Archive for the ‘T.S. Eliot’ Tag
It’s the soldier not the reporter
who gives you the freedom of the press.
It’s the soldier not the poet
who gives you the freedom of speech.
It’s the soldier not the campus organizer
who allows you to demonstrate.
It’s the soldier who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag
that allows the protester to burn the flag!!!
“Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.”
By Gerard Manley Hopkins
YES. Why do we áll, seeing of a soldier, bless him? bless
Our redcoats, our tars? Both these being, the greater part,
But frail clay, nay but foul clay. Here it is: the heart,
Since, proud, it calls the calling manly, gives a guess
That, hopes that, makesbelieve, the men must be no less;
It fancies, feigns, deems, dears the artist after his art;
And fain will find as sterling all as all is smart,
And scarlet wear the spirit of wár thére express.
Mark Christ our King. He knows war, served this soldiering through;
He of all can handle a rope best. There he bides in bliss
Now, and séeing somewhére some mán do all that man can do,
For love he leans forth, needs his neck must fall on, kiss,
And cry ‘O Christ-done deed! So God-made-flesh does too:
Were I come o’er again’ cries Christ ‘it should be this’.
Hand on the Helm
By Katherine Pollard Carter
Copyright 1977. Chapter 5.
“Ninety-First Psalm Became Their Impenetrable Shield”
“For four long years, in the front line warfare of World War I, the British regiment commanded by Colonel Whittlesey had not one single battle casualty. They did not lose a single man! They could only give one explanation for this incredible record.
“During those interminable years of danger and valor, every officer and every enlisted man in the regiment daily affirmed his faith in God’s protection by repeating the Ninety-First Psalm.”
“Each officer and soldier in the regiment carried a complete copy of the psalm and either read it or recited it from memory daily.”
With the Old Breed
By E.B. Sledge
Page 91: “The conversation with Hillbilly reassured me. When the sergeant came over and joined in after getting coffee, I felt almost lighthearted. As conversation trailed off, we sipped our joe in silence.
“Suddenly, I heard a loud voice say clearly and distinctly, ‘You will survive the war!’
“I looked at Hillbilly and then at the sergeant. Each returned my glance with a quizzical expression on his face in the gathering darkness. Obviously they hadn’t said anything.
“‘Did y’all hear that?’ I asked.
“‘Hear what?’ they both inquired.
“‘Someone said something,’ I said.
“‘I didn’t hear anything. How about you?’ said Hillbilly, turning to the sergeant.
“‘No, just that machine gun off to the left.’
“Shortly, the word was passed to get settled for the night. Hillbilly and the sergeant crawled back to their hole as Snafu returned to the gun pit. Like most persons, I had always been skeptical about people seeing visions and hearing voices. So I believed God spoke to me that night on the Peleliu battlefield, and I resolved to make my life amount to something after the war.”
“Remembering the words of Nehemiah the Prophet: ‘The trowel in hand and the gun rather loose in the holster.'”
Freedom to Bear Arms
Sledgehammer, Old Breed Marine Tribute
Alvin C. York
Never the Same–Michelle Krubeck
Jesus Could Save Them From the Radiation
BELIEVERS OR DISBELIEVERS
“In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth
Which is already flesh, fur and faeces,
Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf.
Houses live and die: there is a time for building
And a time for living and for generation
And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane
And to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots
And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto.”
“Dawn points, and another day
Prepares for heat and silence. Out at sea the dawn wind
Wrinkles and slides. I am here
Or there, or elsewhere. In my beginning.”
Choruses from The Rock
Goodbye, Las Vegas
By Tim Shey
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.”
“He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying”
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
“The Waste Land”
Run to their destruction
Hollow eyes see nothing
Behind shades of glass
Painted Jezebel faces
Unrecognized by man
Mourning becomes electric
As piercing city lights
Rape the virgin night
This place never sleeps
And never awakes from death
Black Jack table bait
Throw your money down
This is casino heaven
Idolatry never felt so good
This harlot language doesn’t speak
Straw fires always burn fast
I see the Prophet Jeremiah weeping
Over a people brought down to bankruptcy
By a Queen, a King and three Aces
A hitchhiker wanders hardened streets
With his burden on his back
This is the heart of darkness
Lifeless buildings built with foolish gold
I see Sodom burning
And bodies turned to ash
They were very fluent
In arrogance, pride, adultery
You have sold your soul to Satan
Do you remember Noah’s Flood?
The City of David was sacked by Romans
And America by Marxist-Darwin thugs
The Stranger leaves the graveyard
And the stench of Vegas Past
And hitches a ride to Barstow
Across the relentless Mohave
On Interstate Fifteen
Las Vegas Earthquake
This is Sodom! This is Sodom!
Horrible Apocalyptic Dream I Had
The Death of Voltaire
‘London’ by William Blake
California: The Great American Wasteland
The Nakedness of Noah
John Milton, 1608-1674
Milton and the English Revolution
By Christopher Hill
“The civil war of the seventeenth century, in which Milton is a symbolic figure, has never been concluded. . . . Of no other poet is it so difficult to consider the poetry simply as poetry, without our theological and political dispositions, conscious and unconscious, inherited or acquired, making an unlawful entry.”
–T.S. Eliot, Milton (1947)
Page 1: “Milton is a more controversial figure than any other English poet. Many of the controversies relate to Milton’s participation in the seventeenth-century English Revolution, yet Milton is more controversial even than that Revolution itself. Those who dislike Milton dislike him very much indeed, on personal as well as political grounds. How could the American who proclaimed himself Royalist, Anglo-Catholic and classicist have any use for England’s republican anti-Catholic? Blake, Shelley and Herzen were more attuned to Milton: so were Jefferson, Mirabeau and the Chartists.
“Yet the controversies around Milton are not simple. He was, for instance, a propagandist of revolution, a defender of regicide* [killing of the king] and of the English republic. Dr. Johnson and many since have found it hard to forgive him for this, or to be fair to him. Yet Milton frequently expressed great contempt for the common people, and so cannot be whole-heartedly admired by modern democrats. He was a passionate anti-clerical, and in theology a very radical heretic. Since he was also a great Christian poet, ‘orthodox’ critics have frequently tried to explain away, or to deny, his heresies. We may feel that these attempts tell us more about the commentators than about Milton, but they have not been uninfluential. On the other hand, Milton’s radical theology is far from conforming to the sensibility of twentieth-century liberal Christians.”
Page 3: “It is, in my view, quite wrong to see Milton in relation to anything so vague and generalized as ‘the Christian tradition’. He was a radical Protestant heretic. He rejected Catholicism as anti-Christian: the papist was the only heretic excluded from his wide tolerance. Milton shed far more of mediaeval Catholicism than did the Church of England. His great theological system, the De Doctrina Christiana, arose by a divorcing command from the ambiguous chaos of traditional Christianity. Milton rejected the Trinity, infant baptism and most of the traditional ceremonies, including church marriage; he queried monogamy and believed that the soul died with the body. He cannot reasonably be claimed as ‘orthodox’.”
Page 4: “Milton was not just a fine writer. He is the greatest English revolutionary who is also a poet, the greatest English poet who is also a revolutionary.”
Pages 105 and 106: “Milton rejected not only ‘the corrupt and venal discipline of clergy courts’, but all ‘coercive jurisdiction in the church’. He thought not only that the Pope was Antichrist, but that bishops were more antichristian than the Pope. Like John Saltmarsh, he thought that any state church was necessarily antichristian. When he made Antichrist Mammon’s son Milton may even have hinted at social interpretations akin to those of Gerrard Winstanley. Milton pointed out that Christ used force only once—to drive money-changers out of the Temple. The coercive power of the secular magistrate in religious matters Milton similarly denied. ‘Since God became flesh’, John Reeve told the Lord Mayor of London in 1653, ‘no civil magistrate hath any authority from above to be judge of any man’s faith, because it is a spiritual invisible gift from God.’ Milton would have agreed with the conclusion. Repudiation of a state church divided sectaries from Episcopalians and Presbyterians; denial of the authority of the magistrate brought about a division somewhere farther to the left. In each case Milton came to be with the more radical party.
“If there is no distinction between clergy and laity, ordinary people have the right to interpret the Bible for themselves. This led to what Edwards called anti-Scripturism—criticism of the contradictions of the Bible, denial that it was the Word of God. Milton did not go so far as Clement Writer, Walwyn, some Ranters and the Quaker Samuel Fisher. But—unlike Edwards—he would have insisted on the principle that the individual had a right and indeed a duty to study the Bible for himself, not taking his religion at second hand from Pope, church or priest. He likewise insisted that ‘the spirit of God, promised alike and given / To all believers’ was the test for interpreting the letter of the Bible. Such ‘spiritual illumination . . . is common to all men.’ The distinction is a narrow one between his position and the Ranter and Quaker view that the spirit within believers was superior to the letter of Scripture, overriding it.
“Milton’s belief that worship is discussion, that the spirit in man is more important than any ecclesiastical authority, that each of us must interpret the Bible for himself, thus aligns him with Ranters, Quakers, antinomians: so does his conviction that men and women should strive to attain perfection on earth, even though Milton did not think they could ever succeed. His ultimate belief in the necessity of good works for salvation, the consequence of his emphasis on human freedom, aligns him with Arminians of the left like John Goodwin, General Baptists and Quakers, whilst his total rejection of sacramentalism and a state church puts him at the opposite pole to the Laudian ‘Arminians’ of the right. Milton accepted the heresy of adult baptism, at a time when the medical reformer William Rand thought that Henry Lawrence’s publication of his Treatise of Baptism was a more courageous act than risking his life on the field of battle. This links Milton with Socinians and Anabaptists, though he seems to have joined no Baptist congregation. His decisive rejection of sabbatarianism also puts him beyond the pale of ‘respectable’ Puritanism.
“Milton was a radical millenarian long before Fifth Monarchism was thought of: he equated monarchy with Antichrist. In 1641, he associated his belief that Christ’s kingdom ‘is now at hand’ with his confidence in the potentialities of free and democratic discussion. He had a vision of England as leader of an international revolution, which links him both with the Fifth Monarchists and with the pre-pacifist George Fox, who in 1657 rebuked the English army for not yet having sacked Rome.”
Pages 299 and 300: “The doctrine of the sonship of all believers is of course Biblical. ‘As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God’, St. Paul said (Romans 8: 14). It is therefore accepted by all Protestants, and is mentioned in the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647. But the emphasis I have been citing was especially characteristic of the radicals. In the early seventeenth century the covenant of John Smyth’s General Baptist church declared ‘We shall be his sons, calling him Father by the spirit whereby we are sealed.’ The church believed that ‘Christ’s redemption stretcheth to all men.’ This version of the doctrine, as Milton very well knew, trembled on the edge of antinomianism. ‘What have we, Sons of God, to do with Law?’ Many of his contemporaries were pushing it over the edge, as Thomas Munzer had done a century earlier when he said ‘We must all become gods.’
“Edwards quoted sectaries who said ‘Every creature is God. . . . A man baptized with the Holy Ghost knows all things even as God knows all things.’ Winstanley in 1648 believed that ‘God now appears in the flesh of the saints.’ Jesus Christ and his saints make one perfect man. He soon extended this from the saints to all mankind. ‘Every creature . . . is a Son to the Father.’ The same spirit that filled Christ ‘should in these last days be sent into whole mankind’. ‘Christ . . . is now beginning to fill every man and woman with himself.’ This Christ in everyone, ‘that perfect man, shall be no other but God manifest in the flesh’. ‘He will spread himself in sons and daughters . . . till this vine hath filled the earth.’ ‘Everyone that is subject to reason’s law’, Winstanley declared, ‘shall enjoy the benefit of sonship’—which for him meant participation in communal ownership and cultivation.
“George Fox criticized Ranters who claimed to be equal with God, but he himself was accused of affirming ‘that he had the divinity essentially in him’, ‘that he was equal with God, . . . that he was as upright as Christ’. Ranters and Quakers blended Familist and Hermeticist traditions in a very democratic mixture. The Hermetic texts described how man could discover the divine within himself, and through knowledge become like God. ‘A man on earth is a mortal God; . . . a God in heaven is an immortal man.’ In Paradise Lost the Father himself seems to recall some such idea when he tells the angels ironically
O Sons, like one of us man is become
To know both good and evil, since his taste
Of that defended fruit.
“The Hermeticist doctrine had been taken over by the Familists, who believed that every member of the Family of Love by obedience of love became a Son of God. Or, as Croll put it, man ‘riseth to such perfection that he is made the Son of God, transformed into the same image which is God and made one with him’. Robert Fludd taught that heaven was attainable on earth. ‘The Rosicrucians call one another brethren because they are the Sons of God’ in this sense. Christ dwells in man ‘and each man is a living stone of that spiritual rock’. Of these the true Temple will be constructed, of which the temples of Moses and of Solomon were only types. ‘When the Temple is consecrated, its dead stones will live . . . and man will recover his primitive state of innocence and perfection.’ This may perhaps enrich our sense of the scene in Paradise Regained when the Son of God miraculously stands on the pinnacle of the Temple. ‘The Son and the saints make one perfect man’, declared William Erbery; ‘the fullness of the godhead dwells in both in the same measure, though not in the same manifestation. . . . The fullness of the godhead shall be manifested in the flesh of the saints as in the flesh of the Son’—i.e. on earth.”
Page 307: “This is the basis for Milton’s theory of toleration: no Protestant ‘of what sect soever, following Scripture only, . . . ought, by the common doctrine of protestants, to be forced or molested for religion’. ‘No man in religion is properly a heretic at this day but he who maintains traditions or opinions not probable by Scripture (who, for aught I know, is the papist only’) (cf. Luther: ‘Neither pope nor bishop nor anyone else has the right to impose so much as a single syllable of obligation upon a Christian man without his own consent.’) ‘Chiefly for this cause do all true protestants account the Pope antichrist’, Milton continued; ‘for that he assumes to himself this infallibility over both the conscience and the Scripture.’ Hence the arguments for complete toleration for all Protestants do not apply to papists.
“A great many conclusions follow from this absolute emphasis on conscience, on sincerity. The efficacy of any sacrament depends on the proper attitude of the recipient, and therefore ‘Infants are not fit for baptism’, since ‘they cannot believe or undertake an obligation.’ Attendance at church is not necessary: ‘the worship of the heart is accepted by God even where external forms are not in all respects observed.’ But Samson Agonistes suggests that Milton agreed with Muggleton that we should abstain from attending the worship of the restored Church of England.”
Page 309: “Many radicals spoke in Joachite terms of three advents of Christ—first in the flesh in Palestine, finally in the Last Judgment, but in between there will be a ‘middle advent’ when Christ rises in believers. Or there are three resurrections of the dead—the first of Jesus in A.D. 33, the last at the general resurrection: in between comes the rule of the saints in the new dispensation. For Winstanley Christ’s resurrection is not in one single person. ‘Mankind is the earth that contains him buried, and out of this earth he is to rise’, within us. ‘The rising up of Christ in sons and daughters . . . is his second coming.’ Every saint is a true heaven, because God dwells in him and he in God, and the communion of saints is a true heaven. For Ranters too Christ’s coming meant ‘his coming into men by his spirit’. Fludd had believed that man could attain to heaven on earth. Seekers, Saltmarsh, Dell, Quakers and Muggletonians held similar views. Erbery, whose views are close to those of Milton on many points, believed that the Second Coming meant ‘the appearing of that great God and Saviour in the saints. . . .The saints shall judge the world, that is first destroy but afterwards save and govern the world.’”
Page 314: “On the dictionary definition it is difficult to say that Milton was not an antinomian. Like the Ranters he believed that ‘the entire Mosaic Law is abolished’—not just the ceremonial law but ‘the whole positive law of Moses’. Milton indeed wore his antinomianism with a difference, for he thought that ‘the law is now inscribed on believers’ hearts by the spirit’; but many whom we call antinomians would have said the same, and for Milton when the spirit is at variance with the letter ‘faith not law is our rule’.”
*In the spring semester of 1995, I took a class on John Milton (1608-1674) at Iowa State University. I wrote a ten-page paper on Milton for that class.
Because of Milton’s writings (his essays like Areopagitica, A Second Defense of the English People and On Christian Doctrine) and influence with the Puritans of the American colonies, I came to the conclusion that he was a father of the United States of America.
If there had never been an English Civil War (1642-1651) or a Glorious Revolution (1688) (and the English Bill of Rights in 1689), there might never have been an American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) or the U.S. Constitution (1787).
I believe that John Milton and George Fox were by far the most influential men in seventeenth-century England. Milton was a great Christian intellectual/writer; Fox was a great preacher/apostle of the Gospel; they both spent time in prison for their beliefs.
Antinomian—“One who holds that, under the gospel dispensation, the moral law is of no use or obligation, faith alone being necessary to salvation.”
Sabbatarian—“One who keeps the seventh day of the week as holy, in conformity with the letter of the fourth commandment.”
Arminian—“Of or pertaining to James Arminius (1560-1609), a Dutch protestant against the tenets of strict Calvinism. The theology of the Wesleyans of Great Britain and Methodists of America is Arminian.”
—Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary
“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”
A Revolutionary People at War
Quotes from Thomas Jefferson
Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Helped Shape America
The Second Coming
Freedom to Bear Arms
English Bible History
Obama as Stuart
The Great Fire of London
A Biography of John Milton
REVIEW–Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy
Paradise Lost Book IX by John Milton (1667)
Is Milton Better than Shakespeare?
The British Are Coming!
This is a story of my staying on a ranch for a couple of nights in southwest Montana.
This past week I was hitchhiking in Montana and I ended up in Ennis. I went to the library and typed up some stuff on my Digihitch blog and then I walked to the Exxon gas station.
I was inside the convenience store buying something to eat, when this older man walked up to me and asked, “Are you the traveler? Is that your backpack out front?”
I said, “Yeah.”
His name was Arthur and he said that he had done some hitchhiking in his younger days. He was originally from San Diego and did a lot of surfing at one time. Arthur used to hitchhike with a guitar. He asked me if I needed a place to stay for a while. He told me he needed some work done on his ranch and that he had a bad back; he had been in a real serious car crash years ago.
So I told him that that would be great and that I would like to work for him. I grabbed my backpack and we drove around six miles to his ranch. He had a housemate named Hal who had lived there for five years; Hal was married and divorced and pretty much retired. Arthur used to be a miner years ago.
I fed the horses hay and grain while I was there. Arthur and I hauled some garbage to the local dump and we did a lot of cleaning up of some trash in the house and rearranging some boxes for storage.
I ended up staying two nights and then hit the road. I hitchhiked south and made it to Driggs, Idaho where I met up with a friend. I stayed at he and his wife’s place in Drummond last night.
Yesterday, I checked my email and Arthur sent me a very kind and thoughtful note; here it is below:
(20 December 2009)
“Hello Saw man we are glad in the lord and holy power for leading you to us. We are very much lovers of good men who follow the path in life that few dare to seek, I find in you the good warm energy that god has bestowed upon you, follow your path no one else can, and remember us in your prayers we shall forever be in your kindness and have no regrets for the time you and we shared with you. Be always welcome in our tee pee. We enjoyed you and the god & man energy to shared with us. Have a safe and full filled life and some day return to us that we may share what god has given us to share with his chosen few. you are special in our hearts and minds so be good to yourself and we will not judge you but find in you faith to carry on and struggle with our human condition and remain thankfull to god first and the life of mammon second.
your friends Arthur And Harold.
ps glad you liked my cooking. pax goldbear”
[“Sawman” was my nickname when I was working at Hanson Lumber Company in Ames, Iowa. “Sawman” is also my username on Digihitch.com.]
“No man has hired us
With pocketed hands
And lowered faces
We stand about in open places
And shiver in unlit rooms.
Only the wind moves
Over empty fields, untilled
Where the plough rests at an angle
To the furrow. In this land
There shall be one cigarette to two men,
To two women one half pint of bitter
Ale. In this land
No man has hired us.
Our life is unwelcome, our death
Unmentioned in ‘The Times.'”
“When the Stranger says: ‘What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?’
What will you answer? ‘We all dwell together
To make money from each other’? or ‘This is a community’?
And the Stranger will depart and return to the desert.
O my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger,
Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.”
“Remember the faith that took men from home
At the call of a wandering preacher.”
“Choruses from ‘The Rock'”
[Originally published by Digihitch.com]
More Montana Posts
President William McKinley, 1843-1901
Dreams from the LORD 2007-2010
16 November 2008
“As President he relied for such knowledge upon John Sherman, and God (who appeared to McKinley in a dream and told him to keep the Philippines).”
Joseph Philip Lyford
Port Aransas, Texas
15 March 1943
“McKinley had other concerns behind his decision to go to war. He was constantly being criticized by Theodore Roosevelt and other warmongers for a ‘lack of backbone’. (Of course, in the hysterical frenzy of 1898, not supporting war was actually a very brave stand.) McKinley also was afraid that not going to war would give the Democrats and his arch-nemesis, William Jennings Bryan, a campaign issue to use against the Republicans in 1900. McKinley knew that if he refused to send in the troops after Congress declared war, the Democrats would use this fact to destroy him in the 1900 election. Finally, a highly devout Christian, McKinley claimed to have been commanded in a dream to send the country to war. Conveniently, the religious experience coincided perfectly with the various pressures forced on McKinley at the time. And even at the same time as he committed the US to war because of a belief in democracy and a religious experience, he still couldn’t help but hope that, ‘perhaps it will pay.'”
U.S. Goes to War: 1898
[“Finally, a highly devout Christian, McKinley claimed to have been commanded in a dream to send the country to war.” This reminds me of what T.S. Eliot wrote about John Milton: “The civil war of the seventeenth century, in which Milton is a symbolic figure, has never been concluded. . .” Essentially, the English Civil War in the 1600s is still being fought today throughout the world through Anglo-American (Christian) influence.
The Lord destroyed the Spanish Armada in 1588, so that England would be free of Spanish Catholic Slavery and so that the English would be free to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Great Britain and the rest of world through their future empire. The Lord told President McKinley to go to war against Spain in 1898 to free Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam and Havana from Spanish influence. (I guess McKinley could have also invoked the Monroe Doctrine)]
John Milton: Writer and Revolutionary
English Civil War
The Miraculous Defeat of the Spanish Armada
“An incident well worth space here is that just before the shooting, at the reception, the President stooped to pet a little girl and to speak a kind word to the child’s mother. The next person in the line was the assassin, Czolgolz. Two shots were fired, and when the President perceived the fury of the crowd toward his assailant, he cried: ‘Let no one hurt him.'”
To those who bent over his death-bed, including his invalid wife, the dying President’s last words were:
“‘Good-bye all. It is God’s way. His will be done, not ours.'”
[William McKinley was President of the United States from 1897 to 1901; he was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt after his assassination. McKinley fought the Spanish-American War and later annexed the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam and Hawaii; he set up a protectorate over Cuba.]
The First President Captured on Film: McKinley’s 1896 Campaign Song & Commercial
McKinley and Roosevelt
Harry Truman, Hoboes and the Santa Fe Railroad
Eighteen Years in a Cuban Prison
John Kilpatrick hears the Lord on Truman and Trump
Two Dreams with Donald Trump