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

Gregory Machacek Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu
Mon Feb 14 12:12:28 EST 2011

I don't feel as fully in possession of the theological knowledge as I would
like to be in order to put this possibility, but when these issues come up,
I sometimes wonder if it would be better to describe Milton as "no more
Trinitarian than Scripture allows" rather than "Arian" tout court.  If the
Bible one time refers to the Son as  "the firstborn of all creation" and
elsewhere as being "in the beginning with God," perhaps Milton deliberately
left his poem and his treatise similarly ambiguous on this matter, on his
principle that the Bible presents God as He feels is properly accommodated
to our limited minds.

In On Christian Doctrine, in the sections where Milton offers positions
that we label "Arian," does he himself explicitly use that term, or somehow
acknowledge that he is aware his views are similar to those of a known

Greg Machacek
Professor of English
Marist College

More information about the Milton-L mailing list