[Milton-L] had removd

Horace Jeffery Hodges horacejeffery at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 19:54:14 EDT 2014

That's "gastro-intestinal theologians"! And prelapsarian falcons were
obviously "birds of pray"!

Jeffery Hodges

Ewha Womans University
Seoul, South Korea

Novella: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E18KW0K (*The Bottomless Bottle of

 (*The Bottomless Bottle of Beer*)

Blog: http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ (*Gypsy Scholar*)

Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in the Gospel of John and Gnostic

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

Home Address:

Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
Sangbong-dong 1
Seoul 131-771
South Korea

On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 4:44 PM, Stella Revard <srevard at siue.edu> wrote:

> It's been quite an interesting throwing about of brains, but I can't
> resist saying that here, JDF, I think you have set up a false opposition: *
> "I don't think, in PL, that M is primarily concerned with offering a
> systematic theology (that's what CD is for)."  *I think Milton, before
> and while composing PL, spent much time and effort composing CD precisely
> in order to get the doctrinal/theological dimensions aligned rightly, so
> that PL would be not only a great epic but a Christian epic--which it is
> acclaimed as being by persnickety Christian readers who have written about
> it, so far as I know--I'll mention here, for instance, Johnson and Lewis.
> (I understand, as I believe everyone on the list does, that Milton as
> Christian differed from various other Christians in holding certain
> doctrines and not others:   This is true of Catholics, Presbyterians,
> Unitarians, ... that is, mirabile dictu, not every Christian agrees
> completely with every other Christian about everything.)  In other words,
> Milton was way ahead of our Milton Listerine Crew in disinfecting/decocting
> the mangled  mess of Biblical and post-Biblical texts and commentators, all
> of which he knew better than any Milton critic ever has.  I read the
> evidence as showing that Milton anticipated the genuine questions people
> have been raising on this list, went through all the real or imagined
> problems and fussifications lately canvassed by the members of this list,
> and in the poem as he published it provided, as Carol Barton has been
> pointing out, reasonable answers and/or justifications.
> I am very surprised, nevertheless, that so far no one has accused Milton
> of failing to explain what the lions, tigers, falcons and eagles and so on
> ate in unfallen Eden, or of arguing that this failure should make us doubt
> his mental capacities. Didn't he realize that if they lived by killing and
> eating fellow creatures, as seems reasonable, Milton should have arranged
> for Death to sneak in well before the bridge from Hell was built?  (Of
> course, Edenic lions may have had extra intestines like cattle, so they
> could eat grass--but falcons??)  I eagerly await reply from our intrepid
> gastro-theologians.
> On 04/07/14, *JD Fleming * <jfleming at sfu.ca> wrote:
> But the fact remains, as I said earlier (a point which you ignore below)
> that there is zero indication at the beginning of 11 (contrary to a claim
> you made previously) that A and E are "free to accept or reject" that
> prevenient grace--indeed the passage could scarcely make that a less
> sustainable reading. Here, in 3, we certainly have an Arminian soteriology,
> but that is to say a soteriology articulated as "Calvinism plus": some just
> plain elect (such is my will), without the rest being symmetrically shut
> out as reprobate. And even for the latter, God makes quite clear that the
> sincere prayer etc. to which he will respond will come to him precisely
> because he makes it happen. A good thing, to be sure; but one that occurs
> through human freedom? Only through significant equivocation.
> Look: my dog in this fight was not in the first place theological at
> all--rather I was after making a point about the semi-viability of the
> deceived/undeceived distinction, based on the great hermeneutic
> significance of the Abdiel episode. I don't think, in PL, that M is
> primarily concerned with offering a systematic theology (that's what CD is
> for).
> ------------------------------
> *From: *"alan horn" <alanshorn at gmail.com>
> *To: *"John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> *Sent: *Sunday, 6 April, 2014 20:54:32
> *Subject: *Re: [Milton-L] had removd
> "[R]emov'd / The stonie from thir hearts" is an echo of the Father's
> decree on the subject of grace in Book III:
> Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will,
> Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
> Freely voutsaft; once more I will renew
> His lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthrall'd
> By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
> Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
> On even ground against his mortal foe,
> By me upheld, that he may know how frail
> His fall'n condition is, and to me ow
> All his deliv'rance, and to none but me.
> Some I have chosen of peculiar grace
> Elect above the rest; so is my will:
> The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warnd
> Thir sinful state, and to appease betimes
> Th' incensed Deitie while offerd grace
> Invites; for I will cleer thir senses dark,
> What may suffice, and soft'n stonie hearts
> To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.
> To Prayer, repentance, and obedience due,
> Though but endevord with sincere intent,
> Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut.
> "[S]av'd who will"--salvation requires an act of will (and will not be
> denied to those who make it). "Yet not of will in him, but grace in me"--it
> is not the will of fallen man that ultimately saves him (that would be a
> Pelagian teaching); God must "renew / His lasped powers" to turn away from
> sin (compare: "and made new flesh / Regenerate grow instead"). Leaving
> aside the admittedly vexed question of who receives "peculiar grace" and
> what it might entail, everyone else at least is promised sufficient grace
> ("[w]hat may suffice") that has the power to "soft'n stonie hearts / To
> pray, repent, and bring obedience due," which sincere repentance will not
> be for naught. This unhardening of hearts, then, is not a violation of
> human freedom, but rather a restoring of the freedom to avoid sin that man
> once enjoyed before the fall. In his fallen state, he needs God's help to
> do so (he cannot be saved "of will in him" alone). But it takes an act of
> will to avail himself of this aid. Heart-softening is what enables fallen
> man in his state of total depravity to repent, but to be effective that
> repentance must be "endevord with sincere intent."
> As for the other matter, I still do not understand how a teaching that is
>> Calvinist can't be called Calvinist, whatever else it is. And yeah--that
>> kind of pointless harrumph is indeed pedantic.
> I'm sorry you didn't see the point of my insistence that the need for
> prevenient grace is not a specifically Calvinist doctrine. Let me try
> again. You seemed to be making the assumption that prevenient grace is
> necessarily irresistible, as Calvin would have it. I was concerned to
> remind you that the need for prevenient grace is held by all Christians who
> accept the doctrine of total depravity, which includes a lot more than just
> Calvinists. It includes those, like Milton, who believe that while grace is
> needed for repentance and salvation it can also be rejected at will. Thus,
> as it says in some lines I quoted earlier today in a different thread,
> salvation is available to all those, and ONLY those, "as offered life /
> Neglect not, and the benefit embrace / By faith not void of works" (XII,
> 425-7).
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> --
> James Dougal Fleming
> Associate Professor
> Department of English
> Simon Fraser University
> 778-782-4713
> Burnaby -- British Columbia -- Canada.
> *Upstairs was a room for travelers. 'You know, I shall take it for the
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> -- Vladimir Naboko*v*,* "Cloud, Castle, Lake'*
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