[Milton-L] Abdiel, hypocrisy, temptation

Carol Barton cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Fri Jun 27 14:48:04 EDT 2008

And my apologies for the typo ("d" for "t").

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Watt, James" <jwatt at butler.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 2:42 PM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Abdiel, hypocrisy, temptation

> Excellent reminder, Patricia!  And we still can't identify 
> hypocrisy.  Doesn't keep us from charging it all around ourselves. 
> And not seeing our own.  Source, one wonders, of Divine Humor after 
> the example of bad boy Jon Stewart (Steward, that is)?
> Jim Watt
> ________________________________________
> From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu 
> [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Patricia Stewart 
> [pstewart at uga.edu]
> Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 1:59 PM
> To: John Milton Discussion List
> Subject: [Milton-L] Abdiel, hypocrisy, temptation
> One of the givens in PL is the inability of all creatures, save God, 
> to spot hypocrisy:
> For neither man nor angel can discern
> Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
> Invisible, except to God alone,
> By his permissive will, through Heaven and Earth;
> And oft though Wisdom wake, Suspicion sleeps
> At Wisdom's gate, and to Simplicity
> Resigns her charge, while Goodness thinks no ill
> Where no ill seems:  . . . (3.682-689)
> Thus Abdiel accepts Satan's call to meet; Uriel, "sharpest-sighted 
> spirit of all in Heaven" and sent to guard Earth from Satan, himself 
> gives Satan directions to the new creation, and Eve fails to 
> perceive the disguised evil in the Serpent  and its argument.
> Since they can't see disguised Evil once it appears, all are 
> destined to be tempted at some time.  That's how the Milton universe 
> works.
> When tempted, are they soiled?  Adam says yes.  He wishes to shield 
> Eve so that she might "avoid The Attempt itself, intended by our 
> foe, /For he who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses [emphasis 
> mine] /The tempted with dishonor foul. . ."(9.294-297)    Eve 
> disagrees.
> So I come back to the question:  does being tempted itself denigrate 
> the tempted?  Is Abdiel less pure after facing temptation and 
> rejecting it? is Eve soiled simply by the act of visiting the tree 
> and listening to the Serpent's argument?
> Patricia Stewart, UGa retired
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