d i f f i c u l t i e s w h i c h M i l t o n f a c e d i n h i s r o l e as a p o e t - a p o l o g i s t . difficulties form,  In the f a c e of the m a n y i n h e r e n t  in r e n d e r i n g a C h r i s t i a n theme in a pagan and c l a s s i c a l  a n d the t r a d i t i o n a l e l e m e n t s of o r t h o d o x y into a p o e m to the  s a t i s f a c t i o n of the P u r i t a n i n d i v i d u a l i s t a n d the c o m m o n r e a d e r , M i l t o n is astonishingly  successful.  No doubt,  h i s s u c c e s s m a y be  a t t r i b u t e d to h i s p o e t i c g e n i u s w h i c h i s a b l e to m a n i p u l a t e 23  Patrides,  M C T . , p . 260.  successfully  83 the d i v e r s i f i e d e l e m e n t s w i t h i n h i m s e l f w h i c h c l a m o u r e d f o r A p r i m a r y difficulty, readers,  expression.  of i n t e r e s t to n u m e r o u s t h o u g h t f u l  i s the d i s p a r i t y i n P a r a d i s e L o s t b e t w e e n the o s t e n s i b l e  p h i l o s o p h i c a l p u r p o s e of the p o e m (to j u s t i f y the w a y s of G o d to m e n ) a n d the a c t u a l r e s u l t .  T h a t M i l t o n is a n o r t h o d o x C h r i s t i a n h a s  a l r e a d y b e e n s h o w n ; it r e m a i n s now to i n s i s t that h i s f a i l u r e to j u s t i f y the w a y s of G o d to m e n i s i n no w a y a r e f l e c t i o n his C h r i s t i a n experience  or understanding.  u p o n the q u a l i t y of  A n e x a m i n a t i o n of the  e x t r a o r d i n a r y d i f f i c u l t i e s ( s o m e due to the d e m a n d s of t h e o l o g y a n d s o m e to the d e m a n d s of the p o e t i c f o r m ) i n h e r e n t i n . the t a s k of w r i t i n g P a r a d i s e L o s t w i l l d i s s u a d e the r e a d e r f r o m t a k i n g  seriously  t h o s e c r i t i c s who i n t e r p r e t the p o e m o n the g r o u n d s of w h a t t h e y k n o w of M i l t o n ' s h e r e t i c a l t e n d e n c i e s ,  f o r g e t t i n g "that the p o e m  a c c e p t e d as o r t h o d o x b y m a n y g e n e r a t i o n s  of a c u t e r e a d e r s  was well  24 grounded in theology. "  N o one s h o u l d be s u r p r i s e d that M i l t o n  f a i l s to j u s t i f y the w a y s of G o d to m e n ; i n d e e d ,  it w o u l d be  most  s u r p r i s i n g to f i n d i n P a r a d i s e L o s t a k i n d of j u s t i f i c a t i o n of G o d w h i c h i s not i n the B i b l e i t s e l f . T h e r e a s o n s why no one s h o u l d be s u r p r i s e d a r e a p p a r e n t w h e n the e x t r a o r d i n a r y d i f f i c u l t i e s the p o e t - a p o l o g i s t examined. 24  Lewis,  faced are  In the f i r s t p l a c e the o s t e n s i b l e p h i l o s o p h i c a l p u r p o s e of Preface,  p . 82.  the p o e m i s s e e n to be not o n l y d i f f i c u l t to f u l f i l l but a c t u a l l y  impos-  s i b l e f o r a n u m b e r of r e a s o n s that a r e e q u a l l y c o g e n t f o r a l l Christian apologists.  O n e of the d i f f i c u l t i e s c e n t e r s u p o n the f a c t  that the B i b l e r e v e a l s no t e n d e n c y u p o n G o d ' s p a r t to e x p l a i n H i m s e l f . T h u s w h e n M i l t o n i s r e q u i r e d b y e p i c c o n v e n t i o n to c a s t the A l m i g h t y as an a c t o r i n a d r a m a i n w h i c h He m u s t s o m e t i m e s speak i n selfjustification innumerable problems arise.  F a r f r o m speaking in  s e l f - j u s t i f i c a t i o n the B i b l i c a l G o d s i m p l y s a y s of H i m s e l f , (Ex.  3:14)  "I a m , "  a n d a r b i t r a r i l y r e q u i r e s of the one who w i l l c o m e to H i m ,  " T h a t he b e l i e v e  that H e i s ,  diligently seek H i m . " (Heb.  a n d that H e i s a r e w a r d e r of t h e m that 11:6)  T h e p e r p l e x i n g a s p e c t s of the t a s k of r e p r e s e n t i n g G o d i n the poem are,  of c o u r s e ,  not b e y o n d the p o e t ' s r a n g e of c o m p r e h e n s i o n .  T h e G o d of t h e o l o g i c a l d e f i n i t i o n w o u l d be the G o d of p h i l o s o p h i c a l proof,  but s u c h a g o d i s ,  a c c o r d i n g to M i l t o n ' s o w n v i e w ,  p r e h e n s i b l e : " F o r the W o r d . . . as he i s the i m a g e ,  incom-  a s it w e r e ,  w h i c h we see G o d , so he i s the w o r d b y w h i c h we h e a r h i m . if s u c h be h i s n a t u r e ,  he c a n n o t be e s s e n t i a l l y  no one c a n see o r h e a r . " ( C . E . X I V , 401) however,  by But  one w i t h G o d , w h o m  In P a r a d i s e L o s t ,  G o d e m b a r k s upon lengthy r h e t o r i c a l s e l f - j u s t i f i c a t i o n ,  d e v i a t i o n f r o m M i l t o n i c d o c t r i n e w h i c h i s o b v i o u s l y the r e s u l t of dramatic necessity.  It m i g h t be a r g u e d t h a t ,  g i v e n the f a c t s that  G o d the F a t h e r i s i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e a n d that any e x t r a - B i b l i c a l  a  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of h i m i s b o u n d i n s o m e way to be a d i s t o r t i o n , p o e t s h o u l d not h a v e a t t e m p t e d P a r a d i s e L o s t . of t h e o l o g i c a l e x p e d i e n c y however,  the  F r o m the p o i n t of v i e w  t h e r e m a y be s o m e t r u t h i n t h i s  charge;  we a r e i n t e n t not u p o n u n - w r i t i n g the m a g n i f i c e n t e p i c but  r a t h e r u p o n a n a l y z i n g it to see w h e r e M i l t o n s t a n d s as a C h r i s t i a n apologist.  T h e p o e t h i m s e l f a t t e m p t s to r e c o n c i l e c e r t a i n c o n f l i c t i n g  e l e m e n t s i n h i s s t a t e m e n t of the d o c t r i n e of a c c o m m o d a t i o n . h i s c o n v i c t i o n that "to k n o w G o d as he r e a l l y i s , p o w e r of m a n ' s t h o u g h t s ,  far transcends  the  m u c h m o r e of h i s p e r c e p t i o n . . . . G o d  t h e r e f o r e h a s m a d e as f u l l a r e v e l a t i o n of conceive,  It i s  h i m s e l f as o u r m i n d s c a n  o r the w e a k n e s s of o u r n a t u r e c a n b e a r . " ( C . E . X I V , 31)  Nevertheless,  w h e n we see  G o d acting like an  over-zealous  immigration clerk: T h e S t a i r s w e r e t h e n l e t d o w n , w h e t h e r to d a r e T h e F i e n d by e a s i e a s c e n t ,  or  aggravate  H i s s a d e x c l u s i o n f r o m the d o r e s of B l i s s ,  ( P . L . , III, 5 2 3 - 5 )  we a r e f o r c e d to a d m i t that the p o e t i s u n a b l e to s t a y w i t h i n the l i m i t s of the a c c o m m o d a t i o n p r o v i d e d i n S c r i p t u r e w h e r e t h e r e  is  " n o t h i n g u n s u i t a b l e to the c h a r a c t e r a n d d i g n i t y of G o d " a n d G o d s a y s n o t h i n g of H i m s e l f w h i c h d e r o g a t e s H i s o w n m a j e s t y .  ( X I V , 33)  P e r h a p s a n e v e n b e t t e r e x a m p l e of l i n e s i n w h i c h t h e r e i s  something  u n s u i t a b l e to the c h a r a c t e r a n d d i g n i t y of G o d a r e t h o s e w h e r e G o d " s m i l e s " at the m o m e n t e v i l i s b o r n i n h e a v e n a n d f u s s e s about H i s " o m n i p o t e n c e " w h i c h i s about to be put to the t e s t .  (IV, 718-22)  It  m u s t be g r a n t e d t h e n that i n s p i t e of M i l t o n ' s l o f t y i n t e n t i o n s , G o d has H i s low m o m e n t s ,  but o u r i n t e n t i o n h e r e i s not to p i c k p e t t y  f l a w s i n M i l t o n ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n , but r a t h e r to e x p o s e the f a c t that the p r o b l e m s r e g a r d i n g the a c t o r - G o d a r e not u n i q u e l y M i l t o n ' s ; t h e y a r e the n a t u r a l i n h e r i t a n c e of any C h r i s t i a n a p o l o g i s t who u n d e r t a k e s so a m b i t i o u s a t a s k .  T h e r e is a d e e p - s e a t e d  c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n the  t h e o l o g i c a l . m a t e r i a l a n d the d e m a n d s of the e p i c ,  and there are  i m m e n s e d i f f i c u l t i e s i n r e p r e s e n t i n g i n h u m a n t e r m s a G o d who t r a n s c e n d s h u m a n c a t e g o r i e s of t h o u g h t . It d o e s not r e q u i r e any d e g r e e of s k i l l to i d e n t i f y the few places i n P a r a d i s e L o s t where M i l t o n is weak and i m p e r f e c t . ever,  h a v i n g d r a w n a t t e n t i o n to the e m b a r r a s s i n g b u s i n e s s  s t a i r w a y a n d the o t h e r "weak" p a s s a g e ,  How-  about the  it i s a p p r o p r i a t e to go o n  a n d p o i n t out that w h e n M i l t o n i s w e a k a n d i m p e r f e c t he g e n e r a l l y m a k e s i m m e d i a t e a n d g e n e r o u s c o m p e n s a t i o n f o r what i s l a c k i n g . unattractive lines beginning " T h e S t a i r s were then let down" a r e i m m e d i a t e l y c o m p e n s a t e d f o r i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of S a t a n ' s v i e w "of a l l t h i s W o r l d so f a i r e . " R o u n d he s u r v e y s ,  (III,  554)  a n d w e l l m i g h t , w h e r e he  stood  So h i g h a b o v e the c i r c l i n g C a n o p i e Of Nights extended shade; f r o m E a s t e r n P o i n t O f L i b r a to the f l e e c i e  S t a r r that b e a r s  A n d r o m e d a f a r r off A t l a n t i c S e a s B e y o n d t h ' H o r i z o n ; t h e n f r o m P o l e to P o l e He v i e w s i n b r e d t h , and without longer  pause  D o w n r i g h t i n t o the W o r l d s f i r s t R e g i o n t h r o w s H i s flight p r e c i p i t a n t , and windes with ease  The  87 T h r o u g h the p u r e m a r b l e A i r h i s o b l i q u e w a y A m o n g s t i n n u m e r a b l e S t a r r s , that S t a r s, d i s t a n t ,  shon  but n i g h h a n d s e e m e d o t h e r W o r l d s . (111,555-66)  The p a s s a g e i n w h i c h G o d is b r i e f l y i m p l a u s i b l e ,  as H e s p e a k s to  H i s S o n of S a t a n who i s " c o a s t i n g the w a l l of H e a v ' n o n t h i s s i d e of N i g h t " i n s e a r c h of a l a n d i n g p l a c e on e a r t h ,  is another  example:  So w i l l f a l l , Hee and his faithless P r o g e n i e : whose fault? W h o s e but h i s o w n ?  ingrate,  he h a d of  mee  A l l he c o u l d h a v e ; I m a d e h i m j u s t a n d r i g h t , S u f f i c i e n t to h a v e s t o o d , B u t the p o e t p r o c e e d s  t h o u g h f r e e to f a l l .  (Ill,  95-9)  a l m o s t i m m e d i a t e l y w i t h a n u n e r r i n g s e n s e of  what i s a r t i s t i c a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e to c o m p e n s a t e f o r the p i c t u r e of the F a t h e r w h i c h he h a d j u s t Thus while G o d spake,  unattractive  presented.  ambrosial fragrance  fill'd  A l l H e a v ' n , a n d i n the b l e s s e d S p i r i t s e l e c t S e n s e of new j o y i n e f f a b l e  diffus'd:  B e y o n d c o m p a r e the S o n of G o d w a s Most glorious,  in him all His Father  Substantially express'd,  seen shon  and i n his face  Divine compassion visibly appeerd, L o v e without end,  and without m e a s u r e G r a c e .  (Ill, 135-42)  A n o t h e r d i f f i c u l t y w h i c h ought to be r e c o g n i z e d as  inherent,  r a t h e r t h a n a s a n e s s e n t i a l l y i n d i v i d u a l p r o b l e m w h i c h a r i s e s out of some weakness in Milton's theology,  a p p e a r s i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the  m a t t e r of m a k i n g m e t a p h y s i c a l a f f i r m a t i o n s . something,  Having affirmed  a n i n d i v i d u a l i s u n d e r o b l i g a t i o n to p r o v i d e p r o o f .  E m p s o n d o e s v e r y l i t t l e a f f i r m i n g but what l i t t l e he d o e s i s o p e n to p r e c i s e l y the s a m e o b j e c t i o n s  as a r e l e v e l l e d a g a i n s t M i l t o n .  t e e n p a g e s f r o m the e n d of M i l t o n ' s G o d E m p s o n a d m i t s  Six-  (having  88 r o u n d l y d e n o u n c e d the C h r i s t i a n one) that he n e e d s t o t r y to say what a r a t i o n a l ethic m a y be, personal belief  a n d t h e n g o e s o n to state what h i s  is:  I a m s t i l l i n c l i n e d to the t h e o r y of B e n t h a m w h i c h w a s  in  f a v o u r w h e n I w a s a student at C a m b r i d g e ; that the s a t i s f a c t i o n of any i m p u l s e is i n i t s e l f an e l e m e n t a r y good,  a n d that the p r a c t i c a l  e t h i c a l q u e s t i o n i s m e r e l y how to s a t i s f y the g r e a t e s t n u m b e r .  ^  B u t he h a s no m o r e t h a n s a i d it t h a n he i s f o r c e d to a d m i t that t h e r e i s a n o b j e c t i o n to B e n t h a m i s m , a n d i n v o i c i n g that a d m i s s i o n l a n d s s q u a r e l y i n the m i d s t of the t e r r i b l e p r o b l e m of e v i l . A l l the s a m e ,  t h e r e i s a b a s i c o b j e c t i o n to the t h e o r y ;  u n l e s s s o m e s p e c i a l g a d g e t c a n be f i t t e d i n , the s a t i s f a c t i o n of a n i m p u l s e to i n f l i c t p a i n o n a n o t h e r p e r s o n m u s t h a v e i t s d e m o c r a t i c r i g h t . . . . I a m m u c h i n c l i n e d to a g r e e  equal  . . . that t h i s  s a t i s f a c t i o n i s a n e l e m e n t a r y e v i l ; a n d t h i s m a k e s it a r e m a r k a b l e object,  i  J  c a r r y i n g the o n l y i n h e r e n t o r m e t a p h y s i c a l e v i l i n the 26  world. . . .  It is no c o i n c i d e n c e that E m p s o n i n p u t t i n g f o r t h h i s r a t i o n a l e t h i c f i n d s h i m s e l f f a c e to f a c e w i t h w h a t C h r i s t i a n o r t h o d o x y  considers  the k n o t t i e s t i n t e l l e c t u a l p r o b l e m of t h e m a l l , the p r o b l e m of e v i l . T h e p r o b l e m of e v i l as s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r i s n o t ,  of c o u r s e ,  the  t h i n g as the p r o b l e m of e v i l as a n u n e x p l a i n e d p r i m a l e l e m e n t ,  same but  the c o m p a r i s o n i s of v a l u e i n so f a r as it p o i n t s to the d i f f i c u l t y of f o r m u l a t i n g a n a l l - e m b r a c i n g r a t i o n a l e to c o v e r e v e n as l i m i t e d a t o p i c as m a n ' s r e l a t i o n to h i s  25 26  Empson,  p . 259.  Empson,  p.  260.  fellows.  89 A n y o n e who d a r e s to m a k e  metaphysical affirmations  c o n f r o n t e d w i t h the d e m a n d f o r p r o o f .  is  But contemporary Christian  t h i n k e r s do not h o l d that the f i n a l s o l u t i o n to the p r o b l e m of e v i l a n d the p r e s e n t a t i o n of a r a t i o n a l e t h i c ( w h i c h i s i n e x t r i c a b l y w o v e n questions  of the o r i g i n of the u n i v e r s e ,  into  the e x i s t e n c e of G o d a n d the  n a t u r e of G o d ) a r e to be f o u n d t h r o u g h the m a r s h a l l i n g of e m p i r i c a l evidence  o r the p r e s e n t a t i o n of l o g i c a l a r g u m e n t s .  S o m e t h i n g of the  d i f f i c u l t y c o n c e r n i n g l o g i c a l p r o o f s c a n be s e e n i n B r u n n e r ' s d i s c u s s i o n of " p r o o f s f o r the e x i s t e n c e of G o d " . T h e r e a r e c e r t a i n d e f i n i t e m e t a p h y s i c a l p r o c e s s e s of t h o u g h t w h i c h w i t h a c e r t a i n l o g i c a l c l a r i t y l e a d to the i d e a of G o d ; f o r a n y p e o p l e who a r e t r a i n e d to t h i n k - - s o m e of w h o m a r e o u t standing t h i n k e r s - - t h e s e convincing cogency. f r o m the o u t s i d e ,  arguments possess considerable,  There is,  however,  no c o u r t of a p p e a l w h i c h - -  as it w e r e - - c a n e s t a b l i s h the Tightness o r - w r o n g -  n e s s of the p r o o f s f o r the e x i s t e n c e of G o d . p r o o f s is possible of t h o u g h t ,  and indeed  T h e e x a m i n a t i o n of the  o n l y f o r one who h i m s e l f t a k e s p a r t i n the  a n d who t h e r e f o r e m a k e s h i s o w n j u d g m e n t s .  process  From  the  t i m e of K a n t t h i s i s w h a t m a y h a v e b e e n done w i t h g o o d w i l l a n d w i t h the b e s t i n t e l l e c t u a l e q u i p m e n t ; the r e s u l t , ambiguous,  however,  is  always  n a m e l y , that m a n y , but b y no m e a n s the m a j o r i t y ,  or  e v e n a l l who h a v e b e e n c o m p e t e n t to d e a l w i t h the n r o b l e m , r e g a r d the p r o o f s f o r the  existence of G o d as v e r i f i a b l e .  T h u s i f the r a t i o n a l p r o o f s a r e not r e g a r d e d as v e r i f i a b l e b y a l l who a r e c o m p e t e n t to d e a l w i t h the p r o b l e m they a r e not " p r o o f " as s c i e n c e d e f i n e s it at a l l .  A s B r u n h e r p o i n t s out i n the s a m e p a s s a g e  "the p r o o f s f o r the e x i s t e n c e of G o d r e q u i r e the c o - o p e r a t i o n of  EmilBrunner, p.  339.  Revelation and R e a s o n ( P h i l a d e l p h i a ,  1946),  90  other m o t i v e s ,  w h i c h l i e o u t s i d e the s c o p e of r e a s o n ,  i s to be f e l t t r u l y c o n v i n c i n g . "  i f the  "proof"  R e v e l a t i o n a n d r e a s o n a r e not  o p p o s i t e s b e t w e e n w h i c h a c h o i c e m u s t be m a d e ,  but a c o u p l e t j o i n e d  by f a i t h (other m o t i v e s ) .  the q u e s t i o n  n e v e r be " w h e t h e r " , and revelation,  A c c o r d i n g to B r u n n e r ,  can  but "to what e x t e n t " a n d " i n w h a t s e n s e "  reason  f a i t h a n d r a t i o n a l t h i n k i n g c a n be c o m b i n e d w i t h one  another. It w o u l d ,  of c o u r s e ,  be a n a n a c h r o n i s m to c r e d i t M i l t o n  w i t h f o r m a l l y h o l d i n g the v i e w s of r e v e l a t i o n , represent progress  faith and r e a s o n w h i c h  achieved under three centuries  the d e v e l o p i n g s c i e n c e s , but it i s ,  m a n y of c o n t e m p o r a r y  T h e a t t e m p t to j u s t i f y l o g i c a l l y the w a y s  of G o d to m e n is b y the v e r y n a t u r e of the c a s e b o u n d to f a l l of i t s g o a l .  Nevertheless,  from  n e v e r t h e l e s s , q u i t e c l e a r l y the  c a s e that i n P a r a d i s e L o s t M i l t o n d e m o n s t r a t e s orthodoxy's best insights.  of p r e s s u r e  short  i n s o f a r as " e t e r n a l p r o v i d e n c e " i s  p r e s e n t e d a n d the l o g i c of L o v e p e r m i t t e d to take o v e r , p u r p o s e s of the C h r i s t i a n g o s p e l a r e s e r v e d .  the c e n t r a l  Milton's accomplish-  m e n t i n t h i s r e g a r d i s of the h i g h e s t o r d e r a n d i n the v e r y b e s t t r a d i t i o n because his poetic genius and C h r i s t i a n insights c a r r y h i m as d i d D a n t e ' s to the p i n n a c l e of f a i t h w h e r e a l l c o n f l i c t s dogma and a r t , faith and r e a s o n ,  28  a r e r e s o l v e d i n the v i s i o n of  1  Brunner,  p.  311.  between God.  91  In D a n t e ' s P a r a d i s e the c o m p l i c a t e d p u z z l e of l i f e i s w h e n u n d e r the g u i d a n c e of B e a t r i c e he p r o g r e s s e s standing.  resolved  i n joy and u n d e r -  T h e c l i m a x c o m e s i n the v e r y l a s t l i n e s w h e n D a n t e ,  p o s s e s s e d of a new a n d e x a l t e d v i s i o n , and i n its separate  aspects.  L i k e to a g e o m e t r i s t Might m e a s u r e it,  s e e s the T r i n i t y as a U n i t y  He says then who f a i n w o u l d s t r i v e that he  a n d y e t not i n h i s s c i e n c e f i n d  T h e b a s i s n e e d e d h o w s o d e e p h i s thought m a y b e , So w a s I t h e r e b e f o r e that v i s i o n of s u c h n o v e l k i n d . I w i s h e d to see  how w a s a d a p t e d , f u s e d ,  T h e i m a g e i n the c i r c l e ; how it w a s  annealed  confined:  A n d to m y l a c k of p o w e r I h a d b e e n f o r c e d to y i e l d If s h a k e n h a d not b e e n m y w h o l e  mentality  B y sudden f l a s h i n w h i c h m y w i s h was c l e a r r e v e a l e d .  2  9  T h e n h a v i n g a d m i t t e d that h i s o w n w i n g s a r e not e n o u g h to e n a b l e h i m to r e c o n c i l e the c o n f l i c t s  of f a i t h a n d r e a s o n ,  he s o a r s i n the l a s t  l i n e s of " T h e B e a t i f i c V i s i o n " - - i l l u m i n e d b y a f l a s h of G r a c e - - to a r e s o l u t i o n of the i n s o l u b l e p r o b l e m s of h i s e x i s t e n c e .  His  desire  a n d w i l l , b e c a u s e of the p o w e r of the v i s i o n , b l e n d h a r m o n i o u s l y w i t h the d i v i n e  Love.  Y e t t h o u g h p o w e r f a i l e d b e f o r e t h i s lofty  fantasy,  M y w i s h a n d w i l l w h i r l e d o n l i k e f o r c e that n o t h i n g b a r s , In t i m e w i t h a l l the o t h e r s p h e r e s ,  m o v e d equally  B y l o v e : that l o v e w h i c h m o v e s the s u n a n d o t h e r s t a r s . L i k e h i s f o r e r u n n e r , M i l t o n i s u n a b l e to e n c o m p a s s  ^  i n poetic  29 Dante A l i g h i e r i , " P a r a d i s e " , The D i v i n e C o m e d y t r a n s l a t e d f r o m the I t a l i a n b y W . F . E n n i s ( F i r e n z e , 1965), p . 670. 30  D a n t e , p . 670.  92 l i n e s a f o r m u l a that w o u l d be of s u c h v a s t c o m p r e h e n s i o n as to j u s t i f y the w a y s of G o d to m e n , but he i s e n o r m o u s l y s u c c e s s f u l  in  p r o v i d i n g i n a u n i q u e w a y a j u s t i f i c a t i o n of the d i v i n e p u r p o s e w h i c h d e r i v e s f r o m c o n t e m p l a t i o n of the m a g n i f i c e n c e of G o d a n d of H i s creation.  T h e p o e t ' s i n a b i l i t y to v e r b a l i s e f u l l y b e c a u s e he c a n n o t  s o l v e i n t e l l e c t u a l l y the p r o b l e m s that p l a g u e m a n ' s e x i s t e n c e  is  i l l u s t r a t e d i n the s c e n e i n w h i c h A d a m u t t e r s b i t t e r r e c r i m i n a t i o n s a g a i n s t the A l m i g h t y a n d h i s " i n e x p l i c a b l e " j u s t i c e ( X , 755).  Adam  a s k s c o n c e r n i n g the r e a s o n f o r h i s o w n e x i s t e n c e : D i d I request thee, M a k e r ,  from my Clay  T o m o u l d m e M a n , d i d I s o l l i c i t thee F r o m d a r k n e s s to p r o m o t e m e , In t h i s d e l i c i o u s G a r d e n ?  or here place  ( X , 743-6)  H o r r i f i e d b y the i d e a that he i s to l e a v e h i s s o n s n o t h i n g but g r i e f and death because  of h i s d i s o b e d i e n c e he Ah,  cries,  why s h o u l d a l l m a n k i n d  F o r one m a n s f a u l t t h u s g u i l t l e s s be c o n d e m n ' d , If g u i l t l e s s ? Significantly, circle,  Adam,  ( X , 822-4)  l i k e the g e o m e t e r  d o e s not r e c e i v e  posits; nevertheless,  who s e e k s to s q u a r e the  s a t i s f a c t o r y a n s w e r s to the q u e s t i o n s  he  he a n d E v e r e s o l v e to a s k f o r m e r c y .  What b e t t e r c a n we d o , t h e n to the p l a c e R e p a i r i n g w h e r e he j u d g ' d u s , Before him reverent, H u m b l y our faults,  prostrate fall  and there  confess  and pardon beg,  with tears  W a t e r i n g the g r o u n d , a n d w i t h o u r s i g h s the A i r Frequenting,  sent f r o m h e a r t s c o n t r i t e ,  in sign  Of s o r r o w unfeign'd, and h u m i l i a t i o n m e e k .  ( X , 1086-92)  93 T h e a d m i s s i o n of g u i l t i s the p r e l u d e to the u p w a r d m o v e m e n t lifts A d a m ,  which  E v e a n d the r e a d e r out of the e x h a u s t i n g c o n f l i c t to the  v i s i o n of G o d a n d c a u s e s A d a m to e x c l a i m , O goodness infinite,  goodness  immense!  T h a t a l l t h i s g o o d of e v i l s h a l l p r o d u c e , A n d e v i l t u r n to g o o d ; m o r e w o n d e r f u l T h e n that w h i c h b y c r e a t i o n f i r s t b r o u g h t f o r t h L i g h t out of d a r k n e s s ! Adam,  (XII, 469-73)  who h a s b e e n h i t h e r t o n e r v i n g h i m s e l f to e n d u r e h i s f a t e ,  is  l i f t e d i n a b e a t i f i c v i s i o n to the r e a l i z a t i o n of p a r a d i s e w i t h i n a n d the e x p e c t a t i o n of the d a y w h e n G o d w i l l be a l l i n a l l . The i m p r e s s i o n conveyed by M i l t o n in The C h r i s t i a n D o c t r i n e , P a r a d i s e L o s t a n d h i s o t h e r w r i t i n g s i s so p r o f o u n d a n d c o m p l e x  i that it d e f i e s s u m m a t i o n .  H a v i n g now b e h i n d u s the q u e s t i o n of h i s  i m a g i n a t i o n a n d i n t e n t i o n a n d of s o m e r e l a t e d i s s u e s , to l e a v e h i m i n the c o m p a n y of D a n t e .  we w i l l do w e l l  C e r t a i n l y we h a v e M i l t o n ' s  o w n w o r d that u l t i m a t e l y h i s p e r s o n a l c o n s o l a t i o n i s the v i s i o n of God. N i e t h e r a m I c o n c e r n e d at b e i n g c l a s s e d ,  though y o u think  t h i s a m i s e r a b l e t h i n g , w i t h the b l i n d , w i t h the a f f l i c t e d , sorrowful,  w i t h the w e a k ; s i n c e t h e r e i s h o p e ,  that,  w i t h the  on this  I h a v e a n e a r e r c l a i m to the m e r c y a n d p r o t e c t i o n of the  account,  sovereign  F a t h e r . . . . M a y I be one of the w e a k e s t p r o v i d e d o n l y i n m y  weak-  n e s s that i m m o r t a l a n d b e t t e r v i g o u r be put f o r t h w i t h g r e a t e r p r o v i d e d o n l y i n m y d a r k n e s s the l i g h t of the d i v i n e  effect;  countenance  d o e s but m o r e b r i g h t l y s h i n e : f o r t h e n I s h a l l at o n c e be the w e a k e s t a n d the m o s t m i g h t y ; s h a l l be at o n c e b l i n d ,  a n d of the  most  p i e r c i n g sight.  Thus,  perfected; thus,  t h r o u g h t h i s d a r k n e s s s h o u l d I be e n r o b e d i n l i g h t .  And,  through this i n f i r m i t y should I be  i n t r u t h , we who a r e b l i n d ,  consumated,  a r e not the l a s t r e g a r d e d by the  94  p r o v i d e n c e of G o d ; w h o , a s we a r e the l e s s a b l e to d i s c e r n a n y t h i n g but h i m s e l f , (C.E.  b e h o l d s u s w i t h the g r e a t e r c l e m e n c y a n d b e n i g n i t y .  V I I I , 73)  A s far as C h r i s t i a n orthodoxy is c o n c e r n e d , in a l l seriousness,  it m a y be s a i d of M i l t o n  w i t h no f e a r of f a l s i f i c a t i o n ,  Nothing is here for t e a r s ,  that  n o t h i n g to w a i l  O r k n o c k the b r e a s t ,  no w e a k n e s s ,  no c o n t e m p t ,  D i s p r a i s e or blame,  n o t h i n g but w e l l a n d f a i r .  (S. A . ,  1721-3)  95  BIBLIOGRAPHY  I  P r i m a r y Sources  Anselm,,  St.  Anselm Basic Writings: Proslogium,  C u r D e u s H o m o a n d the F o o l b y G u a n i l o n .  St.  T h e C i t y of G o d , t r a n s . V o l . 2 , ed.  Augustine,  Random House, Ayer,  J.C.,ed.  Henry,  Dante A l i g h i e r i .  ed.  Luther,  Enhis.  D o c u m e n t s of the C h r i s t i a n C h u r c h .  Martin.  John.  and Winston,  Secondary  Ashley,  Holy Bible,  1965.  Toronto,  1964.  John Dillenberger.  Anchor,  1961.  King James  Version.  New Y o r k ,  I-XVIII.  Columbia  1931.  Sources  Maurive.  John. 1965.  Firenze,  T h e W o r k s of J o h n M i l t o n , V o l s .  Middlesex, Anonby,  t r a n s l a t e d f r o m the I t a l i a n b y  M a r t i n L u t h e r , ed.  University P r e s s ,  II  Oxford  R e a d i n g s i n the H i s t o r y of C h r i s t i a n T h o u g h t .  G a r d e n C i t y , New Y o r k ,  Milton,  Charles  London, 1 9 5 9 .  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C.S. 1942.  Oxford P r e s s ,  Nichol, R . H .  1,  1950.  H i s t o r y of D o g m a ,  Neil Buchanan,  V o l . IV, No.  288.  Sir Herbert J . C .  Windus, Harnack,  p.  A P r e f a c e to P a r a d i s e  Lost.  T h e G r o w t h of the C h r i s t i a n C h u r c h . P r e s s , Philadelphia, 1941.  1952. London,  Westminster  97 Patrides,  C.A.  " M i l t o n and A r i a n i s m " ,  J o u r n a l of the H i s t o r y  of  Ideas, X X V , J u l y - Sept. , 1 9 6 4 , pp. 4 2 3 - 9 .  Press, Robins,  M i l t o n a n d the C h r i s t i a n T r a d i t i o n . Oxford, 1966.  Harry F .  If T h i s B e H e r e s y : A Study of M i l t o n a n d O r i g e n .  U n i v e r s i t y of I l l i n o i s P r e s s , Ross,  Malcolm MacKenzie.  Urbana,  Denis.  Saxe,  J.G.  Vol. XVII,  M i l t o n M a n and T h i n k e r .  London,  1963.  " M i l t o n a n d the P r o t e s t a n t A e s t h e t i c " ,  Toronto University Quarterly, Saurat,  Clarendon  1947-8, pp. 346-360.  J . M . Dent and Sons,  1944.  " A Hindu Fable",  Third Reader,  Macmillan,  Toronto,  1921. Sims,  James H . Press,  Tillyard,  Epic.  U n i v e r s i t y of F l o r i d a  1962.  Eustace Mandeville.  London, Walker,  The Bible in Milton's  Gainesville,  v  Studies in M i l t o n .  Chatto and  Windus,  1956.  Williston,  ed.  A H i s t o r y of the C h r i s t i a n C h u r c h .  Charles  S c r i b n e r ' s Sons, New Y o r k , 1 9 5 9 . William,  Charles.  T h e D e s c e n t of the D o v e .  M e r i d i a n , New Y o r k ,  1956.  Living Age  Books,  

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