[Milton-L] "As by his Word . . ."

richard strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Sun Feb 13 15:29:21 EST 2011

Very good question Jeffrey!  Just the sort of thing that (I think) the list should be 
discussing.  Did Milton nod, or are there contrary currents at work here, or 
both?  Or what?


---- Original message ----
>Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2011 12:13:44 -0800 (PST)
>From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu (on behalf of Horace Jeffery 
Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>)
>Subject: [Milton-L] "As by his Word . . ."  
>To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>   I've been convinced of Milton's Arianism by Michael
>   Bauman and other scholars, but I do wonder what to
>   make of this passage in PL 5.833-838, where Abdiel
>   maintains that the begotten Son made the angels
>   (even though God had earlier announced the begetting
>   of his Son to the assembled angels):
>     Thy self though great and glorious dost thou
>     count,
>     Or all Angelic Nature joind in one,
>     Equal to him begotten Son, by whom [ 835 ]
>     As by his Word the mighty Father made
>     All things, ev'n thee, and all the Spirits of
>     Heav'n
>     By him created in thir bright degrees,
>     [Thomas H. Luxon, ed., The Milton Reading Room,
>     February 2011.]
>   I speculate a bit on my blog:
>   http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/2011/02/john-milton-word-
>     The begotten Son was the one "by whom / As by his
>     Word the mighty Father made / All things." This
>     line can be read as distinguishing between two
>     states of the Word of God: a pre-sonship state and
>     a sonship state, differentiated by the event of
>     being begotten. If so, then for Milton, 'divine
>     sonship' is a role taken on by the eternal Word of
>     God in the act of being begotten by God Himself,
>     who (I presume) becomes the Father at that point.
>     This reading of Milton raises the question as to
>     what Milton thought the act of begetting to mean.
>     I haven't looked into that yet, but perhaps Milton
>     thought that the Word was a power of God that
>     became hypostasized through an emanation of God's
>     own substance, but I'm merely guessing
>   Could somebody clarify this for me?
>   Jeffery Hodges
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>Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
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