John Milton – “Paradise Lost” Book 6 (ctd.)

The two armies meet. Satan looks very imposing on his golden chariot and Abdiel silently wonders how he can look so powerful when he is not virtuous anymore. He hopes he can vanquish him in the battle like he vanquished him in the argument. He steps forth and challenges Satan, saying “Well, did you think I was alone? Now you can see how many are ready to oppose you”. He uses specifically the phrase “my sect” and “few sometimes may know, while thousands err”, which refers specifically to the conflict between Anglicans/Presbyterians and non-conforming churches such as Baptists and the like. I start to realize Milton’s beef was as much with the Established Church as with the Presbyterians during the Commonwealth era. Satan answers him. “I will teach you a lesson in a moment, but to answer your argument, there is no liberty in Heaven, but only servility”. Abdiel answers, “Serving a good master is an honour, and serving a tyrant is a disgrace and real slavery, thus your followers are more slaves than we are. Now I am going to send you to Hell”.


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