[Milton-L] Justify God?

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 8 14:51:09 EDT 2008


In answer to my question -- i.e., "Why does Milton want to justify God's ways to men?" -- Gardner Campbell quoted Milton in Areopagitica:
 

"many there be that complain of Divine Providence for suffering Adam to transgress"
 
This implies that Milton was not simply responding to his own altered fortunes in the Restoration:
 

though fall'n on evil dayes,
On evil dayes though fall'n, and evil tongues; [PL 7.25-26]

(Luxon, Thomas H., ed. The Milton Reading Room, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton, October, 2008.)

But who were these "many . . . that complain"? Was Milton thinking of contemporaries, or was he thinking of protests raised at previous times in the history of Christianity?
 
Jeffery Hodges

Ewha Womans University
Seoul, South Korea

Blog: http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

Doctoral Thesis: Food as Synecdoche in the Gospel of John and Gnostic Texts

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University


--- On Wed, 10/8/08, Campbell, W. Gardner <Gardner_Campbell at baylor.edu> wrote:

From: Campbell, W. Gardner <Gardner_Campbell at baylor.edu>
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Justify God?
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Wednesday, October 8, 2008, 9:45 AM








Because “many there be that complain of Divine Providence for suffering Adam to transgress.” If God did not create men and women “sufficient to have stood, though free to fall,” and if there’s no way to work out that mystery (“work out” isn’t the same as “explaining without remainder”), then God is not good. 
 
Dennis Danielson covers this ground thoroughly in his “Milton’s Good God,” to which I would add that for Milton, God’s goodness includes provocation. But that’s more than I can cover here.
 
Gardner
 
 
Dr. Gardner Campbell
Director, Academy for Teaching and Learning
Associate Professor of Literature and Media, Honors College
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97189
Waco, TX 76798
254-710-3412
www.gardnercampbell.net
 
 
 

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Horace Jeffery Hodges
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2008 6:53 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] Justify God?
 





As everyone knows, Milton gives this reason for composing Paradise Lost:

 


That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men. [PL 1.24-26]

 

(Luxon, Thomas H., ed. The Milton Reading Room, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton, October, 2008.)

 

Why does Milton want to justify God's ways to men?

 

Jeffery Hodges
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