[Milton-L] gastroMilton

JCarl Bellinger dionhalic at gmail.com
Tue Apr 8 12:22:27 EDT 2014


"those ragged areas of unpainted panel in some of Michelangelo's works"
don't indicate a nodding painter, they indicate a painter whose unerring,
unflagging, good taste extends all the way to the edge of the f°<<% canvass.
On Apr 8, 2014 11:35 AM, "JD Fleming" <jfleming at sfu.ca> wrote:

> I think there are some very interesting problems about pre-lapsarian
> animals that M has not quite dealt with (like those ragged areas of
> unpainted panel in some of Michelangelo's works). What they eat is one;
> procreation another. Several of my students this term have been drawn to
> this passage:
>
>
> I was at first as other Beasts that graze
> The trodden Herb, of abject thoughts and low,
> As was my food, nor aught but food discern'd
> Or Sex, and apprehended nothing high:
> Till on a day roaving the field, I chanc'd
> A goodly Tree farr distant to behold
> Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mixt,
> Ruddie and Gold: I nearer drew to gaze;
> When from the boughes a savorie odour blow'n,
> Grateful to appetite, more pleas'd my sense,
> Then smell of sweetest Fenel or the Teats
> Of Ewe or Goat dropping with Milk at Eevn,
> Unsuckt of Lamb or Kid, that tend thir play.
> To satisfie the sharp desire I had
> Of tasting those fair Apples, I resolv'd
> Not to deferr; hunger and thirst at once,
> Powerful perswaders, quick'nd at the scent
> Of that alluring fruit, urg'd me so keene.
>
> (9.573-588)
>
>
> The serpent appears to be omnivorous, which is at least a helpful hint for
> M's design: Maybe, we can think, prelapsarian beats just grazed on plants
> (with the ungulates in 4, bedward ruminating). But then there are those
> herd-teats, dripping with unsucked milk. A suggestion, if not carnivorous,
> at least non-vegan. In the banquet of 5 there are some "dulcet creams," but
> only pressed from "sweet kernels": no husbandry here. And where does the
> milk come from--much less the kids? Adam and Eve as yet have no children;
> do the animals? JDF
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
> *From: *"Stella Revard" <srevard at siue.edu>
> *To: *"John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> *Sent: *Monday, 7 April, 2014 16:44:03
> *Subject: *Re: [Milton-L] had removd
>
> 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
> rest of my life,' Vasili Ivanovich is reported to have said as soon as he
> had entered it. *
> -- Vladimir Naboko*v*,* "Cloud, Castle, Lake'*
>
>
>
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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
> rest of my life,' Vasili Ivanovich is reported to have said as soon as he
> had entered it. *
> -- Vladimir Naboko*v*,* "Cloud, Castle, Lake'*
>
>
>
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