1 Patrides, Constantinos. Milton and the Christian Tradition. (N.Y and London.: Oxford University Press, 1969) p. 15, citing Maurice Kelley's This Great Argument: A Study of Milton's 'De Doctrina Christiana' as a Gloss upon 'Paradise Lost'. See also R.M. Frye [God, Man and Satan, 75-76] who militantly opposes this interpretation, simply because, in his own judgment, it just could not be! A recent book by William Hunter, Visitation Unimplored attempts to 'distance' Milton more from the 'authorship' of Christian Doctrine than he had ever been before, calling it, for instance a 'composite ms.' [146] My position, however, I believe would come well within the parameters of Hunter's conclusions, which were that Christian Doctrine should no longer be taken as a totally reliable statement of Milton's ideas, so that notions about his 'heresy' need to be supported also by other elements in the poet's work. Hunter's ideas, announced much earlier in articles and conferences, were challenged very vigorously also, for instance in Studies in English Literature (Vol. 32, Winter 1992) in articles by Barbara Lewalski, Christopher Hill and the eminent editor of Christian Doctrine, Maurice Kelley.

2 Kelley, "Introduction" to Christian Doctrine, 44.

3 Christian Doctrine, 455.

4 Christian Doctrine, 336n. 26, cited by Kelley.

5 "The Heresies of Satan," 32-33; see n. 1 above, since Hunter has reversed himself on the question of Christian Doctrine.

6 Patrides, 22-23.

7 Cf. The Mystic Fable.

8 Maurice Kelley, as a matter of fact, disparages Patrides' competence as a theologian in his "Reply to Hunter", SEL, 160. See n. 1 above.

9 Areopagitica, 30.

10 Through Henry Oldenburg, secretary of the Royal Society, who had written to Spinoza about the Sabbatian episode, who visited Milton while he was composing Paradise Regained. See Alchemy of the Word, 282-83, and also Michael Fixler's Milton and the Kingdoms of God.

11 This Tertullian mood, according to which a good portion of heavenly bliss is constituted by the joy seeing the torments of the damned below has been captured by one of our modern writers who had been the most persecuted by the 'moral majorities' of his time: "Brilliant glorious eternal heaven above: and brilliant torture-lake away below...They could not be happy in heaven unless they knew their enemies were unhappy in hell." [D.H. Lawrence, Apocalypse, 76.]

12 Louis L. Martz, for instance, citing a tradition of critical disillusionment, will consider that Books XI and XII of Paradise Lost, where the 'divine word' is at its most unilateral, represent a drastic decline in the humanity, interest and inspiration of the epic. Significant for Martz is the fact that the epic was published originally in ten books, the last two having been added later by Milton. [The Paradise Within, 141-48.]

13 See, for instance, my Alchemy of the Word, 15, for citation from The Zohar, where Job's punishment is regarded as a result of the insufficient attention he gave to the powers of evil.

14 The Pope, or Antichrist, as the English Puritans called him, already would represent a yielding to this temptation; as, a fortiori, anyone who sought the office, glory and status of the messiah (a position, if it is one, which would be rather designated, than looked-for anyway!).

15 Milton, Man and Thinker (1925) and Literature and the Occult Tradition (1930); Saurat's 'theses' have been almost unanimously disapproved of.

16 The Fifth Monarchists, who were especially influential in the Puritan Army, were looking forward to, in fact, the imminent realization of God's kingdom-on-earth, supposedly the fifth-final-one after the four 'fallen' ones of history.

17 Eve seems to me rather to glory in the miraculous efficacy of her sin, productive, indeed, of all human life on earth, rather than, in a more soberly repentant felix culpa mode, to have reluctantly admitted its ineluctability, accepting its consequences; instead she exults: "That I, who first brought Death on all, am graced/ The source of life..." [XI, 168-9]

18 Apocalypse, 85-86.

19 "The War in Heaven: Milton's Version of the Merkabah."

20 "The Metamorphoses of Satan," in The Romantic Agony: 53-91.

21 Milton's Semitic Studies, 132-38.

22 "Milton and the Conjectura Cabbalistica," 99.

23 De Pauly made the first comprehensive translation of The Zohar into any vernacular (French), but not very reliably, for he was not above a little invention ('forgeries' is Werblowsky's angry word for it, in article cited in n. 22).

24 See Alchemy of the Word, 260ff. where I remark the casual introduction by John Lightfoot, one of the great names in semitic scholarship of the seventeenth century, of the Lilith legend, unlikely I think to have escaped the attention of so comprehensive a student of the arcane as Milton, one also so interested in gender and marital issues. The Lilith story was a subject that would have come up anyway in texts that touch on Cabala, if only to deny one or another annoying (feminism, demonism) aspect of it. One version, for instance, has Adam cohabiting with Lilith, for an extended period after the expulsion, during which time he was separated from Eve. Adam's progeny, a result of his intercourse with Lilith would have been a race of demons, still among us. One can see limned here, of course, more than the rudiments for a gnostic explication of the problem posed by the evident ineluctability of evil, a prospect that Reuchlin, for instance, is too much of a Christian to let the cabalist in him entertain for more than a moment: "...not that the other children were not in human form, they were men too, but except for Abel, all the rest seemed more like a crop of devils than men, such was their malice and wickedness. I must add that he did not actually produce demons and changelings as some of the vulgar and irreverent have falsely claimed..." [On the Art of the Kaballah, 75].