[Milton-L] Antinomian Occupations

John Hale john.hale at stonebow.otago.ac.nz
Fri Feb 23 16:30:12 EST 2007


Yes, and cf. De Doctrina I. 10, Columbia XV pp. 174-45 and 178-79.


Quoting John Leonard <jleonard at uwo.ca>:

> I have a rather different recollection of Milton's argument in DDD from
> the version Abe gives us here.  My recollection is that Milton, far
> from disagreeing with the Gospels, claims that they support his
> argument for divorce.  Milton would have balked at the claim that Jesus
> in Matthew 19 "clearly rejected" divorce.  Milton's claim is that Jesus
> *un*clearly gave his blessing to divorce, setting a trap for the
> Pharisees while doing this, so that they would miss his point ("not so
> much a teaching as an entangling").
>
> It may be that I have missed Abe's point. It may be that when Abe says
> that divorce "is clearly rejected in the New Testament," he is
> expressing his own opinion, not Milton's.  But it matters (crucially)
> that Milton would have contested this point.  Milton in DDD is not
> arguing that Moses trumps Jesus.  He is arguing that Jesus, as the
> fountainhead of Charity, secretly agrees with Moses' charitable law.
> One can be unpersuaded by Milton's argument, which does offer a rather
> strained reading of Jesus's words, but Milton is not stripping Jesus of
> his authority.  I apologize if I have simply misunderstood Abe's
> point.
>
> John Leonard
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: Abraham Stoll
>   To: John Milton Discussion List
>   Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 8:42 AM
>   Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Antinomian Occupations
>
>
>   Carter Kaplan asked for texts claiming that the gospels abrogate
> Mosaic law, and several people have listed places that clearly do that.
> But it's also worth adding that the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce
> argues in the very opposite direction. In order to gain admittance for
> divorce, which is clearly rejected in the New Testament, Milton says
> that Mosaic law, in this case, is not superceded by the Gospels. Milton
> may be arguing out of convenience. But Jason Rosenblatt's book on Torah
> Law, if I remember rightly, gives this contradiction more attention.
>
>   Best,
>
>   Abe
>
>
>   Abraham Stoll
>   Associate Professor
>   University of San Diego
>     ----- Original Message -----
>     From: John Ulreich
>     To: John Milton Discussion List
>     Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 4:18 PM
>     Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Antinomian Occupations
>
>
>     Carter:
>
>     #2 would take more time than I have to answer. In general, after
> his divorce from the Presbyterians, Milton was appealing primarily to
> Independents.
>
>     #1 is a slam dunk: the crucial text for Milton's view of Mosaic Law
> is the De doctrina christiana, Chapter 27, concerning the Gospel &
> Christian liberty, in which he argues that (i don't have the Latin text
> by me; I quote from Carey's translation (Yale Prose, VI, 525-26)) "all
> the old covenant, in other words the entire Mosaic law, is abolished.
> And further: "not only the ceremonial law but  . . . the whole Mosaic
> law is abolished by the gospel" (530-31).
>
>     John Ulreich
>
>     At 05:02 PM 2/21/2007, you wrote:
>
>
>       Will some kind person please help me with some questions:
>
>       1) I'm looking for bits in Milton that can be read as saying the
> gospels abrogate Mosaic law?
>
>       2) In Parliament and amongst Presbyterians in the 1640s, might we
> find a willingness or a tolerance to entertain heterodox and radical
> ideas as we move across the social chess board? That is to say, amongst
> the Presbyterians, is such open-mindedness linked to education,
> economic class, or other such criteria? (I am looking into how these
> dynamics play out in America during this same time: Anne Hutchinson,
> Hester Prynne, and so on.)
>       Along these lines (and back to Milton) what sorts of people could
> sympathize with Milton's  On the New Forces of Conscience Under the
> Long Parliment: "...When they shall read this clearly in your charge:
> New Presbyter is but Old Priest writ large" ?
>
>       Many thanks,
>
>       Carter Kaplan
>
>
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>     John C. Ulreich
>     Professor of English
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