[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

Carol Barton cbartonphd at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 9 21:32:13 EDT 2006

Indeed (of course) Stella is correct: I'd forgotten (see below, from the
KJV). But this does reinforce the argument that Milton's God (the Father) is
as unlike Zeus or Jove as it is possible for Milton to create him. The angel
is predicting what *will* happen (because it has been so decreed, and
because God is omnisciently prescient) but it does not occur without Mary's
active consent.

This is another concept difficult to assimilate without a practical example
(how Mary could retain free will, and still be subject to the angel's
God-given foreknowledge). My classroom analogy has always been a baby
playing with matches (or Daddy's lighter) near the livingroom drapery. I
don't have to interfere with the child's free will to know that if he
strikes the wheel correctly and produces a flame near enough to the fabric,
he will set the curtains on fire: my foreknowledge does not preclude his
choice, but it foresees the result of it--just as the angel's foreknowledge
that Mary will consent does not force her to make that choice:

Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know
not a man?

Luk 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come
upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore
also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of

Luk 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in
her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Luk 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Luk 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me
according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Thank you, Stella, for a much-appreciated comeuppance. I musta been out that
day. <g>

All best,


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