[Milton-L] Strier, disquised departures

John Geraghty johnegeraghty at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 11 15:33:33 EDT 2006

Alexander Gill's Sacred Philosophie would be a good text to read, especially re Cabala. I placed a copy at: http://www.johngeraghty.com/Literature/Texts/Gill/ It's an interesting book, and and interesting choice for a Magnum Opus in the twilight of his years, also interesting in that he wrote it in English, unlike Logonomia, and dedicated it to the Mercers.

He has numerous citations in it  to the famous Pistorius compendium " Artis Cabalisticae..."
which I have, incomplete and unorganized, at http://www.johngeraghty.com/Literature/Texts/Pistorius/artis_cabalisticae/

Fletcher points this out in the  first Book of his "Intellectual Development..." and promises more detail but I have not found anything he published that delivers, in any depth, on that promise - If anyone knows I'd love to hear it. 

The CATALOGVS which lists all works included is at:


All the worlds a stage, and this is just ENACT

T  he queen of Beauty to the blossom'd meads;
C  harm'd in her train admiring Hymen moves,
A  nd tiptoe Graces hand in hand with Loves
N  ext, while on pausing step the masked mimes
ENACT the triumphs of forgotten times,  

Conceal from vulgar throngs the mystic truth,
Or charm with Wisdom's lore the initiate youth

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "carl bellinger" <bcarlb at comcast.net>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 9:49 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Strier, disquised departures

> Prof. Strier wrote,
>> From my point of view, it does no good to quote stuff where the poem looks 
>> or sounds like standard Christian theology (death for death, etc), since M 
>> wants the poem to look that way.  PL works to disguise M's major 
>> departures from normative Xtianity-- and he seems to have convinced his 
>> critics to see him as more orthodox than he actually was (as an Arian, 
>> mortalist, rationalist, etc).  Whether M merely wants, in some sense, to 
>> have it both ways here; or whether he is doing some sort of "Straussian" 
>> devious thing; or whether he expected closed readers to notice the sham; 
>> or whether he was confused and contradictory in what he believed; or 
>> whether he did not want to own up to his lack of use for the central 
>> mythos of Xtianity-- I do not know.
> Should "gnostic" or "cabalistic" be added to this fine catalog of possible 
> _disguised departures_ in Milton?  (perhaps subsumed under "Straussian?")
> Separate question: are there any indications in Puritan, or Quaker 
> literature, or other Protestant permutations in Milton's England, of 
> cabalistical/gnostic/mystical interests such as would inform poetic 
> practice?
> Were the Cambridge Platonists allowed under some Protestant standard, or 
> considered entirely outside the pale?
> -Carl 
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