[Milton-L] familiar controversy

JD Fleming jfleming at sfu.ca
Sun Jan 30 12:35:23 EST 2011



----- Original Message -----
From: "John Rumrich" <rumrich at mail.utexas.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2011 8:42:17 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] familiar controversy

Pretty orthodox, perhaps.  But that's a pretty necessary "pretty."

The Son in PL is not presented as a necessary manifestation so far as  
I can tell, and Milton in De Doctrina argues in effect that with  
regard to the Son, "begotten" and "necessary" are logically  
exclusive.  The Son is contingent and as dependent on the free choice  
of the true God as any creation, including Satan.

I've argued this at length before in print, so I won't elaborate  
here.  But I do think that such claims require more than high plains  
assertion.


-- Well, Professor Rumrich, I do not actually think there is any requirement for engaging in conversation. Obviously, my initial statement neither indicated a considered position, nor referred to any text other than PL III. Nonetheless, since we're talking, the evidence I was thinking of is:

on his right

The radiant image of his Glory sat,

His onely Son (iii.62-4)

Beyond compare the Son of God was seen

Most glorious, in him all his Father shon

Substantially express'd (iii.138-40)

To whom the great Creatour thus reply'd.

O Son, in whom my Soul hath chief delight,

Son of my bosom, Son who art alone

My word, my wisdom, and effectual might, 
All hast thou spok'n as my thoughts are, all

As my Eternal purpose hath decreed (iii.167-72)

... the Son of God,

In whom the fulness dwells of love divine (iii.224-5)

Because thou hast, though Thron'd in highest bliss 
Equal to God, and equally enjoying

God-like fruition, quitted all to save

A World from utter loss, and hast been found

By Merit more then Birthright Son of God,

Found worthiest to be so by being Good, 
Farr more then Great or High; because in thee

Love hath abounded more then Glory abounds,

Therefore thy Humiliation shall exalt

With thee thy Manhood also to this Throne;

Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt Reign 
Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,

Anointed universal King, all Power

I give thee, reign for ever, and assume

Thy Merits; under thee as Head Supream 

Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions I reduce: 
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide

In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell;

When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n

Shalt in the Sky appeer, and from thee send

The summoning Arch-Angels to proclaime 
Thy dread Tribunal: forthwith from all Windes

The living, and forthwith the cited dead

Of all past Ages to the general Doom

Shall hast'n, such a peal shall rouse thir sleep.

Then all thy Saints assembl'd, thou shalt judge 
Bad men and Angels, they arraignd shall sink

Beneath thy Sentence; Hell her numbers full,

Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while

The World shall burn, and from her ashes spring

New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell 
And after all thir tribulations long

See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,

With Joy and Love triumphing, and fair Truth.

Then thou thy regal Scepter shalt lay by,

For regal Scepter then no more shall need, 
God shall be All in All. But all ye Gods,

Adore him, who to compass all this dies,

Adore the Son, and honour him as mee. (iii.305-343)

Thee next they sang of all Creation first,

Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,

In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud 
Made visible, th' Almighty Father shines,

Whom else no Creature can behold; on thee

Impresst the effulgence of his Glorie abides,

Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.

Hee Heav'n of Heavens and all the Powers therein 

By thee created (iii.383-91).

To be sure, on these lines, the Father-Son relationship remains head-clutchingly paradoxical. But this, of course, is itself orthodox; as compared to, say, M's treatment of the issue in _DDC_. JDF


On Jan 30, 2011, at 10:25 AM, JD Fleming wrote:

> Actually -- and of course this is a familiar controversy -- in PL  
> iii the God-Son relationship is presented in what I take to be  
> pretty orthodox terms -- Son as the begotten and necessary  
> manifestation of the Father, etc. So "as contingent as Satan" would  
> be a strong overstatement. For that matter: isn't the Holy Spirit  
> the conversation in which they engage? JD Fleming
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michelle Zappa" <michelleazappa at gmail.com>
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2011 4:49:43 PM
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Satan and Resentment
>
>
> On the subject of contingent beings, the eternal Christian God, and  
> Milton's resentful Satan: what of the Son? The common view of the  
> Biblical Christ as fully God, a part of an everlasting triune  
> Godhead, suggests that we consider the Son in the same way as the  
> Father - a being who exists without beginning or end, and who is  
> therefore above the human understanding of "being". However, the Son  
> for Milton, whilst of equal substance to God the Father, was  
> nevertheless created; the Son has a beginning.
>
>
> The Son, as we encounter him in Paradise Lost, creates something of  
> an ontological paradox. If Satan's primary motive for evil is  
> resentment of God's favouritism of the Son, then it is the creation  
> (and subsequent favouritism) of the Son that gives life to evil.  
> Conversely, without the angels' fall, the Son would not be able to  
> fulfil the task of salvation that he is solely able to carry out.  
> The Son, although God, is as much a contingent being as Satan.
>
>
>
>
> Shell Z
>
>
>
>
>
> On 29 January 2011 23:19, Horace Jeffery Hodges < jefferyhodges at yahoo.com 
>  > wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Jim Rovira wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> "Existence is not an attribute of a thing like color and extension:  
> e.g. The car is blue. 'Car' is the subject of this sentence and  
> 'blue' is the predicate. You would not say, 'the car exists,'  
> however, and make any sense, because you assume that the car exists  
> by talking about the car to begin with. Existence is assumed by the
> subject of the sentence so does not belong in the predicate."
>
>
>
>
>
> Jeffery Hodges wonders:
>
>
>
>
>
> Jim, might you need to refine this point? Surely we can speak of  
> blue cars that do not exist. Or I might insist that the blue car  
> that I'm referring to is not imaginary, that it does exist.
>
>
>
>
>
> Jeffery Hodges
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>
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> -- 
> James Dougal Fleming
> Associate Professor
> Department of English
> Simon Fraser University
>
> "to see what is questionable"
> _______________________________________________
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-- 
James Dougal Fleming
Associate Professor
Department of English
Simon Fraser University

"to see what is questionable"



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