[Milton-L] Free Will, Forgiveness

Diane McColley dmccolley at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 27 11:59:59 EDT 2006

Seems to me--maybe I'm being simple-minded--that "Love thine enemy" and 
"turn the other cheek" are part of a teaching that aims to break the 
cycle of revenge (as Aristophanes also aimed)--with what success we 
have current grisly evidence--and that "O God, to whom vengeance 
belongeth" (Psalm 94) and  "vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the 
Lord"  (Romans 12.19) suggest that human beings should not take 
revenge, but  rather "if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, 
give him drink."   I wonder (naively, I admit) what the world would be 
like if powerful leaders who claim to be Christians behaved that way.  
So Milton's God's casting Satan out of heaven (but not, it seems, 
inhibiting his travels and activity) is an act of justice that does not 
shut down the freedom of the tempter or the tempted but does restore a 
peaceable kingdom (Milton being opposed to human kings but not 
"Heaven's King") where the cycle of revenge is not practiced by created 

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