[Milton-L] Abdiel (thought-sins)

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Tue Jul 1 11:40:37 EDT 2008

Carol, that¹s a good question. I guess I would say that if Adam had mentally
rebelled, but refused the fruit at the last instant, he would have sinned
and repented. But maybe this wouldn¹t be possible, since his rational/moral
capacity was impaired by sin, as shown in his speech to Eve ‹ or do people
disagree with my reading of that speech? Similarly, Dr. Faustus can¹t repent
because his will and intellect are impaired by the habit of sin. Sin makes
you stupid, according to a lot of medieval and renaissance texts.

Adam and Eve can eventually repent because God sends prevenient grace after
the fall and judgment. Satan can¹t repent because his nature is deteriorated
and God had denied him assistance, according to the decree elevating the Son
in Book 5.


On 7/1/08 10:51 AM, "Carol Barton" <cbartonphd1 at verizon.net> wrote:

> Michael, I understand the distinction you're making, but you may be trying to
> separate the dancer from the dance. If Adam spoke his intentions in soliloquy,
> rather than orally to Eve, we wouldn't know until the moment he took a bite of
> the fruit that he had made the decision to sin. I don't think the decision can
> be separated from the act--so that you would then have two sins, the sin of
> intellectual disobedience, and the prohibited action that confirms it.
> Suppose--just suppose--at the very last nanosecond, as his hand reached toward
> the fatal object, he had been overwhelmed by sudden epiphany, shouted "No!"
> and let his hand fall without touching the fruit. Would he still have sinned?
> Or only intended to?

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