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Who was John Milton?

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โˆ™ 2007-08-18 21:05:53

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He was the author of the English epic poem Paradise Lost. Born in 1608 to a wealthy London family. His father instilled in him a love of literature that was so profound that he rarely left his room and studies (from the age of 12) for bed past midnight. He excelled in his studies at Cambridge and received a master's degree in 1632. Thereafter he focused on history and classical literature, but decided to become a poet.

It was in 1649 that King Charles I was executed by a stormy Parliament led by Oliver Cromwell. Milton used prose to defend this action and became a spokesman for the Cromwell government. He was better known, at that time, as one who used tracts to publish his views on morals and politics.

After the monarchy was restored with Charles II in 1660, Milton was in mortal danger, due to his outspoken views, and went into hiding with the help of powerful friends.

He began to devote much of his time to spiritual interests and to the study, in particular, of the Old and New Testaments in their original languages. He regarded the Holy Scriptures as "truly the word of God". He began to distrust theology of his day to guide him in his quest for the truth of The Bible. He determined to measure his beliefs strictly, using the only the Word of God, the Holy Bible.

His publish work "Paradise Lost" was a composing of the Biblical account of man's fall from perfection. It is this work, published in 1667, that thrust him into literary fame. Later he published a sequel, "Paradise Regained". Through his prose, Milton presented God's original purpose for mankind to live in Paradise for eternity, in perfect health on earth, through the Messianic Kingdom.

His beliefs led him to break from the Roman Catholic Church. He believed that the authority for matters of faith was on God's written word and not the Pope. Indeed, he demonstrated that many Church doctrines, of the Catholic Church as well as Protestant teachings and practices were completely unharmonious with the "written word". He rejected the notion of predestination, a Calvinist doctrine, in favor of scripturally founded evidence of free will as indicated in the account of Genesis chapter 3. This account demonstrates Adam and Eve freely chose to partake of the fruit that God had said, "of this fruit you may not eat". He respectfully promoted the use of God's name Jehovah and used it in his writings. He also argued, scripturally, that the human soul can die, using Genesis 2:7 as the basis for his conclusion. He wrote that when man had been created he became a living soul when God breathed into him the breath of life. He felt that the most convincing evidence was in Ezekiel 18:20, where stated "the soul which sins shall itself die." He sited scriptural texts in Luke 20:37 and John 11:25 as evidence that dead mankind had a hope of life by resurrection from the dead.

His belief that was the most controversial was based on the proof that Christ was subordinate to God the Father, quoting John 17:3 and John 20:17. He demonstrated from the scriptures that the apostles acknowledged, in every word and deed, that the Father was greater than the Son in every way. He argued that if the Son was equal to the Father he had no need to pray to himself. Why would he then pray for something that was in his own power? His expert use of scripture compelled him to declare that the Son taught and venerated the Father alone and teaches all his followers to do so as well.

Milton was firm in his beliefs and sought the truth of the Bible diligently. He did however have limitations and human weakness and imperfection led him to alter his view on divorce. After marriage for about three years his wife left him. This led Milton to write tracts justifying divorce on grounds other than adultery, which was Jesus' standard.

In spite of his weakness to adhere to the truth, as presented from the Bible, his treatise compels readers of the Bible to do as he did, to measure their beliefs against the inspired word of God, and not the doctrines of men.

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โˆ™ 2007-08-18 21:05:53
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