When John Milton decided to compose. he knew from the start he wanted his creative activity to be that of an heroic poem. Eden Lost is merely that. It is Milton’s ain return on the scriptural narrative of Satan’s autumn from grace every bit good as man’s autumn. Milton was non merely armed with an extended cognition on the Bible. but in everything a adult male of his clip could larn. With his wisdom he emersed himself into his work. doing Paradise Lost non merely a narrative of heroic perportions. but one that would “Justify the ways of God to Man. ” ( I 26 )
Even before reading Paradise Lost. I had ever wondered why God allowed evil. and why he allowed decease. After a piece I had merely accepted that God was God. and what happens. happens. Basically an act of pure religion. Then I read Paradise Lost and as a Christian I do experience that Milton’s artistic vision has successfully helped him carry through what he had set out to make. Staying true to the instructions of Christianity. his perceptual experience of man’s autumn has made sense of why there is evil in the universe. Not because of God. but because of the free will God has granted his creative activities.
Free will is both a approval and a expletive. Through free will God has made us independant in our ain determination devising. We have the power to take right from incorrect. Free will gives us power. and it is that power that can pervert. The first character in Paradise Lost we are introduced to is Satan. He is the first being to be corrupted by his compulsion with power. which stems from his free will. He chose his way. and that path lead him and those who followed him into ageless damnation by God.
God so creates the Earth. and on it Adam and Eve. Both are still granted with the power of free will. even after Satan had abused this power. God has still granted it to them and provides the Eden known as Eden for their place. It is at that place that they are told by God non to eat from the tree of cognition. but because they have free will they have the freedom and power to take whether or non to obey God.
Satan who is seeking retaliation on God for throwing him into Hell makes his manner to Eden. He so successfully persuades Eve to eat from the tree of cognition. Eve so persuades Adam into eatting from the tree every bit good. This non merely is direct noncompliance to God. but a effect of immorality through wickedness. Adam and Eve both realize they are bare. meaning that they know what is right from incorrect. therefore they have fallen from grace.
Subsequently in the book the arch-angel Michael tells Adam of God’s program. The program that Adam is foretold of is humanity’s redemption through the coming of God’s Son. Adam in his contemplation of his wickedness. refers to it as “Felix Culpa” . which mean’s happy autumn. This cognition of redemption is why Adam refers to their autumn as a happy 1. Eventhough they had fallen from grace. God will finally direct his Son to allow them the grace they had lost when they ate from the tree of cognition. Through the autumn they will hold to see evil. but out of that evil Adam knows there will come good.
The evil humanity must see is the consequence of Adam and Eve’s noncompliance. This immorality will dwell of disease. illness. agony. and decease. which all stems from their wickedness. Eventhough humanity shall hold immorality. it is through this immorality that they shall see good. The goodness of God’s clemency. love. compassion. forgiveness. and redemption. The cognition of good and evil makes humanity more sincere in supplication and congratulations to God. The Son notices this in Book XI and discusses it with God.
This occurance of good from evil reminds me of the Greater Good Defense Philosophy. The Greater Good Defense is an statement for God’s allowence of evil to be to profit a greater good. Through the Greater Good Defense it is believed that the good achieved far exceeds the immorality experienced. This defence was proposed by the philosopher John Hick who lived during the 1900s. The defence is purely one that is derived through the Bible every bit good as a belief in God. I have no uncertainty that Milton had this same philosophical belief in head even before there of all time was a John Hick.
The cogent evidence is behind God’s concluding program of man’s redemption through the decease of his Son. In this program for man’s redemption the terminal shall warrant God’s means. Therefore justifing the job of immorality and grounds for leting both wickedness and decease to be. This ultimate program of God’s Milton nowadayss in Paradise Lost is besides a Greater Good Defense. Still. some might non understand why God finds it necessary to set his creative activities through this procedure. Milton shows us how this procedure benefits world who has fallen from grace. and besides benefits God.
This procedure benefits adult male. because adult male will see truth through free will. This truth is through merely through God. Detecting something on one’s ain is much more rewarding than merely recieving it from the beginning and because adult male fell he must work to derive God’s redemption through being true. Bing true as in true obeisance. love. award. and religion. These plants of truth are criterions humanity must fight with because of the initial autumn from grace and now the job of wickedness and immorality. There is besides the “truth” himself. God’s Son. who comes to humanity as it’s redemption. allowing them to one time once more achieve the grace of God.
All of this considered. how does this benefit God? If we make a chart with God at the top. and follow it down through all His creative activities capable of free will. so we would come to three different groupings capable of free will. These are the angels of Eden. the fallen angels. and humanity. God is the Father. and these three groups are his creative activities. or kids. Through free will they are presented with the tests of taking good or evil. The kids create their ain fate. Those who use free will as God wants them to shall portion in God’s true goodness. Free will do separation among the kids. and the Father is able to see which of his followerd are genuinely good and sincere.
It is merely as Raphael tells Adam in Book VII. God created free will so that adult male could gain his manner into God’s land.
The 1s who follow God and present themselves as most worthy earn what was lost to Adam and Eve. Through earthly agony and the merely usage of free will humanity is one time once more able to obtain grace. but merely through God can they go full of grace.
Milton besides stresses one more of import factor about God through out Paradise Lost. The fact that God is genuinely an all powerful and all cognizing being. Milton ne’er ceases to remind the reader of this. invariably using this regulation to the usage of free will. Even though we have the power of free will. God is still all powerful because he can anticipate our actions before they even happen.
Examples of this are presented in Book III where God tell’s his Son that adult male is traveling to fall even before Satan has attempted to allure Adam and Eve. It is besides presented in Book VIII where Adam recalls inquiring God for a mate and God tell’s Adam that he planned to give him a mate all along. These cases in Milton’s authorship shows how God has already made his program and knows everything that is traveling to go on within that program.
Not merely does Milton hold God demo us his ain supreme illustriousness through out Paradise Lost. but he besides has the fallen angels discuss it in Book II. As the main fallen angels discourse how to go on the conflict with their enemies in Heaven. Belial reminds those in his company that God is incorruptable. The fact that even the fallen angels. who despise God. cognize that he is all-powerful gives us an even greater position of God’s omnipatence in Paradise Lost.
Milton truly put everything he had into this heroic piece and I believe he succeeded in making a chef-d’oeuvre capable of warranting God’s ways to his fellow work forces and adult females. The manner he chose to picture man’s autumn and the topic of free will enabled him to use his spiritual doctrine and creatively captivate readers in his clip every bit good as today.