[Milton-L] "Ontological superiority"

Samuel Smith SSmith at messiah.edu
Thu Jul 20 09:43:14 EDT 2006

I would qualify Amy's comment, "Being sorry is a precondition to being
forgiven," to "Being sorry is a precondition to EXPERIENCE being forgiven."
You can be forgiven without having been sorry or repentant, and you can
forgive without having your forgivee express sorrow or repentance for their
offense against you.  This is particularly true of divine love, as Luke
23.43 suggests when Jesus prays for the soldiers who crucify him: "Father,
forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing" (NRSV).  [I'm
assuming that the Father answers Jesus' prayer.]
We know that forgiving releases the forgiver, whether the forgivee is
remorseful or not.  
Of course, that doesn't necessarily change or mitigate the consequences
that both the offender and the offended must live through as a result of the
Samuel Smith
Messiah College

>>> "Stackhouse, Amy" <AStackhouse at iona.edu> 07/20/06 6:47 AM >>>

Harold Shulsky writes: "The issue for Milton is whether God's failure to
love and forgive Satan
and Co. is evidence of injustice. . . "

I thought Satan handled that question in his soliloquy in Book 4 where he
explains it is not a matter of God's failure to forgive, but his own failure
to repent. Being sorry is a precondition to being forgiven. Satan goes on in
that soliloquy to point out that he would suffer more if God were to forgive
him when he is not sorry because he would commit a worse relapse and heavier


Amy D. Stackhouse, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
Iona College
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801

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