[Milton-L] Cromwell, Samson, and miracles [Long]

Carol Barton cbartonphd at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 2 20:57:20 EDT 2005

I think, though, Peter, that if you look at Judges 14:19 (when "the Spirit
of the Lord [comes] upon him" before he slays the men of Timnath, and at
Samson's early lament in SA, the source of his strength is clear, even in

. . . I seek
17   This unfrequented place to find some ease,
18   Ease to the body some, none to the mind
19   From restless thoughts, that like a deadly swarm
20   Of Hornets arm'd, no sooner found alone,
21   But rush upon me thronging, and present
22   Times past, what once I was, and what am now.
23   O wherefore was my birth from Heaven foretold
24   Twice by an Angel, who at last in sight
25   Of both my Parents all in flames ascended
26   From off the Altar, where an Off'ring burn'd,
27   As in a fiery column charioting
28   His Godlike presence, and from some great act
29   Or benefit reveal'd to Abraham's race?
30   Why was my breeding order'd and prescrib'd
31   As of a person separate to God,
32   Design'd for great exploits; if I must dye
33   Betray'd, Captiv'd, and both my Eyes put out,
34   Made of my Enemies the scorn and gaze;
35   To grind in Brazen Fetters under task
36   With this Heav'n-gifted strength? O glorious strength
37   Put to the labour of a Beast, debas't
38   Lower then bondslave!
. . .
58   God, when he gave me strength, to shew withal
59   How slight the gift was, hung it in my Hair.

As I indicated earlier,

We don't know what the rousing motions are, in Milton's recasting (God's
will? Samson's yearning?), nor if they come from spirit blessed or devil
damned; all we know is that God's power is the source of Samson's strength,
and that the return of the latter gives him (and us) the right to believe
that he has been restored to Heaven's favor.

I stand by that argument, based on the above.

All best,

Carol Barton

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