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Sin in Heaven?

March 17, 2012 1 comment

Milton gives an interesting (and disgusting) description of events when Satan meets up with his child, Sin, at the Gates of Hell. Apparently not knowing about Sin before this time, Sin explains to her father how Satan conceived her through his jealous thoughts.

This must have happened while Satan was still in Heaven. The way Milton tells it, it seems like Sin must have been born in Heaven, but laid dormant until Satan decided to actually start dwelling on it. It was only after dwelling on these thoughts (Sin), that Sin herself conceived and brought forth her child Death. These is nearly verbatim what James says about our own process in 1:15.

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

This seems a little different than what Milton is saying however. In Paradise Lost, Sin is born before Satan can even dwell on the thought. But for James, this wouldn’t be considered Sin at this point, it would merely be Desire (or even Temptation). Sin doesn’t come automatically, she herself is born from desire. But Desire or Temptation themselves aren’t actually Sin.

At any rate, the end is the same. After our affair with Sin, the resulting offspring is Death. In Milton’s case, this is a spiritual death, or estrangement, but is nonetheless tied to physical death in the end. Physical Death and Spiritual Death are both symptoms of the same underlying problem.

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