[Milton-L] Jeffery please (one last time)

Nancy Charlton nbcharlton at comcast.net
Sun Dec 19 07:08:06 EST 2010

I wonder whether Mr Nairba Sirrah is aware that "Sirrah" is a 
rather demeaning epithet in Early Modern, spoken with a 
condescending slur in many of its uses in Shakespeare.  Why would 
you set yourself up to be addressed as "Sirrah" when you have 
already signed your name as Brian Harris?

As for the Immaculate Conception, I did a quick Google of the 
term and found the Catholic Encyclopedia reference that Jeffery 
posted.  I also found this helpful sentence in the Wikipedia 
entry:  "Mary's immaculate conception should not be confused with 
the Incarnation 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarnation_%28Christianity%29> of 
her son Jesus Christ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus>; the 
conception of Jesus is celebrated as the Annunciation to Mary 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annunciation_to_Mary>. Catholics do 
not believe that Mary, herself, was the product of a Virgin Birth 

I see that the links in the original were copied, so you might 
like to follow them.  The page that is the source of the 
above-quoted sentence is 

And this paragraph fro Olga's Gallery: "*Birth of Mary *is 
described in /Protoevangelium of James/ (2nd century A.D.). She 
was miraculously born to a rich elderly man Joachim 
<http://www.abcgallery.com/saints/joachim.html> and his wife Anne 
<http://www.abcgallery.com/saints/anne.html>, who had been barren 
for many years. From the age of six months, Mary was kept pure in 
a "sanctuary in her chamber", cared for by "the undefiled 
daughters of the Hebrews."  This art web stie has subject indexes 
of paintings, and I was looking for this one: 
http://www.abcgallery.com/L/lotto/lotto13.html  Nothing in 
scripture about the angel scaring the cat!

A hasty surmise on my part is that this doctrine did not figure 
largely in Milton's thinking.  After all, did he not raise a hymn 
to the idea of Jesus as the bringer of "our great redemption"?  
He was "…the Son of Heav'n's eternal King,/ Of wedded maid, and 
Virgin Mother born."  Nature, JM goes on to say in  stanza II of 
The Hymn proper, made it snow, "The Saintly Veil of Maiden white 
to throw,/ Confounded that her Maker's eyes/ Should look so near 
upon  her foul deformities."   After describing the "universal 
Peace" and the lovely results when time runs back to fetch the 
age of gold, and the conquest of the Dragon and the pagan gods, 
Milton brings the reader back to the central imagery of, not 
Christmas but Christ's nativity: "But see! the Virgin blest / 
Hath laid her Babe to rest."

Well folks, this is the month and this the happy morn.  It 
happens that both my kids were born on December 19 two years 
apart, but time is this tedious post should here have ending.

Best wishes, seasonal and otherwise,

Nancy Charlton

On 12/19/2010 12:45 AM, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
> Nairba, I wasn't being contentious. I was simply attempting to 
> clear things up. The expression "Immaculate Conception" means 
> what the Catholic Church says it means because it's a Roman 
> Catholic doctrine. Christianity is not limited to the Bible, 
> but if one does wish to limit oneself to that, then one won't 
> find the expression "Immaculate Conception" there with 
> reference to the conception of Jesus either.
> Also, I would be curious about what your own copy of the Roman 
> Catholic Cathecism /literally/ states.
> Finally, in a list of this sort, one has to expect critical 
> questions and requests for clarification. That's the way this 
> list works. It's the social contract for joining this society 
> of scholars. Not everybody likes this sort of critical 
> discussion, I understand, but that's the sort of discussion to 
> expect on this list.
> Jeffery Hodges
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Nairba Sirrah <nairbasirrah at msn.com>
> *To:* milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> *Sent:* Sun, December 19, 2010 5:27:39 PM
> *Subject:* RE: [Milton-L] Jeffery please (one last time)
> Hopefully this settles the issue. A scholar contacted me 
> privately about this, and I gave him a pretty good response to 
> clear this up. I realize now the encyclopedic statement you are 
> referring to. News to me. I had heard people talk about this. 
> But that is not what my copy of the Roman Catholic Catechism, 
> or any other religious reference I have, says.
> Please consider what you saying. If what you are saying is 
> true, then Mary was God's first immaculately conceived child on 
> earth.
> With all due respect to those inter-acting with me on this, 
> please, I don't want to make any more enemies.
> But the story of Mary's birth is not in the Bible. The 
> tradition of Saint Anne (Mary's mother) came from European 
> folklore. It was adopted by the Vatican merely by regional 
> concession because medieval Europe loved believing in saints.
> But it has nothing to do with Biblical foundation. In the book 
> of Mark, even the conception of Jesus is not mentioned, let 
> alone Mary's.
> For the last time, for 2,000 years "the immaculate conception" 
> has meant the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary by God.
> What you are referring to is a divergence, meaning we are 
> talking about TWO immaculate conceptions.
> But again, if we are, then Mary was Jesus' sister....the first 
> person born of a womb impregnated by God. Which is NOT in the 
> Bible at all.
> Now please, can we stop this? You all know what I meant.

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