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Title: Pascal's Pensées
Author: Pascal, Blaise, 1623-1662
Language: English
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PASCAL'S PENSÉES


INTRODUCTION BY
T. S. ELIOT

_A Dutton Paperback_

New York
E. P. DUTTON & CO., INC.



_This paperback edition of "Pascal's Pensées" Published 1958 by E. P.
Dutton & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A._


SBN 0-525-47018-2



INTRODUCTION


It might seem that about Blaise Pascal, and about the two works on which
his fame is founded, everything that there is to say had been said. The
details of his life are as fully known as we can expect to know them;
his mathematical and physical discoveries have been treated many times;
his religious sentiment and his theological views have been discussed
again and again; and his prose style has been analysed by French critics
down to the finest particular. But Pascal is one of those writers who
will be and who must be studied afresh by men in every generation. It is
not he who changes, but we who change. It is not our knowledge of him
that increases, but our world that alters and our attitudes towards it.
The history of human opinions of Pascal and of men of his stature is a
part of the history of humanity. That indicates his permanent
importance.

The facts of Pascal's life, so far as they are necessary for this brief
introduction to the _Pensées_, are as follows. He was born at Clermont,
in Auvergne, in 1623. His family were people of substance of the upper
middle class. His father was a government official, who was able to
leave, when he died, a sufficient patrimony to his one son and his two
daughters. In 1631 the father moved to Paris, and a few years later took
up another government post at Rouen. Wherever he lived, the elder Pascal
seems to have mingled with some of the best society, and with men of
eminence in science and the arts. Blaise was educated entirely by his
father at home. He was exceedingly precocious, indeed excessively
precocious, for his application to studies in childhood and adolescence
impaired his health, and is held responsible for his death at
thirty-nine. Prodigious, though not incredible stories are preserved,
especially of his precocity in mathematics. His mind was active rather
than accumulative; he showed from his earliest years that disposition to
find things out for himself, which has characterised the infancy of
Clerk-Maxwell and other scientists. Of his later discoveries in physics
there is no need for mention here; it must only be remembered that he
counts as one of the greatest physicists and mathematicians of all time;
and that his discoveries were made during the years when most scientists
are still apprentices.

The elder Pascal, Étienne, was a sincere Christian. About 1646 he fell
in with some representatives of the religious revival within the Church
which has become known as Jansenism--after Jansenius, Bishop of Ypres,
whose theological work is taken as the origin of the movement. This
period is usually spoken of as the moment of Pascal's "first
conversion." The word "conversion," however, is too forcible to be
applied at this point to Blaise Pascal himself. The family had always
been devout, and the younger Pascal, though absorbed in his scientific
work, never seems to have been afflicted with infidelity. His attention
was then directed, certainly, to religious and theological matters; but
the term "conversion" can only be applied to his sisters--the elder,
already Madame Périer, and particularly the younger, Jacqueline, who at
that time conceived a vocation for the religious life. Pascal himself
was by no means disposed to renounce the world. After the death of the
father in 1650 Jacqueline, a young woman of remarkable strength and
beauty of character, wished to take her vows as a sister of Port-Royal,
and for some time her wish remained unfulfilled owing to the opposition
of her brother. His objection was on the purely worldly ground that she
wished to make over her patrimony to the Order; whereas while she lived
with him, their combined resources made it possible for him to live more
nearly on a scale of expense congenial to his tastes. He liked, in fact,
not only to mix with the best society, but to keep a coach and
horses--six horses is the number at one time attributed to his carriage.
Though he had no legal power to prevent his sister from disposing of her
property as she elected, the amiable Jacqueline shrank from doing so
without her brother's willing approval. The Mother Superior, Mère
Angélique--herself an eminent personage in the history of this religious
movement--finally persuaded the young novice to enter the order without
the satisfaction of bringing her patrimony with her; but Jacqueline
remained so distressed by this situation that her brother finally
relented.

So far as is known, the worldly life enjoyed by Pascal during this
period can hardly be qualified as "dissipation," and certainly not as
"debauchery." Even gambling may have appealed to him chiefly as
affording a study of mathematical probabilities. He appears to have led
such a life as any cultivated intellectual man of good position and
independent means might lead and consider himself a model of probity and
virtue. Not even a love-affair is laid at his door, though he is said to
have contemplated marriage. But Jansenism, as represented by the
religious society of Port-Royal, was morally a Puritan movement within
the Church, and its standards of conduct were at least as severe as
those of any Puritanism in England or America. The period of fashionable
society, in Pascal's life, is however, of great importance in his
development. It enlarged his knowledge of men and refined his tastes; he
became a man of the world and never lost what he had learnt; and when he
turned his thoughts wholly towards religion, his worldly knowledge was a
part of his composition which is essential to the value of his work.

Pascal's interest in society did not distract him from scientific
research; nor did this period occupy much space in what is a very short
and crowded life. Partly his natural dissatisfaction with such a life,
once he had learned all it had to teach him, partly the influence of his
saintly sister Jacqueline, partly increasing suffering as his health
declined, directed him more and more out of the world and to thoughts of
eternity. And in 1654 occurs what is called his "second conversion," but
which might be called his conversion simply.

He made a note of his mystical experience, which he kept always about
him, and which was found, after his death, sewn into the coat which he
was wearing. The experience occurred on 23 November, 1654, and there is
no reason to doubt its genuineness unless we choose to deny all mystical
experience. Now, Pascal was not a mystic, and his works are not to be
classified amongst mystical writings; but what can only be called
mystical experience happens to many men who do not become mystics. The
work which he undertook soon after, the _Lettres écrites à un
provincial_, is a masterpiece of religious controversy at the opposite
pole from mysticism. We know quite well that he was at the time when he
received his illumination from God in extremely poor health; but it is a
commonplace that some forms of illness are extremely favourable, not
only to religious illumination, but to artistic and literary
composition. A piece of writing meditated, apparently without progress,
for months or years, may suddenly take shape and word; and in this state
long passages may be produced which require little or no retouch. I have
no good word to say for the cultivation of automatic writing as the
model of literary composition; I doubt whether these moments _can_ be
cultivated by the writer; but he to whom this happens assuredly has the
sensation of being a vehicle rather than a maker. No masterpiece can be
produced whole by such means; but neither does even the higher form of
religious inspiration suffice for the religious life; even the most
exalted mystic must return to the world, and use his reason to employ
the results of his experience in daily life. You may call it communion
with the Divine, or you may call it a temporary crystallisation of the
mind. Until science can teach us to reproduce such phenomena at will,
science cannot claim to have explained them; and they can be judged only
by their fruits.

From that time until his death, Pascal was closely associated with the
society of Port-Royal which his sister Jacqueline, who predeceased him,
had joined as a _religieuse_; the society was then fighting for its life
against the Jesuits. Five propositions, judged by a committee of
cardinals and theologians at Rome to be heretical, were found to be put
forward in the work of Jansenius; and the society of Port-Royal, the
representative of Jansenism among devotional communities, suffered a
blow from which it never revived. It is not the place here to review the
bitter controversy and conflict; the best account, from the point of
view of a critic of genius who took no side, who was neither Jansenist
nor Jesuit, Christian nor infidel, is that in the great book of
Sainte-Beuve, _Port-Royal_. And in this book the parts devoted to Pascal
himself are among the most brilliant pages of criticism that
Sainte-Beuve ever wrote. It is sufficient to notice that the next
occupation of Pascal, after his conversion, was to write these eighteen
"Letters," which as prose are of capital importance in the foundation of
French classical style, and which as polemic are surpassed by none, not
by Demosthenes, or Cicero, or Swift. They have the limitation of all
polemic and forensic: they persuade, they seduce, they are unfair. But
it is also unfair to assert that, in these _Letters to a Provincial_,
Pascal was attacking the Society of Jesus in itself. He was attacking
rather a particular school of casuistry which relaxed the requirements
of the Confessional; a school which certainly flourished amongst the
Society of Jesus at that time, and of which the Spaniards Escobar and
Molina are the most eminent authorities. He undoubtedly abused the art
of quotation, as a polemical writer can hardly help but do; but there
were abuses for him to abuse; and he did the job thoroughly. His
_Letters_ must not be called theology. Academic theology was not a
department in which Pascal was versed; when necessary, the fathers of
Port-Royal came to his aid. The _Letters_ are the work of one of the
finest mathematical minds of any time, and of a man of the world who
addressed, not theologians, but the world in general--all of the
cultivated and many of the less cultivated of the French laity; and with
this public they made an astonishing success.

During this time Pascal never wholly abandoned his scientific interests.
Though in his religious writings he composed slowly and painfully, and
revised often, in matters of mathematics his mind seemed to move with
consummate natural ease and grace. Discoveries and inventions sprang
from his brain without effort; among the minor devices of this later
period, the first omnibus service in Paris is said to owe its origin to
his inventiveness. But rapidly failing health, and absorption in the
great work he had in mind, left him little time and energy during the
last two years of his life.

The plan of what we call the _Pensées_ formed itself about 1660. The
completed book was to have been a carefully constructed defence of
Christianity, a true Apology and a kind of Grammar of Assent, setting
forth the reasons which will convince the intellect. As I have indicated
before, Pascal was not a theologian, and on dogmatic theology had
recourse to his spiritual advisers. Nor was he indeed a systematic
philosopher. He was a man with an immense genius for science, and at the
same time a natural psychologist and moralist. As he was a great
literary artist, his book would have been also his own spiritual
autobiography; his style, free from all diminishing idiosyncrasies, was
yet very personal. Above all, he was a man of strong passions; and his
intellectual passion for truth was reinforced by his passionate
dissatisfaction with human life unless a spiritual explanation could be
found.

We must regard the _Pensées_ as merely the first notes for a work which
he left far from completion; we have, in Sainte-Beuve's words, a tower
of which the stones have been laid on each other, but not cemented, and
the structure unfinished. In early years his memory had been amazingly
retentive of anything that he wished to remember; and had it not been
impaired by increasing illness and pain, he probably would not have been
obliged to set down these notes at all. But taking the book as it is
left to us, we still find that it occupies a unique place in the history
of French literature and in the history of religious meditation.

To understand the method which Pascal employs, the reader must be
prepared to follow the process of the mind of the intelligent believer.
The Christian thinker--and I mean the man who is trying consciously and
conscientiously to explain to himself the sequence which culminated in
faith, rather than the public apologist--proceeds by rejection and
elimination. He finds the world to be so and so; he finds its character
inexplicable by any non-religious theory; among religions he finds
Christianity, and Catholic Christianity, to account most satisfactorily
for the world and especially for the moral world within; and thus, by
what Newman calls "powerful and concurrent" reasons, he finds himself
inexorably committed to the dogma of the Incarnation. To the unbeliever,
this method seems disingenuous and perverse; for the unbeliever is, as a
rule, not so greatly troubled to explain the world to himself, nor so
greatly distressed by its disorder; nor is he generally concerned (in
modern terms) to "preserve values." He does not consider that if certain
emotional states, certain developments of character, and what in the
highest sense can be called "saintliness" are inherently and by
inspection known to be good, then the satisfactory explanation of the
world must be an explanation which will admit the "reality" of these
values. Nor does he consider such reasoning admissible; he would, so to
speak, trim his values according to his cloth, because to him such
values are of no great value. The unbeliever starts from the other end,
and as likely as not with the question: Is a case of human
parthenogenesis credible? and this he would call going straight to the
heart of the matter. Now Pascal's method is, on the whole, the method
natural and right for the Christian; and the opposite method is that
taken by Voltaire. It is worth while to remember that Voltaire, in his
attempt to refute Pascal, has given once and for all the type of such
refutation; and that later opponents of Pascal's Apology for the
Christian Faith have contributed little beyond psychological
irrelevancies. For Voltaire has presented, better than any one since,
what is the unbelieving point of view; and in the end we must all choose
for ourselves between one point of view and another.

I have said above that Pascal's method is "on the whole" that of the
typical Christian apologist; and this reservation was directed at
Pascal's belief in miracles, which plays a larger part in his
construction than it would in that, at least, of the modern liberal
Catholic. It would seem fantastic to accept Christianity because we
first believe the Gospel miracles to be true, and it would seem impious
to accept it primarily because we believe more recent miracles to be
true; we accept the miracles, or some miracles, to be true because we
believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ: we found our belief in the miracles
on the Gospel, not our belief in the Gospel on the miracles. But it must
be remembered that Pascal had been deeply impressed by a contemporary
miracle, known as the miracle of the Holy Thorn: a thorn reputed to have
been preserved from the Crown of Our Lord was pressed upon an ulcer
which quickly healed. Sainte-Beuve, who as a medical man felt himself on
solid ground, discusses fully the possible explanation of this apparent
miracle. It is true that the miracle happened at Port-Royal, and that it
arrived opportunely to revive the depressed spirits of the community in
its political afflictions; and it is likely that Pascal was the more
inclined to believe a miracle which was performed upon his beloved
sister. In any case, it probably led him to assign a place to miracles,
in his study of faith, which is not quite that which we should give to
them ourselves.

Now the great adversary against whom Pascal set himself, from the time
of his first conversations with M. de Saci at Port-Royal, was Montaigne.
One cannot destroy Pascal, certainly; but of all authors Montaigne is
one of the least destructible. You could as well dissipate a fog by
flinging hand-grenades into it. For Montaigne is a fog, a gas, a fluid,
insidious element. He does not reason, he insinuates, charms, and
influences; or if he reasons, you must be prepared for his having some
other design upon you than to convince you by his argument. It is
hardly too much to say that Montaigne is the most essential author to
know, if we would understand the course of French thought during the
last three hundred years. In every way, the influence of Montaigne was
repugnant to the men of Port-Royal. Pascal studied him with the
intention of demolishing him. Yet, in the _Pensées_, at the very end of
his life, we find passage after passage, and the slighter they are the
more significant, almost "lifted" out of Montaigne, down to a figure of
speech or a word. The parallels[A] are most often with the long essay of
Montaigne called _Apologie de Raymond Sébond_--an astonishing piece of
writing upon which Shakespeare also probably drew in _Hamlet_. Indeed,
by the time a man knew Montaigne well enough to attack him, he would
already be thoroughly infected by him.

    [A] Cf. the use of the simile of the _couvreur_. For comparing
    parallel passages, the edition of the _Pensées_ by Henri Massis (_A
    la cité des livres_) is better than the two-volume edition of
    Jacques Chevalier (Gabalda). It seems just possible that in the
    latter edition, and also in his biographical study (_Pascal_; by
    Jacques Chevalier, English translation, published by Sheed & Ward),
    M. Chevalier is a little over-zealous to demonstrate the perfect
    orthodoxy of Pascal.

It would, however, be grossly unfair to Pascal, to Montaigne, and indeed
to French literature, to leave the matter at that. It is no diminution
of Pascal, but only an aggrandisement of Montaigne. Had Montaigne been
an ordinary life-sized sceptic, a small man like Anatole France, or even
a greater man like Renan, or even like the greatest sceptic of all,
Voltaire, this "influence" would be to the discredit of Pascal; but if
Montaigne had been no more than Voltaire, he could not have affected
Pascal at all. The picture of Montaigne which offers itself first to our
eyes, that of the original and independent solitary "personality,"
absorbed in amused analysis of himself, is deceptive. Montaigne's is no
_limited_ Pyrrhonism, like that of Voltaire, Renan, or France. He
exists, so to speak, on a plan of numerous concentric circles, the most
apparent of which is the small inmost circle, a personal puckish
scepticism which can be easily aped if not imitated. But what makes
Montaigne a very great figure is that he succeeded, God knows how--for
Montaigne very likely did not know that he had done it--it is not the
sort of thing that men _can_ observe about themselves, for it is
essentially bigger than the individual's consciousness--he succeeded in
giving expression to the scepticism of _every_ human being. For every
man who thinks and lives by thought must have his own scepticism, that
which stops at the question, that which ends in denial, or that which
leads to faith and which is somehow integrated into the faith which
transcends it. And Pascal, as the type of one kind of religious
believer, which is highly passionate and ardent, but passionate only
through a powerful and regulated intellect, is in the first sections of
his unfinished Apology for Christianity facing unflinchingly the demon
of doubt which is inseparable from the spirit of belief.

There is accordingly something quite different from an influence which
would prove Pascal's weakness; there is a real affinity between his
doubt and that of Montaigne; and through the common kinship with
Montaigne Pascal is related to the noble and distinguished line of
French moralists, from La Rochefoucauld down. In the honesty with which
they face the _données_ of the actual world this French tradition has a
unique quality in European literature, and in the seventeenth century
Hobbes is crude and uncivilised in comparison.

Pascal is a man of the world among ascetics, and an ascetic among men of
the world; he had the knowledge of worldliness and the passion of
asceticism, and in him the two are fused into an individual whole. The
majority of mankind is lazy-minded, incurious, absorbed in vanities, and
tepid in emotion, and is therefore incapable of either much doubt or
much faith; and when the ordinary man calls himself a sceptic or an
unbeliever, that is ordinarily a simple pose, cloaking a disinclination
to think anything out to a conclusion. Pascal's disillusioned analysis
of human bondage is sometimes interpreted to mean that Pascal was really
and finally an unbeliever, who, in his despair, was incapable of
enduring reality and enjoying the heroic satisfaction of the free man's
worship of nothing. His despair, his disillusion, are, however, no
illustration of personal weakness; they are perfectly objective, because
they are essential moments in the progress of the intellectual soul; and
for the type of Pascal they are the analogue of the drought, the dark
night, which is an essential stage in the progress of the Christian
mystic. A similar despair, when it is arrived at by a diseased character
or an impure soul, may issue in the most disastrous consequences though
with the most superb manifestations; and thus we get _Gulliver's
Travels_; but in Pascal we find no such distortion; his despair is in
itself more terrible than Swift's, because our heart tells us that it
corresponds exactly to the facts and cannot be dismissed as mental
disease; but it was also a despair which was a necessary prelude to, and
element in, the joy of faith.

I do not wish to enter any further than necessary upon the question of
the heterodoxy of Jansenism; and it is no concern of this essay, whether
the Five Propositions condemned at Rome were really maintained by
Jansenius in his book _Augustinus_; or whether we should deplore or
approve the consequent decay (indeed with some persecution) of
Port-Royal. It is impossible to discuss the matter without becoming
involved as a controversialist either for or against Rome. But in a man
of the type of Pascal--and the type always exists--there is, I think, an
ingredient of what may be called Jansenism of temperament, without
identifying it with the Jansenism of Jansenius and of other devout and
sincere, but not immensely gifted doctors.[B] It is accordingly needful
to state in brief what the dangerous doctrine of Jansenius was, without
advancing too far into theological refinements. It is recognised in
Christian theology--and indeed on a lower plane it is recognised by all
men in affairs of daily life--that freewill or the natural effort and
ability of the individual man, and also supernatural _grace_, a gift
accorded we know not quite how, are both required, in co-operation, for
salvation. Though numerous theologians have set their wits at the
problem, it ends in a mystery which we can perceive but not finally
decipher. At least, it is obvious that, like any doctrine, a slight
excess or deviation to one side or the other will precipitate a heresy.
The Pelagians, who were refuted by St. Augustine, emphasised the
efficacy of human effort and belittled the importance of supernatural
grace. The Calvinists emphasised the degradation of man through Original
Sin, and considered mankind so corrupt that the will was of no avail;
and thus fell into the doctrine of predestination. It was upon the
doctrine of grace according to St. Augustine that the Jansenists relied;
and the _Augustinus_ of Jansenius was presented as a sound exposition of
the Augustinian views.

    [B] The great man of Port-Royal was of course Saint-Cyran, but any
    one who is interested will certainly consult, first of all, the book
    of Sainte-Beuve mentioned.

Such heresies are never antiquated, because they forever assume new
forms. For instance, the insistence upon good works and "service" which
is preached from many quarters, or the simple faith that any one who
lives a good and useful life need have no "morbid" anxieties about
salvation, is a form of Pelagianism. On the other hand, one sometimes
hears enounced the view that it will make no real difference if all the
traditional religious sanctions for moral behaviour break down, because
those who are born and bred to be nice people will always prefer to
behave nicely, and those who are not will behave otherwise in any case:
and this is surely a form of predestination--for the hazard of being
born a nice person or not is as uncertain as the gift of grace.

It is likely that Pascal was attracted as much by the fruits of
Jansenism in the life of Port-Royal as by the doctrine itself. This
devout, ascetic, thoroughgoing society, striving heroically in the midst
of a relaxed and easy-going Christianity, was formed to attract a nature
so concentrated, so passionate, and so thoroughgoing as Pascal's. But
the insistence upon the degraded and helpless state of man, in
Jansenism, is something also to which we must be grateful, for to it we
owe the magnificent analysis of human motives and occupations which was
to have constituted the early part of his book. And apart from the
Jansenism which is the work of a not very eminent bishop who wrote a
Latin treatise which is now unread, there is also, so to speak, a
Jansenism of the individual biography. A moment of Jansenism may
naturally take place, and take place rightly, in the individual;
particularly in the life of a man of great and intense intellectual
powers, who cannot avoid seeing through human beings and observing the
vanity of their thoughts and of their avocations, their dishonesty and
self-deceptions, the insincerity of their emotions, their cowardice, the
pettiness of their real ambitions. Actually, considering that Pascal
died at the age of thirty-nine, one must be amazed at the balance and
justice of his observations; much greater maturity is required for these
qualities, than for any mathematical or scientific greatness. How easily
his brooding on _the misery of man without God_ might have encouraged in
him the sin of spiritual pride, the _concupiscence de l'esprit_, and how
fast a hold he has of humility!

And although Pascal brings to his work the same powers which he exerted
in science, it is not as a scientist that he presents himself. He does
not seem to say to the reader: I am one of the most distinguished
scientists of the day; I understand many matters which will always be
mysteries to you, and through science I have come to the Faith; you
therefore who are not initiated into science ought to have faith if I
have it. He is fully aware of the difference of subject-matter; and his
famous distinction between the _esprit de géométrie_ and the _esprit de
finesse_ is one to ponder over. It is the just combination of the
scientist, the _honnête homme_, and the religious nature with a
passionate craving for God, that makes Pascal unique. He succeeds where
Descartes fails; for in Descartes the element of _esprit de géométrie_
is excessive.[C] And in a few phrases about Descartes, in the present
book, Pascal laid his finger on the place of weakness.

    [C] For a brilliant criticism of the errors of Descartes from a
    theological point of view the reader is referred to _Three
    Reformers_ by Jacques Maritain (translation published by Sheed &
    Ward).

He who reads this book will observe at once its fragmentary nature; but
only after some study will perceive that the fragmentariness lies in the
expression more than in the thought. The "thoughts" cannot be detached
from each other and quoted as if each were complete in itself. _Le cœur
a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point_: how often one has heard
that quoted, and quoted often to the wrong purpose! For this is by no
means an exaltation of the "heart" over the "head," a defence of
unreason. The heart, in Pascal's terminology, is itself truly rational
if it is truly the heart. For him, in theological matters, which seemed
to him much larger, more difficult, and more important than scientific
matters, the whole personality is involved.

We cannot quite understand any of the parts, fragmentary as they are,
without some understanding of the whole. Capital, for instance, is his
analysis of the _three orders_: the order of nature, the order of mind,
and the order of charity. These three are _discontinuous_; the higher is
not implicit in the lower as in an evolutionary doctrine it would be.[D]
In this distinction Pascal offers much about which the modern world
would do well to think. And indeed, because of his unique combination
and balance of qualities, I know of no religious writer more pertinent
to our time. The great mystics like St. John of the Cross, are
primarily for readers with a special determination of purpose; the
devotional writers, such as St. François de Sales, are primarily for
those who already feel consciously desirous of the love of God; the
great theologians are for those interested in theology. But I can think
of no Christian writer, not Newman even, more to be commended than
Pascal to those who doubt, but who have the mind to conceive, and the
sensibility to feel, the disorder, the futility, the meaninglessness,
the mystery of life and suffering, and who can only find peace through a
satisfaction of the whole being.

    [D] An important modern theory of discontinuity, suggested partly by
    Pascal, is sketched in the collected fragments of _Speculations_ by
    T. E. Hulme (Kegan Paul).

T. S. ELIOT.



CONTENTS


                                                     Page
         INTRODUCTION By T. S. Eliot                 vii
SECTION
I.       THOUGHTS ON MIND AND ON STYLE                 1
II.      THE MISERY OF MAN WITHOUT GOD                14
III.     OF THE NECESSITY OF THE WAGER                52
IV.      OF THE MEANS OF BELIEF                       71
V.       JUSTICE AND THE REASON OF EFFECTS            83
VI.      THE PHILOSOPHERS                             96
VII.     MORALITY AND DOCTRINE                       113
VIII.    THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION  152
IX.      PERPETUITY                                  163
X.       TYPOLOGY                                    181
XI.      THE PROPHECIES                              198
XII.     PROOFS OF JESUS CHRIST                      222
XIII.    THE MIRACLES                                238
XIV.     APPENDIX: POLEMICAL FRAGMENTS               257
         NOTES                                       273
         INDEX                                       289

       *       *       *       *       *


NOTE

_Passages_ erased by Pascal are enclosed in square brackets, thus [].
_Words_, added or corrected by the editor of the text, are similarly
denoted, but are in italics.

It has been seen fit to transfer Fragment 514 of the French edition to
the Notes. All subsequent Fragments have accordingly been renumbered.



SECTION I

THOUGHTS ON MIND AND ON STYLE


1


_The difference between the mathematical and the intuitive mind._[1]--In
the one the principles are palpable, but removed from ordinary use; so
that for want of habit it is difficult to turn one's mind in that
direction: but if one turns it thither ever so little, one sees the
principles fully, and one must have a quite inaccurate mind who reasons
wrongly from principles so plain that it is almost impossible they
should escape notice.

But in the intuitive mind the principles are found in common use, and
are before the eyes of everybody. One has only to look, and no effort is
necessary; it is only a question of good eyesight, but it must be good,
for the principles are so subtle and so numerous, that it is almost
impossible but that some escape notice. Now the omission of one
principle leads to error; thus one must have very clear sight to see all
the principles, and in the next place an accurate mind not to draw false
deductions from known principles.

All mathematicians would then be intuitive if they had clear sight, for
they do not reason incorrectly from principles known to them; and
intuitive minds would be mathematical if they could turn their eyes to
the principles of mathematics to which they are unused.

The reason, therefore, that some intuitive minds are not mathematical is
that they cannot at all turn their attention to the principles of
mathematics. But the reason that mathematicians are not intuitive is
that they do not see what is before them, and that, accustomed to the
exact and plain principles of mathematics, and not reasoning till they
have well inspected and arranged their principles, they are lost in
matters of intuition where the principles do not allow of such
arrangement. They are scarcely seen; they are felt rather than seen;
there is the greatest difficulty in making them felt by those who do
not of themselves perceive them. These principles are so fine and so
numerous that a very delicate and very clear sense is needed to perceive
them, and to judge rightly and justly when they are perceived, without
for the most part being able to demonstrate them in order as in
mathematics; because the principles are not known to us in the same way,
and because it would be an endless matter to undertake it. We must see
the matter at once, at one glance, and not by a process of reasoning, at
least to a certain degree. And thus it is rare that mathematicians are
intuitive, and that men of intuition are mathematicians, because
mathematicians wish to treat matters of intuition mathematically, and
make themselves ridiculous, wishing to begin with definitions and then
with axioms, which is not the way to proceed in this kind of reasoning.
Not that the mind does not do so, but it does it tacitly, naturally, and
without technical rules; for the expression of it is beyond all men, and
only a few can feel it.

Intuitive minds, on the contrary, being thus accustomed to judge at a
single glance, are so astonished when they are presented with
propositions of which they understand nothing, and the way to which is
through definitions and axioms so sterile, and which they are not
accustomed to see thus in detail, that they are repelled and
disheartened.

But dull minds are never either intuitive or mathematical.

Mathematicians who are only mathematicians have exact minds, provided
all things are explained to them by means of definitions and axioms;
otherwise they are inaccurate and insufferable, for they are only right
when the principles are quite clear.

And men of intuition who are only intuitive cannot have the patience to
reach to first principles of things speculative and conceptual, which
they have never seen in the world, and which are altogether out of the
common.


2

There are different kinds of right understanding;[2] some have right
understanding in a certain order of things, and not in others, where
they go astray. Some draw conclusions well from a few premises, and this
displays an acute judgment.

Others draw conclusions well where there are many premises.

For example, the former easily learn hydrostatics, where the premises
are few, but the conclusions are so fine that only the greatest
acuteness can reach them.

And in spite of that these persons would perhaps not be great
mathematicians, because mathematics contain a great number of premises,
and there is perhaps a kind of intellect that can search with ease a few
premises to the bottom, and cannot in the least penetrate those matters
in which there are many premises.

There are then two kinds of intellect: the one able to penetrate acutely
and deeply into the conclusions of given premises, and this is the
precise intellect; the other able to comprehend a great number of
premises without confusing them, and this is the mathematical intellect.
The one has force and exactness, the other comprehension. Now the one
quality can exist without the other; the intellect can be strong and
narrow, and can also be comprehensive and weak.


3

Those who are accustomed to judge by feeling do not understand the
process of reasoning, for they would understand at first sight, and are
not used to seek for principles. And others, on the contrary, who are
accustomed to reason from principles, do not at all understand matters
of feeling, seeking principles, and being unable to see at a glance.


4

_Mathematics, intuition._--True eloquence makes light of eloquence, true
morality makes light of morality; that is to say, the morality of the
judgment, which has no rules, makes light of the morality of the
intellect.

For it is to judgment that perception belongs, as science belongs to
intellect. Intuition is the part of judgment, mathematics of intellect.

To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher.


5

Those who judge of a work by rule[3] are in regard to others as those
who have a watch are in regard to others. One says, "It is two hours
ago"; the other says, "It is only three-quarters of an hour." I look at
my watch, and say to the one, "You are weary," and to the other, "Time
gallops with you"; for it is only an hour and a half ago, and I laugh
at those who tell me that time goes slowly with me, and that I judge by
imagination. They do not know that I judge by my watch.[4]


6

Just as we harm the understanding, we harm the feelings also.

The understanding and the feelings are moulded by intercourse; the
understanding and feelings are corrupted by intercourse. Thus good or
bad society improves or corrupts them. It is, then, all-important to
know how to choose in order to improve and not to corrupt them; and we
cannot make this choice, if they be not already improved and not
corrupted. Thus a circle is formed, and those are fortunate who escape
it.


7

The greater intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men.
Ordinary persons find no difference between men.


8

There are many people who listen to a sermon in the same way as they
listen to vespers.


9

When we wish to correct with advantage, and to show another that he
errs, we must notice from what side he views the matter, for on that
side it is usually true, and admit that truth to him, but reveal to him
the side on which it is false. He is satisfied with that, for he sees
that he was not mistaken, and that he only failed to see all sides. Now,
no one is offended at not seeing everything; but one does not like to be
mistaken, and that perhaps arises from the fact that man naturally
cannot see everything, and that naturally he cannot err in the side he
looks at, since the perceptions of our senses are always true.


10

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have
themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of
others.


11

All great amusements are dangerous to the Christian life; but among all
those which the world has invented there is none more to be feared than
the theatre. It is a representation of the passions so natural and so
delicate that it excites them and gives birth to them in our hearts,
and, above all, to that of love, principally when it is represented as
very chaste and virtuous. For the more innocent it appears to innocent
souls, the more they are likely to be touched by it. Its violence
pleases our self-love, which immediately forms a desire to produce the
same effects which are seen so well represented; and, at the same time,
we make ourselves a conscience founded on the propriety of the feelings
which we see there, by which the fear of pure souls is removed, since
they imagine that it cannot hurt their purity to love with a love which
seems to them so reasonable.

So we depart from the theatre with our heart so filled with all the
beauty and tenderness of love, the soul and the mind so persuaded of its
innocence, that we are quite ready to receive its first impressions, or
rather to seek an opportunity of awakening them in the heart of another,
in order that we may receive the same pleasures and the same sacrifices
which we have seen so well represented in the theatre.


12

Scaramouch,[5] who only thinks of one thing.

The doctor,[6] who speaks for a quarter of an hour after he has said
everything, so full is he of the desire of talking.


13

One likes to see the error, the passion of Cleobuline,[7] because she is
unconscious of it. She would be displeasing, if she were not deceived.


14

When a natural discourse paints a passion or an effect, one feels within
oneself the truth of what one reads, which was there before, although
one did not know it. Hence one is inclined to love him who makes us feel
it, for he has not shown us his own riches, but ours. And thus this
benefit renders him pleasing to us, besides that such community of
intellect as we have with him necessarily inclines the heart to love.


15

Eloquence, which persuades by sweetness, not by authority; as a tyrant,
not as a king.


16

Eloquence is an art of saying things in such a way--(1) that those to
whom we speak may listen to them without pain and with pleasure; (2)
that they feel themselves interested, so that self-love leads them more
willingly to reflection upon it.

It consists, then, in a correspondence which we seek to establish
between the head and the heart of those to whom we speak on the one
hand, and, on the other, between the thoughts and the expressions which
we employ. This assumes that we have studied well the heart of man so as
to know all its powers, and then to find the just proportions of the
discourse which we wish to adapt to them. We must put ourselves in the
place of those who are to hear us, and make trial on our own heart of
the turn which we give to our discourse in order to see whether one is
made for the other, and whether we can assure ourselves that the hearer
will be, as it were, forced to surrender. We ought to restrict
ourselves, so far as possible, to the simple and natural, and not to
magnify that which is little, or belittle that which is great. It is not
enough that a thing be beautiful; it must be suitable to the subject,
and there must be in it nothing of excess or defect.


17

Rivers are roads which move,[8] and which carry us whither we desire to
go.


18

When we do not know the truth of a thing, it is of advantage that there
should exist a common error which determines the mind of man, as, for
example, the moon, to which is attributed the change of seasons, the
progress of diseases, etc. For the chief malady of man is restless
curiosity about things which he cannot understand; and it is not so bad
for him to be in error as to be curious to no purpose.

The manner in which Epictetus, Montaigne, and Salomon de Tultie[9]
wrote, is the most usual, the most suggestive, the most remembered, and
the oftenest quoted; because it is entirely composed of thoughts born
from the common talk of life. As when we speak of the common error which
exists among men that the moon is the cause of everything, we never fail
to say that Salomon de Tultie says that when we do not know the truth
of a thing, it is of advantage that there should exist a common error,
etc.; which is the thought above.


19

The last thing one settles in writing a book is what one should put in
first.


20

_Order._--Why should I undertake to divide my virtues into four rather
than into six? Why should I rather establish virtue in four, in two, in
one? Why into _Abstine et sustine_[10] rather than into "Follow
Nature,"[11] or, "Conduct your private affairs without injustice," as
Plato,[12] or anything else? But there, you will say, everything is
contained in one word. Yes, but it is useless without explanation, and
when we come to explain it, as soon as we unfold this maxim which
contains all the rest, they emerge in that first confusion which you
desired to avoid. So, when they are all included in one, they are hidden
and useless, as in a chest, and never appear save in their natural
confusion. Nature has established them all without including one in the
other.


21

Nature has made all her truths independent of one another. Our art makes
one dependent on the other. But this is not natural. Each keeps its own
place.


22

Let no one say that I have said nothing new; the arrangement of the
subject is new. When we play tennis, we both play with the same ball,
but one of us places it better.

I had as soon it said that I used words employed before. And in the same
way if the same thoughts in a different arrangement do not form a
different discourse, no more do the same words in their different
arrangement form different thoughts!


23

Words differently arranged have a different meaning, and meanings
differently arranged have different effects.


24

_Language._--We should not turn the mind from one thing to another,
except for relaxation, and that when it is necessary and the time
suitable, and not otherwise. For he that relaxes out of season wearies,
and he who wearies us out of season makes us languid, since we turn
quite away. So much does our perverse lust like to do the contrary of
what those wish to obtain from us without giving us pleasure, the coin
for which we will do whatever is wanted.


25

_Eloquence._--It requires the pleasant and the real; but the pleasant
must itself be drawn from the true.


26

Eloquence is a painting of thought; and thus those who, after having
painted it, add something more, make a picture instead of a portrait.


27

_Miscellaneous. Language._--Those who make antitheses by forcing words
are like those who make false windows for symmetry. Their rule is not to
speak accurately, but to make apt figures of speech.


28

Symmetry is what we see at a glance; based on the fact that there is no
reason for any difference, and based also on the face of man; whence it
happens that symmetry is only wanted in breadth, not in height or depth.


29

When we see a natural style, we are astonished and delighted; for we
expected to see an author, and we find a man. Whereas those who have
good taste, and who seeing a book expect to find a man, are quite
surprised to find an author. _Plus poetice quam humane locutus es._
Those honour Nature well, who teach that she can speak on everything,
even on theology.


30

We only consult the ear because the heart is wanting. The rule is
uprightness.

Beauty of omission, of judgment.


31

All the false beauties which we blame in Cicero have their admirers, and
in great number.


32

There is a certain standard of grace and beauty which consists in a
certain relation between our nature, such as it is, weak or strong, and
the thing which pleases us.

Whatever is formed according to this standard pleases us, be it house,
song, discourse, verse, prose, woman, birds, rivers, trees, rooms,
dress, etc. Whatever is not made according to this standard displeases
those who have good taste.

And as there is a perfect relation between a song and a house which are
made after a good model, because they are like this good model, though
each after its kind; even so there is a perfect relation between things
made after a bad model. Not that the bad model is unique, for there are
many; but each bad sonnet, for example, on whatever false model it is
formed, is just like a woman dressed after that model.

Nothing makes us understand better the ridiculousness of a false sonnet
than to consider nature and the standard, and then to imagine a woman or
a house made according to that standard.


33

_Poetical beauty._--As we speak of poetical beauty, so ought we to speak
of mathematical beauty and medical beauty. But we do not do so; and the
reason is that we know well what is the object of mathematics, and that
it consists in proofs, and what is the object of medicine, and that it
consists in healing. But we do not know in what grace consists, which is
the object of poetry. We do not know the natural model which we ought to
imitate; and through lack of this knowledge, we have coined fantastic
terms, "The golden age," "The wonder of our times," "Fatal," etc., and
call this jargon poetical beauty.[13]

But whoever imagines a woman after this model, which consists in saying
little things in big words, will see a pretty girl adorned with mirrors
and chains, at whom he will smile; because we know better wherein
consists the charm of woman than the charm of verse. But those who are
ignorant would admire her in this dress, and there are many villages in
which she would be taken for the queen; hence we call sonnets made after
this model "Village Queens."


34

No one passes in the world as skilled in verse unless he has put up the
sign of a poet, a mathematician, etc. But educated people do not want a
sign, and draw little distinction between the trade of a poet and that
of an embroiderer.

People of education are not called poets or mathematicians, etc.; but
they are all these, and judges of all these. No one guesses what they
are. When they come into society, they talk on matters about which the
rest are talking. We do not observe in them one quality rather than
another, save when they have to make use of it. But then we remember it,
for it is characteristic of such persons that we do not say of them that
they are fine speakers, when it is not a question of oratory, and that
we say of them that they are fine speakers, when it is such a question.

It is therefore false praise to give a man when we say of him, on his
entry, that he is a very clever poet; and it is a bad sign when a man is
not asked to give his judgment on some verses.


35

We should not be able to say of a man, "He is a mathematician," or "a
preacher," or "eloquent"; but that he is "a gentleman." That universal
quality alone pleases me. It is a bad sign when, on seeing a person, you
remember his book. I would prefer you to see no quality till you meet it
and have occasion to use it (_Ne quid nimis_[14]), for fear some one
quality prevail and designate the man. Let none think him a fine
speaker, unless oratory be in question, and then let them think it.


36

Man is full of wants: he loves only those who can satisfy them all.
"This one is a good mathematician," one will say. But I have nothing to
do with mathematics; he would take me for a proposition. "That one is a
good soldier." He would take me for a besieged town. I need, then, an
upright man who can accommodate himself generally to all my wants.


37

[Since we cannot be universal and know all that is to be known of
everything, we ought to know a little about everything. For it is far
better to know something about everything than to know all about one
thing. This universality is the best. If we can have both, still better;
but if we must choose, we ought to choose the former. And the world
feels this and does so; for the world is often a good judge.]


38

A poet and not an honest man.


39

If lightning fell on low places, etc., poets, and those who can only
reason about things of that kind, would lack proofs.


40

If we wished to prove the examples which we take to prove other things,
we should have to take those other things to be examples; for, as we
always believe the difficulty is in what we wish to prove, we find the
examples clearer and a help to demonstration.

Thus when we wish to demonstrate a general theorem, we must give the
rule as applied to a particular case; but if we wish to demonstrate a
particular case, we must begin with the general rule. For we always find
the thing obscure which we wish to prove, and that clear which we use
for the proof; for, when a thing is put forward to be proved, we first
fill ourselves with the imagination that it is therefore obscure, and on
the contrary that what is to prove it is clear, and so we understand it
easily.


41

_Epigrams of Martial._--Man loves malice, but not against one-eyed men
nor the unfortunate, but against the fortunate and proud. People are
mistaken in thinking otherwise.

For lust is the source of all our actions, and humanity, etc. We must
please those who have humane and tender feelings. That epigram about two
one-eyed people is worthless,[15] for it does not console them, and only
gives a point to the author's glory. All that is only for the sake of
the author is worthless. _Ambitiosa recident ornamenta._[16]


42

To call a king "Prince" is pleasing, because it diminishes his rank.


43

Certain authors, speaking of their works, say, "My book," "My
commentary," "My history," etc. They resemble middle-class people who
have a house of their own, and always have "My house" on their tongue.
They would do better to say, "Our book," "Our commentary," "Our
history," etc., because there is in them usually more of other people's
than their own.


44

Do you wish people to believe good of you? Don't speak.


45

Languages are ciphers, wherein letters are not changed into letters, but
words into words, so that an unknown language is decipherable.


46

A maker of witticisms, a bad character.


47

There are some who speak well and write badly. For the place and the
audience warm them, and draw from their minds more than they think of
without that warmth.


48

When we find words repeated in a discourse, and, in trying to correct
them, discover that they are so appropriate that we would spoil the
discourse, we must leave them alone. This is the test; and our attempt
is the work of envy, which is blind, and does not see that repetition is
not in this place a fault; for there is no general rule.


49

To mask nature and disguise her. No more king, pope, bishop--but _august
monarch_, etc.; not Paris--_the capital of the kingdom_. There are
places in which we ought to call Paris, Paris, and others in which we
ought to call it the capital of the kingdom.


50

The same meaning changes with the words which express it. Meanings
receive their dignity from words instead of giving it to them. Examples
should be sought....


51

Sceptic, for obstinate.


52

No one calls another a Cartesian[17] but he who is one himself, a pedant
but a pedant, a provincial but a provincial; and I would wager it was
the printer who put it on the title of _Letters to a Provincial_.


53

A carriage _upset_ or _overturned_, according to the meaning _To spread
abroad_ or _upset_, according to the meaning. (The argument by force of
M. le Maître[18] over the friar.)


54

_Miscellaneous._--A form of speech, "I should have liked to apply myself
to that."


55

The _aperitive_ virtue of a key, the _attractive_ virtue of a hook.


56

To guess: "The part that I take in your trouble." The Cardinal[19] did
not want to be guessed.

"My mind is disquieted." _I am disquieted_ is better.


57

I always feel uncomfortable under such compliments as these: "I have
given you a great deal of trouble," "I am afraid I am boring you," "I
fear this is too long." We either carry our audience with us, or
irritate them.


58

You are ungraceful: "Excuse me, pray." Without that excuse I would not
have known there was anything amiss. "With reverence be it spoken ...."
The only thing bad is their excuse.


59

"To extinguish the torch of sedition"; too luxuriant. "The restlessness
of his genius"; two superfluous grand words.



SECTION II

THE MISERY OF MAN WITHOUT GOD


60

_First part_: Misery of man without God.

_Second part_: Happiness of man with God.

Or, _First part_: That nature is corrupt. Proved by nature itself.

_Second part_: That there is a Redeemer. Proved by Scripture.


61

_Order._--I might well have taken this discourse in an order like this:
to show the vanity of all conditions of men, to show the vanity of
ordinary lives, and then the vanity of philosophic lives, sceptics,
stoics; but the order would not have been kept. I know a little what it
is, and how few people understand it. No human science can keep it.
Saint Thomas[20] did not keep it. Mathematics keep it, but they are
useless on account of their depth.


62

_Preface to the first part._--To speak of those who have treated of the
knowledge of self; of the divisions of Charron,[21] which sadden and
weary us; of the confusion of Montaigne;[22] that he was quite aware of
his want of method, and shunned it by jumping from subject to subject;
that he sought to be fashionable.

His foolish project of describing himself! And this not casually and
against his maxims, since every one makes mistakes, but by his maxims
themselves, and by first and chief design. For to say silly things by
chance and weakness is a common misfortune; but to say them
intentionally is intolerable, and to say such as that ...


63

_Montaigne._--Montaigne's faults are great. Lewd words; this is bad,
notwithstanding Mademoiselle de Gournay.[23] Credulous; _people without
eyes_.[24] Ignorant; _squaring the circle,[25] a greater world_.[26] His
opinions on suicide, on death.[27] He suggests an indifference about
salvation, _without fear and without repentance_.[28] As his book was
not written with a religious purpose, he was not bound to mention
religion; but it is always our duty not to turn men from it. One can
excuse his rather free and licentious opinions on some relations of life
(730,231)[29]; but one cannot excuse his thoroughly pagan views on
death, for a man must renounce piety altogether, if he does not at least
wish to die like a Christian. Now, through the whole of his book his
only conception of death is a cowardly and effeminate one.


64

It is not in Montaigne, but in myself, that I find all that I see in
him.


65

What good there is in Montaigne can only have been acquired with
difficulty. The evil that is in him, I mean apart from his morality,
could have been corrected in a moment, if he had been informed that he
made too much of trifles and spoke too much of himself.


66

One must know oneself. If this does not serve to discover truth, it at
least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better.


67

_The vanity of the sciences._--Physical science will not console me for
the ignorance of morality in the time of affliction. But the science of
ethics will always console me for the ignorance of the physical
sciences.


68

Men are never taught to be gentlemen, and are taught everything else;
and they never plume themselves so much on the rest of their knowledge
as on knowing how to be gentlemen. They only plume themselves on knowing
the one thing they do not know.


69

_The infinites, the mean._--When we read too fast or too slowly, we
understand nothing.


70

_Nature_ ...--[Nature has set us so well in the centre, that if we
change one side of the balance, we change the other also. _I act._ Τά
ζῶα τρέχει. This makes me believe that the springs in our brain are so
adjusted that he who touches one touches also its contrary.]


71

Too much and too little wine. Give him none, he cannot find truth; give
him too much, the same.


72

_Man's disproportion._--[This is where our innate knowledge leads us. If
it be not true, there is no truth in man; and if it be true, he finds
therein great cause for humiliation, being compelled to abase himself in
one way or another. And since he cannot exist without this knowledge, I
wish that, before entering on deeper researches into nature, he would
consider her both seriously and at leisure, that he would reflect upon
himself also, and knowing what proportion there is....] Let man then
contemplate the whole of nature in her full and grand majesty, and turn
his vision from the low objects which surround him. Let him gaze on that
brilliant light, set like an eternal lamp to illumine the universe; let
the earth appear to him a point in comparison with the vast circle
described by the sun; and let him wonder at the fact that this vast
circle is itself but a very fine point in comparison with that described
by the stars in their revolution round the firmament. But if our view be
arrested there, let our imagination pass beyond; it will sooner exhaust
the power of conception than nature that of supplying material for
conception. The whole visible world is only an imperceptible atom in the
ample bosom of nature. No idea approaches it. We may enlarge our
conceptions beyond all imaginable space; we only produce atoms in
comparison with the reality of things. It is an infinite sphere, the
centre of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.[30] In short
it is the greatest sensible mark of the almighty power of God, that
imagination loses itself in that thought.

Returning to himself, let man consider what he is in comparison with all
existence; let him regard himself as lost in this remote corner of
nature; and from the little cell in which he finds himself lodged, I
mean the universe, let him estimate at their true value the earth,
kingdoms, cities, and himself. What is a man in the Infinite?

But to show him another prodigy equally astonishing, let him examine the
most delicate things he knows. Let a mite be given him, with its minute
body and parts incomparably more minute, limbs with their joints, veins
in the limbs, blood in the veins, humours in the blood, drops in the
humours, vapours in the drops. Dividing these last things again, let him
exhaust his powers of conception, and let the last object at which he
can arrive be now that of our discourse. Perhaps he will think that here
is the smallest point in nature. I will let him see therein a new abyss.
I will paint for him not only the visible universe, but all that he can
conceive of nature's immensity in the womb of this abridged atom. Let
him see therein an infinity of universes, each of which has its
firmament, its planets, its earth, in the same proportion as in the
visible world; in each earth animals, and in the last mites, in which he
will find again all that the first had, finding still in these others
the same thing without end and without cessation. Let him lose himself
in wonders as amazing in their littleness as the others in their
vastness. For who will not be astounded at the fact that our body, which
a little while ago was imperceptible in the universe, itself
imperceptible in the bosom of the whole, is now a colossus, a world, or
rather a whole, in respect of the nothingness which we cannot reach? He
who regards himself in this light will be afraid of himself, and
observing himself sustained in the body given him by nature between
those two abysses of the Infinite and Nothing, will tremble at the sight
of these marvels; and I think that, as his curiosity changes into
admiration, he will be more disposed to contemplate them in silence than
to examine them with presumption.

For in fact what is man in nature? A Nothing in comparison with the
Infinite, an All in comparison with the Nothing, a mean between nothing
and everything. Since he is infinitely removed from comprehending the
extremes, the end of things and their beginning are hopelessly hidden
from him in an impenetrable secret, he is equally incapable of seeing
the Nothing from which he was made, and the Infinite in which he is
swallowed up.

What will he do then, but perceive the appearance of the middle of
things, in an eternal despair of knowing either their beginning or their
end. All things proceed from the Nothing, and are borne towards the
Infinite. Who will follow these marvellous processes? The Author of
these wonders understands them. None other can do so.

Through failure to contemplate these Infinites, men have rashly rushed
into the examination of nature, as though they bore some proportion to
her. It is strange that they have wished to understand the beginnings of
things, and thence to arrive at the knowledge of the whole, with a
presumption as infinite as their object. For surely this design cannot
be formed without presumption or without a capacity infinite like
nature.

If we are well informed, we understand that, as nature has graven her
image and that of her Author on all things, they almost all partake of
her double infinity. Thus we see that all the sciences are infinite in
the extent of their researches. For who doubts that geometry, for
instance, has an infinite infinity of problems to solve? They are also
infinite in the multitude and fineness of their premises; for it is
clear that those which are put forward as ultimate are not
self-supporting, but are based on others which, again having others for
their support, do not permit of finality. But we represent some as
ultimate for reason, in the same way as in regard to material objects we
call that an indivisible point beyond which our senses can no longer
perceive anything, although by its nature it is infinitely divisible.

Of these two Infinites of science, that of greatness is the most
palpable, and hence a few persons have pretended to know all things. "I
will speak of the whole,"[31] said Democritus.

But the infinitely little is the least obvious. Philosophers have much
oftener claimed to have reached it, and it is here they have all
stumbled. This has given rise to such common titles as _First
Principles_, _Principles of Philosophy_,[32] and the like, as
ostentatious in fact, though not in appearance, as that one which blinds
us, _De omni scibili_.[33]

We naturally believe ourselves far more capable of reaching the centre
of things than of embracing their circumference. The visible extent of
the world visibly exceeds us; but as we exceed little things, we think
ourselves more capable of knowing them. And yet we need no less capacity
for attaining the Nothing than the All. Infinite capacity is required
for both, and it seems to me that whoever shall have understood the
ultimate principles of being might also attain to the knowledge of the
Infinite. The one depends on the other, and one leads to the other.
These extremes meet and reunite by force of distance, and find each
other in God, and in God alone.

Let us then take our compass; we are something, and we are not
everything. The nature of our existence hides from us the knowledge of
first beginnings which are born of the Nothing; and the littleness of
our being conceals from us the sight of the Infinite.

Our intellect holds the same position in the world of thought as our
body occupies in the expanse of nature.

Limited as we are in every way, this state which holds the mean between
two extremes is present in all our impotence. Our senses perceive no
extreme. Too much sound deafens us; too much light dazzles us; too great
distance or proximity hinders our view. Too great length and too great
brevity of discourse tend to obscurity; too much truth is paralysing (I
know some who cannot understand that to take four from nothing leaves
nothing). First principles are too self-evident for us; too much
pleasure disagrees with us. Too many concords are annoying in music; too
many benefits irritate us; we wish to have the wherewithal to over-pay
our debts. _Beneficia eo usque læta sunt dum videntur exsolvi posse; ubi
multum antevenere, pro gratia odium redditur._[34] We feel neither
extreme heat nor extreme cold. Excessive qualities are prejudicial to us
and not perceptible by the senses; we do not feel but suffer them.
Extreme youth and extreme age hinder the mind, as also too much and too
little education. In short, extremes are for us as though they were not,
and we are not within their notice. They escape us, or we them.

This is our true state; this is what makes us incapable of certain
knowledge and of absolute ignorance. We sail within a vast sphere, ever
drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end. When we think to attach
ourselves to any point and to fasten to it, it wavers and leaves us; and
if we follow it, it eludes our grasp, slips past us, and vanishes for
ever. Nothing stays for us. This is our natural condition, and yet most
contrary to our inclination; we burn with desire to find solid ground
and an ultimate sure foundation whereon to build a tower reaching to the
Infinite. But our whole groundwork cracks, and the earth opens to
abysses.

Let us therefore not look for certainty and stability. Our reason is
always deceived by fickle shadows; nothing can fix the finite between
the two Infinites, which both enclose and fly from it.

If this be well understood, I think that we shall remain at rest, each
in the state wherein nature has placed him. As this sphere which has
fallen to us as our lot is always distant from either extreme, what
matters it that man should have a little more knowledge of the universe?
If he has it, he but gets a little higher. Is he not always infinitely
removed from the end, and is not the duration of our life equally
removed from eternity, even if it lasts ten years longer?

In comparison with these Infinites all finites are equal, and I see no
reason for fixing our imagination on one more than on another. The only
comparison which we make of ourselves to the finite is painful to us.

If man made himself the first object of study, he would see how
incapable he is of going further. How can a part know the whole? But he
may perhaps aspire to know at least the parts to which he bears some
proportion. But the parts of the world are all so related and linked to
one another, that I believe it impossible to know one without the other
and without the whole.

Man, for instance, is related to all he knows. He needs a place wherein
to abide, time through which to live, motion in order to live, elements
to compose him, warmth and food to nourish him, air to breathe. He sees
light; he feels bodies; in short, he is in a dependent alliance with
everything. To know man, then, it is necessary to know how it happens
that he needs air to live, and, to know the air, we must know how it is
thus related to the life of man, etc. Flame cannot exist without air;
therefore to understand the one, we must understand the other.

Since everything then is cause and effect, dependent and supporting,
mediate and immediate, and all is held together by a natural though
imperceptible chain, which binds together things most distant and most
different, I hold it equally impossible to know the parts without
knowing the whole, and to know the whole without knowing the parts in
detail.

[The eternity of things in itself or in God must also astonish our
brief duration. The fixed and constant immobility of nature, in
comparison with the continual change which goes on within us, must have
the same effect.]

And what completes our incapability of knowing things, is the fact that
they are simple, and that we are composed of two opposite natures,
different in kind, soul and body. For it is impossible that our rational
part should be other than spiritual; and if any one maintain that we are
simply corporeal, this would far more exclude us from the knowledge of
things, there being nothing so inconceivable as to say that matter knows
itself. It is impossible to imagine how it should know itself.

So if we are simply material, we can know nothing at all; and if we are
composed of mind and matter, we cannot know perfectly things which are
simple, whether spiritual or corporeal. Hence it comes that almost all
philosophers have confused ideas of things, and speak of material things
in spiritual terms, and of spiritual things in material terms. For they
say boldly that bodies have a tendency to fall, that they seek after
their centre, that they fly from destruction, that they fear the void,
that they have inclinations, sympathies, antipathies, all of which
attributes pertain only to mind. And in speaking of minds, they consider
them as in a place, and attribute to them movement from one place to
another; and these are qualities which belong only to bodies.

Instead of receiving the ideas of these things in their purity, we
colour them with our own qualities, and stamp with our composite being
all the simple things which we contemplate.

Who would not think, seeing us compose all things of mind and body, but
that this mixture would be quite intelligible to us? Yet it is the very
thing we least understand. Man is to himself the most wonderful object
in nature; for he cannot conceive what the body is, still less what the
mind is, and least of all how a body should be united to a mind. This is
the consummation of his difficulties, and yet it is his very being.
_Modus quo corporibus adhærent spiritus comprehendi ab hominibus non
potest, et hoc tamen homo est._[35] Finally, to complete the proof of
our weakness, I shall conclude with these two considerations....


73

[But perhaps this subject goes beyond the capacity of reason. Let us
therefore examine her solutions to problems within her powers. If there
be anything to which her own interest must have made her apply herself
most seriously, it is the inquiry into her own sovereign good. Let us
see, then, wherein these strong and clear-sighted souls have placed it,
and whether they agree.

One says that the sovereign good consists in virtue, another in
pleasure, another in the knowledge of nature, another in truth, _Felix
qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas_,[36] another in total ignorance,
another in indolence, others in disregarding appearances, another in
wondering at nothing, _nihil admirari prope res una quæ possit facere et
servare beatum_,[37] and the true sceptics in their indifference, doubt,
and perpetual suspense, and others, wiser, think to find a better
definition. We are well satisfied.

_To transpose after the laws to the following title._

We must see if this fine philosophy have gained nothing certain from so
long and so intent study; perhaps at least the soul will know itself.
Let us hear the rulers of the world on this subject. What have they
thought of her substance? 394.[38] Have they been more fortunate in
locating her? 395.[39] What have they found out about her origin,
duration, and departure? 399.[40]

Is then the soul too noble a subject for their feeble lights? Let us
then abase her to matter and see if she knows whereof is made the very
body which she animates, and those others which she contemplates and
moves at her will. What have those great dogmatists, who are ignorant of
nothing, known of this matter? _Harum sententiarum_,[41] 393.

This would doubtless suffice, if reason were reasonable. She is
reasonable enough to admit that she has been unable to find anything
durable, but she does not yet despair of reaching it; she is as ardent
as ever in this search, and is confident she has within her the
necessary powers for this conquest. We must therefore conclude, and,
after having examined her powers in their effects, observe them in
themselves, and see if she has a nature and a grasp capable of laying
hold of the truth.]


74

A letter _On the Foolishness of Human Knowledge and Philosophy_.

This letter before _Diversion_.

_Felix qui potuit ... Nihil admirari._[42]

280 kinds of sovereign good in Montaigne.[43]


75

Part I, 1, 2, c. 1, section 4.[44]

[_Probability._--It will not be difficult to put the case a stage lower,
and make it appear ridiculous. To begin at the very beginning.] What is
more absurd than to say that lifeless bodies have passions, fears,
hatreds--that insensible bodies, lifeless and incapable of life, have
passions which presuppose at least a sensitive soul to feel them, nay
more, that the object of their dread is the void? What is there in the
void that could make them afraid? Nothing is more shallow and
ridiculous. This is not all; it is said that they have in themselves a
source of movement to shun the void. Have they arms, legs, muscles,
nerves?


76

To write against those who made too profound a study of science:
Descartes.


77

I cannot forgive Descartes. In all his philosophy he would have been
quite willing to dispense with God. But he had to make Him give a fillip
to set the world in motion; beyond this, he has no further need of God.


78

Descartes useless and uncertain.


79

[_Descartes._--We must say summarily: "This is made by figure and
motion," for it is true. But to say what these are, and to compose the
machine, is ridiculous. For it is useless, uncertain, and painful. And
were it true, we do not think all philosophy is worth one hour of pain.]


80

How comes it that a cripple does not offend us, but that a fool
does?[45] Because a cripple recognises that we walk straight, whereas a
fool declares that it is we who are silly; if it were not so, we should
feel pity and not anger.

Epictetus[46] asks still more strongly: "Why are we not angry if we are
told that we have a headache, and why are we angry if we are told that
we reason badly, or choose wrongly?" The reason is that we are quite
certain that we have not a headache, or are not lame, but we are not so
sure that we make a true choice. So having assurance only because we see
with our whole sight, it puts us into suspense and surprise when another
with his whole sight sees the opposite, and still more so when a
thousand others deride our choice. For we must prefer our own lights to
those of so many others, and that is bold and difficult. There is never
this contradiction in the feelings towards a cripple.


81

It is natural for the mind to believe, and for the will to love;[47] so
that, for want of true objects, they must attach themselves to false.


82

_Imagination._[48]--It is that deceitful part in man, that mistress of
error and falsity, the more deceptive that she is not always so; for she
would be an infallible rule of truth, if she were an infallible rule of
falsehood. But being most generally false, she gives no sign of her
nature, impressing the same character on the true and the false.

I do not speak of fools, I speak of the wisest men; and it is among them
that the imagination has the great gift of persuasion. Reason protests
in vain; it cannot set a true value on things.

This arrogant power, the enemy of reason, who likes to rule and dominate
it, has established in man a second nature to show how all-powerful she
is. She makes men happy and sad, healthy and sick, rich and poor; she
compels reason to believe, doubt, and deny; she blunts the senses, or
quickens them; she has her fools and sages; and nothing vexes us more
than to see that she fills her devotees with a satisfaction far more
full and entire than does reason. Those who have a lively imagination
are a great deal more pleased with themselves than the wise can
reasonably be. They look down upon men with haughtiness; they argue with
boldness and confidence, others with fear and diffidence; and this
gaiety of countenance often gives them the advantage in the opinion of
the hearers, such favour have the imaginary wise in the eyes of judges
of like nature. Imagination cannot make fools wise; but she can make
them happy, to the envy of reason which can only make its friends
miserable; the one covers them with glory, the other with shame.

What but this faculty of imagination dispenses reputation, awards
respect and veneration to persons, works, laws, and the great? How
insufficient are all the riches of the earth without her consent!

Would you not say that this magistrate, whose venerable age commands the
respect of a whole people, is governed by pure and lofty reason, and
that he judges causes according to their true nature without considering
those mere trifles which only affect the imagination of the weak? See
him go to sermon, full of devout zeal, strengthening his reason with the
ardour of his love. He is ready to listen with exemplary respect. Let
the preacher appear, and let nature have given him a hoarse voice or a
comical cast of countenance, or let his barber have given him a bad
shave, or let by chance his dress be more dirtied than usual, then
however great the truths he announces. I wager our senator loses his
gravity.

If the greatest philosopher in the world find himself upon a plank wider
than actually necessary, but hanging over a precipice, his imagination
will prevail, though his reason convince him of his safety.[49] Many
cannot bear the thought without a cold sweat. I will not state all its
effects.

Every one knows that the sight of cats or rats, the crushing of a coal,
etc. may unhinge the reason. The tone of voice affects the wisest, and
changes the force of a discourse or a poem.

Love or hate alters the aspect of justice. How much greater confidence
has an advocate, retained with a large fee, in the justice of his cause!
How much better does his bold manner make his case appear to the judges,
deceived as they are by appearances! How ludicrous is reason, blown with
a breath in every direction!

I should have to enumerate almost every action of men who scarce waver
save under her assaults. For reason has been obliged to yield, and the
wisest reason takes as her own principles those which the imagination of
man has everywhere rashly introduced. [He who would follow reason only
would be deemed foolish by the generality of men. We must judge by the
opinion of the majority of mankind. Because it has pleased them, we must
work all day for pleasures seen to be imaginary; and after sleep has
refreshed our tired reason, we must forthwith start up and rush after
phantoms, and suffer the impressions of this mistress of the world. This
is one of the sources of error, but it is not the only one.]

Our magistrates have known well this mystery. Their red robes, the
ermine in which they wrap themselves like furry cats,[50] the courts in
which they administer justice, the _fleurs-de-lis_, and all such august
apparel were necessary; if the physicians had not their cassocks and
their mules, if the doctors had not their square caps and their robes
four times too wide, they would never have duped the world, which cannot
resist so original an appearance. If magistrates had true justice, and
if physicians had the true art of healing, they would have no occasion
for square caps; the majesty of these sciences would of itself be
venerable enough. But having only imaginary knowledge, they must employ
those silly tools that strike the imagination with which they have to
deal; and thereby in fact they inspire respect. Soldiers alone are not
disguised in this manner, because indeed their part is the most
essential; they establish themselves by force, the others by show.

Therefore our kings seek out no disguises. They do not mask themselves
in extraordinary costumes to appear such; but they are accompanied by
guards and halberdiers. Those armed and red-faced puppets who have hands
and power for them alone, those trumpets and drums which go before them,
and those legions round about them, make the stoutest tremble. They have
not dress only, they have might. A very refined reason is required to
regard as an ordinary man the Grand Turk, in his superb seraglio,
surrounded by forty thousand janissaries.

We cannot even see an advocate in his robe and with his cap on his head,
without a favourable opinion of his ability. The imagination disposes of
everything; it makes beauty, justice, and happiness, which is everything
in the world. I should much like to see an Italian work, of which I only
know the title, which alone is worth many books, _Della opinione regina
del mondo_.[51] I approve of the book without knowing it, save the evil
in it, if any. These are pretty much the effects of that deceptive
faculty, which seems to have been expressly given us to lead us into
necessary error. We have, however, many other sources of error.

Not only are old impressions capable of misleading us; the charms of
novelty have the same power. Hence arise all the disputes of men, who
taunt each other either with following the false impressions of
childhood or with running rashly after the new. Who keeps the due mean?
Let him appear and prove it. There is no principle, however natural to
us from infancy, which may not be made to pass for a false impression
either of education or of sense.

"Because," say some, "you have believed from childhood that a box was
empty when you saw nothing in it, you have believed in the possibility
of a vacuum. This is an illusion of your senses, strengthened by custom,
which science must correct." "Because," say others, "you have been
taught at school that there is no vacuum, you have perverted your common
sense which clearly comprehended it, and you must correct this by
returning to your first state." Which has deceived you, your senses or
your education?

We have another source of error in diseases.[52] They spoil the judgment
and the senses; and if the more serious produce a sensible change, I do
not doubt that slighter ills produce a proportionate impression.

Our own interest is again a marvellous instrument for nicely putting out
our eyes. The justest man in the world is not allowed to be judge in his
own cause; I know some who, in order not to fall into this self-love,
have been perfectly unjust out of opposition. The sure way of losing a
just cause has been to get it recommended to these men by their near
relatives.

Justice and truth are two such subtle points, that our tools are too
blunt to touch them accurately. If they reach the point, they either
crush it, or lean all round, more on the false than on the true.

[Man is so happily formed that he has no ... good of the true, and
several excellent of the false. Let us now see how much.... But the most
powerful cause of error is the war existing between the senses and
reason.]


83

_We must thus begin the chapter on the deceptive powers._ Man is only a
subject full of error, natural and ineffaceable, without grace. Nothing
shows him the truth. Everything deceives him. These two sources of
truth, reason and the senses, besides being both wanting in sincerity,
deceive each other in turn. The senses mislead the reason with false
appearances, and receive from reason in their turn the same trickery
which they apply to her; reason has her revenge. The passions of the
soul trouble the senses, and make false impressions upon them. They
rival each other in falsehood and deception.[53]

But besides those errors which arise accidentally and through lack of
intelligence, with these heterogeneous faculties ...


84

The imagination enlarges little objects so as to fill our souls with a
fantastic estimate; and, with rash insolence, it belittles the great to
its own measure, as when talking of God.


85

Things which have most hold on us, as the concealment of our few
possessions, are often a mere nothing. It is a nothing which our
imagination magnifies into a mountain. Another turn of the imagination
would make us discover this without difficulty.


86

[My fancy makes me hate a croaker, and one who pants when eating. Fancy
has great weight. Shall we profit by it? Shall we yield to this weight
because it is natural? No, but by resisting it ...]


87

_Næ iste magno conatu magnas nugas dixerit.[54]

Quasi quidquam infelicius sit homini cui sua figmenta dominantur._[55]
(Plin.)


88

Children who are frightened at the face they have blackened are but
children. But how shall one who is so weak in his childhood become
really strong when he grows older? We only change our fancies. All that
is made perfect by progress perishes also by progress. All that has been
weak can never become absolutely strong. We say in vain, "He has grown,
he has changed"; he is also the same.


89

Custom is our nature. He who is accustomed to the faith believes in it,
can no longer fear hell, and believes in nothing else. He who is
accustomed to believe that the king is terrible ... etc. Who doubts then
that our soul, being accustomed to see number, space, motion, believes
that and nothing else?


90

_Quod crebro videt non miratur, etiamsi cur fiat nescit; quod ante non
viderit, id si evenerit, ostentum esse censet._[56] (Cic. 583.)


91

_Spongia solis._[57]--When we see the same effect always recur, we infer
a natural necessity in it, as that there will be a to-morrow, etc. But
nature often deceives us, and does not subject herself to her own rules.


92

What are our natural principles but principles of custom? In children
they are those which they have received from the habits of their
fathers, as hunting in animals. A different custom will cause different
natural principles. This is seen in experience; and if there are some
natural principles ineradicable by custom, there are also some customs
opposed to nature, ineradicable by nature, or by a second custom. This
depends on disposition.


93

Parents fear lest the natural love of their children may fade away. What
kind of nature is that which is subject to decay? Custom is a second
nature which destroys the former.[58] But what is nature? For is custom
not natural? I am much afraid that nature is itself only a first custom,
as custom is a second nature.


94

The nature of man is wholly natural, _omne animal_.[59]

There is nothing he may not make natural; there is nothing natural he
may not lose.


95

Memory, joy, are intuitions; and even mathematical propositions become
intuitions, for education produces natural intuitions, and natural
intuitions are erased by education.


96

When we are accustomed to use bad reasons for proving natural effects,
we are not willing to receive good reasons when they are discovered. An
example may be given from the circulation of the blood as a reason why
the vein swells below the ligature.


97

The most important affair in life is the choice of a calling; chance
decides it. Custom makes men masons, soldiers, slaters. "He is a good
slater," says one, and, speaking of soldiers, remarks, "They are perfect
fools." But others affirm, "There is nothing great but war, the rest of
men are good for nothing." We choose our callings according as we hear
this or that praised or despised in our childhood, for we naturally love
truth and hate folly. These words move us; the only error is in their
application. So great is the force of custom that out of those whom
nature has only made men, are created all conditions of men. For some
districts are full of masons, others of soldiers, etc. Certainly nature
is not so uniform. It is custom then which does this, for it constrains
nature. But sometimes nature gains the ascendancy, and preserves man's
instinct, in spite of all custom, good or bad.


98

_Bias leading to error._--It is a deplorable thing to see all men
deliberating on means alone, and not on the end. Each thinks how he will
acquit himself in his condition; but as for the choice of condition, or
of country, chance gives them to us.

It is a pitiable thing to see so many Turks, heretics, and infidels
follow the way of their fathers for the sole reason that each has been
imbued with the prejudice that it is the best. And that fixes for each
man his conditions of locksmith, soldier, etc.

Hence savages care nothing for Providence.[60]


99

There is an universal and essential difference between the actions of
the will and all other actions.

The will is one of the chief factors in belief, not that it creates
belief, but because things are true or false according to the aspect in
which we look at them. The will, which prefers one aspect to another,
turns away the mind from considering the qualities of all that it does
not like to see; and thus the mind, moving in accord with the will,
stops to consider the aspect which it likes, and so judges by what it
sees.


100

_Self-love._--The nature of self-love and of this human Ego is to love
self only and consider self only. But what will man do? He cannot
prevent this object that he loves from being full of faults and wants.
He wants to be great, and he sees himself small. He wants to be happy,
and he sees himself miserable. He wants to be perfect, and he sees
himself full of imperfections. He wants to be the object of love and
esteem among men, and he sees that his faults merit only their hatred
and contempt. This embarrassment in which he finds himself produces in
him the most unrighteous and criminal passion that can be imagined; for
he conceives a mortal enmity against that truth which reproves him, and
which convinces him of his faults. He would annihilate it, but, unable
to destroy it in its essence, he destroys it as far as possible in his
own knowledge and in that of others; that is to say, he devotes all his
attention to hiding his faults both from others and from himself, and he
cannot endure either that others should point them out to him, or that
they should see them.

Truly it is an evil to be full of faults; but it is a still greater evil
to be full of them, and to be unwilling to recognise them, since that is
to add the further fault of a voluntary illusion. We do not like others
to deceive us; we do not think it fair that they should be held in
higher esteem by us than they deserve; it is not then fair that we
should deceive them, and should wish them to esteem us more highly than
we deserve.

Thus, when they discover only the imperfections and vices which we
really have, it is plain they do us no wrong, since it is not they who
cause them; they rather do us good, since they help us to free ourselves
from an evil, namely, the ignorance of these imperfections. We ought not
to be angry at their knowing our faults and despising us; it is but
right that they should know us for what we are, and should despise us,
if we are contemptible.

Such are the feelings that would arise in a heart full of equity and
justice. What must we say then of our own heart, when we see in it a
wholly different disposition? For is it not true that we hate truth and
those who tell it us, and that we like them to be deceived in our
favour, and prefer to be esteemed by them as being other than what we
are in fact? One proof of this makes me shudder. The Catholic religion
does not bind us to confess our sins indiscriminately to everybody; it
allows them to remain hidden from all other men save one, to whom she
bids us reveal the innermost recesses of our heart, and show ourselves
as we are. There is only this one man in the world whom she orders us to
undeceive, and she binds him to an inviolable secrecy, which makes this
knowledge to him as if it were not. Can we imagine anything more
charitable and pleasant? And yet the corruption of man is such that he
finds even this law harsh; and it is one of the main reasons which has
caused a great part of Europe to rebel against the Church.[61]

How unjust and unreasonable is the heart of man, which feels it
disagreeable to be obliged to do in regard to one man what in some
measure it were right to do to all men! For is it right that we should
deceive men?

There are different degrees in this aversion to truth; but all may
perhaps be said to have it in some degree, because it is inseparable
from self-love. It is this false delicacy which makes those who are
under the necessity of reproving others choose so many windings and
middle courses to avoid offence. They must lessen our faults, appear to
excuse them, intersperse praises and evidence of love and esteem.
Despite all this, the medicine does not cease to be bitter to self-love.
It takes as little as it can, always with disgust, and often with a
secret spite against those who administer it.

Hence it happens that if any have some interest in being loved by us,
they are averse to render us a service which they know to be
disagreeable. They treat us as we wish to be treated. We hate the truth,
and they hide it from us. We desire flattery, and they flatter us. We
like to be deceived, and they deceive us.

So each degree of good fortune which raises us in the world removes us
farther from truth, because we are most afraid of wounding those whose
affection is most useful and whose dislike is most dangerous. A prince
may be the byword of all Europe, and he alone will know nothing of it. I
am not astonished. To tell the truth is useful to those to whom it is
spoken, but disadvantageous to those who tell it, because it makes them
disliked. Now those who live with princes love their own interests more
than that of the prince whom they serve; and so they take care not to
confer on him a benefit so as to injure themselves.

This evil is no doubt greater and more common among the higher classes;
but the lower are not exempt from it, since there is always some
advantage in making men love us. Human life is thus only a perpetual
illusion; men deceive and flatter each other. No one speaks of us in our
presence as he does of us in our absence. Human society is founded on
mutual deceit; few friendships would endure if each knew what his friend
said of him in his absence, although he then spoke in sincerity and
without passion.

Man is then only disguise, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in himself and
in regard to others. He does not wish any one to tell him the truth; he
avoids telling it to others, and all these dispositions, so removed from
justice and reason, have a natural root in his heart.


101

I set it down as a fact that if all men knew what each said of the
other, there would not be four friends in the world. This is apparent
from the quarrels which arise from the indiscreet tales told from time
to time. [I say, further, all men would be ...]


102

Some vices only lay hold of us by means of others, and these, like
branches, fall on removal of the trunk.


103

The example of Alexander's chastity[62] has not made so many continent
as that of his drunkenness has made intemperate. It is not shameful not
to be as virtuous as he, and it seems excusable to be no more vicious.
We do not believe ourselves to be exactly sharing in the vices of the
vulgar, when we see that we are sharing in those of great men; and yet
we do not observe that in these matters they are ordinary men. We hold
on to them by the same end by which they hold on to the rabble; for,
however exalted they are, they are still united at some point to the
lowest of men. They are not suspended in the air, quite removed from our
society. No, no; if they are greater than we, it is because their heads
are higher; but their feet are as low as ours. They are all on the same
level, and rest on the same earth; and by that extremity they are as low
as we are, as the meanest folk, as infants, and as the beasts.


104

When our passion leads us to do something, we forget our duty; for
example, we like a book and read it, when we ought to be doing something
else. Now, to remind ourselves of our duty, we must set ourselves a task
we dislike; we then plead that we have something else to do, and by this
means remember our duty.


105

How difficult it is to submit anything to the judgment of another,
without prejudicing his judgment by the manner in which we submit it!
If we say, "I think it beautiful," "I think it obscure," or the like, we
either entice the imagination into that view, or irritate it to the
contrary. It is better to say nothing; and then the other judges
according to what really is, that is to say, according as it then is,
and according as the other circumstances, not of our making, have placed
it. But we at least shall have added nothing, unless it be that silence
also produces an effect, according to the turn and the interpretation
which the other will be disposed to give it, or as he will guess it from
gestures or countenance, or from the tone of the voice, if he is a
physiognomist. So difficult is it not to upset a judgment from its
natural place, or, rather, so rarely is it firm and stable!


106

By knowing each man's ruling passion, we are sure of pleasing him; and
yet each has his fancies, opposed to his true good, in the very idea
which he has of the good. It is a singularly puzzling fact.


107

_Lustravit lampade terras._[63]--The weather and my mood have little
connection. I have my foggy and my fine days within me; my prosperity or
misfortune has little to do with the matter. I sometimes struggle
against luck, the glory of mastering it makes me master it gaily;
whereas I am sometimes surfeited in the midst of good fortune.


108

Although people may have no interest in what they are saying, we must
not absolutely conclude from this that they are not lying; for there are
some people who lie for the mere sake of lying.


109

When we are well we wonder what we would do if we were ill, but when we
are ill we take medicine cheerfully; the illness persuades us to do so.
We have no longer the passions and desires for amusements and promenades
which health gave to us, but which are incompatible with the necessities
of illness. Nature gives us, then, passions and desires suitable to our
present state.[64] We are only troubled by the fears which we, and not
nature, give ourselves, for they add to the state in which we are the
passions of the state in which we are not.

As nature makes us always unhappy in every state, our desires picture to
us a happy state; because they add to the state in which we are the
pleasures of the state in which we are not. And if we attained to these
pleasures, we should not be happy after all; because we should have
other desires natural to this new state.

We must particularise this general proposition....


110

The consciousness of the falsity of present pleasures, and the ignorance
of the vanity of absent pleasures, cause inconstancy.


111

_Inconstancy._--We think we are playing on ordinary organs when playing
upon man. Men are organs, it is true, but, odd, changeable, variable
[with pipes not arranged in proper order. Those who only know how to
play on ordinary organs] will not produce harmonies on these. We must
know where [_the keys_] are.


112

_Inconstancy._--Things have different qualities, and the soul different
inclinations; for nothing is simple which is presented to the soul, and
the soul never presents itself simply to any object. Hence it comes that
we weep and laugh at the same thing.


113

_Inconstancy and oddity._--To live only by work, and to rule over the
most powerful State in the world, are very opposite things. They are
united in the person of the great Sultan of the Turks.


114

Variety is as abundant as all tones of the voice, all ways of walking,
coughing, blowing the nose, sneezing. We distinguish vines by their
fruit, and call them the Condrien, the Desargues, and such and such a
stock. Is this all? Has a vine ever produced two bunches exactly the
same, and has a bunch two grapes alike? etc.

I can never judge of the same thing exactly in the same way. I cannot
judge of my work, while doing it. I must do as the artists, stand at a
distance, but not too far. How far, then? Guess.


115

_Variety._--Theology is a science, but at the same time how many
sciences? A man is a whole; but if we dissect him, will he be the head,
the heart, the stomach, the veins, each vein, each portion of a vein,
the blood, each humour in the blood?

A town, a country-place, is from afar a town and a country-place. But,
as we draw near, there are houses, trees, tiles, leaves, grass, ants,
limbs of ants, in infinity. All this is contained under the name of
country-place.


116

_Thoughts._--All is one, all is different. How many natures exist in
man? How many vocations? And by what chance does each man ordinarily
choose what he has heard praised? A well-turned heel.


117

_The heel of a slipper._--"Ah! How well this is turned! Here is a clever
workman! How brave is this soldier!" This is the source of our
inclinations, and of the choice of conditions. "How much this man
drinks! How little that one!" This makes people sober or drunk,
soldiers, cowards, etc.


118

Chief talent, that which rules the rest.


119

Nature imitates herself. A seed sown in good ground brings forth fruit.
A principle, instilled into a good mind, brings forth fruit. Numbers
imitate space, which is of a different nature.

All is made and led by the same master, root, branches, and fruits;
principles and consequences.


120

[Nature diversifies and imitates; art imitates and diversifies.]


121

Nature always begins the same things again, the years, the days, the
hours; in like manner spaces and numbers follow each other from
beginning to end. Thus is made a kind of infinity and eternity. Not that
anything in all this is infinite and eternal, but these finite realities
are infinitely multiplied. Thus it seems to me to be only the number
which multiplies them that is infinite.


122

Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same
persons. Neither the offender nor the offended are any more themselves.
It is like a nation which we have provoked, but meet again after two
generations. They are still Frenchmen, but not the same.


123

He no longer loves the person whom he loved ten years ago. I quite
believe it. She is no longer the same, nor is he. He was young, and she
also; she is quite different. He would perhaps love her yet, if she were
what she was then.


124

We view things not only from different sides, but with different eyes;
we have no wish to find them alike.


125

_Contraries._--Man is naturally credulous and incredulous, timid and
rash.


126

Description of man: dependency, desire of independence, need.


127

Condition of man: inconstancy, weariness, unrest.


128

The weariness which is felt by us in leaving pursuits to which we are
attached. A man dwells at home with pleasure; but if he sees a woman who
charms him, or if he enjoys himself in play for five or six days, he is
miserable if he returns to his former way of living. Nothing is more
common than that.


129

Our nature consists in motion; complete rest is death.[65]


130

_Restlessness._--If a soldier, or labourer, complain of the hardship of
his lot, set him to do nothing.


131

_Weariness._[66]--Nothing is so insufferable to man as to be completely
at rest, without passions, without business, without diversion, without
study. He then feels his nothingness, his forlornness, his
insufficiency, his dependence, his weakness, his emptiness. There will
immediately arise from the depth of his heart weariness, gloom, sadness,
fretfulness, vexation, despair.


132

Methinks Cæsar was too old to set about amusing himself with conquering
the world.[67] Such sport was good for Augustus or Alexander. They were
still young men, and thus difficult to restrain. But Cæsar should have
been more mature.


133

Two faces which resemble each other, make us laugh, when together, by
their resemblance, though neither of them by itself makes us laugh.


134

How useless is painting, which attracts admiration by the resemblance of
things, the originals of which we do not admire!


135

The struggle alone pleases us, not the victory. We love to see animals
fighting, not the victor infuriated over the vanquished. We would only
see the victorious end; and, as soon as it comes, we are satiated. It is
the same in play, and the same in the search for truth. In disputes we
like to see the clash of opinions, but not at all to contemplate truth
when found. To observe it with pleasure, we have to see it emerge out of
strife. So in the passions, there is pleasure in seeing the collision of
two contraries; but when one acquires the mastery, it becomes only
brutality. We never seek things for themselves, but for the search.
Likewise in plays, scenes which do not rouse the emotion of fear are
worthless, so are extreme and hopeless misery, brutal lust, and extreme
cruelty.


136

A mere trifle consoles us, for a mere trifle distresses us.[68]


137

Without examining every particular pursuit, it is enough to comprehend
them under diversion.


138

Men naturally slaters and of all callings, save in their own rooms.


139

_Diversion._--When I have occasionally set myself to consider the
different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose
themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions,
bold and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the
unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay
quietly in their own chamber. A man who has enough to live on, if he
knew how to stay with pleasure at home, would not leave it to go to sea
or to besiege a town. A commission in the army would not be bought so
dearly, but that it is found insufferable not to budge from the town;
and men only seek conversation and entering games, because they cannot
remain with pleasure at home.

But on further consideration, when, after finding the cause of all our
ills, I have sought to discover the reason of it, I have found that
there is one very real reason, namely, the natural poverty of our feeble
and mortal condition, so miserable that nothing can comfort us when we
think of it closely.

Whatever condition we picture to ourselves, if we muster all the good
things which it is possible to possess, royalty is the finest position
in the world. Yet, when we imagine a king attended with every pleasure
he can feel, if he be without diversion, and be left to consider and
reflect on what he is, this feeble happiness will not sustain him; he
will necessarily fall into forebodings of dangers, of revolutions which
may happen, and, finally, of death and inevitable disease; so that if he
be without what is called diversion, he is unhappy, and more unhappy
than the least of his subjects who plays and diverts himself.

Hence it comes that play and the society of women, war, and high posts,
are so sought after. Not that there is in fact any happiness in them, or
that men imagine true bliss to consist in money won at play, or in the
hare which they hunt; we would not take these as a gift. We do not seek
that easy and peaceful lot which permits us to think of our unhappy
condition, nor the dangers of war, nor the labour of office, but the
bustle which averts these thoughts of ours, and amuses us.

Reasons why we like the chase better than the quarry.

Hence it comes that men so much love noise and stir; hence it comes that
the prison is so horrible a punishment; hence it comes that the pleasure
of solitude is a thing incomprehensible. And it is in fact the greatest
source of happiness in the condition of kings, that men try incessantly
to divert them, and to procure for them all kinds of pleasures.

The king is surrounded by persons whose only thought is to divert the
king, and to prevent his thinking of self. For he is unhappy, king
though he be, if he think of himself.

This is all that men have been able to discover to make themselves
happy. And those who philosophise on the matter, and who think men
unreasonable for spending a whole day in chasing a hare which they would
not have bought, scarce know our nature. The hare in itself would not
screen us from the sight of death and calamities; but the chase which
turns away our attention from these, does screen us.

The advice given to Pyrrhus to take the rest which he was about to seek
with so much labour, was full of difficulties.[69]

[To bid a man live quietly is to bid him live happily. It is to advise
him to be in a state perfectly happy, in which he can think at leisure
without finding therein a cause of distress. This is to misunderstand
nature.

As men who naturally understand their own condition avoid nothing so
much as rest, so there is nothing they leave undone in seeking turmoil.
Not that they have an instinctive knowledge of true happiness ...

So we are wrong in blaming them. Their error does not lie in seeking
excitement, if they seek it only as a diversion; the evil is that they
seek it as if the possession of the objects of their quest would make
them really happy. In this respect it is right to call their quest a
vain one. Hence in all this both the censurers and the censured do not
understand man's true nature.]

And thus, when we take the exception against them, that what they seek
with such fervour cannot satisfy them, if they replied--as they should
do if they considered the matter thoroughly--that they sought in it only
a violent and impetuous occupation which turned their thoughts from
self, and that they therefore chose an attractive object to charm and
ardently attract them, they would leave their opponents without a
reply. But they do not make this reply, because they do not know
themselves.[70] They do not know that it is the chase, and not the
quarry, which they seek.

Dancing: we must consider rightly where to place our feet.--A gentleman
sincerely believes that hunting is great and royal sport; but a beater
is not of this opinion.

They imagine that if they obtained such a post, they would then rest
with pleasure, and are insensible of the insatiable nature of their
desire. They think they are truly seeking quiet, and they are only
seeking excitement.

They have a secret instinct which impels them to seek amusement and
occupation abroad, and which arises from the sense of their constant
unhappiness. They have another secret instinct, a remnant of the
greatness of our original nature, which teaches them that happiness in
reality consists only in rest, and not in stir. And of these two
contrary instincts they form within themselves a confused idea, which
hides itself from their view in the depths of their soul, inciting them
to aim at rest through excitement, and always to fancy that the
satisfaction which they have not will come to them, if, by surmounting
whatever difficulties confront them, they can thereby open the door to
rest.

Thus passes away all man's life. Men seek rest in a struggle against
difficulties; and when they have conquered these, rest becomes
insufferable. For we think either of the misfortunes we have or of those
which threaten us. And even if we should see ourselves sufficiently
sheltered on all sides, weariness of its own accord would not fail to
arise from the depths of the heart wherein it has its natural roots, and
to fill the mind with its poison.

Thus so wretched is man that he would weary even without any cause for
weariness from the peculiar state of his disposition; and so frivolous
is he, that, though full of a thousand reasons for weariness, the least
thing, such as playing billiards or hitting a ball, is sufficient to
amuse him.

But will you say what object has he in all this? The pleasure of
bragging to-morrow among his friends that he has played better than
another. So others sweat in their own rooms to show to the learned that
they have solved a problem in algebra, which no one had hitherto been
able to solve. Many more expose themselves to extreme perils, in my
opinion as foolishly, in order to boast afterwards that they have
captured a town. Lastly, others wear themselves out in studying all
these things, not in order to become wiser, but only in order to prove
that they know them; and these are the most senseless of the band, since
they are so knowingly, whereas one may suppose of the others, that if
they knew it, they would no longer be foolish.

This man spends his life without weariness in playing every day for a
small stake. Give him each morning the money he can win each day, on
condition he does not play; you make him miserable. It will perhaps be
said that he seeks the amusement of play and not the winnings. Make him
then play for nothing; he will not become excited over it, and will feel
bored. It is then not the amusement alone that he seeks; a languid and
passionless amusement will weary him. He must get excited over it, and
deceive himself by the fancy that he will be happy to win what he would
not have as a gift on condition of not playing; and he must make for
himself an object of passion, and excite over it his desire, his anger,
his fear, to obtain his imagined end, as children are frightened at the
face they have blackened.

Whence comes it that this man, who lost his only son a few months ago,
or who this morning was in such trouble through being distressed by
lawsuits and quarrels, now no longer thinks of them? Do not wonder; he
is quite taken up in looking out for the boar which his dogs have been
hunting so hotly for the last six hours. He requires nothing more.
However full of sadness a man may be, he is happy for the time, if you
can prevail upon him to enter into some amusement; and however happy a
man may be, he will soon be discontented and wretched, if he be not
diverted and occupied by some passion or pursuit which prevents
weariness from overcoming him. Without amusement there is no joy; with
amusement there is no sadness. And this also constitutes the happiness
of persons in high position, that they have a number of people to amuse
them, and have the power to keep themselves in this state.

Consider this. What is it to be superintendent, chancellor, first
president, but to be in a condition wherein from early morning a large
number of people come from all quarters to see them, so as not to leave
them an hour in the day in which they can think of themselves? And when
they are in disgrace and sent back to their country houses, where they
lack neither wealth nor servants to help them on occasion, they do not
fail to be wretched and desolate, because no one prevents them from
thinking of themselves.


140

[How does it happen that this man, so distressed at the death of his
wife and his only son, or who has some great lawsuit which annoys him,
is not at this moment sad, and that he seems so free from all painful
and disquieting thoughts? We need not wonder; for a ball has been served
him, and he must return it to his companion. He is occupied in catching
it in its fall from the roof, to win a game. How can he think of his own
affairs, pray, when he has this other matter in hand? Here is a care
worthy of occupying this great soul, and taking away from him every
other thought of the mind. This man, born to know the universe, to judge
all causes, to govern a whole state, is altogether occupied and taken up
with the business of catching a hare. And if he does not lower himself
to this, and wants always to be on the strain, he will be more foolish
still, because he would raise himself above humanity; and after all he
is only a man, that is to say capable of little and of much, of all and
of nothing; he is neither angel nor brute, but man.]


141

Men spend their time in following a ball or a hare; it is the pleasure
even of kings.


142

_Diversion._--Is not the royal dignity sufficiently great in itself to
make its possessor happy by the mere contemplation of what he is? Must
he be diverted from this thought like ordinary folk? I see well that a
man is made happy by diverting him from the view of his domestic sorrows
so as to occupy all his thoughts with the care of dancing well. But will
it be the same with a king, and will he be happier in the pursuit of
these idle amusements than in the contemplation of his greatness? And
what more satisfactory object could be presented to his mind? Would it
not be a deprivation of his delight for him to occupy his soul with the
thought of how to adjust his steps to the cadence of an air, or of how
to throw a [ball] skilfully, instead of leaving it to enjoy quietly the
contemplation of the majestic glory which encompasses him? Let us make
the trial; let us leave a king all alone to reflect on himself quite at
leisure, without any gratification of the senses, without any care in
his mind, without society; and we will see that a king without
diversion is a man full of wretchedness. So this is carefully avoided,
and near the persons of kings there never fail to be a great number of
people who see to it that amusement follows business, and who watch all
the time of their leisure to supply them with delights and games, so
that there is no blank in it. In fact, kings are surrounded with persons
who are wonderfully attentive in taking care that the king be not alone
and in a state to think of himself, knowing well that he will be
miserable, king though he be, if he meditate on self.

In all this I am not talking of Christian kings as Christians, but only
as kings.


143

_Diversion._--Men are entrusted from infancy with the care of their
honour, their property, their friends, and even with the property and
the honour of their friends. They are overwhelmed with business, with
the study of languages, and with physical exercise;[71] and they are
made to understand that they cannot be happy unless their health, their
honour, their fortune and that of their friends be in good condition,
and that a single thing wanting will make them unhappy. Thus they are
given cares and business which make them bustle about from break of
day.--It is, you will exclaim, a strange way to make them happy! What
more could be done to make them miserable?--Indeed! what could be done?
We should only have to relieve them from all these cares; for then they
would see themselves: they would reflect on what they are, whence they
came, whither they go, and thus we cannot employ and divert them too
much. And this is why, after having given them so much business, we
advise them, if they have some time for relaxation, to employ it in
amusement, in play, and to be always fully occupied.

How hollow and full of ribaldry is the heart of man!


144

I spent a long time in the study of the abstract sciences, and was
disheartened by the small number of fellow-students in them. When I
commenced the study of man, I saw that these abstract sciences are not
suited to man, and that I was wandering farther from my own state in
examining them, than others in not knowing them. I pardoned their little
knowledge; but I thought at least to find many companions in the study
of man, and that it was the true study which is suited to him. I have
been deceived; still fewer study it than geometry. It is only from the
want of knowing how to study this that we seek the other studies. But is
it not that even here is not the knowledge which man should have, and
that for the purpose of happiness it is better for him not to know
himself?


145

[One thought alone occupies us; we cannot think of two things at the
same time. This is lucky for us according to the world, not according to
God.]


146

Man is obviously made to think. It is his whole dignity and his whole
merit; and his whole duty is to think as he ought. Now, the order of
thought is to begin with self, and with its Author and its end.

Now, of what does the world think? Never of this, but of dancing,
playing the lute, singing, making verses, running at the ring, etc.,
fighting, making oneself king, without thinking what it is to be a king
and what to be a man.


147

We do not content ourselves with the life we have in ourselves and in
our own being; we desire to live an imaginary life in the mind of
others, and for this purpose we endeavour to shine. We labour
unceasingly to adorn and preserve this imaginary existence, and neglect
the real. And if we possess calmness, or generosity, or truthfulness, we
are eager to make it known, so as to attach these virtues to that
imaginary existence. We would rather separate them from ourselves to
join them to it; and we would willingly be cowards in order to acquire
the reputation of being brave. A great proof of the nothingness of our
being, not to be satisfied with the one without the other, and to
renounce the one for the other! For he would be infamous who would not
die to preserve his honour.


148

We are so presumptuous that we would wish to be known by all the world,
even by people who shall come after, when we shall be no more; and we
are so vain that the esteem of five or six neighbours delights and
contents us.


149

We do not trouble ourselves about being esteemed in the towns through
which we pass. But if we are to remain a little while there, we are so
concerned. How long is necessary? A time commensurate with our vain and
paltry life.


150

Vanity is so anchored in the heart of man that a soldier, a soldier's
servant, a cook, a porter brags, and wishes to have his admirers. Even
philosophers wish for them. Those who write against it want to have the
glory of having written well;[72] and those who read it desire the glory
of having read it. I who write this have perhaps this desire, and
perhaps those who will read it ...


151

_Glory._--Admiration spoils all from infancy. Ah! How well said! Ah! How
well done! How well-behaved he is! etc.

The children of Port-Royal, who do not receive this stimulus of envy and
glory, fall into carelessness.


152

_Pride._--Curiosity is only vanity. Most frequently we wish to know but
to talk. Otherwise we would not take a sea voyage in order never to talk
of it, and for the sole pleasure of seeing without hope of ever
communicating it.


153

_Of the desire of being esteemed by those with whom we are._--Pride
takes such natural possession of us in the midst of our woes, errors,
etc. We even lose our life with joy, provided people talk of it.

Vanity: play, hunting, visiting, false shame, a lasting name.


154

[I have no friends] to your advantage].


155

A true friend is so great an advantage, even for the greatest lords, in
order that he may speak well of them, and back them in their absence,
that they should do all to have one. But they should choose well; for,
if they spend all their efforts in the interests of fools, it will be of
no use, however well these may speak of them; and these will not even
speak well of them if they find themselves on the weakest side, for
they have no influence; and thus they will speak ill of them in company.


156

_Ferox gens, nullam esse vitam sine armis rati._[73]--They prefer death
to peace; others prefer death to war.

Every opinion may be held preferable to life, the love of which is so
strong and so natural.[74]


157

Contradiction: contempt for our existence, to die for nothing, hatred of
our existence.


158

_Pursuits._--The charm of fame is so great, that we like every object to
which it is attached, even death.


159

Noble deeds are most estimable when hidden. When I see some of these in
history (as p. 184)[75], they please me greatly. But after all they have
not been quite hidden, since they have been known; and though people
have done what they could to hide them, the little publication of them
spoils all, for what was best in them was the wish to hide them.


160

Sneezing absorbs all the functions of the soul, as well as work does;
but we do not draw therefrom the same conclusions against the greatness
of man, because it is against his will. And although we bring it on
ourselves, it is nevertheless against our will that we sneeze. It is not
in view of the act itself; it is for another end. And thus it is not a
proof of the weakness of man, and of his slavery under that action.

It is not disgraceful for man to yield to pain, and it is disgraceful to
yield to pleasure. This is not because pain comes to us from without,
and we ourselves seek pleasure; for it is possible to seek pain, and
yield to it purposely, without this kind of baseness. Whence comes it,
then, that reason thinks it honourable to succumb under stress of pain,
and disgraceful to yield to the attack of pleasure? It is because pain
does not tempt and attract us. It is we ourselves who choose it
voluntarily, and will it to prevail over us. So that we are masters of
the situation; and in this man yields to himself. But in pleasure it is
man who yields to pleasure. Now only mastery and sovereignty bring
glory, and only slavery brings shame.


161

_Vanity._--How wonderful it is that a thing so evident as the vanity of
the world is so little known, that it is a strange and surprising thing
to say that it is foolish to seek greatness!


162

He who will know fully the vanity of man has only to consider the causes
and effects of love. The cause is a _je ne sais quoi_ (Corneille),[76]
and the effects are dreadful. This _je ne sais quoi_, so small an object
that we cannot recognise it, agitates a whole country, princes, armies,
the entire world.

Cleopatra's nose: had it been shorter, the whole aspect of the world
would have been altered.


163

_Vanity._--The cause and the effects of love: Cleopatra.


164

He who does not see the vanity of the world is himself very vain. Indeed
who do not see it but youths who are absorbed in fame, diversion, and
the thought of the future? But take away diversion, and you will see
them dried up with weariness. They feel then their nothingness without
knowing it; for it is indeed to be unhappy to be in insufferable sadness
as soon as we are reduced to thinking of self, and have no diversion.


165

_Thoughts._--_In omnibus requiem quæsivi._[77] If our condition were
truly happy, we would not need diversion from thinking of it in order to
make ourselves happy.


166

_Diversion._--Death is easier to bear without thinking of it, than is
the thought of death without peril.


167

The miseries of human life have established all this: as men have seen
this, they have taken up diversion.


168

_Diversion._--As men are not able to fight against death, misery,
ignorance, they have taken it into their heads, in order to be happy,
not to think of them at all.


169

Despite these miseries, man wishes to be happy, and only wishes to be
happy, and cannot wish not to be so. But how will he set about it? To be
happy he would have to make himself immortal; but, not being able to do
so, it has occurred to him to prevent himself from thinking of death.


170

_Diversion._--If man were happy, he would be the more so, the less he
was diverted, like the Saints and God.--Yes; but is it not to be happy
to have a faculty of being amused by diversion?--No; for that comes from
elsewhere and from without, and thus is dependent, and therefore subject
to be disturbed by a thousand accidents, which bring inevitable griefs.


171

_Misery._--The only thing which consoles us for our miseries is
diversion, and yet this it the greatest of our miseries. For it is this
which principally hinders us from reflecting upon ourselves, and which
makes us insensibly ruin ourselves. Without this we should be in a state
of weariness, and this weariness would spur us to seek a more solid
means of escaping from it. But diversion amuses us, and leads us
unconsciously to death.


172

We do not rest satisfied with the present. We anticipate the future as
too slow in coming, as if in order to hasten its course; or we recall
the past, to stop its too rapid flight. So imprudent are we that we
wander in the times which are not ours, and do not think of the only one
which belongs to us; and so idle are we that we dream of those times
which are no more, and thoughtlessly overlook that which alone exists.
For the present is generally painful to us. We conceal it from our
sight, because it troubles us; and if it be delightful to us, we regret
to see it pass away. We try to sustain it by the future, and think of
arranging matters which are not in our power, for a time which we have
no certainty of reaching.

Let each one examine his thoughts, and he will find them all occupied
with the past and the future. We scarcely ever think of the present; and
if we think of it, it is only to take light from it to arrange the
future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our
means; the future alone is our end.[78] So we never live, but we hope to
live; and, as we are always preparing to be happy, it is inevitable we
should never be so.


173

They say that eclipses foretoken misfortune, because misfortunes are
common, so that, as evil happens so often, they often foretell it;
whereas if they said that they predict good fortune, they would often be
wrong. They attribute good fortune only to rare conjunctions of the
heavens; so they seldom fail in prediction.


174

_Misery._--Solomon[79] and Job have best known and best spoken of the
misery of man; the former the most fortunate, and the latter the most
unfortunate of men; the former knowing the vanity of pleasures from
experience, the latter the reality of evils.


175

We know ourselves so little, that many think they are about to die when
they are well, and many think they are well when they are near death,
unconscious of approaching fever,[80] or of the abscess ready to form
itself.


176

Cromwell[81] was about to ravage all Christendom; the royal family was
undone, and his own for ever established, save for a little grain of
sand which formed in his ureter. Rome herself was trembling under him;
but this small piece of gravel having formed there, he is dead, his
family cast down, all is peaceful, and the king is restored.


177

[Three hosts.[82]] Would he who had possessed the friendship of the King
of England, the King of Poland, and the Queen of Sweden, have believed
he would lack a refuge and shelter in the world?


178

Macrobius:[83] on the innocents slain by Herod.


179

When Augustus learnt that Herod's own son was amongst the infants under
two years of age, whom he had caused to be slain, he said that it was
better to be Herod's pig than his son.--Macrobius, _Sat._, book ii,
chap. 4.


180

The great and the humble have the same misfortunes, the same griefs, the
same passions;[84] but the one is at the top of the wheel, and the other
near the centre, and so less disturbed by the same revolutions.


181

We are so unfortunate that we can only take pleasure in a thing on
condition of being annoyed if it turn out ill, as a thousand things can
do, and do every hour. He who should find the secret of rejoicing in the
good, without troubling himself with its contrary evil, would have hit
the mark. It is perpetual motion.


182

Those who have always good hope in the midst of misfortunes, and who are
delighted with good luck, are suspected of being very pleased with the
ill success of the affair, if they are not equally distressed by bad
luck; and they are overjoyed to find these pretexts of hope, in order to
show that they are concerned and to conceal by the joy which they feign
to feel that which they have at seeing the failure of the matter.


183

We run carelessly to the precipice, after we have put something before
us to prevent us seeing it.



SECTION III

OF THE NECESSITY OF THE WAGER


184

A letter to incite to the search after God.

And then to make people seek Him among the philosophers, sceptics, and
dogmatists, who disquiet him who inquires of them.


185

The conduct of God, who disposes all things kindly, is to put religion
into the mind by reason, and into the heart by grace. But to will to put
it into the mind and heart by force and threats is not to put religion
there, but terror, _terorrem potius quam religionem_.


186

_Nisi terrerentur et non docerentur, improba quasi dominatio videretur_
(Aug., Ep. 48 or 49), _Contra Mendacium ad Consentium_.


187

_Order._--Men despise religion; they hate it, and fear it is true. To
remedy this, we must begin by showing that religion is not contrary to
reason; that it is venerable, to inspire respect for it; then we must
make it lovable, to make good men hope it is true; finally, we must
prove it is true.

Venerable, because it has perfect knowledge of man; lovable, because it
promises the true good.


188

In every dialogue and discourse, we must be able to say to those who
take offence, "Of what do you complain?"


189

To begin by pitying unbelievers; they are wretched enough by their
condition. We ought only to revile them where it is beneficial; but this
does them harm.


190

To pity atheists who seek, for are they not unhappy enough? To inveigh
against those who make a boast of it.


191

And will this one scoff at the other? Who ought to scoff? And yet, the
latter does not scoff at the other, but pities him.


192

To reproach Miton[85] with not being troubled, since God will reproach
him.


193

_Quid fiet hominibus qui minima contemnunt, majora non credunt?_


194

... Let them at least learn what is the religion they attack, before
attacking it. If this religion boasted of having a clear view of God,
and of possessing it open and unveiled, it would be attacking it to say
that we see nothing in the world which shows it with this clearness. But
since, on the contrary, it says that men are in darkness and estranged
from God, that He has hidden Himself from their knowledge, that this is
in fact the name which He gives Himself in the Scriptures, _Deus
absconditus_;[86] and finally, if it endeavours equally to establish
these two things: that God has set up in the Church visible signs to
make Himself known to those who should seek Him sincerely, and that He
has nevertheless so disguised them that He will only be perceived by
those who seek Him with all their heart; what advantage can they obtain,
when, in the negligence with which they make profession of being in
search of the truth, they cry out that nothing reveals it to them; and
since that darkness in which they are, and with which they upbraid the
Church, establishes only one of the things which she affirms, without
touching the other, and, very far from destroying, proves her doctrine?

In order to attack it, they should have protested that they had made
every effort to seek Him everywhere, and even in that which the Church
proposes for their instruction, but without satisfaction. If they talked
in this manner, they would in truth be attacking one of her pretensions.
But I hope here to show that no reasonable person can speak thus, and I
venture even to say that no one has ever done so. We know well enough
how those who are of this mind behave. They believe they have made great
efforts for their instruction, when they have spent a few hours in
reading some book of Scripture, and have questioned some priest on the
truths of the faith. After that, they boast of having made vain search
in books and among men. But, verily, I will tell them what I have often
said, that this negligence is insufferable. We are not here concerned
with the trifling interests of some stranger, that we should treat it in
this fashion; the matter concerns ourselves and our all.

The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence
to us, and which touches us so profoundly, that we must have lost all
feeling to be indifferent as to knowing what it is. All our actions and
thoughts must take such different courses, according as there are or are
not eternal joys to hope for, that it is impossible to take one step
with sense and judgment, unless we regulate our course by our view of
this point which ought to be our ultimate end.

Thus our first interest and our first duty is to enlighten ourselves on
this subject, whereon depends all our conduct. Therefore among those who
do not believe, I make a vast difference between those who strive with
all their power to inform themselves, and those who live without
troubling or thinking about it.

I can have only compassion for those who sincerely bewail their doubt,
who regard it as the greatest of misfortunes, and who, sparing no effort
to escape it, make of this inquiry their principal and most serious
occupations.

But as for those who pass their life without thinking of this ultimate
end of life, and who, for this sole reason that they do not find within
themselves the lights which convince them of it, neglect to seek them
elsewhere, and to examine thoroughly whether this opinion is one of
those which people receive with credulous simplicity, or one of those
which, although obscure in themselves, have nevertheless a solid and
immovable foundation, I look upon them in a manner quite different.

This carelessness in a matter which concerns themselves, their eternity,
their all, moves me more to anger than pity; it astonishes and shocks
me; it is to me monstrous. I do not say this out of the pious zeal of a
spiritual devotion. I expect, on the contrary, that we ought to have
this feeling from principles of human interest and self-love; for this
we need only see what the least enlightened persons see.

We do not require great education of the mind to understand that here is
no real and lasting satisfaction; that our pleasures are only vanity;
that our evils are infinite; and, lastly, that death, which threatens us
every moment, must infallibly place us within a few years under the
dreadful necessity of being for ever either annihilated or unhappy.

There is nothing more real than this, nothing more terrible. Be we as
heroic as we like, that is the end which awaits the noblest life in the
world. Let us reflect on this, and then say whether it is not beyond
doubt that there is no good in this life but in the hope of another;
that we are happy only in proportion as we draw near it; and that, as
there are no more woes for those who have complete assurance of
eternity, so there is no more happiness for those who have no insight
into it.

Surely then it is a great evil thus to be in doubt, but it is at least
an indispensable duty to seek when we are in such doubt; and thus the
doubter who does not seek is altogether completely unhappy and
completely wrong. And if besides this he is easy and content, professes
to be so, and indeed boasts of it; if it is this state itself which is
the subject of his joy and vanity, I have no words to describe so silly
a creature.

How can people hold these opinions? What joy can we find in the
expectation of nothing but hopeless misery? What reason for boasting
that we are in impenetrable darkness? And how can it happen that the
following argument occurs to a reasonable man?

"I know not who put me into the world, nor what the world is, nor what I
myself am. I am in terrible ignorance of everything. I know not what my
body is, nor my senses, nor my soul, not even that part of me which
thinks what I say, which reflects on all and on itself, and knows itself
no more than the rest. I see those frightful spaces of the universe
which surround me, and I find myself tied to one corner of this vast
expanse, without knowing why I am put in this place rather than in
another, nor why the short time which is given me to live is assigned to
me at this point rather than at another of the whole eternity which was
before me or which shall come after me. I see nothing but infinites on
all sides, which surround me as an atom, and as a shadow which endures
only for an instant and returns no more. All I know is that I must soon
die, but what I know least is this very death which I cannot escape.

"As I know not whence I come, so I know not whither I go. I know only
that, in leaving this world, I fall for ever either into annihilation or
into the hands of an angry God, without knowing to which of these two
states I shall be for ever assigned. Such is my state, full of weakness
and uncertainty. And from all this I conclude that I ought to spend all
the days of my life without caring to inquire into what must happen to
me. Perhaps I might find some solution to my doubts, but I will not take
the trouble, nor take a step to seek it; and after treating with scorn
those who are concerned with this care, I will go without foresight and
without fear to try the great event, and let myself be led carelessly to
death, uncertain of the eternity of my future state."

Who would desire to have for a friend a man who talks in this fashion?
Who would choose him out from others to tell him of his affairs? Who
would have recourse to him in affliction? And indeed to what use in life
could one put him?

In truth, it is the glory of religion to have for enemies men so
unreasonable: and their opposition to it is so little dangerous that it
serves on the contrary to establish its truths. For the Christian faith
goes mainly to establish these two facts, the corruption of nature, and
redemption by Jesus Christ. Now I contend that if these men do not serve
to prove the truth of the redemption by the holiness of their behaviour,
they at least serve admirably to show the corruption of nature by
sentiments so unnatural.

Nothing is so important to man as his own state, nothing is so
formidable to him as eternity; and thus it is not natural that there
should be men indifferent to the loss of their existence, and to the
perils of everlasting suffering. They are quite different with regard to
all other things. They are afraid of mere trifles; they foresee them;
they feel them. And this same man who spends so many days and nights in
rage and despair for the loss of office, or for some imaginary insult to
his honour, is the very one who knows without anxiety and without
emotion that he will lose all by death. It is a monstrous thing to see
in the same heart and at the same time this sensibility to trifles and
this strange insensibility to the greatest objects. It is an
incomprehensible enchantment, and a supernatural slumber, which
indicates as its cause an all-powerful force.

There must be a strange confusion in the nature of man, that he should
boast of being in that state in which it seems incredible that a single
individual should be. However, experience has shown me so great a
number of such persons that the fact would be surprising, if we did not
know that the greater part of those who trouble themselves about the
matter are disingenuous, and not in fact what they say. They are people
who have heard it said that it is the fashion to be thus daring. It is
what they call shaking off the yoke, and they try to imitate this. But
it would not be difficult to make them understand how greatly they
deceive themselves in thus seeking esteem. This is not the way to gain
it, even I say among those men of the world who take a healthy view of
things, and who know that the only way to succeed in this life is to
make ourselves appear honourable, faithful, judicious, and capable of
useful service to a friend; because naturally men love only what may be
useful to them. Now, what do we gain by hearing it said of a man that he
has now thrown off the yoke, that he does not believe there is a God who
watches our actions, that he considers himself the sole master of his
conduct, and that he thinks he is accountable for it only to himself?
Does he think that he has thus brought us to have henceforth complete
confidence in him, and to look to him for consolation, advice, and help
in every need of life? Do they profess to have delighted us by telling
us that they hold our soul to be only a little wind and smoke,
especially by telling us this in a haughty and self-satisfied tone of
voice? Is this a thing to say gaily? Is it not, on the contrary, a thing
to say sadly, as the saddest thing in the world?

If they thought of it seriously, they would see that this is so bad a
mistake, so contrary to good sense, so opposed to decency and so removed
in every respect from that good breeding which they seek, that they
would be more likely to correct than to pervert those who had an
inclination to follow them. And indeed, make them give an account of
their opinions, and of the reasons which they have for doubting
religion, and they will say to you things so feeble and so petty, that
they will persuade you of the contrary. The following is what a person
one day said to such a one very appositely: "If you continue to talk in
this manner, you will really make me religious." And he was right, for
who would not have a horror of holding opinions in which he would have
such contemptible persons as companions!

Thus those who only feign these opinions would be very unhappy, if they
restrained their natural feelings in order to make themselves the most
conceited of men. If, at the bottom of their heart, they are troubled at
not having more light, let them not disguise the fact; this avowal will
not be shameful. The only shame is to have none. Nothing reveals more an
extreme weakness of mind than not to know the misery of a godless man.
Nothing is more indicative of a bad disposition of heart than not to
desire the truth of eternal promises. Nothing is more dastardly than to
act with bravado before God. Let them then leave these impieties to
those who are sufficiently ill-bred to be really capable of them. Let
them at least be honest men, if they cannot be Christians. Finally, let
them recognise that there are two kinds of people one can call
reasonable; those who serve God with all their heart because they know
Him, and those who seek Him with all their heart because they do not
know Him.

But as for those who live without knowing Him and without seeking Him,
they judge themselves so little worthy of their own care, that they are
not worthy of the care of others; and it needs all the charity of the
religion which they despise, not to despise them even to the point of
leaving them to their folly. But because this religion obliges us always
to regard them, so long as they are in this life, as capable of the
grace which can enlighten them, and to believe that they may, in a
little time, be more replenished with faith than we are, and that, on
the other hand, we may fall into the blindness wherein they are, we must
do for them what we would they should do for us if we were in their
place, and call upon them to have pity upon themselves, and to take at
least some steps in the endeavour to find light. Let them give to
reading this some of the hours which they otherwise employ so uselessly;
whatever aversion they may bring to the task, they will perhaps gain
something, and at least will not lose much. But as for those who bring
to the task perfect sincerity and a real desire to meet with truth,
those I hope will be satisfied and convinced of the proofs of a religion
so divine, which I have here collected, and in which I have followed
somewhat after this order ...


195

Before entering into the proofs of the Christian religion, I find it
necessary to point out the sinfulness of those men who live in
indifference to the search for truth in a matter which is so important
to them, and which touches them so nearly.

Of all their errors, this doubtless is the one which most convicts them
of foolishness and blindness, and in which it is easiest to confound
them by the first glimmerings of common sense, and by natural feelings.

For it is not to be doubted that the duration of this life is but a
moment; that the state of death is eternal, whatever may be its nature;
and that thus all our actions and thoughts must take such different
directions according to the state of that eternity, that it is
impossible to take one step with sense and judgment, unless we regulate
our course by the truth of that point which ought to be our ultimate
end.

There is nothing clearer than this; and thus, according to the
principles of reason, the conduct of men is wholly unreasonable, if they
do not take another course.

On this point, therefore, we condemn those who live without thought of
the ultimate end of life, who let themselves be guided by their own
inclinations and their own pleasures without reflection and without
concern, and, as if they could annihilate eternity by turning away their
thought from it, think only of making themselves happy for the moment.

Yet this eternity exists, and death, which must open into it, and
threatens them every hour, must in a little time infallibly put them
under the dreadful necessity of being either annihilated or unhappy for
ever, without knowing which of these eternities is for ever prepared for
them.

This is a doubt of terrible consequence. They are in peril of eternal
woe; and thereupon, as if the matter were not worth the trouble, they
neglect to inquire whether this is one of those opinions which people
receive with too credulous a facility, or one of those which, obscure in
themselves, have a very firm, though hidden, foundation. Thus they know
not whether there be truth or falsity in the matter, nor whether there
be strength or weakness in the proofs. They have them before their eyes;
they refuse to look at them; and in that ignorance they choose all that
is necessary to fall into this misfortune if it exists, to await death
to make trial of it, yet to be very content in this state, to make
profession of it, and indeed to boast of it. Can we think seriously on
the importance of this subject without being horrified at conduct so
extravagant?

This resting in ignorance is a monstrous thing, and they who pass their
life in it must be made to feel its extravagance and stupidity, by
having it shown to them, so that they may be confounded by the sight of
their folly. For this is how men reason, when they choose to live in
such ignorance of what they are, and without seeking enlightenment. "I
know not," they say ...


196

Men lack heart; they would not make a friend of it.


197

To be insensible to the extent of despising interesting things, and to
become insensible to the point which interests us most.


198

The sensibility of man to trifles, and his insensibility to great
things, indicates a strange inversion.


199

Let us imagine a number of men in chains, and all condemned to death,
where some are killed each day in the sight of the others, and those who
remain see their own fate in that of their fellows, and wait their turn,
looking at each other sorrowfully and without hope. It is an image of
the condition of men.


200

A man in a dungeon, ignorant whether his sentence be pronounced, and
having only one hour to learn it, but this hour enough, if he know that
it is pronounced, to obtain its repeal, would act unnaturally in
spending that hour, not in ascertaining his sentence, but in playing
piquet. So it is against nature that man, etc. It is making heavy the
hand of God.

Thus not only the zeal of those who seek Him proves God, but also the
blindness of those who seek Him not.


201

All the objections of this one and that one only go against themselves,
and not against religion. All that infidels say ...


202

[From those who are in despair at being without faith, we see that God
does not enlighten them; but as to the rest, we see there is a God who
makes them blind.]


203

_Fascinatio nugacitatis._[87]--That passion may not harm us, let us act
as if we had only eight hours to live.


204

If we ought to devote eight hours of life, we ought to devote a hundred
years.


205

When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the
eternity before and after, the little space which I fill, and even can
see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I am
ignorant, and which know me not, I am frightened, and am astonished at
being here rather than there; for there is no reason why here rather
than there, why now rather than then. Who has put me here? By whose
order and direction have this place and time been allotted to me?
_Memoria hospitis unius diei prætereuntis._[88]


206

The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.


207

How many kingdoms know us not!


208

Why is my knowledge limited? Why my stature? Why my life to one hundred
years rather than to a thousand? What reason has nature had for giving
me such, and for choosing this number rather than another in the
infinity of those from which there is no more reason to choose one than
another, trying nothing else?


209

Art thou less a slave by being loved and favoured by thy master? Thou
art indeed well off, slave. Thy master favours thee; he will soon beat
thee.


210

The last act is tragic, however happy all the rest of the play is; at
the last a little earth is thrown upon our head, and that is the end for
ever.


211

We are fools to depend upon the society of our fellow-men. Wretched as
we are, powerless as we are, they will not aid us; we shall die alone.
We should therefore act as if we were alone, and in that case should we
build fine houses, etc.? We should seek the truth without hesitation;
and, if we refuse it, we show that we value the esteem of men more than
the search for truth.


212

_Instability._[89]--It is a horrible thing to feel all that we possess
slipping away.


213

Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest
thing in the world.


214

_Injustice._--That presumption should be joined to meanness is extreme
injustice.


215

To fear death without danger, and not in danger, for one must be a man.


216

Sudden death alone is feared; hence confessors stay with lords.


217

An heir finds the title-deeds of his house. Will he say, "Perhaps they
are forged?" and neglect to examine them?


218

_Dungeon._--I approve of not examining the opinion of Copernicus; but
this...! It concerns all our life to know whether the soul be mortal or
immortal.


219

It is certain that the mortality or immortality of the soul must make an
entire difference to morality. And yet philosophers have constructed
their ethics independently of this: they discuss to pass an hour.

Plato, to incline to Christianity.


220

The fallacy of philosophers who have not discussed the immortality of
the soul. The fallacy of their dilemma in Montaigne.


221

Atheists ought to say what is perfectly evident; now it is not perfectly
evident that the soul is material.


222

_Atheists._--What reason have they for saying that we cannot rise from
the dead? What is more difficult, to be born or to rise again; that what
has never been should be, or that what has been should be again? Is it
more difficult to come into existence than to return to it? Habit makes
the one appear easy to us; want of habit makes the other impossible. A
popular way of thinking!

Why cannot a virgin bear a child? Does a hen not lay eggs without a
cock? What distinguishes these outwardly from others? And who has told
us that the hen may not form the germ as well as the cock?


223

What have they to say against the resurrection, and against the
child-bearing of the Virgin? Which is the more difficult, to produce a
man or an animal, or to reproduce it? And if they had never seen any
species of animals, could they have conjectured whether they were
produced without connection with each other?


224

How I hate these follies of not believing in the Eucharist, etc.! If the
Gospel be true, if Jesus Christ be God, what difficulty is there?


225

Atheism shows strength of mind, but only to a certain degree.


226

Infidels, who profess to follow reason, ought to be exceedingly strong
in reason. What say they then? "Do we not see," say they, "that the
brutes live and die like men, and Turks like Christians? They have their
ceremonies, their prophets, their doctors, their saints, their monks,
like us," etc. (Is this contrary to Scripture? Does it not say all
this?)

If you care but little to know the truth, here is enough of it to leave
you in repose. But if you desire with all your heart to know it, it is
not enough; look at it in detail. This would be sufficient for a
question in philosophy; but not here, where it concerns your all. And
yet, after a trifling reflection of this kind, we go to amuse ourselves,
etc. Let us inquire of this same religion whether it does not give a
reason for this obscurity; perhaps it will teach it to us.


227

_Order by dialogues._--What ought I to do? I see only darkness
everywhere. Shall I believe I am nothing? Shall I believe I am God?

"All things change and succeed each other." You are mistaken; there
is ...


228

Objection of atheists: "But we have no light."


229

This is what I see and what troubles me. I look on all sides, and I see
only darkness everywhere. Nature presents to me nothing which is not
matter of doubt and concern. If I saw nothing there which revealed a
Divinity, I would come to a negative conclusion; if I saw everywhere the
signs of a Creator, I would remain peacefully in faith. But, seeing too
much to deny and too little to be sure, I am in a state to be pitied;
wherefore I have a hundred time wished that if a God maintains nature,
she should testify to Him unequivocally, and that, if the signs she
gives are deceptive, she should suppress them altogether; that she
should say everything or nothing, that I might see which cause I ought
to follow. Whereas in my present state, ignorant of what I am or of what
I ought to do, I know neither my condition nor my duty. My heart
inclines wholly to know where is the true good, in order to follow it;
nothing would be too dear to me for eternity.

I envy those whom I see living in the faith with such carelessness, and
who make such a bad use of a gift of which it seems to me I would make
such a different use.


230

It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible
that He should not exist; that the soul should be joined to the body,
and that we should have no soul; that the world should be created, and
that it should not be created, etc.; that original sin should be, and
that it should not be.


231

Do you believe it to be impossible that God is infinite, without
parts?--Yes. I wish therefore to show you an infinite and indivisible
thing. It is a point moving everywhere with an infinite velocity; for it
is one in all places, and is all totality in every place.

Let this effect of nature, which previously seemed to you impossible,
make you know that there may be others of which you are still ignorant.
Do not draw this conclusion from your experiment, that there remains
nothing for you to know; but rather that there remains an infinity for
you to know.


232

Infinite movement, the point which fills everything, the moment of rest;
infinite without quantity, indivisible and infinite.


233

_Infinite_--_nothing._--Our soul is cast into a body, where it finds
number, time, dimension. Thereupon it reasons, and calls this nature,
necessity, and can believe nothing else.

Unity joined to infinity adds nothing to it, no more than one foot to an
infinite measure. The finite is annihilated in the presence of the
infinite, and becomes a pure nothing. So our spirit before God, so our
justice before divine justice. There is not so great a disproportion
between our justice and that of God, as between unity and infinity.

The justice of God must be vast like His compassion. Now justice to the
outcast is less vast, and ought less to offend our feelings than mercy
towards the elect.

We know that there is an infinite, and are ignorant of its nature. As we
know it to be false that numbers are finite, it is therefore true that
there is an infinity in number. But we do not know what it is. It is
false that it is even, it is false that it is odd; for the addition of a
unit can make no change in its nature. Yet it is a number, and every
number is odd or even (this is certainly true of every finite number).
So we may well know that there is a God without knowing what He is. Is
there not one substantial truth, seeing there are so many things which
are not the truth itself?

We know then the existence and nature of the finite, because we also are
finite and have extension. We know the existence of the infinite, and
are ignorant of its nature, because it has extension like us, but not
limits like us. But we know neither the existence nor the nature of God,
because He has neither extension nor limits.

But by faith we know His existence; in glory we shall know His nature.
Now, I have already shown that we may well know the existence of a
thing, without knowing its nature.

Let us now speak according to natural lights.

If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having
neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then
incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is. This being so, who
will dare to undertake the decision of the question? Not we, who have no
affinity to Him.

Who then will blame Christians for not being able to give a reason for
their belief, since they profess a religion for which they cannot give a
reason? They declare, in expounding it to the world, that it is a
foolishness, _stultitiam_;[90] and then you complain that they do not
prove it! If they proved it, they would not keep their word; it is in
lacking proofs, that they are not lacking in sense. "Yes, but although
this excuses those who offer it as such, and takes away from them the
blame of putting it forward without reason, it does not excuse those who
receive it." Let us then examine this point, and say, "God is, or He is
not." But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing
here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being
played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails
will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do
neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend
neither of the propositions.

Do not then reprove for error those who have made a choice; for you know
nothing about it. "No, but I blame them for having made, not this
choice, but a choice; for again both he who chooses heads and he who
chooses tails are equally at fault, they are both in the wrong. The true
course is not to wager at all."

Yes; but you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which
will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see
which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the
good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your
knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun,
error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather
than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point
settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in
wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain,
you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without
hesitation that He is.--"That is very fine. Yes, I must wager; but I may
perhaps wager too much."--Let us see. Since there is an equal risk of
gain and of loss, if you had only to gain two lives, instead of one, you
might still wager. But if there were three lives to gain, you would have
to play (since you are under the necessity of playing), and you would be
imprudent, when you are forced to play, not to chance your life to gain
three at a game where there is an equal risk of loss and gain. But there
is an eternity of life and happiness. And this being so, if there were
an infinity of chances, of which one only would be for you, you would
still be right in wagering one to win two, and you would act stupidly,
being obliged to play, by refusing to stake one life against three at a
game in which out of an infinity of chances there is one for you, if
there were an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain. But there is
here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain
against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is
finite. It is all divided; wherever the infinite is and there is not an
infinity of chances of loss against that of gain, there is no time to
hesitate, you must give all. And thus, when one is forced to play, he
must renounce reason to preserve his life, rather than risk it for
infinite gain, as likely to happen as the loss of nothingness.

For it is no use to say it is uncertain if we will gain, and it is
certain that we risk, and that the infinite distance between the
_certainty_ of what is staked and the _uncertainty_ of what will be
gained, equals the finite good which is certainly staked against the
uncertain infinite. It is not so, as every player stakes a certainty to
gain an uncertainty, and yet he stakes a finite certainty to gain a
finite uncertainty, without transgressing against reason. There is not
an infinite distance between the certainty staked and the uncertainty of
the gain; that is untrue. In truth, there is an infinity between the
certainty of gain and the certainty of loss. But the uncertainty of the
gain is proportioned to the certainty of the stake according to the
proportion of the chances of gain and loss. Hence it comes that, if
there are as many risks on one side as on the other, the course is to
play even; and then the certainty of the stake is equal to the
uncertainty of the gain, so far is it from fact that there is an
infinite distance between them. And so our proposition is of infinite
force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal
risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain. This is
demonstrable; and if men are capable of any truths, this is one.

"I confess it, I admit it. But, still, is there no means of seeing the
faces of the cards?"--Yes, Scripture and the rest, etc. "Yes, but I have
my hands tied and my mouth closed; I am forced to wager, and am not
free. I am not released, and am so made that I cannot believe. What,
then, would you have me do?"

True. But at least learn your inability to believe, since reason brings
you to this, and yet you cannot believe. Endeavour then to convince
yourself, not by increase of proofs of God, but by the abatement of your
passions. You would like to attain faith, and do not know the way; you
would like to cure yourself of unbelief, and ask the remedy for it.
Learn of those who have been bound like you, and who now stake all their
possessions. These are people who know the way which you would follow,
and who are cured of an ill of which you would be cured. Follow the way
by which they began; by acting as if they believed, taking the holy
water, having masses said, etc. Even this will naturally make you
believe, and deaden your acuteness.--"But this is what I am afraid
of."--And why? What have you to lose?

But to show you that this leads you there, it is this which will lessen
the passions, which are your stumbling-blocks.

_The end of this discourse._--Now, what harm will befall you in taking
this side? You will be faithful, honest, humble, grateful, generous, a
sincere friend, truthful. Certainly you will not have those poisonous
pleasures, glory and luxury; but will you not have others? I will tell
you that you will thereby gain in this life, and that, at each step you
take on this road, you will see so great certainty of gain, so much
nothingness in what you risk, that you will at last recognise that you
have wagered for something certain and infinite, for which you have
given nothing.

"Ah! This discourse transports me, charms me," etc.

If this discourse pleases you and seems impressive, know that it is
made by a man who has knelt, both before and after it, in prayer to that
Being, infinite and without parts, before whom he lays all he has, for
you also to lay before Him all you have for your own good and for His
glory, that so strength may be given to lowliness.


234

If we must not act save on a certainty, we ought not to act on religion,
for it is not certain. But how many things we do on an uncertainty, sea
voyages, battles! I say then we must do nothing at all, for nothing is
certain, and that there is more certainty in religion than there is as
to whether we may see to-morrow; for it is not certain that we may see
to-morrow, and it is certainly possible that we may not see it. We
cannot say as much about religion. It is not certain that it is; but who
will venture to say that it is certainly possible that it is not? Now
when we work for to-morrow, and so on an uncertainty, we act reasonably;
for we ought to work for an uncertainty according to the doctrine of
chance which was demonstrated above.

Saint Augustine has seen that we work for an uncertainty, on sea, in
battle, etc. But he has not seen the doctrine of chance which proves
that we should do so. Montaigne has seen that we are shocked at a fool,
and that habit is all-powerful; but he has not seen the reason of this
effect.

All these persons have seen the effects, but they have not seen the
causes. They are, in comparison with those who have discovered the
causes, as those who have only eyes are in comparison with those who
have intellect. For the effects are perceptible by sense, and the causes
are visible only to the intellect. And although these effects are seen
by the mind, this mind is, in comparison with the mind which sees the
causes, as the bodily senses are in comparison with the intellect.


235

_Rem viderunt, causam non viderunt._


236

According to the doctrine of chance, you ought to put yourself to the
trouble of searching for the truth; for if you die without worshipping
the True Cause, you are lost.--"But," say you, "if He had wished me to
worship Him, He would have left me signs of His will."--He has done so;
but you neglect them. Seek them, therefore; it is well worth it.


237

_Chances._--We must live differently in the world, according to these
different assumptions: (1) that we could always remain in it; (2) that
it is certain that we shall not remain here long, and uncertain if we
shall remain here one hour. This last assumption is our condition.


238

What do you then promise me, in addition to certain troubles, but ten
years of self-love (for ten years is the chance), to try hard to please
without success?


239

_Objection._--Those who hope for salvation are so far happy; but they
have as a counterpoise the fear of hell.

_Reply._--Who has most reason to fear hell: he who is in ignorance
whether there is a hell, and who is certain of damnation if there is; or
he who certainly believes there is a hell, and hopes to be saved if
there is?


240

"I would soon have renounced pleasure," say they, "had I faith." For my
part I tell you, "You would soon have faith, if you renounced pleasure."
Now, it is for you to begin. If I could, I would give you faith. I
cannot do so, nor therefore test the truth of what you say. But you can
well renounce pleasure, and test whether what I say is true.


241

_Order._--I would have far more fear of being mistaken, and of finding
that the Christian religion was true, than of not being mistaken in
believing it true.



SECTION IV

OF THE MEANS OF BELIEF


242

_Preface to the second part._--To speak of those who have treated of
this matter.

I admire the boldness with which these persons undertake to speak of
God. In addressing their argument to infidels, their first chapter is to
prove Divinity from the works of nature.[91] I should not be astonished
at their enterprise, if they were addressing their argument to the
faithful; for it is certain that those who have the living faith in
their heart see at once that all existence is none other than the work
of the God whom they adore. But for those in whom this light is
extinguished, and in whom we purpose to rekindle it, persons destitute
of faith and grace, who, seeking with all their light whatever they see
in nature that can bring them to this knowledge, find only obscurity and
darkness; to tell them that they have only to look at the smallest
things which surround them, and they will see God openly, to give them,
as a complete proof of this great and important matter, the course of
the moon and planets, and to claim to have concluded the proof with such
an argument, is to give them ground for believing that the proofs of our
religion are very weak. And I see by reason and experience that nothing
is more calculated to arouse their contempt.

It is not after this manner that Scripture speaks, which has a better
knowledge of the things that are of God. It says, on the contrary, that
God is a hidden God, and that, since the corruption of nature, He has
left men in a darkness from which they can escape only through Jesus
Christ, without whom all communion with God is cut off. _Nemo novit
Patrem, nisi Filius, et cui voluerit Filius revelare._[92]

This is what Scripture points out to us, when it says in so many places
that those who seek God find Him.[93] It is not of that light, "like the
noonday sun," that this is said. We do not say that those who seek the
noonday sun, or water in the sea, shall find them; and hence the
evidence of God must not be of this nature. So it tells us elsewhere:
_Vere tu es Deus absconditus_.[94]


243

It is an astounding fact that no canonical writer has ever made use of
nature to prove God. They all strive to make us believe in Him. David,
Solomon, etc., have never said, "There is no void, therefore there is a
God." They must have had more knowledge than the most learned people who
came after them, and who have all made use of this argument. This is
worthy of attention.


244

"Why! Do you not say yourself that the heavens and birds prove God?" No.
"And does your religion not say so?" No. For although it is true in a
sense for some souls to whom God gives this light, yet it is false with
respect to the majority of men.


245

There are three sources of belief: reason, custom, inspiration. The
Christian religion, which alone has reason, does not acknowledge as her
true children those who believe without inspiration. It is not that she
excludes reason and custom. On the contrary, the mind must be opened to
proofs, must be confirmed by custom, and offer itself in humbleness to
inspirations, which alone can produce a true and saving effect. _Ne
evacuetur crux Christi._[95]


246

_Order._--After the letter _That we ought to seek God_, to write the
letter _On removing obstacles_; which is the discourse on "the
machine,"[96] on preparing the machine, on seeking by reason.


247

_Order._--A letter of exhortation to a friend to induce him to seek. And
he will reply, "But what is the use of seeking? Nothing is seen." Then
to reply to him, "Do not despair." And he will answer that he would be
glad to find some light, but that, according to this very religion, if
he believed in it, it will be of no use to him, and that therefore he
prefers not to seek. And to answer to that: The machine.


248

_A letter which indicates the use of proofs by the machine._--Faith is
different from proof; the one is human, the other is a gift of God.
_Justus ex fide vivit._[97] It is this faith that God Himself puts into
the heart, of which the proof is often the instrument, _fides ex
auditu_;[98] but this faith is in the heart, and makes us not say
_scio_, but _credo_.


249

It is superstition to put one's hope in formalities; but it is pride to
be unwilling to submit to them.


250

The external must be joined to the internal to obtain anything from God,
that is to say, we must kneel, pray with the lips, etc., in order that
proud man, who would not submit himself to God, may be now subject to
the creature.[99] To expect help from these externals is superstition;
to refuse to join them to the internal is pride.


251

Other religions, as the pagan, are more popular, for they consist in
externals. But they are not for educated people. A purely intellectual
religion would be more suited to the learned, but it would be of no use
to the common people. The Christian religion alone is adapted to all,
being composed of externals and internals. It raises the common people
to the internal, and humbles the proud to the external; it is not
perfect without the two, for the people must understand the spirit of
the letter, and the learned must submit their spirit to the letter.


252

For we must not misunderstand ourselves; we are as much automatic as
intellectual; and hence it comes that the instrument by which conviction
is attained is not demonstrated alone. How few things are demonstrated?
Proofs only convince the mind. Custom is the source of our strongest and
most believed proofs. It bends the automaton, which persuades the mind
without its thinking about the matter. Who has demonstrated that there
will be a to-morrow, and that we shall die? And what is more believed?
It is, then, custom which persuades us of it; it is custom that makes
so many men Christians; custom that makes them Turks, heathens,
artisans, soldiers, etc. (Faith in baptism is more received among
Christians than among Turks.) Finally, we must have recourse to it when
once the mind has seen where the truth is, in order to quench our
thirst, and steep ourselves in that belief, which escapes us at every
hour; for always to have proofs ready is too much trouble. We must get
an easier belief, which is that of custom, which, without violence,
without art, without argument, makes us believe things, and inclines all
our powers to this belief, so that out soul falls naturally into it. It
is not enough to believe only by force of conviction, when the automaton
is inclined to believe the contrary. Both our parts must be made to
believe, the mind by reasons which it is sufficient to have seen once in
a lifetime, and the automaton by custom, and by not allowing it to
incline to the contrary. _Inclina cor meum, Deus._[100]

The reason acts slowly, with so many examinations, and on so many
principles, which must be always present, that at every hour it falls
asleep, or wanders, through want of having all its principles present.
Feeling does not act thus; it acts in a moment, and is always ready to
act. We must then put our faith in feeling; otherwise it will be always
vacillating.


253

Two extremes: to exclude reason, to admit reason only.


254

It is not a rare thing to have to reprove the world for too much
docility. It is a natural vice like credulity, and as pernicious.
Superstition.


255

Piety is different from superstition.

To carry piety as far as superstition is to destroy it.

The heretics reproach us for this superstitious submission. This is to
do what they reproach us for ...

Infidelity, not to believe in the Eucharist, because it is not seen.

Superstition to believe propositions. Faith, etc.


256

I say there are few true Christians, even as regards faith. There are
many who believe but from superstition. There are many who do not
believe solely from wickedness. Few are between the two.

In this I do not include those who are of truly pious character, nor all
those who believe from a feeling in their heart.


257

There are only three kinds of persons; those who serve God, having found
Him; others who are occupied in seeking Him, not having found Him; while
the remainder live without seeking Him, and without having found Him.
The first are reasonable and happy, the last are foolish and unhappy;
those between are unhappy and reasonable.


258

_Unusquisque sibi Deum fingit._[101]

Disgust.


259

Ordinary people have the power of not thinking of that about which they
do not wish to think. "Do not meditate on the passages about the
Messiah," said the Jew to his son. Thus our people often act. Thus are
false religions preserved, and even the true one, in regard to many
persons.

But there are some who have not the power of thus preventing thought,
and who think so much the more as they are forbidden. These undo false
religions, and even the true one, if they do not find solid arguments.


260

They hide themselves in the press, and call numbers to their rescue.
Tumult.

_Authority._--So far from making it a rule to believe a thing because
you have heard it, you ought to believe nothing without putting yourself
into the position as if you had never heard it.

It is your own assent to yourself, and the constant voice of your own
reason, and not of others, that should make you believe.

Belief is so important! A hundred contradictions might be true. If
antiquity were the rule of belief, men of ancient time would then be
without rule. If general consent, if men had perished?

False humanity, pride.

Lift the curtain. You try in vain; if you must either believe, or deny,
or doubt. Shall we then have no rule? We judge that animals do well what
they do. Is there no rule whereby to judge men?

To deny, to believe, and to doubt well, are to a man what the race is to
a horse.

Punishment of those who sin, error.


261

Those who do not love the truth take as a pretext that it is disputed,
and that a multitude deny it. And so their error arises only from this,
that they do not love either truth or charity. Thus they are without
excuse.


262

Superstition and lust. Scruples, evil desires. Evil fear; fear, not such
as comes from a belief in God, but such as comes from a doubt whether He
exists or not. True fear comes from faith; false fear comes from doubt.
True fear is joined to hope, because it is born of faith, and because
men hope in the God in whom they believe. False fear is joined to
despair, because men fear the God in whom they have no belief. The
former fear to lose Him; the latter fear to find Him.


263

"A miracle," says one, "would strengthen my faith." He says so when he
does not see one. Reasons, seen from afar, appear to limit our view; but
when they are reached, we begin to see beyond. Nothing stops the
nimbleness of our mind. There is no rule, say we, which has not some
exceptions, no truth so general which has not some aspect in which it
fails. It is sufficient that it be not absolutely universal to give us a
pretext for applying the exceptions to the present subject, and for
saying, "This is not always true; there are therefore cases where it is
not so." It only remains to show that this is one of them; and that is
why we are very awkward or unlucky, if we do not find one some day.


264

We do not weary of eating and sleeping every day, for hunger and
sleepiness recur. Without that we should weary of them. So, without the
hunger for spiritual things, we weary of them. Hunger after
righteousness, the eighth beatitude.[102]


265

Faith indeed tells what the senses do not tell, but not the contrary of
what they see. It is above them and not contrary to them.


266

How many stars have telescopes revealed to us which did not exist for
our philosophers of old! We freely attack Holy Scripture on the great
number of stars, saying, "There are only one thousand and
twenty-eight,[103] we know it." There is grass on the earth, we see
it--from the moon we would not see it--and on the grass are leaves, and
in these leaves are small animals; but after that no more.--O
presumptuous man!--The compounds are composed of elements, and the
elements not.--O presumptuous man! Here is a fine reflection.--We must
not say that there is anything which we do not see.--We must then talk
like others, but not think like them.


267

The last proceeding of reason is to recognise that there is an infinity
of things which are beyond it. It is but feeble if it does not see so
far as to know this. But if natural things are beyond it, what will be
said of supernatural?


268

_Submission._--We must know where to doubt, where to feel certain, where
to submit. He who does not do so, understands not the force of reason.
There are some who offend against these three rules, either by affirming
everything as demonstrative, from want of knowing what demonstration is;
or by doubting everything, from want of knowing where to submit; or by
submitting in everything, from want of knowing where they must judge.


269

Submission is the use of reason in which consists true Christianity.


270

_St. Augustine._[104]--Reason would never submit, if it did not judge
that there are some occasions on which it ought to submit. It is then
right for it to submit, when it judges that it ought to submit.


271

Wisdom sends us to childhood. _Nisi efficiamini sicut parvuli._[105]


272

There is nothing so conformable to reason as this disavowal of reason.


273

If we submit everything to reason, our religion will have no mysterious
and supernatural element. If we offend the principles of reason, our
religion will be absurd and ridiculous.


274

All our reasoning reduces itself to yielding to feeling.

But fancy is like, though contrary to feeling, so that we cannot
distinguish between these contraries. One person says that my feeling is
fancy, another that his fancy is feeling. We should have a rule. Reason
offers itself; but it is pliable in every sense; and thus there is no
rule.


275

Men often take their imagination for their heart; and they believe they
are converted as soon as they think of being converted.


276

M. de Roannez said: "Reasons come to me afterwards, but at first a thing
pleases or shocks me without my knowing the reason, and yet it shocks me
for that reason which I only discover afterwards." But I believe, not
that it shocked him for the reasons which were found afterwards, but
that these reasons were only found because it shocks him.


277

The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a
thousand things. I say that the heart naturally loves the Universal
Being, and also itself naturally, according as it gives itself to them;
and it hardens itself against one or the other at its will. You have
rejected the one, and kept the other. Is it by reason that you love
yourself?


278

It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This, then,
is faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason.


279

Faith is a gift of God; do not believe that we said it was a gift of
reasoning. Other religions do not say this of their faith. They only
gave reasoning in order to arrive at it, and yet it does not bring them
to it.


280

The knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him.


281

Heart, instinct, principles.


282

We know truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart, and it is
in this last way that we know first principles; and reason, which has no
part in it, tries in vain to impugn them. The sceptics, who have only
this for their object, labour to no purpose. We know that we do not
dream, and however impossible it is for us to prove it by reason, this
inability demonstrates only the weakness of our reason, but not, as they
affirm, the uncertainty of all our knowledge. For the knowledge of first
principles, as space, time, motion, number, is as sure as any of those
which we get from reasoning. And reason must trust these intuitions of
the heart, and must base them on every argument. (We have intuitive
knowledge of the tri-dimensional nature of space, and of the infinity of
number, and reason then shows that there are no two square numbers one
of which is double of the other. Principles are intuited, propositions
are inferred, all with certainty, though in different ways.) And it is
as useless and absurd for reason to demand from the heart proofs of her
first principles, before admitting them, as it would be for the heart to
demand from reason an intuition of all demonstrated propositions before
accepting them.

This inability ought, then, to serve only to humble reason, which would
judge all, but not to impugn our certainty, as if only reason were
capable of instructing us. Would to God, on the contrary, that we had
never need of it, and that we knew everything by instinct and intuition!
But nature has refused us this boon. On the contrary, she has given us
but very little knowledge of this kind; and all the rest can be acquired
only by reasoning.

Therefore, those to whom God has imparted religion by intuition are very
fortunate, and justly convinced. But to those who do not have it, we can
give it only by reasoning, waiting for God to give them spiritual
insight, without which faith is only human, and useless for salvation.


283

_Order.--Against the objection that Scripture has no order._

The heart has its own order; the intellect has its own, which is by
principle and demonstration. The heart has another. We do not prove that
we ought to be loved by enumerating in order the causes of love; that
would be ridiculous.

Jesus Christ and Saint Paul employ the rule of love, not of intellect;
for they would warm, not instruct. It is the same with Saint Augustine.
This order consists chiefly in digressions on each point to indicate the
end, and keep it always in sight.


284

Do not wonder to see simple people believe without reasoning. God
imparts to them love of Him and hatred of self. He inclines their heart
to believe. Men will never believe with a saving and real faith, unless
God inclines their heart; and they will believe as soon as He inclines
it. And this is what David knew well, when he said: _Inclina cor meum,
Deus, in ..._[106]


285

Religion is suited to all kinds of minds. Some pay attention only to its
establishment,[107] and this religion is such that its very
establishment suffices to prove its truth. Others trace it even to the
apostles. The more learned go back to the beginning of the world. The
angels see it better still, and from a more distant time.


286

Those who believe without having read the Testaments, do so because they
have an inward disposition entirely holy, and all that they hear of our
religion conforms to it. They feel that a God has made them; they desire
only to love God; they desire to hate themselves only. They feel that
they have no strength in themselves; that they are incapable of coming
to God; and that if God does not come to them, they can have no
communion with Him. And they hear our religion say that men must love
God only, and hate self only; but that all being corrupt and unworthy of
God, God made Himself man to unite Himself to us. No more is required to
persuade men who have this disposition in their heart, and who have this
knowledge of their duty and of their inefficiency.


287

Those whom we see to be Christians without the knowledge of the prophets
and evidences, nevertheless judge of their religion as well as those who
have that knowledge. They judge of it by the heart, as others judge of
it by the intellect. God Himself inclines them to believe, and thus they
are most effectively convinced.

I confess indeed that one of those Christians who believe without proofs
will not perhaps be capable of convincing an infidel who will say the
same of himself. But those who know the proofs of religion will prove
without difficulty that such a believer is truly inspired by God, though
he cannot prove it himself.

For God having said in His prophecies (which are undoubtedly
prophecies), that in the reign of Jesus Christ He would spread His
spirit abroad among nations, and that the youths and maidens and
children of the Church would prophesy;[108] it is certain that the
Spirit of God is in these, and not in the others.


288

Instead of complaining that God had hidden Himself, you will give Him
thanks for having revealed so much of Himself; and you will also give
Him thanks for not having revealed Himself to haughty sages, unworthy to
know so holy a God.

Two kinds of persons know Him: those who have a humble heart, and who
love lowliness, whatever kind of intellect they may have, high or low;
and those who have sufficient understanding to see the truth, whatever
opposition they may have to it.


289

_Proof._--1. The Christian religion, by its establishment, having
established itself so strongly, so gently, whilst contrary to
nature.--2. The sanctity, the dignity, and the humility of a Christian
soul.--3. The miracles of Holy Scripture.--4. Jesus Christ in
particular.--5. The apostles in particular.--6. Moses and the prophets
in particular.--7. The Jewish people.--8. The prophecies.--9.
Perpetuity; no religion has perpetuity.--10. The doctrine which gives a
reason for everything.--11. The sanctity of this law.--12. By the course
of the world.

Surely, after considering what is life and what is religion, we should
not refuse to obey the inclination to follow it, if it comes into our
heart; and it is certain that there is no ground for laughing at those
who follow it.


290

_Proofs of religion._--Morality, Doctrine, Miracles, Prophecies, Types.



SECTION V

JUSTICE AND THE REASON OF EFFECTS


291

In the letter _On Injustice_ can come the ridiculousness of the law that
the elder gets all. "My friend, you were born on this side of the
mountain, it is therefore just that your elder brother gets everything."

"Why do you kill me?"


292

He lives on the other side of the water.


293

"Why do you kill me? What! do you not live on the other side of the
water? If you lived on this side, my friend, I should be an assassin,
and it would be unjust to slay you in this manner. But since you live on
the other side, I am a hero, and it is just."


294

On what shall man found the order of the world which he would
govern?[109] Shall it be on the caprice of each individual? What
confusion! Shall it be on justice? Man is ignorant of it.

Certainly had he known it, he would not have established this maxim, the
most general of all that obtain among men, that each should follow the
custom of his own country. The glory of true equity would have brought
all nations under subjection, and legislators would not have taken as
their model the fancies and caprice of Persians and Germans instead of
this unchanging justice. We should have seen it set up in all the States
on earth and in all times; whereas we see neither justice nor injustice
which does not change its nature with change in climate. Three degrees
of latitude reverse all jurisprudence; a meridian decides the truth.
Fundamental laws change after a few years of possession; right has its
epochs; the entry of Saturn into the Lion marks to us the origin of
such and such a crime. A strange justice that is bounded by a river!
Truth on this side of the Pyrenees, error on the other side.

Men admit that justice does not consist in these customs, but that it
resides in natural laws, common to every country. They would certainly
maintain it obstinately, if reckless chance which has distributed human
laws had encountered even one which was universal; but the farce is that
the caprice of men has so many vagaries that there is no such law.

Theft, incest, infanticide, parricide, have all had a place among
virtuous actions. Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man should
have the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the
water, and because his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have none
with him?

Doubtless there are natural laws; but good reason once corrupted has
corrupted all. _Nihil amplius nostrum est;[110] quod nostrum dicimus,
artis est. Ex senatus--consultis et plebiscitis crimina exercentur.[111]
Ut olim vitiis, sic nunc legibus laboramus._[112]

The result of this confusion is that one affirms the essence of justice
to be the authority of the legislator; another, the interest of the
sovereign;[113] another, present custom,[114] and this is the most sure.
Nothing, according to reason alone, is just in itself; all changes with
time. Custom creates the whole of equity, for the simple reason that it
is accepted. It is the mystical foundation of its authority;[115]
whoever carries it back to first principles destroys it. Nothing is so
faulty as those laws which correct faults. He who obeys them because
they are just, obeys a justice which is imaginary, and not the essence
of law; it is quite self-contained, it is law and nothing more. He who
will examine its motive will find it so feeble and so trifling that if
he be not accustomed to contemplate the wonders of human imagination, he
will marvel that one century has gained for it so much pomp and
reverence. The art of opposition and of revolution is to unsettle
established customs, sounding them even to their source, to point out
their want of authority and justice. We must, it is said, get back to
the natural and fundamental laws of the State, which an unjust custom
has abolished. It is a game certain to result in the loss of all;
nothing will be just on the balance. Yet people readily lend their ear
to such arguments. They shake off the yoke as soon as they recognise it;
and the great profit by their ruin, and by that of these curious
investigators of accepted customs. But from a contrary mistake men
sometimes think they can justly do everything which is not without an
example. That is why the wisest of legislators[116] said that it was
necessary to deceive men for their own good; and another, a good
politician, _Cum veritatem qua liberetur ignoret, expedit quod
fallatur._[117] We must not see the fact of usurpation; law was once
introduced without reason, and has become reasonable. We must make it
regarded as authoritative, eternal, and conceal its origin, if we do not
wish that it should soon come to an end.


295

_Mine, thine._--"This dog is mine," said those poor children; "that is
my place in the sun." Here is the beginning and the image of the
usurpation of all the earth.


296

When the question for consideration is whether we ought to make war, and
kill so many men--condemn so many Spaniards to death--only one man is
judge, and he is an interested party. There should be a third, who is
disinterested.


297

_Veri juris._[118]--We have it no more; if we had it, we should take
conformity to the customs of a country as the rule of justice. It is
here that, not finding justice, we have found force, etc.


298

_Justice, might._--It is right that what is just should be obeyed; it is
necessary that what is strongest should be obeyed. Justice without might
is helpless; might without justice is tyrannical. Justice without might
is gainsaid, because there are always offenders; might without justice
is condemned. We must then combine justice and might, and for this end
make what is just strong, or what is strong just.

Justice is subject to dispute; might is easily recognised and is not
disputed. So we cannot give might to justice, because might has gainsaid
justice, and has declared that it is she herself who is just. And thus
being unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong
just.


299

The only universal rules are the laws of the country in ordinary
affairs, and of the majority in others. Whence comes this? From the
might which is in them. Hence it comes that kings, who have power of a
different kind, do not follow the majority of their ministers.

No doubt equality of goods is just; but, being unable to cause might to
obey justice, men have made it just to obey might. Unable to strengthen
justice, they have justified might; so that the just and the strong
should unite, and there should be peace, which is the sovereign good.


300

"When a strong man armed keepeth his goods, his goods are in
peace."[119]


301

Why do we follow the majority? It is because they have more reason? No,
because they have more power.

Why do we follow the ancient laws and opinions? Is it because they are
more sound? No, but because they are unique, and remove from us the root
of difference.


302

... It is the effect of might, not of custom. For those who are capable
of originality are few; the greater number will only follow, and refuse
glory to those inventors who seek it by their inventions. And if these
are obstinate in their wish to obtain glory, and despise those who do
not invent, the latter will call them ridiculous names, and would beat
them with a stick. Let no one then boast of his subtlety, or let him
keep his complacency to himself.


303

Might is the sovereign of the world, and not opinion.--But opinion makes
use of might.--It is might that makes opinion. Gentleness is beautiful
in our opinion. Why? Because he who will dance on a rope will be
alone,[120] and I will gather a stronger mob of people who will say that
it is unbecoming.


304

The cords which bind the respect of men to each other are in general
cords of necessity; for there must be different degrees, all men wishing
to rule, and not all being able to do so, but some being able.

Let us then imagine we see society in the process of formation. Men will
doubtless fight till the stronger party overcomes the weaker, and a
dominant party is established. But when this is once determined, the
masters, who do not desire the continuation of strife, then decree that
the power which is in their hands shall be transmitted as they please.
Some place it in election by the people, others in hereditary
succession, etc.

And this is the point where imagination begins to play its part. Till
now power makes fact; now power is sustained by imagination in a certain
party, in France in the nobility, in Switzerland in the burgesses, etc.

These cords which bind the respect of men to such and such an individual
are therefore the cords of imagination.


305

The Swiss are offended by being called gentlemen, and prove themselves
true plebeians in order to be thought worthy of great office.


306

As duchies, kingships, and magistracies are real and necessary, because
might rules all, they exist everywhere and always. But since only
caprice makes such and such a one a ruler, the principle is not
constant, but subject to variation, etc.


307

The chancellor is grave, and clothed with ornaments, for his position is
unreal. Not so the king, he has power, and has nothing to do with the
imagination. Judges, physicians, etc. appeal only to the imagination.


308

The habit of seeing kings accompanied by guards, drums, officers, and
all the paraphernalia which mechanically inspire respect and awe, makes
their countenance, when sometimes seen alone without these
accompaniments, impress respect and awe on their subjects; because we
cannot separate in thought their persons from the surroundings with
which we see them usually joined. And the world, which knows not that
this effect is the result of habit, believes that it arises by a natural
force, whence come these words, "The character of Divinity is stamped on
his countenance," etc.


309

_Justice._--As custom determines what is agreeable, so also does it
determine justice.


310

_King and tyrant._--I, too, will keep my thoughts secret.

I will take care on every journey.

Greatness of establishment, respect for establishment.

The pleasure of the great is the power to make people happy.

The property of riches is to be given liberally.

The property of each thing must be sought. The property of power is to
protect.

When force attacks humbug, when a private soldier takes the square cap
off a first president, and throws it out of the window.


311

The government founded on opinion and imagination reigns for some time,
and this government is pleasant and voluntary; that founded on might
lasts for ever. Thus opinion is the queen of the world, but might is its
tyrant.


312

Justice is what is established; and thus all our established laws will
necessarily be regarded as just without examination, since they are
established.


313

_Sound opinions of the people._--Civil wars are the greatest of
evils.[121] They are inevitable, if we wish to reward desert; for all
will say they are deserving. The evil we have to fear from a fool who
succeeds by right of birth, is neither so great nor so sure.


314

God has created all for Himself. He has bestowed upon Himself the power
of pain and pleasure.

You can apply it to God, or to yourself. If to God, the Gospel is the
rule. If to yourself, you will take the place of God. As God is
surrounded by persons full of charity, who ask of Him the blessings of
charity that are in His power, so ... Recognise then and learn that you
are only a king of lust, and take the ways of lust.


315

_The reason of effects._--It is wonderful that men would not have me
honour a man clothed in brocade, and followed by seven or eight lackeys!
Why! He will have me thrashed, if I do not salute him. This custom is a
force. It is the same with a horse in fine trappings in comparison with
another! Montaigne[122] is a fool not to see what difference there is,
to wonder at our finding any, and to ask the reason. "Indeed," says he,
"how comes it," etc....


316

_Sound opinions of the people._--To be spruce is not altogether foolish,
for it proves that a great number of people work for one. It shows by
one's hair, that one has a valet, a perfumer, etc., by one's band,
thread, lace, ... etc. Now it is not merely superficial nor merely
outward show to have many arms at command. The more arms one has, the
more powerful one is. To be spruce is to show one's power.


317

Deference means, "Put yourself to inconvenience." This is apparently
silly, but is quite right. For it is to say, "I would indeed put myself
to inconvenience if you required it, since indeed I do so when it is of
no service to you." Deference further serves to distinguish the great.
Now if deference was displayed by sitting in an arm-chair, we should
show deference to everybody, and so no distinction would be made; but,
being put to inconvenience, we distinguish very well.


318

He has four lackeys.


319

How rightly do we distinguish men by external appearances rather than by
internal qualities! Which of us two shall have precedence? Who will give
place to the other? The least clever. But I am as clever as he. We
should have to fight over this. He has four lackeys, and I have only
one. This can be seen; we have only to count. It falls to me to yield,
and I am a fool if I contest the matter. By this means we are at peace,
which is the greatest of boons.


320

The most unreasonable things in the world become most reasonable,
because of the unruliness of men. What is less reasonable than to choose
the eldest son of a queen to rule a State? We do not choose as captain
of a ship the passenger who is of the best family.

This law would be absurd and unjust; but because men are so themselves,
and always will be so, it becomes reasonable and just. For whom will men
choose, as the most virtuous and able? We at once come to blows, as each
claims to be the most virtuous and able. Let us then attach this quality
to something indisputable. This is the king's eldest son. That is clear,
and there is no dispute. Reason can do no better, for civil war is the
greatest of evils.


321

Children are astonished to see their comrades respected.


322

To be of noble birth is a great advantage. In eighteen years it places a
man within the select circle, known and respected, as another would have
merited in fifty years. It is a gain of thirty years without trouble.


323

What is the Ego?

Suppose a man puts himself at a window to see those who pass by. If I
pass by, can I say that he placed himself there to see me? No; for he
does not think of me in particular. But does he who loves someone on
account of beauty really love that person? No; for the small-pox, which
will kill beauty without killing the person, will cause him to love her
no more.

And if one loves me for my judgment, memory, he does not love _me_, for
I can lose these qualities without losing myself. Where, then, is this
Ego, if it be neither in the body nor in the soul? And how love the body
or the soul, except for these qualities which do not constitute _me_,
since they are perishable? For it is impossible and would be unjust to
love the soul of a person in the abstract, and whatever qualities might
be therein. We never, then, love a person, but only qualities.

Let us, then, jeer no more at those who are honoured on account of rank
and office; for we love a person only on account of borrowed qualities.


324

The people have very sound opinions, for example:

1. In having preferred diversion and hunting to poetry. The half-learned
laugh at it, and glory in being above the folly of the world; but the
people are right for a reason which these do not fathom.

2. In having distinguished men by external marks, as birth or wealth.
The world again exults in showing how unreasonable this is; but it is
very reasonable. Savages laugh at an infant king.[123]

3. In being offended at a blow, on in desiring glory so much. But it is
very desirable on account of the other essential goods which are joined
to it; and a man who has received a blow, without resenting it, is
overwhelmed with taunts and indignities.

4. In working for the uncertain; in sailing on the sea; in walking over
a plank.


325

Montaigne is wrong. Custom should be followed only because it is custom,
and not because it is reasonable or just. But people follow it for this
sole reason, that they think it just. Otherwise they would follow it no
longer, although it were the custom; for they will only submit to reason
or justice. Custom without this would pass for tyranny; but the
sovereignty of reason and justice is no more tyrannical than that of
desire. They are principles natural to man.

It would therefore be right to obey laws and customs, because they are
laws; but we should know that there is neither truth nor justice to
introduce into them, that we know nothing of these, and so must follow
what is accepted. By this means we would never depart from them. But
people cannot accept this doctrine; and, as they believe that truth can
be found, and that it exists in law and custom, they believe them, and
take their antiquity as a proof of their truth, and not simply of their
authority apart from truth. Thus they obey laws, but they are liable to
revolt when these are proved to be valueless; and this can be shown of
all, looked at from a certain aspect.


326

_Injustice._--It is dangerous to tell the people that the laws are
unjust; for they obey them only because they think them just. Therefore
it is necessary to tell them at the same time that they must obey them
because they are laws, just as they must obey superiors, not because
they are just, but because they are superiors. In this way all sedition
is prevented, if this can be made intelligible, and it be understood
what is the proper definition of justice.


327

The world is a good judge of things, for it is in natural ignorance,
which is man's true state.[124] The sciences have two extremes which
meet. The first is the pure natural ignorance in which all men find
themselves at birth. The other extreme is that reached by great
intellects, who, having run through all that men can know, find they
know nothing, and come back again to that same ignorance from which they
set out; but this is a learned ignorance which is conscious of itself.
Those between the two, who have departed from natural ignorance and not
been able to reach the other, have some smattering of this vain
knowledge, and pretend to be wise. These trouble the world, and are bad
judges of everything. The people and the wise constitute the world;
these despise it, and are despised. They judge badly of everything, and
the world judges rightly of them.


328

_The reason of effects._--Continual alternation of pro and con.

We have then shown that man is foolish, by the estimation he makes of
things which are not essential; and all these opinions are destroyed. We
have next shown that all these opinions are very sound, and that thus,
since all these vanities are well founded, the people are not so foolish
as is said. And so we have destroyed the opinion which destroyed that of
the people.

But we must now destroy this last proposition, and show that it remains
always true that the people are foolish, though their opinions are
sound; because they do not perceive the truth where it is, and, as they
place it where it is not, their opinions are always very false and very
unsound.


329

_The reason of effects._--The weakness of man is the reason why so many
things are considered fine, as to be good at playing the lute. It is
only an evil because of our weakness.


330

The power of kings is founded on the reason and on the folly of the
people, and specially on their folly. The greatest and most important
thing in the world has weakness for its foundation, and this foundation
is wonderfully sure; for there is nothing more sure than this, that the
people will be weak. What is based on sound reason is very ill founded,
as the estimate of wisdom.


331

We can only think of Plato and Aristotle in grand academic robes. They
were honest men, like others, laughing with their friends, and when they
diverted themselves with writing their _Laws_ and the _Politics_, they
did it as an amusement. That part of their life was the least
philosophic and the least serious; the most philosophic was to live
simply and quietly. If they wrote on politics, it was as if laying down
rules for a lunatic asylum; and if they presented the appearance of
speaking of a great matter, it was because they knew that the madmen, to
whom they spoke, thought they were kings and emperors. They entered into
their principles in order to make their madness as little harmful as
possible.


332

Tyranny consists in the desire of universal power beyond its scope.

There are different assemblies of the strong, the fair, the sensible,
the pious, in which each man rules at home, not elsewhere. And sometimes
they meet, and the strong and the fair foolishly fight as to who shall
be master, for their mastery is of different kinds. They do not
understand one another, and their fault is the desire to rule
everywhere. Nothing can effect this, not even might, which is of no use
in the kingdom of the wise, and is only mistress of external actions.

_Tyranny_--... So these expressions are false and tyrannical: "I am
fair, therefore I must be feared. I am strong, therefore I must be
loved. I am ..."

Tyranny is the wish to have in one way what can only be had in another.
We render different duties to different merits; the duty of love to the
pleasant; the duty of fear to the strong; the duty of belief to the
learned.

We must render these duties; it is unjust to refuse them, and unjust to
ask others. And so it is false and tyrannical to say, "He is not strong,
therefore I will not esteem him; he is not able, therefore I will not
fear him."


333

Have you never seen people who, in order to complain of the little fuss
you make about them, parade before you the example of great men who
esteem them? In answer I reply to them, "Show me the merit whereby you
have charmed these persons, and I also will esteem you."


334

_The reason of effects._--Lust and force are the source of all our
actions; lust causes voluntary actions, force involuntary ones.


335

_The reason of effects._--It is then true to say that all the world is
under a delusion; for, although the opinions of the people are sound,
they are not so as conceived by them, since they think the truth to be
where it is not. Truth is indeed in their opinions, but not at the point
where they imagine it. [Thus] it is true that we must honour noblemen,
but not because noble birth is real superiority, etc.


336

_The reason of effects._--We must keep our thought secret, and judge
everything by it, while talking like the people.


337

_The reason of effects._--Degrees. The people honour persons of high
birth. The semi-learned despise them, saying that birth is not a
personal, but a chance superiority. The learned honour them, not for
popular reasons, but for secret reasons. Devout persons, who have more
zeal than knowledge, despise them, in spite of that consideration which
makes them honoured by the learned, because they judge them by a new
light which piety gives them. But perfect Christians honour them by
another and higher light. So arise a succession of opinions for and
against, according to the light one has.


338

True Christians nevertheless comply with folly, not because they respect
folly, but the command of God, who for the punishment of men has made
them subject to these follies. _Omnis creatura subjecta est
vanitati.[125] Liberabitur._[126] Thus Saint Thomas[127] explains the
passage in Saint James on giving place to the rich, that if they do it
not in the sight of God, they depart from the command of religion.



SECTION VI

THE PHILOSOPHERS


339

I can well conceive a man without hands, feet, head (for it is only
experience which teaches us that the head is more necessary than feet).
But I cannot conceive man without thought; he would be a stone or a
brute.


340

The arithmetical machine produces effects which approach nearer to
thought than all the actions of animals. But it does nothing which would
enable us to attribute will to it, as to the animals.


341

The account of the pike and frog of Liancourt.[128] They do it always,
and never otherwise, nor any other thing showing mind.


342

If an animal did by mind what it does by instinct, and if it spoke by
mind what it speaks by instinct, in hunting, and in warning its mates
that the prey is found or lost; it would indeed also speak in regard to
those things which affect it closer, as example, "Gnaw me this cord
which is wounding me, and which I cannot reach."


343

The beak of the parrot, which it wipes, although it is clean.


344

Instinct and reason, marks of two natures.


345

Reason commands us far more imperiously than a master; for in disobeying
the one we are unfortunate, and in disobeying the other we are fools.


346

Thought constitutes the greatness of man.


347

Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking
reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapour, a
drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush
him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because
he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him;
the universe knows nothing of this.

All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate
ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us
endeavour, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.


348

_A thinking reed._--It is not from space that I must seek my dignity,
but from the government of my thought. I shall have no more if I possess
worlds. By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an
atom; by thought I comprehend the world.


349

_Immateriality of the soul._--Philosophers[129] who have mastered their
passions. What matter could do that?


350

_The Stoics._--They conclude that what has been done once can be done
always, and that since the desire of glory imparts some power to those
whom it possesses, others can do likewise. There are feverish movements
which health cannot imitate.

Epictetus[130] concludes that since there are consistent Christians,
every man can easily be so.


351

Those great spiritual efforts, which the soul sometimes assays, are
things on which it does not lay hold.[131] It only leaps to them, not as
upon a throne, for ever, but merely for an instant.


352

The strength of a man's virtue must not be measured by his efforts, but
by his ordinary life.


353

I do not admire the excess of a virtue as of valour, except I see at the
same time the excess of the opposite virtue, as in Epaminondas,[132] who
had the greatest valour and the greatest kindness. For otherwise it is
not to rise, it is to fall. We do not display greatness by going to one
extreme, but in touching both at once, and filling all the intervening
space. But perhaps this is only a sudden movement of the soul from one
to the other extreme, and in fact it is ever at one point only, as in
the case of a firebrand. Be it so, but at least this indicates agility
if not expanse of soul.


354

Man's nature is not always to advance; it has its advances and retreats.

Fever has its cold and hot fits; and the cold proves as well as the hot
the greatness of the fire of fever.

The discoveries of men from age to age turn out the same. The kindness
and the malice of the world in general are the same. _Plerumque gratæ
principibus vices._[133]


355

Continuous eloquence wearies.

Princes and kings sometimes play. They are not always on their thrones.
They weary there. Grandeur must be abandoned to be appreciated.
Continuity in everything is unpleasant. Cold is agreeable, that we may
get warm.

Nature acts by progress, _itus et reditus_. It goes and returns, then
advances further, then twice as much backwards, then more forward than
ever, etc.

The tide of the sea behaves in the same manner; and so apparently does
the sun in its course.


356

The nourishment of the body is little by little. Fullness of nourishment
and smallness of substance.


357

When we would pursue virtues to their extremes on either side, vices
present themselves, which insinuate themselves insensibly there, in
their insensible journey towards the infinitely little: and vices
present themselves in a crowd towards the infinitely great, so that we
lose ourselves in them, and no longer see virtues. We find fault with
perfection itself.


358

Man is neither angel nor brute, and the unfortunate thing is that he who
would act the angel acts the brute.[134]


359

We do not sustain ourselves in virtue by our own strength, but by the
balancing of two opposed vices, just as we remain upright amidst two
contrary gales. Remove one of the vices, and we fall into the other.


360

What the Stoics propose is so difficult and foolish!

The Stoics lay down that all those who are not at the high degree of
wisdom are equally foolish and vicious, as those who are two inches
under water.


361

_The sovereign good. Dispute about the sovereign good._--_Ut sis
contentus temetipso et ex te nascentibus bonis._[135] There is a
contradiction, for in the end they advise suicide. Oh! What a happy
life, from which we are to free ourselves as from the plague!


362

_Ex senatus-consultis et plebiscitis_ ...

To ask like passages.


363

_Ex senatus-consultis et plebiscitis scelera exercentur._ Sen. 588.[136]

_Nihil tam absurde dici potest quod non dicatur ab aliquo
philosophorum._ Divin.[137]

_Quibusdam destinatis sententiis consecrati quæ non probant coguntur
defendere._ Cic.[138]

_Ut omnium rerum sic litterarum quoque intemperantia laboramus._
Senec.[139]

_Id maxime quemque decet, quod est cujusque suum maxime._[140]

_Hos natura modos primum dedit._[141] Georg.

_Paucis opus est litteris ad bonam mentem._[142]

_Si quando turpe non sit, tamen non est non turpe quum id a multitudine
laudetur._

_Mihi sic usus est, tibi ut opus est facto, fac._[143] Ter.


364

_Rarum est enim ut satis se quisque vereatur._[144]

_Tot circa unum caput tumultuantes deos._[145]

_Nihil turpius quam cognitioni assertionem præcurrere._ Cic.[146]

_Nec me pudet, ut istos, fateri nescire quid nesciam._[147]

_Melius non incipient._[148]


365

_Thought._--All the dignity of man consists in thought. Thought is
therefore by its nature a wonderful and incomparable thing. It must have
strange defects to be contemptible. But it has such, so that nothing is
more ridiculous. How great it is in its nature! How vile it is in its
defects!

But what is this thought? How foolish it is!


366

The mind of this sovereign judge of the world is not so independent that
it is not liable to be disturbed by the first din about it. The noise of
a cannon is not necessary to hinder its thoughts; it needs only the
creaking of a weathercock or a pulley. Do not wonder if at present it
does not reason well; a fly is buzzing in its ears; that is enough to
render it incapable of good judgment. If you wish it to be able to reach
the truth, chase away that animal which holds its reason in check and
disturbs that powerful intellect which rules towns and kingdoms. Here is
a comical god! _O ridicolosissimo eroe!_


367

The power of flies; they win battles,[149] hinder our soul from acting,
eat our body.


368

When it is said that heat is only the motions of certain molecules, and
light the _conatus recedendi_ which we feel,[150] it astonishes us.
What! Is pleasure only the ballet of our spirits? We have conceived so
different an idea of it! And these sensations seem so removed from those
others which we say are the same as those with which we compare them!
The sensation from the fire, that warmth which affects us in a manner
wholly different from touch, the reception of sound and light, all this
appears to us mysterious, and yet it is material like the blow of a
stone. It is true that the smallness of the spirits which enter into the
pores touches other nerves, but there are always some nerves touched.


369

Memory is necessary for all the operations of reason.


370

[Chance gives rise to thoughts, and chance removes them; no art can keep
or acquire them.

A thought has escaped me. I wanted to write it down. I write instead,
that it has escaped me.]


371

[When I was small, I hugged my book; and because it sometimes happened
to me to ... in believing I hugged it, I doubted....]


372

In writing down my thought, it sometimes escapes me; but this makes me
remember my weakness, that I constantly forget. This is as instructive
to me as my forgotten thought; for I strive only to know my nothingness.


373

_Scepticism._--I shall here write my thoughts without order, and not
perhaps in unintentional confusion; that is true order, which will
always indicate my object by its very disorder. I should do too much
honour to my subject, if I treated it with order, since I want to show
that it is incapable of it.


374

What astonishes me most is to see that all the world is not astonished
at its own weakness. Men act seriously, and each follows his own mode of
life, not because it is in fact good to follow since it is the custom,
but as if each man knew certainly where reason and justice are. They
find themselves continually deceived, and by a comical humility think it
is their own fault, and not that of the art which they claim always to
possess. But it is well there are so many such people in the world, who
are not sceptics for the glory of scepticism, in order to show that man
is quite capable of the most extravagant opinions, since he is capable
of believing that he is not in a state of natural and inevitable
weakness, but, on the contrary, of natural wisdom. Nothing fortifies
scepticism more than that there are some who are not sceptics; if all
were so, they would be wrong.


375

[I have passed a great part of my life believing that there was justice,
and in this I was not mistaken; for there is justice according as God
has willed to reveal it to us. But I did not take it so, and this is
where I made a mistake; for I believed that our justice was essentially
just, and that I had that whereby to know and judge of it. But I have so
often found my right judgment at fault, that at last I have come to
distrust myself, and then others. I have seen changes in all nations and
men, and thus after many changes of judgment regarding true justice, I
have recognised that our nature was but in continual change, and I have
not changed since; and if I changed, I would confirm my opinion.

The sceptic Arcesilaus,[151] who became a dogmatist.]


376

This sect derives more strength from its enemies than from its friends;
for the weakness of man is far more evident in those who know it not
than in those who know it.


377

Discourses on humility are a source of pride in the vain, and of
humility in the humble. So those on scepticism cause believers to
affirm. Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, few
doubtingly of scepticism. We are only falsehood, duplicity,
contradiction; we both conceal and disguise ourselves from ourselves.


378

_Scepticism._--Excess, like defect of intellect, is accused of madness.
Nothing is good but mediocrity. The majority has settled that, and finds
fault with him who escapes it at whichever end. I will not oppose it. I
quite consent to put myself there, and refuse to be at the lower end,
not because it is low, but because it is an end; for I would likewise
refuse to be placed at the top. To leave the mean is to abandon
humanity. The greatness of the human soul consists in knowing how to
preserve the mean. So far from greatness consisting in leaving it, it
consists in not leaving it.


379

It is not good to have too much liberty. It is not good to have all one
wants.


380

All good maxims are in the world. We only need to apply them. For
instance, we do not doubt that we ought to risk our lives in defence of
the public good; but for religion, no.

It is true there must be inequality among men; but if this be conceded,
the door is opened not only to the highest power, but to the highest
tyranny.

We must relax our minds a little; but this opens the door to the
greatest debauchery. Let us mark the limits. There are no limits in
things. Laws would put them there, and the mind cannot suffer it.


381

When we are too young, we do not judge well; so, also, when we are too
old. If we do not think enough, or if we think too much on any matter,
we get obstinate and infatuated about it. If one considers one's work
immediately after having done it, one is entirely prepossessed in its
favour; by delaying too long, one can no longer enter into the spirit of
it. So with pictures seen from too far or too near; there is but one
exact point which is the true place wherefrom to look at them: the rest
are too near, too far, too high, or too low. Perspective determines that
point in the art of painting. But who shall determine it in truth and
morality?


382

When all is equally agitated, nothing appears to be agitated, as in a
ship. When all tend to debauchery, none appears to do so. He who stops
draws attention to the excess of others, like a fixed point.


383

The licentious tell men of orderly lives that they stray from nature's
path, while they themselves follow it; as people in a ship think those
move who are on the shore. On all sides the language is similar. We must
have a fixed point in order to judge. The harbour decides for those who
are in a ship; but where shall we find a harbour in morality?


384

Contradiction is a bad sign of truth; several things which are certain
are contradicted; several things which are false pass without
contradiction. Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the want of
contradiction a sign of truth.


385

_Scepticism._--Each thing here is partly true and partly false.
Essential truth is not so; it is altogether pure and altogether true.
This mixture dishonours and annihilates it. Nothing is purely true, and
thus nothing is true, meaning by that pure truth. You will say it is
true that homicide is wrong. Yes; for we know well the wrong and the
false. But what will you say is good? Chastity? I say no; for the world
would come to an end. Marriage? No; continence is better. Not to kill?
No; for lawlessness would be horrible, and the wicked would kill all the
good. To kill? No; for that destroys nature. We possess truth and
goodness only in part, and mingled with falsehood and evil.


386

If we dreamt the same thing every night, it would affect us as much as
the objects we see every day. And if an artisan were sure to dream every
night for twelve hours' duration that he was a king, I believe he would
be almost as happy as a king, who should dream every night for twelve
hours on end that he was an artisan.

If we were to dream every night that we were pursued by enemies, and
harassed by these painful phantoms, or that we passed every day in
different occupations, as in making a voyage, we should suffer almost as
much as if it were real, and should fear to sleep, as we fear to wake
when we dread in fact to enter on such mishaps. And, indeed, it would
cause pretty nearly the same discomforts as the reality.

But since dreams are all different, and each single one is diversified,
what is seen in them affects us much less than what we see when awake,
because of its continuity, which is not, however, so continuous and
level as not to change too; but it changes less abruptly, except rarely,
as when we travel, and then we say, "It seems to me I am dreaming." For
life is a dream a little less inconstant.


387

[It may be that there are true demonstrations; but this is not certain.
Thus, this proves nothing else but that it is not certain that all is
uncertain, to the glory of scepticism.]


388

_Good sense._--They are compelled to say, "You are not acting in good
faith; we are not asleep," etc. How I love to see this proud reason
humiliated and suppliant! For this is not the language of a man whose
right is disputed, and who defends it with the power of armed hands. He
is not foolish enough to declare that men are not acting in good faith,
but he punishes this bad faith with force.


389

Ecclesiastes[152] shows that man without God is in total ignorance and
inevitable misery. For it is wretched to have the wish, but not the
power. Now he would be happy and assured of some truth, and yet he can
neither know, nor desire not to know. He cannot even doubt.


390

My God! How foolish this talk is! "Would God have made the world to damn
it? Would He ask so much from persons so weak?" etc. Scepticism is the
cure for this evil, and will take down this vanity.


391

_Conversation._--Great words: Religion, I deny it.

_Conversation._--Scepticism helps religion.


392

_Against Scepticism._--[... It is, then, a strange fact that we cannot
define these things without obscuring them, while we speak of them with
all assurance.] We assume that all conceive of them in the same way; but
we assume it quite gratuitously, for we have no proof of it. I see, in
truth, that the same words are applied on the same occasions, and that
every time two men see a body change its place, they both express their
view of this same fact by the same word, both saying that it has moved;
and from this conformity of application we derive a strong conviction of
a conformity of ideas. But this is not absolutely or finally convincing,
though there is enough to support a bet on the affirmative, since we
know that we often draw the same conclusions from different premisses.

This is enough, at least, to obscure the matter; not that it completely
extinguishes the natural light which assures us of these things. The
academicians[153] would have won. But this dulls it, and troubles the
dogmatists to the glory of the sceptical crowd, which consists in this
doubtful ambiguity, and in a certain doubtful dimness from which our
doubts cannot take away all the clearness, nor our own natural lights
chase away all the darkness.


393

It is a singular thing to consider that there are people in the world
who, having renounced all the laws of God and nature, have made laws for
themselves which they strictly obey, as, for instance, the soldiers of
Mahomet, robbers, heretics, etc. It is the same with logicians. It seems
that their licence must be without any limits or barriers, since they
have broken through so many that are so just and sacred.


394

All the principles of sceptics, stoics, atheists, etc., are true. But
their conclusions are false, because the opposite principles are also
true.


395

_Instinct, reason._--We have an incapacity of proof, insurmountable by
all dogmatism. We have an idea of truth, invincible to all scepticism.


396

Two things instruct man about his whole nature; instinct and experience.


397

The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be miserable.
A tree does not know itself to be miserable. It is then being miserable
to know oneself to be miserable; but it is also being great to know that
one is miserable.


398

All these same miseries prove man's greatness. They are the miseries of
a great lord, of a deposed king.


399

We are not miserable without feeling it. A ruined house is not
miserable. Man only is miserable. _Ego vir videns._[154]


400

_The greatness of man._--We have so great an idea of the soul of man
that we cannot endure being despised, or not being esteemed by any soul;
and all the happiness of men consists in this esteem.


401

_Glory._--The brutes do not admire each other. A horse does not admire
his companion. Not that there is no rivalry between them in a race, but
that is of no consequence; for, when in the stable, the heaviest and
most ill-formed does not give up his oats to another, as men would have
others do to them. Their virtue is satisfied with itself.


402

The greatness of man even in his lust, to have known how to extract from
it a wonderful code, and to have drawn from it a picture of benevolence.


403

_Greatness._--The reasons of effects indicate the greatness of man, in
having extracted so fair an order from lust.


404

The greatest baseness of man is the pursuit of glory. But it is also the
greatest mark of his excellence; for whatever possessions he may have on
earth, whatever health and essential comfort, he is not satisfied if he
has not the esteem of men. He values human reason so highly that,
whatever advantages he may have on earth, he is not content if he is not
also ranked highly in the judgment of man. This is the finest position
in the world. Nothing can turn him from that desire, which is the most
indelible quality of man's heart.

And those who most despise men, and put them on a level with the brutes,
yet wish to be admired and believed by men, and contradict themselves by
their own feelings; their nature, which is stronger than all, convincing
them of the greatness of man more forcibly than reason convinces them of
their baseness.


405

_Contradiction._--Pride counterbalancing all miseries. Man either hides
his miseries, or, if he disclose them, glories in knowing them.


406

Pride counterbalances and takes away all miseries. Here is a strange
monster, and a very plain aberration. He is fallen from his place, and
is anxiously seeking it. This is what all men do. Let us see who will
have found it.


407

When malice has reason on its side, it becomes proud, and parades reason
in all its splendour. When austerity or stern choice has not arrived at
the true good, and must needs return to follow nature, it becomes proud
by reason of this return.


408

Evil is easy, and has infinite forms; good is almost unique.[155] But a
certain kind of evil is as difficult to find as what we call good; and
often on this account such particular evil gets passed off as good. An
extraordinary greatness of soul is needed in order to attain to it as
well as to good.


409

_The greatness of man._--The greatness of man is so evident, that it is
even proved by his wretchedness. For what in animals is nature we call
in man wretchedness; by which we recognise that, his nature being now
like that of animals, he has fallen from a better nature which once was
his.

For who is unhappy at not being a king, except a deposed king? Was
Paulus Æmilius[156] unhappy at being no longer consul? On the contrary,
everybody thought him happy in having been consul, because the office
could only be held for a time. But men thought Perseus so unhappy in
being no longer king, because the condition of kingship implied his
being always king, that they thought it strange that he endured life.
Who is unhappy at having only one mouth? And who is not unhappy at
having only one eye? Probably no man ever ventured to mourn at not
having three eyes. But any one is inconsolable at having none.


410

_Perseus, King of Macedon._--Paulus Æmilius reproached Perseus for not
killing himself.


411

Notwithstanding the sight of all our miseries, which press upon us and
take us by the throat, we have an instinct which we cannot repress, and
which lifts us up.


412

There is internal war in man between reason and the passions.

If he had only reason without passions ...

If he had only passions without reason ...

But having both, he cannot be without strife, being unable to be at
peace with the one without being at war with the other. Thus he is
always divided against, and opposed to himself.


413

This internal war of reason against the passions has made a division of
those who would have peace into two sects. The first would renounce
their passions, and become gods; the others would renounce reason, and
become brute beasts. (Des Barreaux.)[157] But neither can do so, and
reason still remains, to condemn the vileness and injustice of the
passions, and to trouble the repose of those who abandon themselves to
them; and the passions keep always alive in those who would renounce
them.


414

Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another
form of madness.


415

The nature of man may be viewed in two ways: the one according to its
end, and then he is great and incomparable; the other according to the
multitude, just as we judge of the nature of the horse and the dog,
popularly, by seeing its fleetness, _et animum arcendi_; and then man is
abject and vile. These are the two ways which make us judge of him
differently, and which occasion such disputes among philosophers.

For one denies the assumption of the other. One says, "He is not born
for this end, for all his actions are repugnant to it." The other says,
"He forsakes his end, when he does these base actions."


416

_For Port-Royal.[158] Greatness and wretchedness._--Wretchedness being
deduced from greatness, and greatness from wretchedness, some have
inferred man's wretchedness all the more because they have taken his
greatness as a proof of it, and others have inferred his greatness with
all the more force, because they have inferred it from his very
wretchedness. All that the one party has been able to say in proof of
his greatness has only served as an argument of his wretchedness to the
others, because the greater our fall, the more wretched we are, and
_vice versa._ The one party is brought back to the other in an endless
circle, it being certain that in proportion as men possess light they
discover both the greatness and the wretchedness of man. In a word, man
knows that he is wretched. He is therefore wretched, because he is so;
but he is really great because he knows it.


417

This twofold nature of man is so evident that some have thought that we
had two souls. A single subject seemed to them incapable of such sudden
variations from unmeasured presumption to a dreadful dejection of
heart.


418

It is dangerous to make man see too clearly his equality with the brutes
without showing him his greatness. It is also dangerous to make him see
his greatness too clearly, apart from his vileness. It is still more
dangerous to leave him in ignorance of both. But it is very advantageous
to show him both. Man must not think that he is on a level either with
the brutes or with the angels, nor must he be ignorant of both sides of
his nature; but he must know both.


419

I will not allow man to depend upon himself, or upon another, to the end
that being without a resting-place and without repose ...


420

If he exalt himself, I humble him; if he humble himself, I exalt him;
and I always contradict him, till he understands that he is an
incomprehensible monster.


421

I blame equally those who choose to praise man, those who choose to
blame him, and those who choose to amuse themselves; and I can only
approve of those who seek with lamentation.


422

It is good to be tired and wearied by the vain search after the true
good, that we may stretch out our arms to the Redeemer.


423

_Contraries. After having shown the vileness and the greatness of
man._--Let man now know his value. Let him love himself, for there is in
him a nature capable of good; but let him not for this reason love the
vileness which is in him. Let him despise himself, for this capacity is
barren; but let him not therefore despise this natural capacity. Let him
hate himself, let him love himself; he has within him the capacity of
knowing the truth and of being happy, but he possesses no truth, either
constant or satisfactory.

I would then lead man to the desire of finding truth; to be free from
passions, and ready to follow it where he may find it, knowing how much
his knowledge is obscured by the passions. I would indeed that he should
hate in himself the lust which determined his will by itself, so that it
may not blind him in making his choice, and may not hinder him when he
has chosen.


424

All these contradictions, which seem most to keep me from the knowledge
of religion, have led me most quickly to the true one.



SECTION VII

MORALITY AND DOCTRINE


425

_Second part.--That man without faith cannot know the true good, nor
justice._

All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different
means they employ, they all tend to this end.[159] The cause of some
going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both,
attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but
to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of
those who hang themselves.

And yet after such a great number of years, no one without faith has
reached the point to which all continually look. All complain, princes
and subjects, noblemen and commoners, old and young, strong and weak,
learned and ignorant, healthy and sick, of all countries, all times, all
ages, and all conditions.

A trial so long, so continuous, and so uniform, should certainly
convince us of our inability to reach the good by our own efforts. But
example teaches us little. No resemblance is ever so perfect that there
is not some slight difference; and hence we expect that our hope will
not be deceived on this occasion as before. And thus, while the present
never satisfies us, experience dupes us, and from misfortune to
misfortune leads us to death, their eternal crown.

What is it then that this desire and this inability proclaim to us, but
that there was once in man a true happiness of which there now remain to
him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from
all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not
obtain in things present? But these are all inadequate, because the
infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object,
that is to say, only by God Himself.

He only is our true good, and since we have forsaken Him, it is a
strange thing that there is nothing in nature which has not been
serviceable in taking His place; the stars, the heavens, earth, the
elements, plants, cabbages, leeks, animals, insects, calves, serpents,
fever, pestilence, war, famine, vices, adultery, incest. And since man
has lost the true good, everything can appear equally good to him, even
his own destruction, though so opposed to God, to reason, and to the
whole course of nature.

Some seek good in authority, others in scientific research, others in
pleasure. Others, who are in fact nearer the truth, have considered it
necessary that the universal good, which all men desire, should not
consist in any of the particular things which can only be possessed by
one man, and which, when shared, afflict their possessor more by the
want of the part he has not, than they please him by the possession of
what he has. They have learned that the true good should be such as all
can possess at once, without diminution and without envy, and which no
one can lose against his will. And their reason is that this desire
being natural to man, since it is necessarily in all, and that it is
impossible not to have it, they infer from it ...


426

True nature being lost, everything becomes its own nature; as the true
good being lost, everything becomes its own true good.


427

Man does not know in what rank to place himself. He has plainly gone
astray, and fallen from his true place without being able to find it
again. He seeks it anxiously and unsuccessfully everywhere in
impenetrable darkness.


428

If it is a sign of weakness to prove God by nature, do not despise
Scripture; if it is a sign of strength to have known these
contradictions, esteem Scripture.


429

The vileness of man in submitting himself to the brutes, and in even
worshipping them.


430

_For Port Royal. The beginning, after having explained the
incomprehensibility._--The greatness and the wretchedness of man are so
evident that the true religion must necessarily teach us both that there
is in man some great source of greatness, and a great source of
wretchedness. It must then give us a reason for these astonishing
contradictions.

In order to make man happy, it must prove to him that there is a God;
that we ought to love Him; that our true happiness is to be in Him, and
our sole evil to be separated from Him; it must recognise that we are
full of darkness which hinders us from knowing and loving Him; and that
thus, as our duties compel us to love God, and our lusts turn us away
from Him, we are full of unrighteousness. It must give us an explanation
of our opposition to God and to our own good. It must teach us the
remedies for these infirmities, and the means of obtaining these
remedies. Let us therefore examine all the religions of the world, and
see if there be any other than the Christian which is sufficient for
this purpose.

Shall it be that of the philosophers, who put forward as the chief good,
the good which is in ourselves? Is this the true good? Have they found
the remedy for our ills? Is man's pride cured by placing him on an
equality with God? Have those who have made us equal to the brutes, or
the Mahommedans who have offered us earthly pleasures as the chief good
even in eternity, produced the remedy for our lusts? What religion,
then, will teach us to cure pride and lust? What religion will in fact
teach us our good, our duties, the weakness which turns us from them,
the cause of this weakness, the remedies which can cure it, and the
means of obtaining these remedies?

All other religions have not been able to do so. Let us see what the
wisdom of God will do.

"Expect neither truth," she says, "nor consolation from men. I am she
who formed you, and who alone can teach you what you are. But you are
now no longer in the state in which I formed you. I created man holy,
innocent, perfect. I filled him with light and intelligence. I
communicated to him my glory and my wonders. The eye of man saw then the
majesty of God. He was not then in the darkness which blinds him, nor
subject to mortality and the woes which afflict him. But he has not been
able to sustain so great glory without falling into pride. He wanted to
make himself his own centre, and independent of my help. He withdrew
himself from my rule; and, on his making himself equal to me by the
desire of finding his happiness in himself, I abandoned him to himself.
And setting in revolt the creatures that were subject to him, I made
them his enemies; so that man is now become like the brutes, and so
estranged from me that there scarce remains to him a dim vision of his
Author. So far has all his knowledge been extinguished or disturbed! The
senses, independent of reason, and often the masters of reason, have led
him into pursuit of pleasure. All creatures either torment or tempt him,
and domineer over him, either subduing him by their strength, or
fascinating him by their charms, a tyranny more awful and more
imperious.

"Such is the state in which men now are. There remains to them some
feeble instinct of the happiness of their former state; and they are
plunged in the evils of their blindness and their lust, which have
become their second nature.

"From this principle which I disclose to you, you can recognise the
cause of those contradictions which have astonished all men, and have
divided them into parties holding so different views. Observe, now, all
the feelings of greatness and glory which the experience of so many woes
cannot stifle, and see if the cause of them must not be in another
nature."

_For Port-Royal to-morrow (Prosopopœa)._--"It is in vain, O men, that
you seek within yourselves the remedy for your ills. All your light can
only reach the knowledge that not in yourselves will you find truth or
good. The philosophers have promised you that, and have been unable to
do it. They neither know what is your true good, nor what is your true
state. How could they have given remedies for your ills, when they did
not even know them? Your chief maladies are pride, which takes you away
from God, and lust, which binds you to earth; and they have done nothing
else but cherish one or other of these diseases. If they gave you God as
an end, it was only to administer to your pride; they made you think
that you are by nature like Him, and conformed to Him. And those who saw
the absurdity of this claim put you on another precipice, by making you
understand that your nature was like that of the brutes, and led you to
seek your good in the lusts which are shared by the animals. This is not
the way to cure you of your unrighteousness, which these wise men never
knew. I alone can make you understand who you are...."

Adam, Jesus Christ.

If you are united to God, it is by grace, not by nature. If you are
humbled, it is by penitence, not by nature.

Thus this double capacity ...

You are not in the state of your creation.

As these two states are open, it is impossible for you not to recognise
them. Follow your own feelings, observe yourselves, and see if you do
not find the lively characteristics of these two natures. Could so many
contradictions be found in a simple subject?

--Incomprehensible.--Not all that is incomprehensible ceases to exist.
Infinite number. An infinite space equal to a finite.

--Incredible that God should unite Himself to us.--This consideration is
drawn only from the sight of our vileness. But if you are quite sincere
over it, follow it as far as I have done, and recognise that we are
indeed so vile that we are incapable in ourselves of knowing if His
mercy cannot make us capable of Him. For I would know how this animal,
who knows himself to be so weak, has the right to measure the mercy of
God, and set limits to it, suggested by his own fancy. He has so little
knowledge of what God is, that he does not know what he himself is, and,
completely disturbed at the sight of his own state, dares to say that
God cannot make him capable of communion with Him.

But I would ask him if God demands anything else from him than the
knowledge and love of Him, and why, since his nature is capable of love
and knowledge, he believes that God cannot make Himself known and loved
by him. Doubtless he knows at least that he exists, and that he loves
something. Therefore, if he sees anything in the darkness wherein he is,
and if he finds some object of his love among the things on earth, why,
if God impart to him some ray of His essence, will he not be capable of
knowing and of loving Him in the manner in which it shall please Him to
communicate Himself to us? There must then be certainly an intolerable
presumption in arguments of this sort, although they seem founded on an
apparent humility, which is neither sincere nor reasonable, if it does
not make us admit that, not knowing of ourselves what we are, we can
only learn it from God.

"I do not mean that you should submit your belief to me without reason,
and I do not aspire to overcome you by tyranny. In fact, I do not claim
to give you a reason for everything. And to reconcile these
contradictions, I intend to make you see clearly, by convincing proofs,
those divine signs in me, which may convince you of what I am, and may
gain authority for me by wonders and proofs which you cannot reject; so
that you may then believe without ... the things which I teach you,
since you will find no other ground for rejecting them, except that you
cannot know of yourselves if they are true or not.

"God has willed to redeem men, and to open salvation to those who seek
it. But men render themselves so unworthy of it, that it is right that
God should refuse to some, because of their obduracy, what He grants to
others from a compassion which is not due to them. If He had willed to
overcome the obstinacy of the most hardened, He could have done so by
revealing Himself so manifestly to them that they could not have doubted
of the truth of His essence; as it will appear at the last day, with
such thunders and such a convulsion of nature, that the dead will rise
again, and the blindest will see Him.

"It is not in this manner that He has willed to appear in His advent of
mercy, because, as so many make themselves unworthy of His mercy, He has
willed to leave them in the loss of the good which they do not want. It
was not then right that He should appear in a manner manifestly divine,
and completely capable of convincing all men; but it was also not right
that He should come in so hidden a manner that He could not be known by
those who should sincerely seek Him. He has willed to make Himself quite
recognisable by those; and thus, willing to appear openly to those who
seek Him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from
Him with all their heart, He so regulates the knowledge of Himself that
He has given signs of Himself, visible to those who seek Him, and not to
those who seek Him not. There is enough light for those who only desire
to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition."


431

No other religion has recognised that man is the most excellent
creature. Some, which have quite recognised the reality of his
excellence, have considered as mean and ungrateful the low opinions
which men naturally have of themselves; and others, which have
thoroughly recognised how real is this vileness, have treated with proud
ridicule those feelings of greatness, which are equally natural to man.

"Lift your eyes to God," say the first; "see Him whom you resemble, and
who has created you to worship Him. You can make yourselves like unto
Him; wisdom will make you equal to Him, if you will follow it." "Raise
your heads, free men," says Epictetus. And others say, "Bend your eyes
to the earth, wretched worm that you are, and consider the brutes whose
companion you are."

What, then, will man become? Will he be equal to God or the brutes? What
a frightful difference! What, then, shall we be? Who does not see from
all this that man has gone astray, that he has fallen from his place,
that he anxiously seeks it, that he cannot find it again? And who shall
then direct him to it? The greatest men have failed.


432

Scepticism is true; for, after all, men before Jesus Christ did not know
where they were, nor whether they were great or small. And those who
have said the one or the other, knew nothing about it, and guessed
without reason and by chance. They also erred always in excluding the
one or the other.

_Quod ergo ignorantes, quæritis, religio annuntiat vobis._[160]


433

_After having understood the whole nature of man._--That a religion may
be true, it must have knowledge of our nature. It ought to know its
greatness and littleness, and the reason of both. What religion but the
Christian has known this?


434

The chief arguments of the sceptics--I pass over the lesser ones--are
that we have no certainty of the truth of these principles apart from
faith and revelation, except in so far as we naturally perceive them in
ourselves. Now this natural intuition is not a convincing proof of their
truth; since, having no certainty, apart from faith, whether man was
created by a good God, or by a wicked demon,[161] or by chance, it is
doubtful whether these principles given to us are true, or false, or
uncertain, according to our origin. Again, no person is certain, apart
from faith, whether he is awake or sleeps, seeing that during sleep we
believe that we are awake as firmly as we do when we _are_ awake; we
believe that we see space, figure, and motion; we are aware of the
passage of time, we measure it; and in fact we act as if we were awake.
So that half of our life being passed in sleep, we have on our own
admission no idea of truth, whatever we may imagine. As all our
intuitions are then illusions, who knows whether the other half of our
life, in which we think we are awake, is not another sleep a little
different from the former, from which we awake when we suppose ourselves
asleep?

[And who doubts that, if we dreamt in company, and the dreams chanced to
agree, which is common enough, and if we were always alone when awake,
we should believe that matters were reversed? In short, as we often
dream that we dream, heaping dream upon dream, may it not be that this
half of our life, wherein we think ourselves awake, is itself only a
dream on which the others are grafted, from which we wake at death,
during which we have as few principles of truth and good as during
natural sleep, these different thoughts which disturb us being perhaps
only illusions like the flight of time and the vain fancies of our
dreams?]

These are the chief arguments on one side and the other.

I omit minor ones, such as the sceptical talk against the impressions of
custom, education, manners, country, and the like. Though these
influence the majority of common folk, who dogmatise only on shallow
foundations, they are upset by the least breath of the sceptics. We have
only to see their books if we are not sufficiently convinced of this,
and we shall very quickly become so, perhaps too much.

I notice the only strong point of the dogmatists, namely, that, speaking
in good faith and sincerely, we cannot doubt natural principles. Against
this the sceptics set up in one word the uncertainty of our origin,
which includes that of our nature. The dogmatists have been trying to
answer this objection ever since the world began.

So there is open war among men, in which each must take a part, and side
either with dogmatism or scepticism. For he who thinks to remain neutral
is above all a sceptic. This neutrality is the essence of the sect; he
who is not against them is essentially for them. [In this appears their
advantage.] They are not for themselves; they are neutral, indifferent,
in suspense as to all things, even themselves being no exception.

What then shall man do in this state? Shall he doubt everything? Shall
he doubt whether he is awake, whether he is being pinched, or whether he
is being burned? Shall he doubt whether he doubts? Shall he doubt
whether he exists? We cannot go so far as that; and I lay it down as a
fact that there never has been a real complete sceptic. Nature sustains
our feeble reason, and prevents it raving to this extent.

Shall he then say, on the contrary, that he certainly possesses
truth--he who, when pressed ever so little, can show no title to it, and
is forced to let go his hold?

What a chimera then is man! What a novelty! What a monster, what a
chaos, what a contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things,
imbecile worm of the earth; depositary of truth, a sink of uncertainty
and error; the pride and refuse of the universe!

Who will unravel this tangle? Nature confutes the sceptics, and reason
confutes the dogmatists. What then will you become, O men! who try to
find out by your natural reason what is your true condition? You cannot
avoid one of these sects, nor adhere to one of them.

Know then, proud man, what a paradox you are to yourself. Humble
yourself, weak reason; be silent, foolish nature; learn that man
infinitely transcends man, and learn from your Master your true
condition, of which you are ignorant. Hear God.

For in fact, if man had never been corrupt, he would enjoy in his
innocence both truth and happiness with assurance; and if man had always
been corrupt, he would have no idea of truth or bliss. But, wretched as
we are, and more so than if there were no greatness in our condition, we
have an idea of happiness, and cannot reach it. We perceive an image of
truth, and possess only a lie. Incapable of absolute ignorance and of
certain knowledge, we have thus been manifestly in a degree of
perfection from which we have unhappily fallen.

It is, however, an astonishing thing that the mystery furthest removed
from our knowledge, namely, that of the transmission of sin, should be a
fact without which we can have no knowledge of ourselves. For it is
beyond doubt that there is nothing which more shocks our reason than to
say that the sin of the first man has rendered guilty those, who, being
so removed from this source, seem incapable of participation in it. This
transmission does not only seem to us impossible, it seems also very
unjust. For what is more contrary to the rules of our miserable justice
than to damn eternally an infant incapable of will, for a sin wherein he
seems to have so little a share, that it was committed six thousand
years before he was in existence? Certainly nothing offends us more
rudely than this doctrine; and yet, without this mystery, the most
incomprehensible of all, we are incomprehensible to ourselves. The knot
of our condition takes its twists and turns in this abyss, so that man
is more inconceivable without this mystery than this mystery is
inconceivable to man.

[Whence it seems that God, willing to render the difficulty of our
existence unintelligible to ourselves, has concealed the knot so high,
or, better speaking, so low, that we are quite incapable of reaching it;
so that it is not by the proud exertions of our reason, but by the
simple submissions of reason, that we can truly know ourselves.

These foundations, solidly established on the inviolable authority of
religion, make us know that there are two truths of faith equally
certain: the one, that man, in the state of creation, or in that of
grace, is raised above all nature, made like unto God and sharing in His
divinity; the other, that in the state of corruption and sin, he is
fallen from this state and made like unto the beasts.

These two propositions are equally sound and certain. Scripture
manifestly declares this to us, when it says in some places: _Deliciæ
meæ esse cum filiis hominum.[162] Effundam spiritum meum super omnem
carnem.[163] Dii estis[164]_, etc.; and in other places, _Omnis caro
fænum.[165] Homo assimilatus est jumentis insipientibus, et similis
factus est illis.[166] Dixi in corde meo de filiis hominum._ Eccles.
iii.

Whence it clearly seems that man by grace is made like unto God, and a
partaker in His divinity, and that without grace he is like unto the
brute beasts.]


435

Without this divine knowledge what could men do but either become elated
by the inner feeling of their past greatness which still remains to
them, or become despondent at the sight of their present weakness? For,
not seeing the whole truth, they could not attain to perfect virtue.
Some considering nature as incorrupt, others as incurable, they could
not escape either pride or sloth, the two sources of all vice; since
they cannot but either abandon themselves to it through cowardice, or
escape it by pride. For if they knew the excellence of man, they were
ignorant of his corruption; so that they easily avoided sloth, but fell
into pride. And if they recognised the infirmity of nature, they were
ignorant of its dignity; so that they could easily avoid vanity, but it
was to fall into despair. Thence arise the different schools of the
Stoics and Epicureans, the Dogmatists, Academicians, etc.

The Christian religion alone has been able to cure these two vices, not
by expelling the one through means of the other according to the wisdom
of the world, but by expelling both according to the simplicity of the
Gospel. For it teaches the righteous that it raises them even to a
participation in divinity itself; that in this lofty state they still
carry the source of all corruption, which renders them during all their
life subject to error, misery, death, and sin; and it proclaims to the
most ungodly that they are capable of the grace of their Redeemer. So
making those tremble whom it justifies, and consoling those whom it
condemns, religion so justly tempers fear with hope through that double
capacity of grace and of sin, common to all, that it humbles infinitely
more than reason alone can do, but without despair; and it exalts
infinitely more than natural pride, but without inflating; thus making
it evident that alone being exempt from error and vice, it alone fulfils
the duty of instructing and correcting men.

Who then can refuse to believe and adore this heavenly light? For is it
not clearer than day that we perceive within ourselves ineffaceable
marks of excellence? And is it not equally true that we experience every
hour the results of our deplorable condition? What does this chaos and
monstrous confusion proclaim to us but the truth of these two states,
with a voice so powerful that it is impossible to resist it?


436

_Weakness._--Every pursuit of men is to get wealth; and they cannot have
a title to show that they possess it justly, for they have only that of
human caprice; nor have they strength to hold it securely. It is the
same with knowledge, for disease takes it away. We are incapable both of
truth and goodness.


437

We desire truth, and find within ourselves only uncertainty.

We seek happiness, and find only misery and death.

We cannot but desire truth and happiness, and are incapable of certainty
or happiness. This desire is left to us, partly to punish us, partly to
make us perceive wherefrom we are fallen.


438

If man is not made for God, why is he only happy in God? If man is made
for God, why is he so opposed to God?


439

_Nature corrupted._--Man does not act by reason, which constitutes his
being.


440

The corruption of reason is shown by the existence of so many different
and extravagant customs. It was necessary that truth should come, in
order that man should no longer dwell within himself.


441

For myself, I confess that so soon as the Christian religion reveals the
principle that human nature is corrupt and fallen from God, that opens
my eyes to see everywhere the mark of this truth: for nature is such
that she testifies everywhere, both within man and without him, to a
lost God and a corrupt nature.


442

Man's true nature, his true good, true virtue, and true religion, are
things of which the knowledge is inseparable.


443

_Greatness, wretchedness._--The more light we have, the more greatness
and the more baseness we discover in man. Ordinary men--those who are
more educated: philosophers, they astonish ordinary men--Christians,
they astonish philosophers.

Who will then be surprised to see that religion only makes us know
profoundly what we already know in proportion to our light?


444

This religion taught to her children what men have only been able to
discover by their greatest knowledge.


445

Original sin is foolishness to men, but it is admitted to be such. You
must not then reproach me for the want of reason in this doctrine, since
I admit it to be without reason. But this foolishness is wiser than all
the wisdom of men, _sapientius est hominibus_.[167] For without this,
what can we say that man is? His whole state depends on this
imperceptible point. And how should it be perceived by his reason, since
it is a thing against reason, and since reason, far from finding it out
by her own ways, is averse to it when it is presented to her?


446

_Of original sin.[168] Ample tradition of original sin according to the
Jews._

On the saying in Genesis viii, 21: "The imagination of man's heart is
evil from his youth."

_R. Moses Haddarschan_: This evil leaven is placed in man from the time
that he is formed.

_Massechet Succa_: This evil leaven has seven names in Scripture. It is
called _evil, the foreskin, uncleanness, an enemy, a scandal, a heart of
stone, the north wind_; all this signifies the malignity which is
concealed and impressed in the heart of man.

_Midrasch Tillim_ says the same thing, and that God will deliver the
good nature of man from the evil.

This malignity is renewed every day against man, as it is written, Psalm
xxxvii, 32: "The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay
him"; but God will not abandon him. This malignity tries the heart of
man in this life, and will accuse him in the other. All this is found in
the Talmud.

_Midrasch Tillim_ on Psalm iv, 4: "Stand in awe and sin not." Stand in
awe and be afraid of your lust, and it will not lead you into sin. And
on Psalm xxxvi, 1: "The wicked has said within his own heart, Let not
the fear of God be before me." That is to say that the malignity natural
to man has said that to the wicked.

_Midrasch el Kohelet_: "Better is a poor and wise child than an old and
foolish king who cannot foresee the future."[169] The child is virtue,
and the king is the malignity of man. It is called king because all the
members obey it, and old because it is in the human heart from infancy
to old age, and foolish because it leads man in the way of
[_perdition_], which he does not foresee. The same thing is in _Midrasch
Tillim_.

_Bereschist Rabba_ on Psalm xxxv, 10: "Lord, all my bones shall bless
Thee, which deliverest the poor from the tyrant." And is there a greater
tyrant than the evil leaven? And on Proverbs xxv, 21: "If thine enemy be
hungry, give him bread to eat." That is to say, if the evil leaven
hunger, give him the bread of wisdom of which it is spoken in Proverbs
ix., and if he be thirsty, give him the water of which it is spoken in
Isaiah lv.

_Midrasch Tillim_ says the same thing, and that Scripture in that
passage, speaking of the enemy, means the evil leaven; and that, in
[_giving_] him that bread and that water, we heap coals of fire on his
head.

_Midrasch el Kohelet_ on Ecclesiastes ix, 14: "A great king besieged a
little city." This great king is the evil leaven; the great bulwarks
built against it are temptations; and there has been found a poor wise
man who has delivered it--that is to say, virtue.

And on Psalm xli, 1: "Blessed is he that considereth the poor."

And on Psalm lxxviii, 39: "The spirit passeth away, and cometh not
again"; whence some have erroneously argued against the immortality of
the soul. But the sense is that this spirit is the evil leaven, which
accompanies man till death, and will not return at the resurrection.

And on Psalm ciii the same thing.

And on Psalm xvi.

Principles of Rabbinism: two Messiahs.


447

Will it be said that, as men have declared that righteousness has
departed the earth, they therefore knew of original sin?--_Nemo ante
obitum beatus est_[170]--that is to say, they knew death to be the
beginning of eternal and essential happiness?


448

[_Miton_] sees well that nature is corrupt, and that men are averse to
virtue; but he does not know why they cannot fly higher.


449

_Order._--After _Corruption_ to say: "It is right that all those who are
in that state should know it, both those who are content with it, and
those who are not content with it; but it is not right that all should
see Redemption."


450

If we do not know ourselves to be full of pride, ambition, lust,
weakness, misery, and injustice, we are indeed blind. And if, knowing
this, we do not desire deliverance, what can we say of a man...?

What, then, can we have but esteem for a religion which knows so well
the defects of man, and desire for the truth of a religion which
promises remedies so desirable?


451

All men naturally hate one another. They employ lust as far as possible
in the service of the public weal. But this is only a [_pretence_] and a
false image of love; for at bottom it is only hate.


452

To pity the unfortunate is not contrary to lust. On the contrary, we can
quite well give such evidence of friendship, and acquire the reputation
of kindly feeling, without giving anything.


453

From lust men have found and extracted excellent rules of policy,
morality, and justice; but in reality this vile root of man, this
_figmentum malum_,[171] is only covered, it is not taken away.


454

_Injustice._--They have not found any other means of satisfying lust
without doing injury to others.


455

Self is hateful. You, Miton, conceal it; you do not for that reason
destroy it; you are, then, always hateful.

--No; for in acting as we do to oblige everybody, we give no more
occasion for hatred of us.--That is true, if we only hated in Self the
vexation which comes to us from it. But if I hate it because it is
unjust, and because it makes itself the centre of everything, I shall
always hate it.

In a word, the Self has two qualities: it is unjust in itself since it
makes itself the centre of everything; it is inconvenient to others
since it would enslave them; for each Self is the enemy, and would like
to be the tyrant of all others. You take away its inconvenience, but not
its injustice, and so you do not render it lovable to those who hate
injustice; you render it lovable only to the unjust, who do not any
longer find in it an enemy. And thus you remain unjust, and can please
only the unjust.


456

It is a perverted judgment that makes every one place himself above the
rest of the world, and prefer his own good, and the continuance of his
own good fortune and life, to that of the rest of the world!


457

Each one is all in all to himself; for he being dead, all is dead to
him. Hence it comes that each believes himself to be all in all to
everybody. We must not judge of nature by ourselves, but by it.


458

"All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, or the lust of the
eyes, or the pride of life; _libido sentiendi, libido sciendi, libido
dominandi._"[172] Wretched is the cursed land which these three rivers
of fire enflame rather than water![173] Happy they who, on these rivers,
are not overwhelmed nor carried away, but are immovably fixed, not
standing but seated on a low and secure base, whence they do not rise
before the light, but, having rested in peace, stretch out their hands
to Him, who must lift them up, and make them stand upright and firm in
the porches of the holy Jerusalem! There pride can no longer assail them
nor cast them down; and yet they weep, not to see all those perishable
things swept away by the torrents, but at the remembrance of their loved
country, the heavenly Jerusalem, which they remember without ceasing
during their prolonged exile.


459

The rivers of Babylon rush and fall and sweep away.

O holy Sion, where all is firm and nothing falls!

We must sit upon the waters, not under them or in them, but on them; and
not standing but seated; being seated to be humble, and being above them
to be secure. But we shall stand in the porches of Jerusalem.

Let us see if this pleasure is stable or transitory; if it pass away, it
is a river of Babylon.


460

_The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, pride, etc._--There are
three orders of things: the flesh, the spirit, and the will. The carnal
are the rich and kings; they have the body as their object. Inquirers
and scientists; they have the mind as their object. The wise; they have
righteousness as their object.

God must reign over all, and all men must be brought back to Him. In
things of the flesh lust reigns specially; in intellectual matters,
inquiry specially; in wisdom, pride specially. Not that a man cannot
boast of wealth or knowledge, but it is not the place for pride; for in
granting to a man that he is learned, it is easy to convince him that he
is wrong to be proud. The proper place for pride is in wisdom, for it
cannot be granted to a man that he has made himself wise, and that he is
wrong to be proud; for that is right. Now God alone gives wisdom, and
that is why _Qui gloriatur, in Domino glorietur_.[174]


461

The three lusts have made three sects; and the philosophers have done no
other thing than follow one of the three lusts.


462

_Search for the true good._--Ordinary men place the good in fortune and
external goods, or at least in amusement. Philosophers have shown the
vanity of all this, and have placed it where they could.


463

[_Against the philosophers who believe in God without Jesus Christ_]

_Philosophers._--They believe that God alone is worthy to be loved and
admired; and they have desired to be loved and admired of men, and do
not know their own corruption. If they feel full of feelings of love and
admiration, and find therein their chief delight, very well, let them
think themselves good. But if they find themselves averse to Him, if
they have no inclination but the desire to establish themselves in the
esteem of men, and if their whole perfection consists only in making
men--but without constraint--find their happiness in loving them, I
declare that this perfection is horrible. What! they have known God, and
have not desired solely that men should love Him, but that men should
stop short at them! They have wanted to be the object of the voluntary
delight of men.


464

_Philosophers._--We are full of things which take us out of ourselves.

Our instinct makes us feel that we must seek our happiness outside
ourselves. Our passions impel us outside, even when no objects present
themselves to excite them. External objects tempt us of themselves, and
call to us, even when we are not thinking of them. And thus philosophers
have said in vain, "Retire within yourselves, you will find your good
there." We do not believe them, and those who believe them are the most
empty and the most foolish.


465

The Stoics say, "Retire within yourselves; it is there you will find
your rest." And that is not true.

Others say, "Go out of yourselves; seek happiness in amusement." And
this is not true. Illness comes.

Happiness is neither without us nor within us. It is in God, both
without us and within us.


466

Had Epictetus seen the way perfectly, he would have said to men, "You
follow a wrong road"; he shows that there is another, but he does not
lead to it. It is the way of willing what God wills. Jesus Christ alone
leads to it: _Via, veritas._[175]

The vices of Zeno[176] himself.


467

_The reason of effects._--Epictetus.[177] Those who say, "You have a
headache;" this is not the same thing. We are assured of health, and not
of justice; and in fact his own was nonsense.

And yet he believed it demonstrable, when he said, "It is either in our
power or it is not." But he did not perceive that it is not in our power
to regulate the heart, and he was wrong to infer this from the fact that
there were some Christians.


468

No other religion has proposed to men to hate themselves. No other
religion then can please those who hate themselves, and who seek a Being
truly lovable. And these, if they had never heard of the religion of a
God humiliated, would embrace it at once.


469

I feel that I might not have been; for the Ego consists in my thoughts.
Therefore I, who think, would not have been, if my mother had been
killed before I had life. I am not then a necessary being. In the same
way I am not eternal or infinite; but I see plainly that there exists in
nature a necessary Being, eternal and infinite.


470

"Had I seen a miracle," say men, "I should become converted." How can
they be sure they would do a thing of the nature of which they are
ignorant? They imagine that this conversion consists in a worship of God
which is like commerce, and in a communion such as they picture to
themselves. True religion consists in annihilating self before that
Universal Being, whom we have so often provoked, and who can justly
destroy us at any time; in recognising that we can do nothing without
Him, and have deserved nothing from Him but His displeasure. It consists
in knowing that there is an unconquerable opposition between us and God,
and that without a mediator there can be no communion with Him.


471

It is unjust that men should attach themselves to me, even though they
do it with pleasure and voluntarily. I should deceive those in whom I
had created this desire; for I am not the end of any, and I have not the
wherewithal to satisfy them. Am I not about to die? And thus the object
of their attachment will die. Therefore, as I would be blamable in
causing a falsehood to be believed, though I should employ gentle
persuasion, though it should be believed with pleasure, and though it
should give me pleasure; even so I am blamable in making myself loved,
and if I attract persons to attach themselves to me. I ought to warn
those who are ready to consent to a lie, that they ought not to believe
it, whatever advantage comes to me from it; and likewise that they ought
not to attach themselves to me; for they ought to spend their life and
their care in pleasing God, or in seeking Him.


472

Self-will will never be satisfied, though it should have command of all
it would; but we are satisfied from the moment we renounce it. Without
it we cannot be discontented; with it we cannot be content.


473

Let us imagine a body full of thinking members.[178]


474

_Members, To commence with that._--To regulate the love which we owe to
ourselves, we must imagine a body full of thinking members, for we are
members of the whole, and must see how each member should love itself,
etc....


475

If the feet and the hands had a will of their own, they could only be in
their order in submitting this particular will to the primary will which
governs the whole body. Apart from that, they are in disorder and
mischief; but in willing only the good of the body, they accomplish
their own good.


476

We must love God only and hate self only.

If the foot had always been ignorant that it belonged to the body, and
that there was a body on which it depended, if it had only had the
knowledge and the love of self, and if it came to know that it belonged
to a body on which it depended, what regret, what shame for its past
life, for having been useless to the body which inspired its life, which
would have annihilated it if it had rejected it and separated it from
itself, as it kept itself apart from the body! What prayers for its
preservation in it! And with what submission would it allow itself to be
governed by the will which rules the body, even to consenting, if
necessary, to be cut off, or it would lose its character as member! For
every member must be quite willing to perish for the body, for which
alone the whole is.


477

It is false that we are worthy of the love of others; it is unfair that
we should desire it. If we were born reasonable and impartial, knowing
ourselves and others, we should not give this bias to our will. However,
we are born with it; therefore born unjust, for all tends to self. This
is contrary to all order. We must consider the general good; and the
propensity to self is the beginning of all disorder, in war, in
politics, in economy, and in the particular body of man. The will is
therefore depraved.

If the members of natural and civil communities tend towards the weal of
the body, the communities themselves ought to look to another more
general body of which they are members. We ought therefore to look to
the whole. We are therefore born unjust and depraved.


478

When we want to think of God, is there nothing which turns us away, and
tempts us to think of something else? All this is bad, and is born in
us.


479

If there is a God, we must love Him only, and not the creatures of a
day. The reasoning of the ungodly in the book of Wisdom[179] is only
based upon the non-existence of God. "On that supposition," say they,
"let us take delight in the creatures." That is the worst that can
happen. But if there were a God to love, they would not have come to
this conclusion, but to quite the contrary. And this is the conclusion
of the wise: "There is a God, let us therefore not take delight in the
creatures."

Therefore all that incites us to attach ourselves to the creatures is
bad; since it prevents us from serving God if we know Him, or from
seeking Him if we know Him not. Now we are full of lust. Therefore we
are full of evil; therefore we ought to hate ourselves and all that
excited us to attach ourselves to any other object than God only.


480

To make the members happy, they must have one will, and submit it to the
body.


481

The examples of the noble deaths of the Lacedæmonians and others scarce
touch us. For what good is it to us? But the example of the death of the
martyrs touches us; for they are "our members." We have a common tie
with them. Their resolution can form ours, not only by example, but
because it has perhaps deserved ours. There is nothing of this in the
examples of the heathen. We have no tie with them; as we do not become
rich by seeing a stranger who is so, but in fact by seeing a father or a
husband who is so.


482

_Morality._--God having made the heavens and the earth, which do not
feel the happiness of their being, He has willed to make beings who
should know it, and who should compose a body of thinking members. For
our members do not feel the happiness of their union, of their
wonderful intelligence, of the care which has been taken to infuse into
them minds, and to make them grow and endure. How happy they would be if
they saw and felt it! But for this they would need to have intelligence
to know it, and good-will to consent to that of the universal soul. But
if, having received intelligence, they employed it to retain nourishment
for themselves without allowing it to pass to the other members, they
would hate rather than love themselves; their blessedness, as well as
their duty, consisting in their consent to the guidance of the whole
soul to which they belong, which loves them better than they love
themselves.


483

To be a member is to have neither life, being, nor movement, except
through the spirit of the body, and for the body.

The separate member, seeing no longer the body to which it belongs, has
only a perishing and dying existence. Yet it believes it is a whole, and
seeing not the body on which it depends, it believes it depends only on
self, and desires to make itself both centre and body. But not having in
itself a principle of life, it only goes astray, and is astonished in
the uncertainty of its being; perceiving in fact that it is not a body,
and still not seeing that it is a member of a body. In short, when it
comes to know itself, it has returned as it were to its own home, and
loves itself only for the body. It deplores its past wanderings.

It cannot by its nature love any other thing, except for itself and to
subject it to self, because each thing loves itself more than all. But
in loving the body, it loves itself, because it only exists in it, by
it, and for it. _Qui adhæret Deo unus spiritus est._[180]

The body loves the hand; and the hand, if it had a will, should love
itself in the same way as it is loved by the soul. All love which goes
beyond this is unfair.

_Adhærens Deo unus spiritus est._ We love ourselves, because we are
members of Jesus Christ. We love Jesus Christ, because He is the body of
which we are members. All is one, one is in the other, like the Three
Persons.


484

Two laws[181] suffice to rule the whole Christian Republic better than
all the laws of statecraft.


485

The true and only virtue, then, is to hate self (for we are hateful on
account of lust), and to seek a truly lovable being to love. But as we
cannot love what is outside ourselves, we must love a being who is in
us, and is not ourselves; and that is true of each and all men. Now,
only the Universal Being is such. The kingdom of God is within us;[182]
the universal good is within us, is ourselves--and not ourselves.


486

The dignity of man in his innocence consisted in using and having
dominion over the creatures, but now in separating himself from them,
and subjecting himself to them.


487

Every religion is false, which as to its faith does not worship one God
as the origin of everything, and which as to its morality does not love
one only God as the object of everything.


488

... But it is impossible that God should ever be the end, if He is not
the beginning. We lift our eyes on high, but lean upon the sand; and the
earth will dissolve, and we shall fall whilst looking at the heavens.


489

If there is one sole source of everything, there is one sole end of
everything; everything through Him, everything for Him. The true
religion, then, must teach us to worship Him only, and to love Him only.
But as we find ourselves unable to worship what we know not, and to love
any other object but ourselves, the religion which instructs us in these
duties must instruct us also of this inability, and teach us also the
remedies for it. It teaches us that by one man all was lost, and the
bond broken between God and us, and that by one man the bond is renewed.

We are born so averse to this love of God, and it is so necessary that
we must be born guilty, or God would be unjust.


490

Men, not being accustomed to form merit, but only to recompense it where
they find it formed, judge of God by themselves.


491

The true religion must have as a characteristic the obligation to love
God. This is very just, and yet no other religion has commanded this;
ours has done so. It must also be aware of human lust and weakness; ours
is so. It must have adduced remedies for this; one is prayer. No other
religion has asked of God to love and follow Him.


492

He who hates not in himself his self-love, and that instinct which leads
him to make himself God, is indeed blinded. Who does not see that there
is nothing so opposed to justice and truth? For it is false that we
deserve this, and it is unfair and impossible to attain it, since all
demand the same thing. It is, then, a manifest injustice which is innate
in us, of which we cannot get rid, and of which we must get rid.

Yet no religion has indicated that this was a sin; or that we were born
in it; or that we were obliged to resist it; or has thought of giving us
remedies for it.


493

The true religion teaches our duties; our weaknesses, pride, and lust;
and the remedies, humility and mortification.


494

The true religion must teach greatness and misery; must lead to the
esteem and contempt of self, to love and to hate.


495

If it is an extraordinary blindness to live without investigating what
we are, it is a terrible one to live an evil life, while believing in
God.


496

Experience makes us see an enormous difference between piety and
goodness.


497

_Against those who, trusting to the mercy of God, live heedlessly,
without doing good works._--As the two sources of our sins are pride and
sloth, God has revealed to us two of His attributes to cure them, mercy
and justice. The property of justice is to humble pride, however holy
may be our works, _et non intres in judicium_,[183] etc.; and the
property of mercy is to combat sloth by exhorting to good works,
according to that passage: "The goodness of God leadeth to
repentance,"[184] and that other of the Ninevites: "Let us do penance to
see if peradventure He will pity us."[185] And thus mercy is so far from
authorising slackness, that it is on the contrary the quality which
formally attacks it; so that instead of saying, "If there were no mercy
in God we should have to make every kind of effort after virtue," we
must say, on the contrary, that it is because there is mercy in God,
that we must make every kind of effort.


498

It is true there is difficulty in entering into godliness. But this
difficulty does not arise from the religion which begins in us, but from
the irreligion which is still there. If our senses were not opposed to
penitence, and if our corruption were not opposed to the purity of God,
there would be nothing in this painful to us. We suffer only in
proportion as the vice which is natural to us resists supernatural
grace. Our heart feels torn asunder between these opposed efforts. But
it would be very unfair to impute this violence to God, who is drawing
us on, instead of to the world, which is holding us back. It is as a
child, which a mother tears from the arms of robbers, in the pain it
suffers, should love the loving and legitimate violence of her who
procures its liberty, and detest only the impetuous and tyrannical
violence of those who detain it unjustly. The most cruel war which God
can make with men in this life is to leave them without that war which
He came to bring. "I came to send war,"[186] He says, "and to teach them
of this war. I came to bring fire and the sword."[187] Before Him the
world lived in this false peace.


499

_External works._--There is nothing so perilous as what pleases God and
man. For those states, which please God and man, have one property which
pleases God, and another which pleases men; as the greatness of Saint
Teresa. What pleased God was her deep humility in the midst of her
revelations; what pleased men was her light. And so we torment ourselves
to imitate her discourses, thinking to imitate her conditions, and not
so much to love what God loves, and to put ourselves in the state which
God loves.

It is better not to fast, and thereby humbled, than to fast and be
self-satisfied therewith. The Pharisee and the Publican.[188]

What use will memory be to me, if it can alike hurt and help me, and all
depends upon the blessing of God, who gives only to things done for Him,
according to His rules and in His ways, the manner being as important as
the thing, and perhaps more; since God can bring forth good out of evil,
and without God we bring forth evil out of good?


500

The meaning of the words, good and evil.


501

First step: to be blamed for doing evil, and praised for doing good.

Second step: to be neither praised, nor blamed.


502

Abraham[189] took nothing for himself, but only for his servants. So the
righteous man takes for himself nothing of the world, nor the applause
of the world, but only for his passions, which he uses as their master,
saying to the one, "Go," and to another, "Come." _Sub te erit appetitus
tuus._[190] The passions thus subdued are virtues. Even God attributes
to Himself avarice, jealousy, anger; and these are virtues as well as
kindness, pity, constancy, which are also passions. We must employ them
as slaves, and, leaving to them their food, prevent the soul from taking
any of it. For, when the passions become masters, they are vices; and
they give their nutriment to the soul, and the soul nourishes itself
upon it, and is poisoned.


503

Philosophers have consecrated the vices by placing them in God Himself.
Christians have consecrated the virtues.


504

The just man acts by faith in the least things; when he reproves his
servants, he desires their conversion by the Spirit of God, and prays
God to correct them; and he expects as much from God as from his own
reproofs, and prays God to bless his corrections. And so in all his
other actions he proceeds with the Spirit of God; and his actions
deceive us by reason of the ... or suspension of the Spirit of God in
him; and he repents in his affliction.


505

All things can be deadly to us, even the things made to serve us; as in
nature walls can kill us, and stairs can kill us, if we do not walk
circumspectly.

The least movement affects all nature; the entire sea changes because of
a rock. Thus in grace, the least action affects everything by its
consequences; therefore everything is important.

In each action we must look beyond the action at our past, present, and
future state, and at others whom it affects, and see the relations of
all those things. And then we shall be very cautious.


506

Let God not impute to us our sins, that is to say, all the consequences
and results of our sins, which are dreadful, even those of the smallest
faults, if we wish to follow them out mercilessly!


507

The spirit of grace; the hardness of the heart; external circumstances.


508

Grace is indeed needed to turn a man into a saint; and he who doubts it
does not know what a saint or a man is.


509

_Philosophers._--A fine thing to cry to a man who does not know himself,
that he should come of himself to God! And a fine thing to say so to a
man who does know himself!


510

Man is not worthy of God, but he is not incapable of being made worthy.

It is unworthy of God to unite Himself to wretched man; but it is not
unworthy of God to pull him out of his misery.


511

If we would say that man is too insignificant to deserve communion with
God, we must indeed be very great to judge of it.


512

It is, in peculiar phraseology, wholly the body of Jesus Christ, but it
cannot be said to be the whole body of Jesus Christ.[191] The union of
two things without change does not enable us to say that one becomes the
other; the soul thus being united to the body, the fire to the timber,
without change. But change is necessary to make the form of the one
become the form of the other; thus the union of the Word to man. Because
my body without my soul would not make the body of a man; therefore my
soul united to any matter whatsoever will make my body. It does not
distinguish the necessary condition from the sufficient condition; the
union is necessary, but not sufficient. The left arm is not the right.

Impenetrability is a property of matter.

Identity _de numers_ in regard to the same time requires the identity of
matter.

Thus if God united my soul to a body in China, the same body, _idem
numero_, would be in China.

The same river which runs there is _idem numero_ as that which runs at
the same time in China.


513

Why God has established prayer.

1. To communicate to His creatures the dignity of causality.
2. To teach us from whom our virtue comes.
3. To make us deserve other virtues by work.

(But to keep His own pre-eminence, He grants prayer to whom He pleases.)

Objection: But we believe that we hold prayer of ourselves.

This is absurd; for since, though having faith, we cannot have virtues,
how should we have faith? Is there a greater distance between infidelity
and faith than between faith and virtue?

_Merit._ This word is ambiguous.

_Meruit habere Redemptorem.

Meruit tam sacra membra tangere.

Digno tam sacra membra tangere.

Non sum dignus.[192]

Qui manducat indignus[193]

Dignus est accipere.[194]

Dignare me._

God is only bound according to His promises. He has promised to grant
justice to prayers; He has never promised prayer only to the children of
promise.

Saint Augustine has distinctly said that strength would be taken away
from the righteous. But it is by chance that he said it; for it might
have happened that the occasion of saying it did not present itself. But
his principles make us see that when the occasion for it presented
itself, it was impossible that he should not say it, or that he should
say anything to the contrary. It is then rather that he was forced to
say it, when the occasion presented itself, than that he said it, when
the occasion presented itself, the one being of necessity, the other of
chance. But the two are all that we can ask.


514

The elect will be ignorant of their virtues, and the outcast of the
greatness of their sins: "Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, thirsty?"
etc.[195][196]


515

Romans iii, 27. Boasting is excluded. By what law? Of works? nay, but by
faith. Then faith is not within our power like the deeds of the law, and
it is given to us in another way.


516

Comfort yourselves. It is not from yourselves that you should expect
grace; but, on the contrary, it is in expecting nothing from yourselves,
that you must hope for it.


517

Every condition, and even the martyrs, have to fear, according to
Scripture.

The greatest pain of purgatory is the uncertainty of the judgment. _Deus
absconditus._


518

John viii. _Multi crediderunt in eum. Dicebat ergo Jesus: "Si
manseritis_ ... VERE _mei discipuli eritis, et_ VERITAS LIBERABIT VOS."
_Responderunt: "Semen Abrahæ sumus, et nemini servimus unquam."_

There is a great difference between disciples and true disciples. We
recognise them by telling them that the truth will make them free; for
if they answer that they are free, and that it is in their power to come
out of slavery to the devil, they are indeed disciples, but not true
disciples.


519

The law has not destroyed nature, but has instructed it; grace has not
destroyed the law, but has made it act. Faith received at baptism is the
source of the whole life of Christians and of the converted.


520

Grace will always be in the world, and nature also; so that the former
is in some sort natural. And thus there will always be Pelagians, and
always Catholics, and always strife; because the first birth makes the
one, and the grace of the second birth the other.


521

The law imposed what it did not give. Grace gives what is imposes.


522

All faith consists in Jesus Christ and in Adam, and all morality in lust
and in grace.


523

There is no doctrine more appropriate to man than this, which teaches
him his double capacity of receiving and of losing grace, because of the
double peril to which he is exposed, of despair or of pride.


524

The philosophers did not prescribe feelings suitable to the two states.

They inspired feelings of pure greatness, and that is not man's state.

They inspired feelings of pure littleness, and that is not man's state.

There must be feelings of humility, not from nature, but from penitence,
not to rest in them, but to go on to greatness. There must be feelings
of greatness, not from merit, but from grace, and after having passed
through humiliation.


525

Misery induces despair, pride induces presumption. The Incarnation shows
man the greatness of his misery by the greatness of the remedy which he
required.


526

The knowledge of God without that of man's misery causes pride. The
knowledge of man's misery without that of God causes despair. The
knowledge of Jesus Christ constitutes the middle course, because in Him
we find both God and our misery.


527

Jesus Christ is a God whom we approach without pride, and before whom we
humble ourselves without despair.


528

... Not a degradation which renders us incapable of good, nor a holiness
exempt from evil.


529

A person told me one day that on coming from confession he felt great
joy and confidence. Another told me that he remained in fear. Whereupon
I thought that these two together would make one good man, and that each
was wanting in that he had not the feeling of the other. The same often
happens in other things.


530

He who knows the will of his master will be beaten with more blows,
because of the power he has by his knowledge. _Qui justus est,
justificetur adhuc_,[197] because of the power he has by justice. From
him who has received most, will the greatest reckoning be demanded,
because of the power he has by this help.


531

Scripture has provided passages of consolation and of warning for all
conditions.

Nature seems to have done the same thing by her two infinities, natural
and moral; for we shall always have the higher and the lower, the more
clever and the less clever, the most exalted and the meanest, in order
to humble our pride, and exalt our humility.


532

_Comminutum cor_ (Saint Paul). This is the Christian character. _Alba
has named you, I know you no more_ (Corneille).[198] That is the inhuman
character. The human character is the opposite.


533

There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who believe themselves
sinners; the rest, sinners, who believe themselves righteous.


534

We owe a great debt to those who point out faults. For they mortify us.
They teach us that we have been despised. They do not prevent our being
so in the future; for we have many other faults for which we may be
despised. They prepare for us the exercise of correction and freedom
from fault.


535

Man is so made that by continually telling him he is a fool he believes
it, and by continually telling it to himself he makes himself believe
it. For man holds an inward talk with his self alone, which it behoves
him to regulate well: _Corrumpunt bonos mores colloquia prava_.[199] We
must keep silent as much as possible and talk with ourselves only of
God, whom we know to be true; and thus we convince ourselves of the
truth.


536

Christianity is strange. It bids man recognise that he is vile, even
abominable, and bids him desire to be like God. Without such a
counterpoise, this dignity would make him horribly vain, or this
humiliation would make him terribly abject.


537

With how little pride does a Christian believe himself united to God!
With how little humiliation does he place himself on a level with the
worms of earth!

A glorious manner to welcome life and death, good and evil!


538

What difference in point of obedience is there between a soldier and a
Carthusian monk? For both are equally under obedience and dependent,
both engaged in equally painful exercises. But the soldier always hopes
to command, and never attains this, for even captains and princes are
ever slaves and dependants; still he ever hopes and ever works to attain
this. Whereas the Carthusian monk makes a vow to be always dependent. So
they do not differ in their perpetual thraldom, in which both of them
always exist, but in the hope, which one always has, and the other
never.


539

The hope which Christians have of possessing an infinite good is mingled
with real enjoyment as well as with fear; for it is not as with those
who should hope for a kingdom, of which they, being subjects, would have
nothing; but they hope for holiness, for freedom from injustice, and
they have something of this.


540

None is so happy as a true Christian, nor so reasonable, virtuous, or
amiable.


541

The Christian religion alone makes man altogether _lovable and happy_.
In honesty, we cannot perhaps be altogether lovable and happy.


542

_Preface._--The metaphysical proofs of God are so remote from the
reasoning of men, and so complicated, that they make little impression;
and if they should be of service to some, it would be only during the
moment that they see such demonstration; but an hour afterwards they
fear they have been mistaken.

_Quod curiositate cognoverunt superbia amiserunt._[200]

This is the result of the knowledge of God obtained without Jesus
Christ; it is communion without a mediator with the God whom they have
known without a mediator. Whereas those who have known God by a mediator
know their own wretchedness.


543

The God of the Christians is a God who makes the soul feel that He is
her only good, that her only rest is in Him, that her only delight is
in loving Him; and who makes her at the same time abhor the obstacles
which keep her back, and prevent her from loving God with all her
strength. Self-love and lust, which hinder us, are unbearable to her.
Thus God makes her feel that she has this root of self-love which
destroys her, and which He alone can cure.


544

Jesus Christ did nothing but teach men that they loved themselves, that
they were slaves, blind, sick, wretched, and sinners; that He must
deliver them, enlighten, bless, and heal them; that this would be
effected by hating self, and by following Him through suffering and the
death on the cross.


545

Without Jesus Christ man must be in vice and misery; with Jesus Christ
man is free from vice and misery; in Him is all our virtue and all our
happiness. Apart from Him there is but vice, misery, darkness, death,
despair.


546

We know God only by Jesus Christ. Without this mediator all communion
with God is taken away; through Jesus Christ we know God. All those who
have claimed to know God, and to prove Him without Jesus Christ, have
had only weak proofs. But in proof of Jesus Christ we have the
prophecies, which are solid and palpable proofs. And these prophecies,
being accomplished and proved true by the event, mark the certainty of
these truths, and therefore the divinity of Christ. In Him then, and
through Him, we know God. Apart from Him, and without the Scripture,
without original sin, without a necessary Mediator promised and come, we
cannot absolutely prove God, nor teach right doctrine and right
morality. But through Jesus Christ, and in Jesus Christ, we prove God,
and teach morality and doctrine. Jesus Christ is then the true God of
men.

But we know at the same time our wretchedness; for this God is none
other than the Saviour of our wretchedness. So we can only know God well
by knowing our iniquities. Therefore those who have known God, without
knowing their wretchedness, have not glorified Him, but have glorified
themselves. _Quia ... non cognovit per sapientiam ... placuit Deo per
stultitiam prædicationis salvos facere._[201]


547

Not only do we know God by Jesus Christ alone, but we know ourselves
only by Jesus Christ. We know life and death only through Jesus Christ.
Apart from Jesus Christ, we do not know what is our life, nor our death,
nor God, nor ourselves.

Thus without the Scripture, which has Jesus Christ alone for its object,
we know nothing, and see only darkness and confusion in the nature of
God, and in our own nature.


548

It is not only impossible but useless to know God without Jesus Christ.
They have not departed from Him, but approached; they have not humbled
themselves, but ...

_Quo quisque optimus est, pessimus, si hoc ipsum, quod optimus est,
adscribat sibi._


549

I love poverty because He loved it. I love riches because they afford me
the means of helping the very poor. I keep faith with everybody; I do
not render evil to those who wrong me, but I wish them a lot like mine,
in which I receive neither evil nor good from men. I try to be just,
true, sincere, and faithful to all men; I have a tender heart for those
to whom God has more closely united me; and whether I am alone, or seen
of men, I do all my actions in the sight of God, who must judge of them,
and to whom I have consecrated them all.

These are my sentiments; and every day of my life I bless my Redeemer,
who has implanted them in me, and who, of a man full of weakness, of
miseries, of lust, of pride, and of ambition, has made a man free from
all these evils by the power of His grace, to which all the glory of it
is due, as of myself I have only misery and error.


550

_Dignior plagis quam osculis non timeo quia amo._


551

_The Sepulchre of Jesus Christ._--Jesus Christ was dead, but seen on the
Cross. He was dead, and hidden in the Sepulchre.

Jesus Christ was buried by the saints alone.

Jesus Christ wrought no miracle at the Sepulchre.

Only the saints entered it.

It is there, not on the Cross, that Jesus Christ takes a new life.

It is the last mystery of the Passion and the Redemption.

Jesus Christ had nowhere to rest on earth but in the Sepulchre.

His enemies only ceased to persecute Him at the Sepulchre.


552

_The Mystery of Jesus._--Jesus suffers in His passions the torments
which men inflict upon Him; but in His agony He suffers the torments
which He inflicts on Himself; _turbare semetipsum_.[202] This is a
suffering from no human, but an almighty hand, for He must be almighty
to bear it.

Jesus seeks some comfort at least in His three dearest friends, and they
are asleep. He prays them to bear with Him for a little, and they leave
Him with entire indifference, having so little compassion that it could
not prevent their sleeping even for a moment. And thus Jesus was left
alone to the wrath of God.

Jesus is alone on the earth, without any one not only to feel and share
His suffering, but even to know of it; He and Heaven were alone in that
knowledge.

Jesus is in a garden, not of delight as the first Adam, where he lost
himself and the whole human race, but in one of agony, where He saved
Himself and the whole human race.

He suffers this affliction and this desertion in the horror of night.

I believe that Jesus never complained but on this single occasion; but
then He complained as if he could no longer bear His extreme suffering.
"My soul is sorrowful, even unto death."[203]

Jesus seeks companionship and comfort from men. This is the sole
occasion in all His life, as it seems to me. But He receives it not, for
His disciples are asleep.

Jesus will be in agony even to the end of the world. We must not sleep
during that time.

Jesus, in the midst of this universal desertion, including that of His
own friends chosen to watch with Him, finding them asleep, is vexed
because of the danger to which they expose, not Him, but themselves; He
cautions them for their own safety and their own good, with a sincere
tenderness for them during their ingratitude, and warns them that the
spirit is willing and the flesh weak.

Jesus, finding them still asleep, without being restrained by any
consideration for themselves or for Him, has the kindness not to waken
them, and leaves them in repose.

Jesus prays, uncertain of the will of His Father, and fears death; but,
when He knows it, He goes forward to offer Himself to death. _Eamus.
Processit_[204] (John).

Jesus asked of men and was not heard.

Jesus, while His disciples slept, wrought their salvation. He has
wrought that of each of the righteous while they slept, both in their
nothingness before their birth, and in their sins after their birth.

He prays only once that the cup pass away, and then with submission; and
twice that it come if necessary.

Jesus is weary.

Jesus, seeing all His friends asleep and all His enemies wakeful,
commits Himself entirely to His Father.

Jesus does not regard in Judas his enmity, but the order of God, which
He loves and admits, since He calls him friend.

Jesus tears Himself away from His disciples to enter into His agony; we
must tear ourselves away from our nearest and dearest to imitate Him.

Jesus being in agony and in the greatest affliction, let us pray longer.

We implore the mercy of God, not that He may leave us at peace in our
vices, but that He may deliver us from them.

If God gave us masters by His own hand, oh! how necessary for us to obey
them with a good heart! Necessity and events follow infallibly.

--"Console thyself, thou wouldst not seek Me, if thou hadst not found
Me.

"I thought of thee in Mine agony, I have sweated such drops of blood for
thee.

"It is tempting Me rather than proving thyself, to think if thou wouldst
do such and such a thing on an occasion which has not happened; I shall
act in thee if it occur.

"Let thyself be guided by My rules; see how well I have led the Virgin
and the saints who have let Me act in them.

"The Father loves all that I do.

"Dost thou wish that it always cost Me the blood of My humanity, without
thy shedding tears?

"Thy conversion is My affair; fear not, and pray with confidence as for
Me.

"I am present with thee by My Word in Scripture, by My Spirit in the
Church and by inspiration, by My power in the priests, by My prayer in
the faithful.

"Physicians will not heal thee, for thou wilt die at last. But it is I
who heal thee, and make the body immortal.

"Suffer bodily chains and servitude, I deliver thee at present only from
spiritual servitude.

"I am more a friend to thee than such and such an one, for I have done
for thee more than they, they would not have suffered what I have
suffered from thee, and they would not have died for thee as I have done
in the time of thine infidelities and cruelties, and as I am ready to
do, and do, among my elect and at the Holy Sacrament."

"If thou knewest thy sins, thou wouldst lose heart."

--I shall lose it then, Lord, for on Thy assurance I believe their
malice.

--"No, for I, by whom thou learnest, can heal thee of them, and what I
say to thee is a sign that I will heal thee. In proportion to thy
expiation of them, thou wilt know them, and it will be said to thee:
'Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee.' Repent, then, for thy hidden sins,
and for the secret malice of those which thou knowest."

--Lord, I give Thee all.

--"I love thee more ardently than thou hast loved thine abominations,
_ut immundus pro luto_.

"To Me be the glory, not to thee, worm of the earth.

"Ask thy confessor, when My own words are to thee occasion of evil,
vanity, or curiosity."

--I see in me depths of pride, curiosity, and lust. There is no relation
between me and God, nor Jesus Christ the Righteous. But He has been made
sin for me; all Thy scourges are fallen upon Him. He is more abominable
than I, and, far from abhorring me, He holds Himself honoured that I go
to Him and succour Him.

But He has healed Himself, and still more so will He heal me.

I must add my wounds to His, and join myself to Him; and He will save me
in saving Himself. But this must not be postponed to the future.

_Eritis sicut dii scientes bonum et malum._[205] Each one creates his
god, when judging, "This is good or bad"; and men mourn or rejoice too
much at events.

Do little things as though they were great, because of the majesty of
Jesus Christ who does them in us, and who lives our life; and do the
greatest things as though they were little and easy, because of His
omnipotence.


553

It seems to me that Jesus Christ only allowed His wounds to be touched
after His resurrection: _Noli me tangere._[206] We must unite ourselves
only to His sufferings.

At the Last Supper He gave Himself in communion as about to die; to the
disciples at Emmaus as risen from the dead; to the whole Church as
ascended into heaven.


554

"Compare not thyself with others, but with Me. If thou dost not find Me
in those with whom thou comparest thyself, thou comparest thyself to one
who is abominable. If thou findest Me in them, compare thyself to Me.
But whom wilt thou compare? Thyself, or Me in thee? If it is thyself, it
is one who is abominable. If it is I, thou comparest Me to Myself. Now I
am God in all.

"I speak to thee, and often counsel thee, because thy director cannot
speak to thee, for I do not want thee to lack a guide.

"And perhaps I do so at his prayers, and thus he leads thee without thy
seeing it. Thou wouldst not seek Me, if thou didst not possess Me.

"Be not therefore troubled."



SECTION VIII

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION


555

... Men blaspheme what they do not know. The Christian religion consists
in two points. It is of equal concern to men to know them, and it is
equally dangerous to be ignorant to them. And it is equally of God's
mercy that He has given indications of both.

And yet they take occasion to conclude that one of these points does not
exist, from that which should have caused them to infer the other. The
sages who have said there is only one God have been persecuted, the Jews
were hated, and still more the Christians. They have seen by the light
of nature that if there be a true religion on earth, the course of all
things must tend to it as to a centre.

The whole course of things must have for its object the establishment
and the greatness of religion. Men must have within them feelings suited
to what religion teaches us. And, finally, religion must so be the
object and centre to which all things tend, that whoever knows the
principles of religion can give an explanation both of the whole nature
of man in particular, and of the whole course of the world in general.

And on this ground they take occasion to revile the Christian religion,
because they misunderstand it. They imagine that it consists simply in
the worship of a God considered as great, powerful, and eternal; which
is strictly deism, almost as far removed from the Christian religion as
atheism, which is its exact opposite. And thence they conclude that this
religion is not true, because they do not see that all things concur to
the establishment of this point, that God does not manifest Himself to
men with all the evidence which He could show.

But let them conclude what they will against deism, they will conclude
nothing against the Christian religion, which properly consists in the
mystery of the Redeemer, who, uniting in Himself the two natures, human
and divine, has redeemed men from the corruption of sin in order to
reconcile them in His divine person to God.

The Christian religion, then, teaches men these two truths; that there
is a God whom men can know, and that there is a corruption in their
nature which renders them unworthy of Him. It is equally important to
men to know both these points; and it is equally dangerous for man to
know God without knowing his own wretchedness, and to know his own
wretchedness without knowing the Redeemer who can free him from it. The
knowledge of only one of these points gives rise either to the pride of
philosophers, who have known God, and not their own wretchedness, or to
the despair of atheists, who know their own wretchedness, but not the
Redeemer.

And, as it is alike necessary to man to know these two points, so is it
alike merciful of God to have made us know them. The Christian religion
does this; it is in this that it consists.

Let us herein examine the order of the world, and see if all things do
not tend to establish these two chief points of this religion: Jesus
Christ is the end of all, and the centre to which all tends. Whoever
knows Him knows the reason of everything.

Those who fall into error err only through failure to see one of these
two things. We can then have an excellent knowledge of God without that
of our own wretchedness, and of our own wretchedness without that of
God. But we cannot know Jesus Christ without knowing at the same time
both God and our own wretchedness.

Therefore I shall not undertake here to prove by natural reasons either
the existence of God, or the Trinity, or the immortality of the soul, or
anything of that nature; not only because I should not feel myself
sufficiently able to find in nature arguments to convince hardened
atheists, but also because such knowledge without Jesus Christ is
useless and barren. Though a man should be convinced that numerical
proportions are immaterial truths, eternal and dependent on a first
truth, in which they subsist, and which is called God, I should not
think him far advanced towards his own salvation.

The God of Christians is not a God who is simply the author of
mathematical truths, or of the order of the elements; that is the view
of heathens and Epicureans. He is not merely a God who exercises His
providence over the life and fortunes of men, to bestow on those who
worship Him a long and happy life. That was the portion of the Jews. But
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of
Christians, is a God of love and of comfort, a God who fills the soul
and heart of those whom He possesses, a God who makes them conscious of
their inward wretchedness, and His infinite mercy, who unites Himself to
their inmost soul, who fills it with humility and joy, with confidence
and love, who renders them incapable of any other end than Himself.

All who seek God without Jesus Christ, and who rest in nature, either
find no light to satisfy them, or come to form for themselves a means of
knowing God and serving Him without a mediator. Thereby they fall either
into atheism, or into deism, two things which the Christian religion
abhors almost equally.

Without Jesus Christ the world would not exist; for it should needs be
either that it would be destroyed or be a hell.

If the world existed to instruct man of God, His divinity would shine
through every part in it in an indisputable manner; but as it exists
only by Jesus Christ, and for Jesus Christ, and to teach men both their
corruption and their redemption, all displays the proofs of these two
truths.

All appearance indicates neither a total exclusion nor a manifest
presence of divinity, but the presence of a God who hides Himself.
Everything bears this character.

... Shall he alone who knows his nature know it only to be miserable?
Shall he alone who knows it be alone unhappy?

... He must not see nothing at all, nor must he see sufficient for him
to believe he possesses it; but he must see enough to know that he has
lost it. For to know of his loss, he must see and not see; and that is
exactly the state in which he naturally is.

... Whatever part he takes, I shall not leave him at rest ...


556

... It is then true that everything teaches man his condition, but he
must understand this well. For it is not true that all reveals God, and
it is not true that all conceals God. But it is at the same time true
that He hides Himself from those who tempt Him, and that He reveals
Himself to those who seek Him, because men are both unworthy and capable
of God; unworthy by their corruption capable by their original nature.


557

What shall we conclude from all our darkness, but our unworthiness?


558

If there never had been any appearance of God, this eternal deprivation
would have been equivocal, and might have as well corresponded with the
absence of all divinity, as with the unworthiness of men to know Him;
but His occasional, though not continual, appearances remove the
ambiguity, If He appeared once, He exists always; and thus we cannot but
conclude both that there is a God, and that men are unworthy of Him.


559

We do not understand the glorious state of Adam, nor the nature of his
sin, nor the transmission of it to us. These are matters which took
place under conditions of a nature altogether different from our own,
and which transcend our present understanding.

The knowledge of all this is useless to us as a means of escape from it;
and all that we are concerned to know, is that we are miserable,
corrupt, separated from God, but ransomed by Jesus Christ, whereof we
have wonderful proofs on earth.

So the two proofs of corruption and redemption are drawn from the
ungodly, who live in indifference to religion, and from the Jews who are
irreconcilable enemies.


560

There are two ways of proving the truths of our religion; one by the
power of reason, the other by the authority of him who speaks.

We do not make use of the latter, but of the former. We do not say,
"This must be believed, for Scripture, which says it, is divine." But we
say that it must be believed for such and such a reason, which are
feeble arguments, as reason may be bent to everything.


561

There is nothing on earth that does not show either the wretchedness of
man, or the mercy of God; either the weakness of man without God, or the
strength of man with God.


562

It will be one of the confusions of the damned to see that they are
condemned by their own reason, by which they claimed to condemn the
Christian religion.


563

The prophecies, the very miracles and proofs of our religion, are not of
such a nature that they can be said to be absolutely convincing. But
they are also of such a kind that it cannot be said that it is
unreasonable to believe them. Thus there is both evidence and obscurity
to enlighten some and confuse others. But the evidence is such that it
surpasses, or at least equals, the evidence to the contrary; so that it
is not reason which can determine men not to follow it, and thus it can
only be lust or malice of heart. And by this means there is sufficient
evidence to condemn, and insufficient to convince; so that it appears in
those who follow it, that it is grace, and not reason, which makes them
follow it; and in those who shun it, that it is lust, not reason, which
makes them shun it.

_Vere discipuli, vere Israëlita, vere liberi, vere cibus._[207]


564

Recognise, then, the truth of religion in the very obscurity of
religion, in the little light we have of it, and in the indifference
which we have to knowing it.


565

We understand nothing of the works of God, if we do not take as a
principle that He has willed to blind some, and enlighten others.


566

The two contrary reasons. We must begin with that; without that we
understand nothing, and all is heretical; and we must even add at the
end of each truth that the opposite truth is to be remembered.


567

_Objection._ The Scripture is plainly full of matters not dictated by
the Holy Spirit.--_Answer._ Then they do not harm faith.--_Objection._
But the Church has decided that all is of the Holy Spirit.--_Answer._ I
answer two things: first, the Church has not so decided; secondly, if
she should so decide, it could be maintained.

Do you think that the prophecies cited in the Gospel are related to make
you believe? No, it is to keep you from believing.


568

_Canonical._--The heretical books in the beginning of the Church serve
to prove the canonical.


569

To the chapter on the _Fundamentals_ must be added that on _Typology_
touching the reason of types: why Jesus Christ was prophesied as to His
first coming; why prophesied obscurely as to the manner.


570

_The reason why. Types._--[They had to deal with a carnal people and to
render them the depositary of the spiritual covenant.] To give faith to
the Messiah, it was necessary there should have been precedent
prophecies, and that these should be conveyed by persons above
suspicion, diligent, faithful, unusually zealous, and known to all the
world.

To accomplish all this, God chose this carnal people, to whom He
entrusted the prophecies which foretell the Messiah as a deliverer, and
as a dispenser of those carnal goods which this people loved. And thus
they have had an extraordinary passion for their prophets, and, in sight
of the whole world, have had charge of these books which foretell their
Messiah, assuring all nations that He should come, and in the way
foretold in the books, which they held open to the whole world. Yet this
people, deceived by the poor and ignominious advent of the Messiah, have
been His most cruel enemies. So that they, the people least open to
suspicion in the world of favouring us, the most strict and most zealous
that can be named for their law and their prophets, have kept the books
incorrupt. Hence those who have rejected and crucified Jesus Christ, who
has been to them an offence, are those who have charge of the books
which testify of Him, and state that He will be an offence and rejected.
Therefore they have shown it was He by rejecting Him, and He has been
alike proved both by the righteous Jews who received Him, and by the
unrighteous who rejected Him, both facts having been foretold.

Wherefore the prophecies have a hidden and spiritual meaning, to which
this people were hostile, under the carnal meaning which they loved. If
the spiritual meaning had been revealed, they would not have loved it,
and, unable to bear it, they would not have been zealous of the
preservation of their books and their ceremonies; and if they had loved
these spiritual promises, and had preserved them incorrupt till the time
of the Messiah, their testimony would have had no force, because they
had been his friends.

Therefore it was well that the spiritual meaning should be concealed;
but, on the other hand, if this meaning had been so hidden as not to
appear at all, it could not have served as a proof of the Messiah. What
then was done? In a crowd of passages it has been hidden under the
temporal meaning, and in a few has been clearly revealed; besides that
the time and the state of the world have been so clearly foretold that
it is clearer than the sun. And in some places this spiritual meaning is
so clearly expressed, that it would require a blindness like that which
the flesh imposes on the spirit when it is subdued by it, not to
recognise it.

See, then, what has been the prudence of God. This meaning is concealed
under another in an infinite number of passages, and in some, though
rarely, it is revealed; but yet so that the passages in which it is
concealed are equivocal, and can suit both meanings; whereas the
passages where it is disclosed are unequivocal, and can only suit the
spiritual meaning.

So that this cannot lead us into error, and could only be misunderstood
by so carnal a people.

For when blessings are promised in abundance, what was to prevent them
from understanding the true blessings, but their covetousness, which
limited the meaning to worldly goods? But those whose only good was in
God referred them to God alone. For there are two principles, which
divide the wills of men, covetousness and charity. Not that covetousness
cannot exist along with faith in God, nor charity with worldly riches;
but covetousness uses God, and enjoys the world, and charity is the
opposite.

Now the ultimate end gives names to things. All which prevents us from
attaining it, is called an enemy to us. Thus the creatures, however
good, are the enemies of the righteous, when they turn them away from
God, and God Himself is the enemy of those whose covetousness He
confounds.

Thus as the significance of the word "enemy" is dependent on the
ultimate end, the righteous understood by it their passions, and the
carnal the Babylonians; and so these terms were obscure only for the
unrighteous. And this is what Isaiah says: _Signa legem in electis
meis_,[208] and that Jesus Christ shall be a stone of stumbling. But,
"Blessed are they who shall not be offended in him." Hosea,[209] _ult._,
says excellently, "Where is the wise? and he shall understand what I
say. The righteous shall know them, for the ways of God are right; but
the transgressors shall fall therein."


571

Hypothesis that the apostles were impostors.--The time clearly, the
manner obscurely.--Five typical proofs.

       {1600 prophets.
  2000 {
       { 400 scattered.


572

_Blindness of Scripture._--"The Scripture," said the Jews, "says that we
shall not know whence Christ will come (John vii, 27, and xii, 34). The
Scripture says that Christ abideth for ever, and He said that He should
die." Therefore, says Saint John,[210] they believed not, though He had
done so many miracles, that the word of Isaiah might be fulfilled: "He
hath blinded them," etc.


573

_Greatness._--Religion is so great a thing that it is right that those
who will not take the trouble to seek it, if it be obscure, should be
deprived of it. Why, then, do any complain, if it be such as can be
found by seeking?


574

All things work together for good to the elect, even the obscurities of
Scripture; for they honour them because of what is divinely clear. And
all things work together for evil to the rest of the world, even what is
clear; for they revile such, because of the obscurities which they do
not understand.


575

_The general conduct of the world towards the Church: God willing to
blind and to enlighten._--The event having proved the divinity of these
prophecies, the rest ought to be believed. And thereby we see the order
of the world to be of this kind. The miracles of the Creation and the
Deluge being forgotten, God sends the law and the miracles of Moses, the
prophets who prophesied particular things; and to prepare a lasting
miracle, He prepares prophecies and their fulfilment; but, as the
prophecies could be suspected, He desires to make them above suspicion,
etc.


576

God has made the blindness of this people subservient to the good of the
elect.


577

There is sufficient clearness to enlighten the elect, and sufficient
obscurity to humble them. There is sufficient obscurity to blind the
reprobate, and sufficient clearness to condemn them, and make them
inexcusable.--Saint Augustine, Montaigne, Sébond.

The genealogy of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament is intermingled with
so many others that are useless, that it cannot be distinguished. If
Moses had kept only the record of the ancestors of Christ, that might
have been too plain. If he had not noted that of Jesus Christ, it might
not have been sufficiently plain. But, after all, whoever looks closely
sees that of Jesus Christ expressly traced through Tamar,[211]
Ruth,[212] etc.

Those who ordained these sacrifices, knew their uselessness; those who
have declared their uselessness, have not ceased to practise them.

If God had permitted only one religion, it had been too easily known;
but when we look at it closely, we clearly discern the truth amidst this
confusion.

_The premiss._--Moses was a clever man. If, then, he ruled himself by
his reason, he would say nothing clearly which was directly against
reason.

Thus all the very apparent weaknesses are strength. Example; the two
genealogies in Saint Matthew and Saint Luke. What can be clearer than
that this was not concerted?


578

God (and the Apostles), foreseeing that the seeds of pride would make
heresies spring up, and being unwilling to give them occasion to arise
from correct expressions, has put in Scripture and the prayers of the
Church contrary words and sentences to produce their fruit in time.

So in morals He gives charity, which produces fruits contrary to lust.


579

Nature has some perfections to show that she is the image of God, and
some defects to show that she is only His image.


580

God prefers rather to incline the will than the intellect. Perfect
clearness would be of use to the intellect, and would harm the will. To
humble pride.


581

We make an idol of truth itself; for truth apart from charity is not
God, but His image and idol, which we must neither love nor worship; and
still less must we love or worship its opposite, namely, falsehood.

I can easily love total darkness; but if God keeps me in a state of
semi-darkness, such partial darkness displeases me, and, because I do
not see therein the advantage of total darkness, it is unpleasant to me.
This is a fault, and a sign that I make for myself an idol of darkness,
apart from the order of God. Now only His order must be worshipped.


582

The feeble-minded are people who know the truth, but only affirm it so
far as consistent with their own interest. But, apart from that, they
renounce it.


583

The world exists for the exercise of mercy and judgment, not as if men
were placed in it out of the hands of God, but as hostile to God; and to
them He grants by grace sufficient light, that they may return to Him,
if they desire to seek and follow Him; and also that they may be
punished, if they refuse to seek or follow Him.


584

_That God has willed to hide Himself._--If there were only one religion,
God would indeed be manifest. The same would be the case, if there were
no martyrs but in our religion.

God being thus hidden, every religion which does not affirm that God is
hidden, is not true; and every religion which does not give the reason
of it, is not instructive. Our religion does, all this: _Vere tu es Deus
absconditus._


585

If there were no obscurity, man would not be sensible of his corruption;
if there were no light, man would not hope for a remedy. Thus, it is not
only fair, but advantageous to us, that God be partly hidden and partly
revealed; since it is equally dangerous to man to know God without
knowing his own wretchedness, and to know his own wretchedness without
knowing God.


586

This religion, so great in miracles, saints, blameless Fathers, learned
and great witnesses, martyrs, established kings as David, and Isaiah, a
prince of the blood, and so great in science, after having displayed all
her miracles and all her wisdom, rejects all this, and declares that she
has neither wisdom nor signs, but only the cross and foolishness.

For those, who, by these signs and that wisdom, have deserved your
belief, and who have proved to you their character, declare to you that
nothing of all this can change you, and render you capable of knowing
and loving God, but the power of the foolishness of the cross without
wisdom and signs, and not the signs without this power. Thus our
religion is foolish in respect to the effective cause, and wise in
respect to the wisdom which prepares it.


587

Our religion is wise and foolish. Wise, because it is the most learned,
and the most founded on miracles, prophecies, etc. Foolish, because it
is not all this which makes us belong to it. This makes us indeed
condemn those who do not belong to it; but it does not cause belief in
those who do belong to it. It is the cross that makes them believe, _ne
evacuata sit crux_. And so Saint Paul, who came with wisdom and signs,
says that he has come neither with wisdom nor with signs; for he came to
convert. But those who come only to convince, can say that they come
with wisdom and with signs.



SECTION IX

PERPETUITY


588

_On the fact that the Christian religion is not the only religion._--So
far is this from being a reason for believing that it is not the true
one, that, on the contrary, it makes us see that it is so.


589

Men must be sincere in all religions; true heathens, true Jews, true
Christians.


590

         J. C.
Heathens __|__ Mahomet
        \     /
       Ignorance
        of God.


591

_The falseness of other religions._--They have no witnesses. Jews have.
God defies other religions to produce such signs: Isaiah xliii, 9; xliv,
8.


592

_History of China._[213]-I believe only the histories, whose witnesses
got themselves killed.

[Which is the more credible of the two, Moses or China?]

It is not a question of seeing this summarily. I tell you there is in it
something to blind, and something to enlighten.

By this one word I destroy all your reasoning. "But China obscures," say
you; and I answer, "China obscures, but there is clearness to be found;
seek it."

Thus all that you say makes for one of the views, and not at all against
the other. So this serves, and does no harm.

We must then see this in detail; we must put the papers on the table.


593

_Against the history of China._ The historians of Mexico, the five
suns,[214] of which the last is only eight hundred years old.

The difference between a book accepted by a nation, and one which makes
a nation.


594

Mahomet was without authority. His reasons then should have been very
strong, having only their own force. What does he say then, that we must
believe him?


595

The Psalms are chanted throughout the whole world.

Who renders testimony to Mahomet? Himself. Jesus Christ[215] desires His
own testimony to be as nothing.

The quality of witnesses necessitates their existence always and
everywhere; and he, miserable creature, is alone.


596

_Against Mahomet._--The Koran is not more of Mahomet than the Gospel is
of Saint Matthew, for it is cited by many authors from age to age. Even
its very enemies, Celsus and Porphyry, never denied it.

The Koran says Saint Matthew was an honest man.[216] Therefore Mahomet
was a false prophet for calling honest men wicked, or for not agreeing
with what they have said of Jesus Christ.


597

It is not by that which is obscure in Mahomet, and which may be
interpreted in a mysterious sense, that I would have him judged, but by
what is clear, as his paradise and the rest. In that he is ridiculous.
And since what is clear is ridiculous, it is not right to take his
obscurities for mysteries.

It is not the same with the Scripture. I agree that there are in it
obscurities as strange as those of Mahomet; but there are admirably
clear passages, and the prophecies are manifestly fulfilled. The cases
are therefore not on a par. We must not confound, and put on one level
things which only resemble each other in their obscurity, and not in the
clearness, which requires us to reverence the obscurities.


598

_The difference between Jesus Christ and Mahomet._--Mahomet was not
foretold; Jesus Christ was foretold.

Mahomet slew; Jesus Christ caused His own to be slain.

Mahomet forbade reading; the Apostles ordered reading.

In fact the two are so opposed, that if Mahomet took the way to succeed
from a worldly point of view, Jesus Christ, from the same point of view,
took the way to perish. And instead of concluding that, since Mahomet
succeeded, Jesus Christ might well have succeeded, we ought to say that
since Mahomet succeeded, Jesus Christ should have failed.


599

Any man can do what Mahomet has done; for he performed no miracles, he
was not foretold. No man can do what Christ has done.


600

The heathen religion has no foundation [at the present day. It is said
once to have had a foundation by the oracles which spoke. But what are
the books which assure us of this? Are they so worthy of belief on
account of the virtue of their authors? Have they been preserved with
such care that we can be sure that they have not been meddled with?]

The Mahometan religion has for a foundation the Koran and Mahomet. But
has this prophet, who was to be the last hope of the world, been
foretold? What sign has he that every other man has not, who chooses to
call himself a prophet? What miracles does he himself say that he has
done? What mysteries has he taught, even according to his own tradition?
What was the morality, what the happiness held out by him?

The Jewish religion must be differently regarded in the tradition of the
Holy Bible, and in the tradition of the people. Its morality and
happiness are absurd in the tradition of the people, but are admirable
in that of the Holy Bible. (And all religion is the same; for the
Christian religion is very different in the Holy Bible and in the
casuists.) The foundation is admirable; it is the most ancient book in
the world, and the most authentic; and whereas Mahomet, in order to make
his own book continue in existence, forbade men to read it, Moses,[217]
for the same reason, ordered every one to read his.

Our religion is so divine that another divine religion has only been the
foundation of it.


601

_Order._--To see what is clear and indisputable in the whole state of
the Jews.


602

The Jewish religion is wholly divine in its authority, its duration, its
perpetuity, its morality, its doctrine, and its effects.


603

The only science contrary to common sense and human nature is that alone
which has always existed among men.


604

The only religion contrary to nature, to common sense, and to our
pleasure, is that alone which has always existed.


605

No religion but our own has taught that man is born in sin. No sect of
philosophers has said this. Therefore none have declared the truth.

No sect or religion has always existed on earth, but the Christian
religion.


606

Whoever judges of the Jewish religion by its coarser forms will
misunderstand it. It is to be seen in the Holy Bible, and in the
tradition of the prophets, who have made it plain enough that they did
not interpret the law according to the letter. So our religion is divine
in the Gospel, in the Apostles, and in tradition; but it is absurd in
those who tamper with it.

The Messiah, according to the carnal Jews, was to be a great temporal
prince. Jesus Christ, according to carnal Christians,[218] has come to
dispense us from the love of God, and to give us sacraments which shall
do everything without our help. Such is not the Christian religion, nor
the Jewish. True Jews and true Christians have always expected a Messiah
who should make them love God, and by that love triumph over their
enemies.


607

The carnal Jews hold a midway place between Christians and heathens. The
heathens know not God, and love the world only. The Jews know the true
God, and love the world only. The Christians know the true God, and love
not the world. Jews and heathens love the same good. Jews and Christians
know the same God.

The Jews were of two kinds; the first had only heathen affections, the
other had Christian affections.


608

There are two kinds of men in each religion: among the heathen,
worshippers of beasts, and the worshippers of the one only God of
natural religion; among the Jews, the carnal, and the spiritual, who
were the Christians of the old law; among Christians, the
coarser-minded, who are the Jews of the new law. The carnal Jews looked
for a carnal Messiah; the coarser Christians believe that the Messiah
has dispensed them from the love of God; true Jews and true Christians
worship a Messiah who makes them love God.


609

_To show that the true Jews and the true Christians have but the same
religion._--The religion of the Jews seemed to consist essentially in
the fatherhood of Abraham, in circumcision, in sacrifices, in
ceremonies, in the Ark, in the temple, in Jerusalem, and, finally, in
the law, and in the covenant with Moses.

I say that it consisted in none of those things, but only in the love of
God, and that God disregarded all the other things.

That God did not accept the posterity of Abraham.

That the Jews were to be punished like strangers, if they transgressed.
_Deut._ viii, 19; "If thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk
after other gods, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely
perish, as the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face."

That strangers, if they loved God, were to be received by Him as the
Jews. _Isaiah_ lvi, 3: "Let not the stranger say, 'The Lord will not
receive me.' The strangers who join themselves unto the Lord to serve
Him and love Him, will I bring unto my holy mountain, and accept therein
sacrifices, for mine house is a house of prayer."

That the true Jews considered their merit to be from God only, and not
from Abraham. _Isaiah_ lxiii, 16; "Doubtless thou art our Father, though
Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not. Thou art our
Father and our Redeemer."

Moses himself told them that God would not accept persons. _Deut._ x,
17: "God," said he, "regardeth neither persons nor sacrifices."

The Sabbath was only a sign, _Exod._ xxxi, 13; and in memory of the
escape from Egypt, _Deut._ v, 19. Therefore it is no longer necessary,
since Egypt must be forgotten.

Circumcision was only a sign, _Gen._ xvii, 11. And thence it came to
pass that, being in the desert, they were not circumcised because they
could not be confounded with other peoples; and after Jesus Christ came,
it was no longer necessary.

That the circumcision of the heart is commanded. _Deut._ x, 16;
_Jeremiah_ iv, 4: "Be ye circumcised in heart; take away the
superfluities of your heart, and harden yourselves not. For your God is
a mighty God, strong and terrible, who accepteth not persons."

That God said He would one day do it. _Deut._ xxx, 6; "God will
circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, that thou mayest love
Him with all thine heart."

That the uncircumcised in heart shall be judged. _Jeremiah_ ix, 26: For
God will judge the uncircumcised peoples, and all the people of Israel,
because he is "uncircumcised in heart."

That the external is of no avail apart from the internal. _Joel_ ii, 13:
_Scindite corda vestra_, etc.; _Isaiah_ lviii, 3, 4, etc.

The love of God is enjoined in the whole of Deuteronomy. _Deut._ xxx,
19: "I call heaven and earth to record that I have set before you life
and death, that you should choose life, and love God, and obey Him, for
God is your life."

That the Jews, for lack of that love, should be rejected for their
offences, and the heathen chosen in their stead. _Hosea_ i, 10; _Deut._
xxxii, 20. "I will hide myself from them in view of their latter sins,
for they are a froward generation without faith. They have moved me to
jealousy with that which is not God, and I will move them to jealousy
with those which are not a people, and with an ignorant and foolish
nation." _Isaiah_ lxv, 1.

That temporal goods are false, and that the true good is to be united to
God. _Psalm_ cxliii, 15.

That their feasts are displeasing to God. _Amos_ v, 21.

That the sacrifices of the Jews displeased God. _Isaiah_ lxvi. 1-3; i,
II; _Jer._ vi, 20; David, _Miserere._--Even on the part of the good,
_Expectavi_. _Psalm_ xlix, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.

That He has established them only for their hardness. _Micah_,
admirably, vi; 1 _Kings_ xv, 22; _Hosea_ vi, 6.

That the sacrifices of the Gentiles will be accepted of God, and that
God will take no pleasure in the sacrifices of the Jews. _Malachi_ i,
II.

That God will make a new covenant with the Messiah, and the old will be
annulled. _Jer._ xxxi, 31. _Mandata non bona. Ezek._

That the old things will be forgotten. _Isaiah_ xliii, 18, 19; lxv 17,
10.

That the Ark will no longer be remembered. _Jer._ iii, 15, 16.

That the temple should be rejected. _Jer._ vii, 12, 13, 14.

That the sacrifices should be rejected, and other pure sacrifices
established. _Malachi_ i, II.

That the order of Aaron's priesthood should be rejected, and that of
Melchizedek introduced by the Messiah. _Ps. Dixit Dominus._

That this priesthood should be eternal. _Ibid._

That Jerusalem should be rejected, and Rome admitted. _Ps. Dixit
Dominus._

That the name of the Jews should be rejected, and a new name given.
_Isaiah_ lxv, 15.

That this last name should be more excellent than that of the Jews, and
eternal. _Isaiah_ lvi, 5.

That the Jews should be without prophets (Amos), without a king, without
princes, without sacrifice, without an idol.

That the Jews should nevertheless always remain a people. _Jer._ xxxi,
36.


610

_Republic._--The Christian republic--and even the Jewish--has only had
God for ruler, as Philo the Jew notices, _On Monarchy_.

When they fought, it was for God only; their chief hope was in God only;
they considered their towns as belonging to God only, and kept them for
God. 1 _Chron._ xix, 13.


611

_Gen._ xvii, 7. _Statuam pactum meum inter me et te fœdere sempiterno
... ut sim Deus tuus...._

_Et tu ergo custodies pactum meum._


612

_Perpetuity._--That religion has always existed on earth, which consists
in believing that man has fallen from a state of glory and of communion
with God into a state of sorrow, penitence, and estrangement from God,
but that after this life we shall be restored by a Messiah who should
have come. All things have passed away, and this has endured, for which
all things are.

Men have in the first age of the world been carried away into every kind
of debauchery, and yet there were saints, as Enoch, Lamech, and others,
who waited patiently for the Christ promised from the beginning of the
world. Noah saw the wickedness of men at its height; and he was held
worthy to save the world in his person, by the hope of the Messiah of
whom he was the type. Abraham was surrounded by idolaters, when God made
known to him the mystery of the Messiah, whom he welcomed from
afar.[219] In the time of Isaac and Jacob abomination was spread over
all the earth; but these saints lived in faith; and Jacob, dying and
blessing his children, cried in a transport which made him break off his
discourse, "I await, O my God, the Saviour whom Thou hast promised.
_Salutare taum expectabo, Domine._"[220] The Egyptians were infected
both with idolatry and magic; the very people of God were led astray by
their example. Yet Moses and others believed Him whom they saw not, and
worshipped Him, looking to the eternal gifts which He was preparing for
them.

The Greeks and Latins then set up false deities; the poets made a
hundred different theologies, while the philosophers separated into a
thousand different sects; and yet in the heart of Judæa there were
always chosen men who foretold the coming of this Messiah, which was
known to them alone.

He came at length in the fullness of time, and time has since witnessed
the birth of so many schisms and heresies, so many political
revolutions, so many changes in all things; yet this Church, which
worships Him who has always been worshipped, has endured
uninterruptedly. It is a wonderful, incomparable, and altogether divine
fact that this religion, which has always endured, has always been
attacked. It has been a thousand times on the eve of universal
destruction, and every time it has been in that state, God has restored
it by extraordinary acts of His power. This is astonishing, as also that
it has preserved itself without yielding to the will of tyrants. For it
is not strange that a State endures, when its laws are sometimes made
to give way to necessity, but that ... (See the passage indicated in
Montaigne.)


613

States would perish if they did not often make their laws give way to
necessity. But religion has never suffered this, or practised it.
Indeed, there must be these compromises, or miracles. It is not strange
to be saved by yieldings, and this is not strictly self-preservation;
besides, in the end they perish entirely. None has endured a thousand
years. But the fact that this religion has always maintained itself,
inflexible as it is, proves its divinity.


614

Whatever may be said, it must be admitted that the Christian religion
has something astonishing in it. Some will say, "This is because you
were born in it." Far from it; I stiffen myself against it for this very
reason, for fear this prejudice bias me. But although I am born in it, I
cannot help finding it so.


615

_Perpetuity._--The Messiah has always been believed in. The tradition
from Adam was fresh in Noah and in Moses. Since then the prophets have
foretold him, while at the same time foretelling other things, which,
being from time to time fulfilled in the sight of men, showed the truth
of their mission, and consequently that of their promises touching the
Messiah. Jesus Christ performed miracles, and the Apostles also, who
converted all the heathen; and all the prophecies being thereby
fulfilled, the Messiah is for ever proved.


616

_Perpetuity._--Let us consider that since the beginning of the world the
expectation of worship of the Messiah has existed uninterruptedly; that
there have been found men, who said that God had revealed to them that a
Redeemer was to be born, who should save His people; that Abraham came
afterwards, saying that he had had a revelation that the Messiah was to
spring from him by a son, whom he should have; that Jacob declared that,
of his twelve sons, the Messiah would spring from Judah; that Moses and
the prophets then came to declare the time and the manner of His coming;
that they said their law was only temporary till that of the Messiah,
that it should endure till then, but that the other should last for
ever; that thus either their law, or that of the Messiah, of which it
was the promise, would be always upon the earth; that, in fact, it has
always endured; that at last Jesus Christ came with all the
circumstances foretold. This is wonderful.


617

This is positive fact. While all philosophers separate into different
sects, there is found in one corner of the world the most ancient people
in it, declaring that all the world is in error, that God has revealed
to them the truth, that they will always exist on the earth. In fact,
all other sects come to an end, this one still endures, and has done so
for four thousand years.

They declare that they hold from their ancestors that man has fallen
from communion with God, and is entirely estranged from God, but that He
has promised to redeem them; that this doctrine shall always exist on
the earth; that their law has a double signification; that during
sixteen hundred years they have had people, whom they believed prophets,
foretelling both the time and the manner; that four hundred years after
they were scattered everywhere, because Jesus Christ was to be
everywhere announced; that Jesus Christ came in the manner, and at the
time foretold; that the Jews have since been scattered abroad under a
curse, and nevertheless still exist.


618

I see the Christian religion founded upon a preceding religion, and this
is what I find as a fact.

I do not here speak of the miracles of Moses, of Jesus Christ, and of
the Apostles, because they do not at first seem convincing, and because
I only wish here to put in evidence all those foundations of the
Christian religion which are beyond doubt, and which cannot be called in
question by any person whatsoever. It is certain that we see in many
places of the world a peculiar people, separated from all other peoples
of the world, and called the Jewish people.

I see then a crowd of religions in many parts of the world and in all
times; but their morality cannot please me, nor can their proofs
convince me. Thus I should equally have rejected the religion of Mahomet
and of China, of the ancient Romans and of the Egyptians, for the sole
reason, that none having more marks of truth than another, nor anything
which should necessarily persuade me, reason cannot incline to one
rather than the other.

But, in thus considering this changeable and singular variety of morals
and beliefs at different times, I find in one corner of the world a
peculiar people, separated from all other peoples on earth, the most
ancient of all, and whose histories are earlier by many generations than
the most ancient which we possess.

I find, then, this great and numerous people, sprung from a single man,
who worship one God, and guide themselves by a law which they say that
they obtained from His own hand. They maintain that they are the only
people in the world to whom God has revealed His mysteries; that all men
are corrupt and in disgrace with God; that they are all abandoned to
their senses and their own imagination, whence come the strange errors
and continual changes which happen among them, both of religions and of
morals, whereas they themselves remain firm in their conduct; but that
God will not leave other nations in this darkness for ever; that there
will come a Saviour for all; that they are in the world to announce Him
to men; that they are expressly formed to be forerunners and heralds of
this great event, and to summon all nations to join with them in the
expectation of this Saviour.

To meet with this people is astonishing to me, and seems to me worthy of
attention. I look at the law which they boast of having obtained from
God, and I find it admirable. It is the first law of all, and is of such
a kind that, even before the term _law_ was in currency among the
Greeks, it had, for nearly a thousand years earlier, been
uninterruptedly accepted and observed by the Jews. I likewise think it
strange that the first law of the world happens to be the most perfect;
so that the greatest legislators have borrowed their laws from it, as is
apparent from the law of the Twelve Tables at Athens,[221] afterwards
taken by the Romans, and as it would be easy to prove, if Josephus[222]
and others had not sufficiently dealt with this subject.


619

_Advantages of the Jewish people._--In this search the Jewish people at
once attracts my attention by the number of wonderful and singular facts
which appear about them.

I first see that they are a people wholly composed of brethren, and
whereas all others are formed by the assemblage of an infinity of
families, this, though so wonderfully fruitful, has all sprung from one
man alone, and, being thus all one flesh, and members one of another,
they constitute a powerful state of one family. This is unique.

This family, or people, is the most ancient within human knowledge, a
fact which seems to me to inspire a peculiar veneration for it,
especially in view of our present inquiry; since if God had from all
time revealed Himself to men, it is to these we must turn for knowledge
of the tradition.

This people is not eminent solely by their antiquity, but is also
singular by their duration, which has always continued from their origin
till now. For whereas the nations of Greece and of Italy, of Lacedæmon,
of Athens and of Rome, and others who came long after, have long since
perished, these ever remain, and in spite of the endeavours of many
powerful kings who have a hundred times tried to destroy them, as their
historians testify, and as it is easy to conjecture from the natural
order of things during so long a space of years, they have nevertheless
been preserved (and this preservation has been foretold); and extending
from the earliest times to the latest, their history comprehends in its
duration all our histories [which it preceded by a long time].

The law by which this people is governed is at once the most ancient law
in the world, the most perfect, and the only one which has been always
observed without a break in a state. This is what Josephus admirably
proves, _against Apion_,[223] and also Philo[224] the Jew, in different
places, where they point out that it is so ancient that the very name of
_law_ was only known by the oldest nation more than a thousand years
afterwards; so that Homer, who has written the history of so many
states, has never used the term. And it is easy to judge of its
perfection by simply reading it; for we see that it has provided for all
things with so great wisdom, equity, and judgment, that the most ancient
legislators, Greek and Roman, having had some knowledge of it, have
borrowed from it their principal laws; this is evident from what are
called the Twelve Tables, and from the other proofs which Josephus
gives.

But this law is at the same time the severest and strictest of all in
respect to their religious worship, imposing on this people, in order to
keep them to their duty, a thousand peculiar and painful observances, on
pain of death. Whence it is very astonishing that it has been
constantly preserved during many centuries by a people, rebellious and
impatient as this one was; while all other states have changed their
laws from time to time, although these were far more lenient.

The book which contains this law, the first of all, is itself the most
ancient book in the world, those of Homer, Hesiod, and others, being six
or seven hundred years later.


620

The creation and the deluge being past, and God no longer requiring to
destroy the world, nor to create it anew, nor to give such great signs
of Himself, He began to establish a people on the earth, purposely
formed, who were to last until the coming of the people whom the Messiah
should fashion by His spirit.


621

The creation of the world beginning to be distant, God provided a single
contemporary historian, and appointed a whole people as guardians of
this book, in order that this history might be the most authentic in the
world, and that all men might thereby learn a fact so necessary to know,
and which could only be known through that means.


622

[Japhet begins the genealogy.]

Joseph folds his arms, and prefers the younger.[225]


623

Why should Moses make the lives of men so long, and their generations so
few?

Because it is not the length of years, but the multitude of generations,
which renders things obscure. For truth is perverted only by the change
of men. And yet he puts two things, the most memorable that were ever
imagined, namely, the creation and the deluge, so near that we reach
from one to the other.


624

Shem, who saw Lamech, who saw Adam, saw also Jacob, who saw those who
saw Moses; therefore the deluge and the creation are true. This is
conclusive among certain people who understand it rightly.


625

The longevity of the patriarchs, instead of causing the loss of past
history, conduced, on the contrary, to its preservation. For the reason
why we are sometimes insufficiently instructed in the history of our
ancestors, is that we have never lived long with them, and that they are
often dead before we have attained the age of reason. Now, when men
lived so long, children lived long with their parents. They conversed
long with them. But what else could be the subject of their talk save
the history of their ancestors, since to that all history was reduced,
and men did not study science or art, which now form a large part of
daily conversation? We see also that in these days tribes took
particular care to preserve their genealogies.


626

I believe that Joshua was the first of God's people to have this name,
as Jesus Christ was the last of God's people.


627

_Antiquity of the Jews._--What a difference there is between one book
and another! I am not astonished that the Greeks made the Iliad, nor the
Egyptians and the Chinese their histories.

We have only to see how this originates. These fabulous historians are
not contemporaneous with the facts about which they write. Homer
composes a romance, which he gives out as such, and which is received as
such; for nobody doubted that Troy and Agamemnon no more existed than
did the golden apple. Accordingly he did not think of making a history,
but solely a book to amuse; he is the only writer of his time; the
beauty of the work has made it last, every one learns it and talks of
it, it is necessary to know it, and each one knows it by heart. Four
hundred years afterwards the witnesses of these facts are no longer
alive, no one knows of his own knowledge if it be a fable or a history;
one has only learnt it from his ancestors, and this can pass for truth.

Every history which is not contemporaneous, as the books of the Sibyls
and Trismegistus,[226] and so many others which have been believed by
the world, are false, and found to be false in the course of time. It is
not so with contemporaneous writers.

There is a great difference between a book which an individual writes,
and publishes to a nation, and a book which itself creates a nation. We
cannot doubt that the book is as old as the people.


628

Josephus hides the shame of his nation.

Moses does not hide his own shame.

_Quis mihi det ut omnes prophetent?_[227]

He was weary of the multitude.


629

_The sincerity of the Jews._--Maccabees,[228] after they had no more
prophets; the Masorah, since Jesus Christ.

This book will be a testimony for you.[229]

Defective and final letters.

Sincere against their honour, and dying for it; this has no example in
the world, and no root in nature.


630

_Sincerity of the Jews._--They preserve lovingly and carefully the book
in which Moses declares that they have been all their life ungrateful to
God, and that he knows they will be still more so after his death; but
that he calls heaven and earth to witness against them, and that he has
[_taught_] them enough.

He declares that God, being angry with them, shall at last scatter them
among all the nations of the earth; that as they have offended Him by
worshipping gods who were not their God, so He will provoke them by
calling a people who are not His people; that He desires that all His
words be preserved for ever, and that His book be placed in the Ark of
the Covenant to serve for ever as a witness against them.

Isaiah says the same thing, xxx.


631

_On Esdras._--The story that the books were burnt with the temple proved
false by Maccabees: "Jeremiah gave them the law."

The story that he recited the whole by heart. Josephus and Esdras point
out _that he read the book_. Baronius, _Ann._, p. 180: _Nullus penitus
Hebræorum antiquorum reperitur qui tradiderit libros periisse et per
Esdram esse restitutos, nisi in IV Esdræ._

The story that he changed the letters.

Philo, _in Vita Moysis: Illa lingua ac character quo antiquitus scripta
est lex sic permansit usque ad LXX._

Josephus says that the Law was in Hebrew when it was translated by the
Seventy.

Under Antiochus and Vespasian, when they wanted to abolish the books,
and when there was no prophet, they could not do so. And under the
Babylonians, when no persecution had been made, and when there were so
many prophets, would they have let them be burnt?

Josephus laughs at the Greeks who would not bear ...

Tertullian.[230]--_Perinde potuit abolefactam eam violentia cataclysmi
in spiritu rursus reformare, quemadmodum et Hierosolymis Babylonia
expugnatione deletis, omne instrumentum Judaicæ literaturæ per Esdram
constat restauratum._

He says that Noah could as easily have restored in spirit the book of
Enoch, destroyed by the Deluge, as Esdras could have restored the
Scriptures lost during the Captivity.

(Θεὸς) ἐν τῆ ἐπὶ Ναβουχοδόνοσορ αἰχμαλωία τοῦ λαοῦ, διαφθαρεισῶν τῶν
γραφῶν ... ἐνέπνευσε Εσδρᾷ τῶ ἱερεἱ ἐκ τῆς φυλῆς Λευὶ τοῦς τῶν
προγεγονότων προφητῶν πάντας ἀνατάξασθαι λόγους, και ἀποκαταστῆσαι τῲ
λαω τὴν διὰ Μωυσέως νομοθίαν.[231] He alleges this to prove that it is
not incredible that the Seventy may have explained the holy Scriptures
with that uniformity which we admire in them. And he took that from
Saint Irenæus.[232]

Saint Hilary, in his preface to the Psalms, says that Esdras arranged
the Psalms in order.

The origin of this tradition comes from the 14th chapter of the fourth
book of Esdras. _Deus glorificatus est, et Scripturæ vere divinæ creditæ
sunt, omnibus eandem et eisdem verbis et eisdem nominibus recitantibus
ab initio usque ad finem, uti et præsentes gentes cognoscerent quoniam
per inspirationem Dei interpretatæ sunt Scripturæ, et non esset mirabile
Deum hoc in eis operatum: quando in ea captivitate populi quæ facta est
a Nabuchodonosor, corruptis scripturis et post 70 annos Judæis
descendentibus in regionem suam, et post deinde temporibus Artaxerxis
Persarum regis, inspiravit Esdræ sacerdoti tribus Levi præteritorum
prophetarum omnes rememorare sermones, et restituere populo eam legem
quæ data est per Moysen._


632

_Against the story in Esdras, 2 Maccab._ ii;--Josephus, _Antiquities_,
II, i--Cyrus took occasion from the prophecy of Isaiah to release the
people. The Jews held their property in peace under Cyrus in Babylon;
hence they could well have the Law.

Josephus, in the whole history of Esdras, does not say one word about
this restoration.--2 Kings xvii, 27.


633

If the story in Esdras[233] is credible, then it must be believed that
the Scripture is Holy Scripture; for this story is based only on the
authority of those who assert that of the Seventy, which shows that the
Scripture is holy.

Therefore if this account be true, we have what we want therein; if not,
we have it elsewhere. And thus those who would ruin the truth of our
religion, founded on Moses, establish it by the same authority by which
they attack it. So by this providence it still exists.


634

_Chronology of Rabbinism._ (The citations of pages are from the book
_Pugio_.)

Page 27. R. Hakadosch (_anno_ 200), author of the _Mischna_, or vocal
law, or second law.

Commentaries on the _Mischna (anno_ 340): {The one _Siphra_.
_Barajetot_. _Talmud Hierosol_. _Tosiphtot_.}

_Bereschit Rabah_, by R. Osaiah Rabah, commentary on the _Mischna_.

_Bereschit Rabah, Bar Naconi_, are subtle and pleasant discourses,
historical and theological. This same author wrote the books called
_Rabot_.

A hundred years after the _Talmud Hierosol_ was composed the _Babylonian
Talmud_, by R. Ase, A.D. 440, by the universal consent of all the Jews,
who are necessarily obliged to observe all that is contained therein.

The addition of R. Ase is called the _Gemara_, that is to say, the
"commentary" on the _Mischna_.

And the Talmud includes together the _Mischna_ and the _Gemara_.


635

_If_ does not indicate indifference: Malachi, Isaiah.

Is., _Si volumus_, etc.

_In quacumque die._


636

_Prophecies._--The sceptre was not interrupted by the captivity in
Babylon, because the return was promised and foretold.


637

_Proofs of Jesus Christ._--Captivity, with the assurance of deliverance
within seventy years, was not real captivity. But now they are captives
without any hope.

God has promised them that even though He should scatter them to the
ends of the earth, nevertheless if they were faithful to His law, He
would assemble them together again. They are very faithful to it, and
remain oppressed.


638

When Nebuchadnezzar carried away the people, for fear they should
believe that the sceptre had departed from Judah, they were told
beforehand that they would be there for a short time, and that they
would be restored. They were always consoled by the prophets; and their
kings continued. But the second destruction is without promise of
restoration, without prophets, without kings, without consolation,
without hope, because the sceptre is taken away for ever.


639

It is a wonderful thing, and worthy of particular attention, to see this
Jewish people existing so many years in perpetual misery, it being
necessary as a proof of Jesus Christ, both that they should exist to
prove Him, and that they should be miserable because they crucified Him;
and though to be miserable and to exist are contradictory, they
nevertheless still exist in spite of their misery.


640

They are visibly a people expressly created to serve as a witness to the
Messiah (Isaiah, xliii, 9; xliv, 8). They keep the books, and love them,
and do not understand them. And all this was foretold; that God's
judgments are entrusted to them, but as a sealed book.



SECTION X

TYPOLOGY


641

_Proof of the two Testaments at once._--To prove the two at one stroke,
we need only see if the prophecies in one are fulfilled in the other. To
examine the prophecies, we must understand them. For if we believe they
have only one meaning, it is certain that the Messiah has not come; but
if they have two meanings, it is certain that He has come in Jesus
Christ.

The whole problem then is to know if they have two meanings.

That the Scripture has two meanings, which Jesus Christ and the Apostles
have given, is shown by the following proofs:

1. Proof by Scripture itself.

2. Proof by the Rabbis. Moses Maimonides says that it has two aspects,
and that the prophets have prophesied Jesus Christ only.

3. Proof by the Kabbala.[234]

4. Proof by the mystical interpretation which the Rabbis themselves give
to Scripture.

5. Proof by the principles of the Rabbis, that there are two meanings;
that there are two advents of the Messiah, a glorious and an humiliating
one, according to their desert; that the prophets have prophesied of the
Messiah only--the Law is not eternal, but must change at the coming of
the Messiah--that then they shall no more remember the Red Sea; that the
Jews and the Gentiles shall be mingled.

[6. Proof by the key which Jesus Christ and the Apostles give us.]


642

Isaiah, li. The Red Sea an image of the Redemption. _Ut sciatis quod
filius hominis habet potestatem remittendi peccata, tibi dico:
Surge._[235] God, wishing to show that He could form a people holy with
an invisible holiness, and fill them with an eternal glory, made visible
things. As nature is an image of grace, He has done in the bounties of
nature what He would do in those of grace, in order that we might judge
that He could make the invisible, since He made the visible excellently.

Therefore He saved this people from the deluge; He has raised them up
from Abraham, redeemed them from their enemies, and set them at rest.

The object of God was not to save them from the deluge, and raise up a
whole people from Abraham, only in order to bring them into a rich land.

And even grace is only the type of glory, for it is not the ultimate
end. It has been symbolised by the law, and itself symbolises [_glory_].
But it is the type of it, and the origin or cause.

The ordinary life of men is like that of the saints. They all seek their
satisfaction, and differ only in the object in which they place it; they
call those their enemies who hinder them, etc. God has then shown the
power which He has of giving invisible blessings, by that which He has
shown Himself to have over things visible.


643

_Types._--God, wishing to form for Himself an holy people, whom He
should separate from all other nations, whom He should deliver from
their enemies, and should put into a place of rest, has promised to do
so, and has foretold by His prophets the time and the manner of His
coming. And yet, to confirm the hope of His elect, He has made them see
in it an image through all time, without leaving them devoid of
assurances of His power and of His will to save them. For, at the
creation of man, Adam was the witness, and guardian of the promise of a
Saviour, who should be born of woman, when men were still so near the
creation that they could not have forgotten their creation and their
fall. When those who had seen Adam were no longer in the world, God sent
Noah whom He saved, and drowned the whole earth by a miracle which
sufficiently indicated the power which He had to save the world, and the
will which He had to do so, and to raise up from the seed of woman Him
whom He had promised. This miracle was enough to confirm the hope of
men.

The memory of the deluge being so fresh among men, while Noah was still
alive, God made promises to Abraham, and, while Shem was still living,
sent Moses, etc....


644

_Types._--God, willing to deprive His own of perishable blessings,
created the Jewish people in order to show that this was not owing to
lack of power.


645

The Synagogue did not perish, because it was a type. But because it was
only a type, it fell into servitude. The type existed till the truth
came, in order that the Church should be always visible, either in the
sign which promised it, or in substance.


646

That the law was figurative.


647

Two errors: 1. To take everything literally. 2. To take everything
spiritually.


648

To speak against too greatly figurative language.


649

There are some types clear and demonstrative, but others which seem
somewhat far-fetched, and which convince only those who are already
persuaded. These are like the Apocalyptics. But the difference is that
they have none which are certain, so that nothing is so unjust as to
claim that theirs are as well founded as some of ours; for they have
none so demonstrative as some of ours. The comparison is unfair. We must
not put on the same level, and confound things, because they seem to
agree in one point, while they are so different in another. The
clearness in divine things requires us to revere the obscurities in
them.

[It is like men, who employ a certain obscure language among themselves.
Those who should not understand it, would understand only a foolish
meaning.]


650

_Extravagances of the Apocalyptics, Preadamites, Millenarians, etc._--He
who would base extravagant opinions on Scripture, will, for example,
base them on this. It is said that "this generation shall not pass till
all these things be fulfilled."[236] Upon that I will say that after
that generation will come another generation, and so on ever in
succession.

Solomon and the King are spoken of in the second book of Chronicles, as
if they were two different persons. I will say that they were two.


651

_Particular Types._--A double law, double tables of the law, a double
temple, a double captivity.


652

_Types._--The prophets prophesied by symbols of a girdle, a beard and
burnt hair, etc.


653

Difference between dinner and supper.[237]

In God the word does not differ from the intention, for He is true; nor
the word from the effect, for He is powerful; nor the means from the
effect, for He is wise. Bern., _Ult. Sermo in Missam_.

Augustine, _De Civit. Dei_, v, 10. This rule is general. God can do
everything, except those things, which if He could do, He would not be
almighty, as dying, being deceived, lying, etc.

Several Evangelists for the confirmation of the truth; their difference
useful.

The Eucharist after the Lord's Supper. Truth after the type.

The ruin of Jerusalem, a type of the ruin of the world, forty years
after the death of Jesus. "I know not," as a man, or as an ambassador
(Mark xiii, 32). (Matthew xxiv, 36.)

Jesus condemned by the Jews and the Gentiles.

The Jews and the Gentiles typified by the two sons. Aug., _De Civ._, xx,
29.


654

The six ages, the six Fathers of the six ages, the six wonders at the
beginning of the six ages, the six mornings at the beginning of the six
ages.[238]


655

Adam _forma futuri_.[239] The six days to form the one, the six ages to
form the other. The six days, which Moses represents for the formation
of Adam, are only the picture of the six ages to form Jesus Christ and
the Church. If Adam had not sinned, and Jesus Christ had not come, there
had been only one covenant, only one age of men, and the creation would
have been represented as accomplished at one single time.


656

_Types._--The Jewish and Egyptian peoples were plainly foretold by the
two individuals whom Moses met; the Egyptian beating the Jew, Moses
avenging him and killing the Egyptian, and the Jew being ungrateful.


657

The symbols of the Gospel for the state of the sick soul are sick
bodies; but because one body cannot be sick enough to express it well,
several have been needed. Thus there are the deaf, the dumb, the blind,
the paralytic, the dead Lazarus, the possessed. All this crowd is in the
sick soul.


658

_Types._--To show that the Old Testament is only figurative, and that
the prophets understood by temporal blessings other blessings, this is
the proof:

First, that this would be unworthy of God.

Secondly, that their discourses express very clearly the promise of
temporal blessings, and that they say nevertheless that their discourses
are obscure, and that their meaning will not be understood. Whence it
appears that this secret meaning was not that which they openly
expressed, and that consequently they meant to speak of other
sacrifices, of another deliverer, etc. They say that they will be
understood only in the fullness of time (Jer. xxx, _ult._).

The third proof is that their discourses are contradictory, and
neutralise each other; so that if we think that they did not mean by the
words "law" and "sacrifice" anything else than that of Moses, there is a
plain and gross contradiction. Therefore they meant something else,
sometimes contradicting themselves in the same chapter. Now, to
understand the meaning of an author ...


659

Lust has become natural to us, and has made our second nature. Thus
there are two natures in us--the one good, the other bad. Where is God?
Where you are not, and the kingdom of God is within you. The Rabbis.


660

Penitence, alone of all these mysteries, has been manifestly declared to
the Jews, and by Saint John, the Forerunner; and then the other
mysteries; to indicate that in each man, as in the entire world, this
order must be observed.


661

The carnal Jews understood neither the greatness nor the humiliation of
the Messiah foretold in their prophecies. They misunderstood Him in His
foretold greatness, as when He said that the Messiah should be lord of
David, though his son, and that He was before Abraham, who had seen Him.
They did not believe Him so great as to be eternal, and they likewise
misunderstood Him in His humiliation and in His death. "The Messiah,"
said they, "abideth for ever, and this man says that he shall die."[240]
Therefore they believed Him neither mortal nor eternal; they only sought
in Him for a carnal greatness.


662

_Typical._--Nothing is so like charity as covetousness, and nothing is
so opposed to it. Thus the Jews, full of possessions which flattered
their covetousness, were very like Christians, and very contrary. And by
this means they had the two qualities which it was necessary they should
have, to be very like the Messiah to typify Him, and very contrary not
to be suspected witnesses.


663

_Typical._--God made use of the lust of the Jews to make them minister
to Jesus Christ, [who brought the remedy for their lust].


664

Charity is not a figurative precept. It is dreadful to say that Jesus
Christ, who came to take away types in order to establish the truth,
came only to establish the type of charity, in order to take away the
existing reality which was there before.

"If the light be darkness, how great is that darkness!"[241]


665

Fascination. _Somnum suum.[242] Figura hujus mundi._[243]

The Eucharist. _Comedes panem_ tuum.[244] _Panem_ nostrum.

_Inimici Dei terram lingent._[245] Sinners lick the dust, that is to
say, love earthly pleasures.

The Old Testament contained the types of future joy, and the New
contains the means of arriving at it. The types were of joy; the means
of penitence; and nevertheless the Paschal Lamb was eaten with bitter
herbs, _cum amaritudinibus_.[246]

_Singularis sum ego donec transeam._[247]--Jesus Christ before His death
was almost the only martyr.


666

_Typical._--The expressions, sword, shield. _Potentissime._


667

We are estranged, only by departing from charity. Our prayers and our
virtues are abominable before God, if they are not the prayers and the
virtues of Jesus Christ. And our sins will never be the object of
[_mercy_], but of the justice of God, if they are not [_those of_] Jesus
Christ. He has adopted our sins, and has [_admitted_] us into union
[_with Him_], for virtues are [_His own, and_] sins are foreign to Him;
while virtues _[are]_ foreign to us, and our sins are our own.

Let us change the rule which we have hitherto chosen for judging what is
good. We had our own will as our rule. Let us now take the will of
[_God_]; all that He wills is good and right to us, all that He does not
will is [_bad_].

All that God does not permit is forbidden. Sins are forbidden by the
general declaration that God has made, that He did not allow them. Other
things which He has left without general prohibition, and which for that
reason are said to be permitted, are nevertheless not always permitted.
For when God removed some one of them from us, and when, by the event,
which is a manifestation of the will of God, it appears that God does
not will that we should have a thing, that is then forbidden to us as
sin; since the will of God is that we should not have one more than
another. There is this sole difference between these two things, that it
is certain that God will never allow sin, while it is not certain that
He will never allow the other. But so long as God does not permit it, we
ought to regard it as sin; so long as the absence of God's will, which
alone is all goodness and all justice, renders it unjust and wrong.


668

To change the type, because of our weakness.


669

_Types._--The Jews had grown old in these earthly thoughts, that God
loved their father Abraham, his flesh and what sprung from it; that on
account of this He had multiplied them, and distinguished them from all
other nations, without allowing them to intermingle; that when they were
languishing in Egypt, He brought them out with all these great signs in
their favour; that He fed them with manna in the desert, and led them
into a very rich land; that He gave them kings and a well-built temple,
in order to offer up beasts before Him, by the shedding of whose blood
they should be purified; and that at last He was to send them the
Messiah to make them masters of all the world, and foretold the time of
His coming.

The world having grown old in these carnal errors, Jesus Christ came at
the time foretold, but not with the expected glory; and thus men did not
think it was He. After His death, Saint Paul[248] came to teach men that
all these things had happened in allegory; that the kingdom of God did
not consist in the flesh, but in the spirit; that the enemies of men
were not the Babylonians, but the passions; that God delighted not in
temples made with hands, but in a pure and contrite heart; that the
circumcision of the body was unprofitable, but that of the heart was
needed; that Moses had not given them the bread from heaven, etc.[249]

But God, not having desired to reveal these things to this people who
were unworthy of them, and having nevertheless desired to foretell them,
in order that they might be believed, foretold the time clearly, and
expressed the things sometimes clearly, but very often in figures, in
order that those who loved symbols might consider them, and those who
loved what was symbolised might see it therein.

All that tends not to charity is figurative.

The sole aim of the Scripture is charity.

All which tends not to the sole end is the type of it. For since there
is only one end, all which does not lead to it in express terms is
figurative.

God thus varies that sole precept of charity to satisfy our curiosity,
which seeks for variety, by that variety which still leads us to the one
thing needful. For one thing alone is needful,[250] and we love variety;
and God satisfies both by these varieties, which lead to the one thing
needful.

The Jews have so much loved the shadows, and have so strictly expected
them, that they have misunderstood the reality, when it came in the time
and manner foretold.

The Rabbis take the breasts of the Spouse[251] for types, and all that
does not express the only end they have, namely, temporal good.

And Christians take even the Eucharist as a type of the glory at which
they aim.


670

The Jews, who have been called to subdue nations and kings, have been
the slaves of sin; and the Christians, whose calling has been to be
servants and subjects, are free children.[252]


671

_A formal point._--When Saint Peter and the Apostles deliberated about
abolishing circumcision, where it was a question of acting against the
law of God, they did not heed the prophets, but simply the reception of
the Holy Spirit in the persons uncircumcised.[253]

They thought it more certain that God approved of those whom He filled
with His Spirit, than it was that the law must be obeyed. They knew that
the end of the law was only the Holy Spirit; and that thus, as men
certainly had this without circumcision, it was not necessary.


672

_Fac secundum exemplar quod tibi ostensum est in monte._[254]--The
Jewish religion then has been formed on its likeness to the truth of the
Messiah; and the truth of the Messiah has been recognised by the Jewish
religion, which was the type of it.

Among the Jews the truth was only typified; in heaven it is revealed.

In the Church it is hidden, and recognised by its resemblance to the
type.

The type has been made according to the truth, and the truth has been
recognised according to the type.

Saint Paul[255] says himself that people will forbid to marry, and he
himself speaks of it to the Corinthians in a way which is a snare. For
if a prophet had said the one, and Saint Paul had then said the other,
he would have been accused.


673

_Typical._--"Do all things according to the pattern which has been shown
thee on the mount." On which Saint Paul says that the Jews have shadowed
forth heavenly things.[256]


674

... And yet this Covenant, made to blind some and enlighten others,
indicated in those very persons, whom it blinded, the truth which should
be recognised by others. For the visible blessings which they received
from God were so great and so divine, that He indeed appeared able to
give them those that are invisible, and a Messiah.

For nature is an image of Grace, and visible miracles are images of the
invisible. _Ut sciatis ... tibi dico: Surge._

Isaiah says that Redemption will be as the passage of the Red Sea.

God has then shown by the deliverance from Egypt, and from the sea, by
the defeat of kings, by the manna, by the whole genealogy of Abraham,
that He was able to save, to send down bread from heaven, etc.; so that
the people hostile to Him are the type and the representation of the
very Messiah whom they know not, etc.

He has then taught us at last that all these things were only types, and
what is "true freedom," a "true Israelite," "true circumcision," "true
bread from heaven," etc.

In these promises each one finds what he has most at heart, temporal
benefits or spiritual, God or the creatures; but with this difference,
that those who therein seek the creatures find them, but with many
contradictions, with a prohibition against loving them, with the command
to worship God only, and to love Him only, which is the same thing, and,
finally, that the Messiah came not for them; whereas those who therein
seek God find Him, without any contradiction, with the command to love
Him only, and that the Messiah came in the time foretold, to give them
the blessings which they ask.

Thus the Jews had miracles and prophecies, which they say fulfilled and
the teaching of their law was to worship and love God only; it was also
perpetual. Thus it had all the marks of the true religion; and so it
was. But the Jewish teaching must be distinguished from the teaching of
the Jewish law. Now the Jewish teaching was not true, although it had
miracles and prophecy and perpetuity, because it had not this other
point of worshipping and loving God only.


675

The veil, which is upon these books for the Jews, is there also for evil
Christians, and for all who do not hate themselves.

But how well disposed men are to understand them and to know Jesus
Christ, when they truly hate themselves!


676

A type conveys absence and presence, pleasure and pain.

A cipher has a double meaning, one clear, and one in which it is said
that the meaning is hidden.


677

_Types._--A portrait conveys absence and presence, pleasure and pain.
The reality excludes absence and pain.

To know if the law and the sacrifices are a reality or a type, we must
see if the prophets, in speaking of these things, confined their view
and their thought to them, so that they saw only the old covenant; or if
they saw therein something else of which they were the representation,
for in a portrait we see the thing figured. For this we need only
examine what they say of them.

When they say that it will be eternal, do they mean to speak of that
covenant which they say will be changed; and so of the sacrifices, etc.?

A cipher has two meanings. When we find out an important letter in which
we discover a clear meaning, and in which it is nevertheless said that
the meaning is veiled and obscure, that it is hidden, so that we might
read the letter without seeing it, and interpret it without
understanding it, what must we think but that here is a cipher with a
double meaning, and the more so if we find obvious contradictions in the
literal meaning? The prophets have clearly said that Israel would be
always loved by God, and that the law would be eternal; and they have
said that their meaning would not be understood, and that it was veiled.

How greatly then ought we to value those who interpret the cipher, and
teach us to understand the hidden meaning, especially if the principles
which they educe are perfectly clear and natural! This is what Jesus
Christ did, and the Apostles. They broke the seal; He rent the veil, and
revealed the spirit. They have taught us through this that the enemies
of man are his passions; that the Redeemer would be spiritual, and His
reign spiritual; that there would be two advents, one in lowliness to
humble the proud, the other in glory to exalt the humble; that Jesus
Christ would be both God and man.


678

_Types._--Jesus Christ opened their mind to understand the Scriptures.

Two great revelations are these. (1) All things happened to them in
types: _vere Israëlitæ, vere liberi_, true bread from Heaven. (2) A God
humbled to the Cross. It was necessary that Christ should suffer in
order to enter into glory, "that He should destroy death through
death."[257] Two advents.


679

_Types._--When once this secret is disclosed, it is impossible not to
see it. Let us read the Old Testament in this light, and let us see if
the sacrifices were real; if the fatherhood of Abraham was the true
cause of the friendship of God; and if the promised land was the true
place of rest. No. They are therefore types. Let us in the same way
examine all those ordained ceremonies, all those commandments which are
not of charity, and we shall see that they are types.

All these sacrifices and ceremonies were then either types or nonsense.
Now these are things too clear, and too lofty, to be thought nonsense.

To know if the prophets confined their view in the Old Testament, or saw
therein other things.


680

_Typical._--The key of the cipher. _Veri adoratores._[258]--_Ecce agnus
Dei qui tollit peccata mundi._[259]


681

Is. i, 21. Change of good into evil, and the vengeance of God. Is. x, I;
xxvi, 20; xxviii, I. Miracles: Is. xxxiii, 9; xl, 17; xli, 26; xliii,
13.

Jer. xi, 21; xv, 12; xvii, 9. _Pravum est cor omnium et incrustabile;
quis cognoscet illud?_ that is to say, Who can know all its evil? For it
is already known to be wicked. _Ego dominus_, etc.--vii, 14, _Faciam
domui huic_, etc. Trust in external sacrifices--vii, 22, _Quia non sum
locutus_, etc. Outward sacrifice is not the essential point--xi, 13,
_Secundum numerum_, etc. A multitude of doctrines.

Is. xliv, 20-24; liv, 8; lxiii, 12-17; lxvi, 17. Jer. ii, 35; iv, 22-24;
v, 4, 29-31; vi, 16; xxiii, 15-17.


682

_Types_,--The letter kills. All happened in types. Here is the cipher
which Saint Paul gives us. Christ must suffer. An humiliated God.
Circumcision of the heart, true fasting, true sacrifice, a true temple.
The prophets have shown that all these must be spiritual.

Not the meat which perishes, but that which does not perish.

"Ye shall be free indeed."[260] Then the other freedom was only a type
of freedom.

"I am the true bread from Heaven."[261]


683

_Contradiction._--We can only describe a good character by reconciling
all contrary qualities, and it is not enough to keep up a series of
harmonious qualities, without reconciling contradictory ones. To
understand the meaning of an author, we must make all the contrary
passages agree.

Thus, to understand Scripture, we must have a meaning in which all the
contrary passages are reconciled. It is not enough to have one which
suits many concurring passages; but it is necessary to have one which
reconciles even contradictory passages.

Every author has a meaning in which all the contradictory passages
agree, or he has no meaning at all. We cannot affirm the latter of
Scripture and the prophets; they undoubtedly are full of good sense. We
must then seek for a meaning which reconciles all discrepancies.

The true meaning then is not that of the Jews; but in Jesus Christ all
the contradictions are reconciled.

The Jews could not reconcile the cessation of the royalty and
principality, foretold by Hosea, with the prophecy of Jacob.

If we take the law, the sacrifices, and the kingdom as realities, we
cannot reconcile all the passages. They must then necessarily be only
types. We cannot even reconcile the passages of the same author, nor of
the same book, nor sometimes of the same chapter, which indicates
copiously what was the meaning of the author. As when Ezekiel, chap, xx,
says that man will not live by the commandments of God and will live by
them.


684

_Types._--If the law and the sacrifices are the truth, it must please
God, and must not displease Him. If they are types, they must be both
pleasing and displeasing.

Now in all the Scripture they are both pleasing and displeasing. It is
said that the law shall be changed; that the sacrifice shall be changed;
that they shall be without law, without a prince, and without a
sacrifice; that a new covenant shall be made; that the law shall be
renewed; that the precepts which they have received are not good; that
their sacrifices are abominable; that God has demanded none of them.

It is said, on the contrary, that the law shall abide for ever; that
this covenant shall be for ever; that sacrifice shall be eternal; that
the sceptre shall never depart from among them, because it shall not
depart from them till the eternal King comes.

Do all these passages indicate what is real? No. Do they then indicate
what is typical? No, but what is either real or typical. But the first
passages, excluding as they do reality, indicate that all this is only
typical.

All these passages together cannot be applied to reality; all can be
said to be typical; therefore they are not spoken of reality, but of the
type.

_Agnus occisus est ab origine mundi._[262] A sacrificing judge.


685

_Contradictions._--The sceptre till the Messiah--without king or prince.

The eternal law--changed.

The eternal covenant--a new covenant.

Good laws--bad precepts. Ezekiel.


686

_Types._--When the word of God, which is really true, is false
literally, it is true spiritually. _Sede a dextris meis:_[263] this is
false literally, therefore it is true spiritually.

In these expressions, God is spoken of after the manner of men; and
this means nothing else but that the intention which men have in giving
a seat at their right hand, God will have also. It is then an indication
of the intention of God, not of His manner of carrying it out.

Thus when it is said, "God has received the odour of your incense, and
will in recompense give you a rich land," that is equivalent to saying
that the same intention which a man would have, who, pleased with your
perfumes, should in recompense give you a rich land, God will have
towards you, because you have had the same intention as a man has
towards him to whom he presents perfumes. So _iratus est_, a "jealous
God,"[264] etc. For, the things of God being inexpressible, they cannot
be spoken of otherwise, and the Church makes use of them even to-day:
_Quia confortavil seras_,[265] etc.

It is not allowable to attribute to Scripture the meaning which is not
revealed to us that it has. Thus, to say that the closed _mem_[266] of
Isaiah signifies six hundred, has not been revealed. It might be said
that the final _tsade_ and _he deficientes_ may signify mysteries. But
it is not allowable to say so, and still less to say this is the way of
the philosopher's stone. But we say that the literal meaning is not the
true meaning, because the prophets have themselves said so.


687

I do not say that the _mem_ is mystical.


688

Moses (Deut. xxx) promises that God will circumcise their heart to
render them capable of loving Him.


689

One saying of David, or of Moses, as for instance that "God will
circumcise the heart," enables us to judge of their spirit. If all their
other expressions were ambiguous, and left us in doubt whether they were
philosophers or Christians, one saying of this kind would in fact
determine all the rest, as one sentence of Epictetus decides the meaning
of all the rest to be the opposite. So far ambiguity exists, but not
afterwards.


690

If one of two persons, who are telling silly stories, uses language with
a double meaning, understood in his own circle, while the other uses it
with only one meaning, any one not in the secret, who hears them both
talk in this manner, will pass upon them the same judgment. But if
afterwards, in the rest of their conversation one says angelic things,
and the other always dull commonplaces, he will judge that the one spoke
in mysteries, and not the other; the one having sufficiently shown that
he is incapable of such foolishness, and capable of being mysterious;
and the other that he is incapable of mystery, and capable of
foolishness.

The Old Testament is a cipher.


691

There are some that see clearly that man has no other enemy than lust,
which turns him from God, and not God; and that he has no other good
than God, and not a rich land. Let those who believe that the good of
man is in the flesh, and evil in what turns him away from sensual
pleasures, [_satiate_] themselves with them, and [_die_] in them. But
let those who seek God with all their heart, who are only troubled at
not seeing Him, who desire only to possess Him, and have as enemies only
those who turn them away from Him, who are grieved at seeing themselves
surrounded and overwhelmed with such enemies, take comfort. I proclaim
to them happy news. There exists a Redeemer for them. I shall show Him
to them. I shall show that there is a God for them. I shall not show Him
to others. I shall make them see that a Messiah has been promised, who
should deliver them from their enemies, and that One has come to free
them from their iniquities, but not from their enemies.

When David foretold that the Messiah would deliver His people from their
enemies, one can believe that in the flesh these would be the Egyptians;
and then I cannot show that the prophecy was fulfilled. But one can well
believe also that the enemies would be their sins; for indeed the
Egyptians were not their enemies, but their sins were so. This word,
enemies, is therefore ambiguous. But if he says elsewhere, as he does,
that He will deliver His people from their sins, as indeed do Isaiah and
others, the ambiguity is removed, and the double meaning of enemies is
reduced to the simple meaning of iniquities. For if he had sins in his
mind, he could well denote them as enemies; but if he thought of
enemies, he could not designate them as iniquities.

Now Moses, David, and Isaiah used the same terms. Who will say then that
they have not the same meaning, and that David's meaning, which is
plainly iniquities when he spoke of enemies, was not the same as [_that
of_] Moses when speaking of enemies?

Daniel (ix) prays for the deliverance of the people from the captivity
of their enemies. But he was thinking of sins, and, to show this, he
says that Gabriel came to tell him that his prayer was heard, and that
there were only seventy weeks to wait, after which the people would be
freed from iniquity, sin would have an end, and the Redeemer, the Holy
of Holies, would bring _eternal_ justice, not legal, but eternal.



SECTION XI

THE PROPHECIES


692

When I see the blindness and the wretchedness of man, when I regard the
whole silent universe, and man without light, left to himself, and, as
it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has
put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death,
and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified, like a man who
should be carried in his sleep to a dreadful desert island, and should
awake without knowing where he is, and without means of escape. And
thereupon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall
into despair. I see other persons around me of a like nature. I ask them
if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not.
And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them,
and seen some pleasing objects, have given and attached themselves to
them. For my own part, I have not been able to attach myself to them,
and, considering how strongly it appears that there is something else
than what I see, I have examined whether this God has not left some sign
of Himself.

I see many contradictory religions, and consequently all false save one.
Each wants to be believed on its own authority, and threatens
unbelievers. I do not therefore believe them. Every one can say this;
every one can call himself a prophet. But I see that Christian religion
wherein prophecies are fulfilled; and that is what every one cannot do.


693

And what crowns all this is prediction, so that it should not be said
that it is chance which has done it.

Whosoever, having only a week to live, will not find out that it is
expedient to believe that all this is not a stroke of chance ...

Now, if the passions had no hold on us, a week and a hundred years would
amount to the same thing.


694

_Prophecies._--Great Pan is dead.[267]


695

_Susceperunt verbum cum omni aviditate, scrutantes Scripturas, si ita se
haberent._[268]


696

_Prodita lege._--_Impleta cerne._--_Implenda collige._


697

We understand the prophecies only when we see the events happen. Thus
the proofs of retreat, discretion, silence, etc. are proofs only to
those who know and believe them.

Joseph so internal in a law so external.

Outward penances dispose to inward, as humiliations to humility. Thus
the ...


698

The synagogue has preceded the church; the Jews, the Christians. The
prophets have foretold the Christians; Saint John, Jesus Christ.


699

It is glorious to see with the eyes of faith the history of Herod and of
Cæsar.


700

The zeal of the Jews for their law and their temple (Josephus, and Philo
the Jew, _Ad Caïum_). What other people had such a zeal? It was
necessary they should have it.

Jesus Christ foretold as to the time and the state of the world. The
ruler taken from the thigh,[269] and the fourth monarchy. How lucky we
are to see this light amidst this darkness!

How fine it is to see, with the eyes of faith, Darius and Cyrus,
Alexander, the Romans, Pompey and Herod working, without knowing it, for
the glory of the Gospel!


701

Zeal of the Jewish people for the law, especially after there were no
more prophets.


702

While the prophets were for maintaining the law, the people were
indifferent. But since there have been no more prophets, zeal has
succeeded them.


703

The devil troubled the zeal of the Jews before Jesus Christ, because he
would have been their salvation, but not since.

The Jewish people scorned by the Gentiles; the Christian people
persecuted.


704

_Proof._--Prophecies with their fulfilment; what has preceded and what
has followed Jesus Christ.


705

The prophecies are the strongest proof of Jesus Christ. It is for them
also that God has made most provision; for the event which has fulfilled
them is a miracle existing since the birth of the Church to the end. So
God has raised up prophets during sixteen hundred years, and, during
four hundred years afterwards, He has scattered all these prophecies
among all the Jews, who carried them into all parts of the world. Such
was the preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ, and, as His Gospel
was to be believed by all the world, it was not only necessary that
there should be prophecies to make it believed, but that these
prophecies should exist throughout the whole world, in order to make it
embraced by the whole world.


706

But it was not enough that the prophecies should exist. It was necessary
that they should be distributed throughout all places, and preserved
throughout all times. And in order that this agreement might not be
taken for an effect of chance, it was necessary that this should be
foretold.

It is far more glorious for the Messiah that the Jews should be the
spectators, and even the instruments of His glory, besides that God had
reserved them.


707

_Prophecies._--The time foretold by the state of the Jewish people, by
the state of the heathen, by the state of the temple, by the number of
years.


708

One must be bold to predict the same thing in so many ways. It was
necessary that the four idolatrous or pagan monarchies, the end of the
kingdom of Judah, and the seventy weeks, should happen at the same time,
and all this before the second temple was destroyed.


709

_Prophecies._--If one man alone had made a book of predictions about
Jesus Christ, as to the time and the manner, and Jesus Christ had come
in conformity to these prophecies, this fact would have infinite weight.

But there is much more here. Here is a succession of men during four
thousand years, who, consequently and without variation, come, one after
another, to foretell this same event. Here is a whole people who
announce it, and who have existed for four thousand years, in order to
give corporate testimony of the assurances which they have, and from
which they cannot be diverted by whatever threats and persecutions
people may make against them. This is far more important.


710

_Predictions of particular things._--They were strangers in Egypt,
without any private property, either in that country or elsewhere.
[There was not the least appearance, either of the royalty which had
previously existed so long, or of that supreme council of seventy judges
which they called the _Sanhedrin_, and which, having been instituted by
Moses, lasted to the time of Jesus Christ. All these things were as far
removed from their state at that time as they could be], when Jacob,
dying, and blessing his twelve children, declared to them, that they
would be proprietors of a great land, and foretold in particular to the
family of Judah, that the kings, who would one day rule them, should be
of his race; and that all his brethren should be their subjects; [and
that even the Messiah, who was to be the expectation of nations, should
spring from him; and that the kingship should not be taken away from
Judah, nor the ruler and law-giver of his descendants, till the expected
Messiah should arrive in his family].

This same Jacob, disposing of this future land as though he had been its
ruler, gave a portion to Joseph more than to the others. "I give you,"
said he, "one part more than to your brothers." And blessing his two
children, Ephraim and Manasseh, whom Joseph had presented to him, the
elder, Manasseh, on his right, and the young Ephraim on his left, he put
his arms crosswise, and placing his right hand on the head of Ephraim,
and his left on Manasseh, he blessed them in this manner. And, upon
Joseph's representing to him that he was preferring the younger, he
replied to him with admirable resolution: "I know it well, my son; but
Ephraim will increase more than Manasseh." This has been indeed so true
in the result, that, being alone almost as fruitful as the two entire
lines which composed a whole kingdom, they have been usually called by
the name of Ephraim alone.

This same Joseph, when dying, bade his children carry his bones with
them when they should go into that land, to which they only came two
hundred years afterwards.

Moses, who wrote all these things so long before they happened, himself
assigned to each family portions of that land before they entered it, as
though he had been its ruler. [In fact he declared that God was to raise
up from their nation and their race a prophet, of whom he was the type;
and he foretold them exactly all that was to happen to them in the land
which they were to enter after his death, the victories which God would
give them, their ingratitude towards God, the punishments which they
would receive for it, and the rest of their adventures.] He gave them
judges who should make the division. He prescribed the entire form of
political government which they should observe, the cities of refuge
which they should build, and ...


711

The prophecies about particular things are mingled with those about the
Messiah, so that the prophecies of the Messiah should not be without
proofs, nor the special prophecies without fruit.


712

_Perpetual captivity of the Jews._--Jer. xi, 11: "I will bring evil upon
Judah from which they shall not be able to escape."

_Types._--Is. v: "The Lord had a vineyard, from which He looked for
grapes; and it brought forth only wild grapes. I will therefore lay it
waste, and destroy it; the earth shall only bring forth thorns, and I
will forbid the clouds from _[raining]_ upon it. The vineyard of the
Lord is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant. I
looked that they should do justice, and they bring forth only
iniquities."

Is. viii: "Sanctify the Lord with fear and trembling; let Him be your
only dread, and He shall be to you for a sanctuary, but for a stone of
stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin
and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and many among them
shall stumble against that stone, and fall, and be broken, and be
snared, and perish. Hide my words, and cover my law for my disciples.

"I will then wait in patience upon the Lord that hideth and concealeth
Himself from the house of Jacob."

Is. xxix: "Be amazed and wonder, people of Israel; stagger and stumble,
and be drunken, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink.
For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. He will
close your eyes; He will cover your princes and your prophets that have
visions." (Daniel xii: "The wicked shall not understand, but the wise
shall understand." Hosea, the last chapter, the last verse, after many
temporal blessings, says: "Who is wise, and he shall understand these
things, etc.?") "And the visions of all the prophets are become unto you
as a sealed book, which men deliver to one that is learned, and who can
read; and he saith, I cannot read it, for it is sealed. And when the
book is delivered to them that are not learned, they say I am not
learned.

"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people with their lips do
honour me, but have removed their heart far from me,"--there is the
reason and the cause of it; for if they adored God in their hearts, they
would understand the prophecies,--"and their fear towards me is taught
by the precept of man. Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a
marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder;
for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and their understanding
shall be [hid]."

_Prophecies. Proofs of Divinity._--Is. xli: "Shew the things that are to
come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: we will incline our
heart unto your words. Teach us the things that have been at the
beginning, and declare us things for to come.

"By this we shall know that ye are gods. Yea, do good or do evil, if you
can. Let us then behold it and reason together. Behold, ye are of
nothing, and only an abomination, etc. Who," (among contemporary
writers), "hath declared from the beginning that we may know of the
things done from the beginning and origin? that we may say, You are
righteous. There is none that teacheth us, yea, there is none that
declareth the future."

Is. xlii: "I am the Lord, and my glory will I not give to another. I
have foretold the things which have come to pass, and things that are to
come do I declare. Sing unto God a new song in all the earth.

"Bring forth the blind people that have eyes and see not, and the deaf
that have ears and hear not. Let all the nations be gathered together.
Who among them can declare this, and shew us former things, and things
to come? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be
justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

"Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen;
that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am He.

"I have declared, and have saved, and I alone have done wonders before
your eyes: ye are my witnesses, said the Lord, that I am God.

"For your sake I have brought down the forces of the Babylonians. I am
the Lord, your Holy One and creator.

"I have made a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters. I am He
that drowned and destroyed for ever the mighty enemies that have
resisted you.

"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not
know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the
desert.

"This people have I formed for myself; I have established them to shew
forth my praise, etc.

"I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own
sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put in remembrance your
ingratitude: see thou, if thou mayest be justified. Thy first father
hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me."

Is. xliv: "I am the first, and I am the last, saith the Lord. Let him
who will equal himself to me, declare the order of things since I
appointed the ancient people, and the things that are coming. Fear ye
not: have I not told you all these things? Ye are my witnesses."

_Prophecy of Cyrus._--Is. xlv, 4: "For Jacob's sake, mine elect, I have
called thee by thy name."

Is. xlv, 21: "Come and let us reason together. Who hath declared this
from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I, the
Lord?"

Is. xlvi: "Remember the former things of old, and know there is none
like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times
the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I
will do all my pleasure."

Is. xlii: "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do
I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them."

Is. xlviii, 3: "I have declared the former things from the beginning; I
did them suddenly; and they came to pass. Because I know that thou art
obstinate, that thy spirit is rebellious, and thy brow brass; I have
even declared it to thee before it came to pass: lest thou shouldst say
that it was the work of thy gods, and the effect of their commands.

"Thou hast seen all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee
new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know
them. They are created now, and not from the beginning; I have kept them
hidden from thee; lest thou shouldst say, Behold, I knew them.

"Yea, thou knewest not; yea, thou heardest not; yea, from that time that
thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou couldst deal very
treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb."

_Reprobation of the Jews and conversion of the Gentiles._--Is. lxv: "I
am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought
me not; I said, Behold me, behold me, behold me, unto a nation that did
not call upon my name.

"I have spread out my hands all the day unto an unbelieving people,
which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; a
people that provoketh me to anger continually by the sins they commit in
my face; that sacrificeth to idols, etc.

"These shall be scattered like smoke in the day of my wrath, etc.

"Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers, will I assemble
together, and will recompense you for all according to your works.

"Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one
saith, Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it [and the promise of
fruit]: for my servants' sake I will not destroy all Israel.

"Thus I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob and out of Judah, an
inheritor of my mountains, and mine elect and my servants shall inherit
it, and my fertile and abundant plains; but I will destroy all others,
because you have forgotten your God to serve strange gods. I called, and
ye did not answer; I spake, and ye did not hear; and ye did choose the
thing which I forbade.

"Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye
shall be hungry; my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed; my
servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry and howl for
vexation of spirit.

"And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord
shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name, that he who
blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in God, etc., because
the former troubles are forgotten.

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former
things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

"But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for,
behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

"And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in my people; and the voice of
weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

"Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I
will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall
eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They
shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain."

Is. lvi, 3: "Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for
my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

"Blessed is the man that doeth this, that keepeth the Sabbath, and
keepeth his hand from doing any evil.

"Neither let the strangers that have joined themselves to me, say, God
will separate me from His people. For thus saith the Lord: Whoever will
keep my Sabbath, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of
my covenant; even unto them will I give in mine house a place and a name
better than that of sons and of daughters: I will give them an
everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."

Is. lix, 9: "Therefore for our iniquities is justice far from us: we
wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in
darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind; we stumble at noon day
as in the night: we are in desolate places as dead men.

"We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves; we look for
judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us."

Is. lxvi, 18: "But I know their works and their thoughts; it shall come
that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall see my glory.

"And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of
them unto the nations, to Africa, to Lydia, to Italy, to Greece, and to
the people that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory. And
they shall bring your brethren."

Jer. vii. _Reprobation of the Temple_: "Go ye unto Shiloth, where I set
my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my
people. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, I
will do unto this house, wherein my name is called upon, wherein ye
trust, and unto the place which I gave to your priests, as I have done
to Shiloth." (For I have rejected it, and made myself a temple
elsewhere.)

"And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your
brethren, even the seed of Ephraim." (Rejected for ever.) "Therefore
pray not for this people."

Jer. vii, 22: "What avails it you to add sacrifice to sacrifice? For I
spake not unto your fathers, when I brought them out of the land of
Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this thing
commanded I them, saying, Obey and be faithful to my commandments, and I
will be your God, and ye shall be my people." (It was only after they
had sacrificed to the golden calf that I gave myself sacrifices to turn
into good an evil custom.)

Jer. vii, 4: "Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the
Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are these."


713

The Jews witnesses for God. Is. xliii, 9; xliv, 8.

_Prophecies fulfilled._--I Kings xiii, 2.--I Kings xxiii, 16.--Joshua
vi, 26.--I Kings xvi, 34.--Deut. xxiii.

Malachi i, II. The sacrifice of the Jews rejected, and the sacrifice of
the heathen, (even out of Jerusalem,) and in all places.

Moses, before dying, foretold the calling of the Gentiles, Deut. xxxii,
21, and the reprobation of the Jews.

Moses foretold what would happen to each tribe.

_Prophecy._--"Your name shall be a curse unto mine elect, and I will
give them another name."

"Make their heart fat,"[270] and how? by flattering their lust and
making them hope to satisfy it.


714

_Prophecy._--Amos and Zechariah. They have sold the just one, and
therefore will not be recalled.--Jesus Christ betrayed.

They shall no more remember Egypt. See Is. xliii, 16, 17, 18, 19. Jer.
xxiii, 6, 7.

_Prophecy._--The Jews shall be scattered abroad. Is. xxvii, 6.--A new
law, Jerem. xxxi, 32.

Malachi. _Grotius._--The second temple glorious.--Jesus Christ will
come. Haggai ii, 7, 8, 9, 10.

The calling of the Gentiles. Joel ii, 28. Hosea ii, 24. Deut. xxxii, 21.
Malachi i, 11.


715

Hosea iii.--Is. xlii, xlviii, liv, lx, lxi, last verse. "I foretold it
long since that they might know that it is I." Jaddus to Alexander.


716

[_Prophecies._--The promise that David will always have descendants.
Jer. xiii, 13.]


717

The eternal reign of the race of David, 2 Chron., by all the prophecies,
and with an oath. And it was not temporally fulfilled. Jer. xxiii, 20.


718

We might perhaps think that, when the prophets foretold that the sceptre
should not depart from Judah until the eternal King came, they spoke to
flatter the people, and that their prophecy was proved false by Herod.
But to show that this was not their meaning, and that, on the contrary,
they knew well that this temporal kingdom should cease, they said that
they would be without a king and without a prince, and for a long time.
Hosea iii, 4.


719

_Non habemus regem nisi Cæsarem._[271] Therefore Jesus Christ was the
Messiah, since they had no longer any king but a stranger, and would
have no other.


720

We have no king but Cæsar.


721

Daniel ii: "All thy soothsayers and wise men cannot shew unto thee the
secret which thou hast demanded. But there is a God in heaven who can do
so, and that hath revealed to thee in thy dream what shall be in the
latter days," (This dream must have caused him much misgiving.)

"And it is not by my own wisdom that I have knowledge of this secret,
but by the revelation of this same God, that hath revealed it to me, to
make it manifest in thy presence.

"Thy dream was then of this kind. Thou sawest a great image, high and
terrible, which stood before thee. His head was of gold, his breast and
arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his
feet part of iron and part of clay. Thus thou sawest till that a stone
was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet, that
were of iron and of clay, and brake them to pieces.

"Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken
to pieces together, and the wind carried them away; but this stone that
smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
This is the dream, and now I will give thee the interpretation thereof.

"Thou who art the greatest of kings, and to whom God hath given a power
so vast that thou art renowned among all peoples, art the head of gold
which thou hast seen. But after thee shall arise another kingdom
inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear
rule over all the earth.

"But the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, and even as iron
breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things, so shall this empire break
in pieces and bruise all.

"And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of clay and part of
iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the
strength of iron and of the weakness of clay.

"But as iron cannot be firmly mixed with clay, so they who are
represented by the iron and by the clay, shall not cleave one to another
though united by marriage.

"Now in the days of these kings shall God set up a kingdom, which shall
never be destroyed, nor ever be delivered up to other people. It shall
break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for
ever, according as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the
mountain without hands, and that it fell from the mountain, and brake in
pieces the iron, the clay, the silver, and the gold. God hath made known
to thee what shall come to pass hereafter. This dream is certain, and
the interpretation thereof sure.

"Then Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face towards the earth," etc.

Daniel viii, 8. "Daniel having seen the combat of the ram and of the
he-goat, who vanquished him and ruled over the earth, whereof the
principal horn being broken four others came up toward the four winds of
heaven, and out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed
exceedingly great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the
land of Israel, and it waxed great even to the host of heaven; and it
cast down some of the stars, and stamped upon them, and at last
overthrew the prince, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and
the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

"This is what Daniel saw. He sought the meaning of it, and a voice cried
in this manner, 'Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision,' And
Gabriel said:

"The ram which thou sawest is the king of the Medes and Persians, and
the he-goat is the king of Greece, and the great horn that is between
his eyes is the first king of this monarchy.

"Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms
shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when iniquities are come to
the full, there shall arise a king, insolent and strong, but not by his
own power, to whom all things shall succeed after his own will; and he
shall destroy the holy people, and through his policy also he shall
cause craft to prosper in his hand, and he shall destroy many. He shall
also stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall perish
miserably, and nevertheless by a violent hand."

Daniel ix, 20. "Whilst I was praying with all my heart, and confessing
my sin and the sin of all my people, and prostrating myself before my
God, even Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, came
to me and touched me about the time of the evening oblation, and he
informed me and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee the
knowledge of things. At the beginning of thy supplications I came to
shew that which thou didst desire, for thou are greatly beloved:
therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks
are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the
transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to abolish iniquity, and
to bring in everlasting righteousness; to accomplish the vision and the
prophecies, and to anoint the Most Holy. (After which this people shall
be no more thy people, nor this city the holy city. The times of wrath
shall be passed, and the years of grace shall come for ever.)

"Know therefore, and understand, that, from the going forth of the
commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the
Prince, shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks." (The
Hebrews were accustomed to divide numbers, and to place the small first.
Thus, 7 and 62 make 69. Of this 70 there will then remain the 70th, that
is to say, the 7 last years of which he will speak next.)

"The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
And after three score and two weeks," (which have followed the first
seven. Christ will then be killed after the sixty-nine weeks, that is to
say, in the last week), "the Christ shall be cut off, and a people of
the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and
overwhelm all, and the end of that war shall accomplish the desolation."

"Now one week," (which is the seventieth, which remains), "shall confirm
the covenant with many, and in the midst of the week," (that is to say,
the last three and a half years), "he shall cause the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall
make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall
be poured upon the desolate."

Daniel xi. "The angel said to Daniel: There shall stand up yet," (after
Cyrus, under whom this still is), "three kings in Persia," (Cambyses,
Smerdis, Darius); "and the fourth who shall then come," (Xerxes) "shall
be far richer than they all, and far stronger, and shall stir up all his
people against the Greeks.

"But a mighty king shall stand up," (Alexander), "that shall rule with
great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand
up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided in four parts
toward the four winds of heaven," (as he had said above, vii, 6; viii,
8), "but not his posterity; and his successors shall not equal his
power, for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others besides
these," (his four chief successors).

"And the king of the south," (Ptolemy, son of Lagos, Egypt), "shall be
strong; but one of his princes shall be strong above him, and his
dominion shall be a great dominion," (Seleucus, King of Syria. Appian
says that he was the most powerful of Alexander's successors).

"And in the end of years they shall join themselves together, and the
king's daughter of the south," (Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy
Philadelphus, son of the other Ptolemy), "shall come to the king of the
north," (to Antiochus Deus, King of Syria and of Asia, son of Seleucus
Lagidas), "to make peace between these princes.

"But neither she nor her seed shall have a long authority; for she and
they that brought her, and her children, and her friends, shall be
delivered to death." (Berenice and her son were killed by Seleucus
Callinicus.)

"But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up," (Ptolemy
Euergetes was the issue of the same father as Berenice), "which shall
come with a mighty army into the land of the king of the north, where he
shall put all under subjection, and he shall also carry captive into
Egypt their gods, their princes, their gold, their silver, and all their
precious spoils," (if he had not been called into Egypt by domestic
reasons, says Justin, he would have entirely stripped Seleucus); "and he
shall continue several years when the king of the north can do nought
against him.

"And so he shall return into his kingdom. But his sons shall be stirred
up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces," (Seleucus Ceraunus,
Antiochus the Great). "And their army shall come and overthrow all;
wherefore the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall
also form a great army, and fight him," (Ptolemy Philopator against
Antiochus the Great at Raphia), "and conquer; and his troops shall
become insolent, and his heart shall be lifted up," (this Ptolemy
desecrated the temple; Josephus): "he shall cast down many ten
thousands, but he shall not be strengthened by it. For the king of the
north," (Antiochus the Great), "shall return with a greater multitude
than before, and in those times also a great number of enemies shall
stand up against the king of the south," (during the reign of the young
Ptolemy Epiphanes); "also the apostates and robbers of thy people shall
exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall." (Those
who abandon their religion to please Euergetes, when he will send his
troops to Scopas; for Antiochus will again take Scopas, and conquer
them.) "And the king of the north shall destroy the fenced cities, and
the arms of the south shall not withstand, and all shall yield to his
will; he shall stand in the land of Israel, and it shall yield to him.
And thus he shall think to make himself master of all the empire of
Egypt," (despising the youth of Epiphanes, says Justin). "And for that
he shall make alliance with him, and give his daughter" (Cleopatra, in
order that she may betray her husband. On which Appian says that
doubting his ability to make himself master of Egypt by force, because
of the protection of the Romans, he wished to attempt it by cunning).
"He shall wish to corrupt her, but she shall not stand on his side,
neither be for him. Then he shall turn his face to other designs, and
shall think to make himself master of some isles," (that is to say,
seaports), "and shall take many," (as Appian says).

"But a prince shall oppose his conquests," (Scipio Africanus, who
stopped the progress of Antiochus the Great, because he offended the
Romans in the person of their allies), "and shall cause the reproach
offered by him to cease. He shall then return into his kingdom and there
perish, and be no more." (He was slain by his soldiers.)

"And he who shall stand up in his estate," (Seleucus Philopator or
Soter, the son of Antiochus the Great), "shall be a tyrant, a raiser of
taxes in the glory of the kingdom," (which means the people), "but
within a few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger nor in battle.
And in his place shall stand up a vile person, unworthy of the honour of
the kingdom, but he shall come in cleverly by flatteries. All armies
shall bend before him; he shall conquer them, and even the prince with
whom he has made a covenant. For having renewed the league with him, he
shall work deceitfully, and enter with a small people into his province,
peaceably and without fear. He shall take the fattest places, and shall
do that which his fathers have not done, and ravage on all sides. He
shall forecast great devices during his time."


722

_Prophecies._--The seventy weeks of Daniel are ambiguous as regards
the term of commencement, because of the terms of the prophecy; and as
regards the term of conclusion, because of the differences among
chronologists. But all this difference extends only to two hundred
years.


723

_Predictions._--That in the fourth monarchy, before the destruction of
the second temple, before the dominion of the Jews was taken away, in
the seventieth week of Daniel, during the continuance of the second
temple, the heathen should be instructed, and brought to the knowledge
of the God worshipped by the Jews; that those who loved Him should be
delivered from their enemies, and filled with His fear and love.

And it happened that in the fourth monarchy, before the destruction of
the second temple, etc., the heathen in great number worshipped God, and
led an angelic life. Maidens dedicated their virginity and their life to
God. Men renounced their pleasures. What Plato could only make
acceptable to a few men, specially chosen and instructed, a secret
influence imparted, by the power of a few words, to a hundred million
ignorant men.

The rich left their wealth. Children left the dainty homes of their
parents to go into the rough desert. (See Philo the Jew.) All this was
foretold a great while ago. For two thousand years no heathen had
worshipped the God of the Jews; and at the time foretold, a great number
of the heathen worshipped this only God. The temples were destroyed. The
very kings made submission to the cross. All this was due to the Spirit
of God, which was spread abroad upon the earth.

No heathen, since Moses until Jesus Christ, believed according to the
very Rabbis. A great number of the heathen, after Jesus Christ, believed
in the books of Moses, kept them in substance and spirit, and only
rejected what was useless.


724

_Prophecies._--The conversion of the Egyptians (Isaiah xix, 19); an
altar in Egypt to the true God.


725

_Prophecies._--_In Egypt._--_Pugio Fidei_, p. 659. _Talmud._

"It is a tradition among us, that, when the Messiah shall come, the
house of God, destined for the dispensation of His Word, shall be full
of filth and impurity; and that the wisdom of the scribes shall be
corrupt and rotten. Those who shall be afraid to sin, shall be rejected
by the people, and treated as senseless fools."

Is. xlix: "Listen, O isles, unto me, and hearken, ye people, from afar:
The Lord hath called me by my name from the womb of my mother; in the
shadow of His hand hath He hid me, and hath made my words like a sharp
sword, and said unto me, Thou art my servant in whom I will be
glorified. Then I said, Lord, have I laboured in vain? have I spent my
strength for nought? yet surely my judgment is with Thee, O Lord, and my
work with Thee. And now, saith the Lord, that formed me from the womb to
be His servant, to bring Jacob and Israel again to Him, Thou shalt be
glorious in my sight, and I will be thy strength. It is a light thing
that thou shouldst convert the tribes of Jacob; I have raised thee up
for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the
ends of the earth. Thus saith the Lord to him whom man despiseth, to him
whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Princes and kings
shall worship thee, because the Lord is faithful that hath chosen thee.

"Again saith the Lord unto me, I have heard thee in the days of
salvation and of mercy, and I will preserve thee for a covenant of the
people, to cause to inherit the desolate nations, that thou mayest say
to the prisoners: Go forth; to them that are in darkness show
yourselves, and possess these abundant and fertile lands. They shall not
hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them; for he
that hath mercy upon them shall lead them, even by the springs of waters
shall he guide them, and make the mountains a way before them. Behold,
the peoples shall come from all parts, from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south. Let the heavens give glory to God;
let the earth be joyful; for it hath pleased the Lord to comfort His
people, and He will have mercy upon the poor who hope in Him.

"Yet Sion dared to say: The Lord hath forsaken me, and hath forgotten
me. Can a woman forget her child, that she should not have compassion on
the son of her womb? but if she forget, yet will not I forget thee, O
Sion. I will bear thee always between my hands, and thy walls are
continually before me. They that shall build thee are come, and thy
destroyers shall go forth of thee. Lift up thine eyes round about, and
behold; all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I
live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as
with an ornament. Thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy
destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants,
and the children thou shalt have after thy barrenness shall say again in
thy ears: The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may
dwell. Then shalt thou say in thy heart: Who hath begotten me these,
seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing
to and fro? and who brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these,
where had they been? And the Lord shall say to thee: Behold, I will lift
up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and
they shall bring thy sons in their arms and in their bosoms. And kings
shall be their nursing fathers, and queens their nursing mothers; they
shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the
dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall
not be ashamed that wait for me. Shall the prey be taken from the
mighty? But even if the captives be taken away from the strong, nothing
shall hinder me from saving thy children, and from destroying thy
enemies; and all flesh shall know that I am the Lord, thy Saviour and
thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

"Thus saith the Lord: What is the bill of this divorcement, wherewith I
have put away the synagogue? and why have I delivered it into the hands
of your enemies? Is it not for your iniquities and for your
transgressions that I have put it away?

"For I came, and no man received me; I called and there was none to
hear. Is my arm shortened, that I cannot redeem?

"Therefore I will show the tokens of mine anger; I will clothe the
heavens with darkness, and make sackcloth their covering.

"The Lord hath given me the tongue of the learned that I should know how
to speak a word in season to him that is weary. He hath opened mine ear,
and I have listened to Him as a master.

"The Lord hath revealed His will, and I was not rebellious.

"I gave my body to the smiters, and my cheeks to outrage; I hid not my
face from shame and spitting. But the Lord hath helped me; therefore I
have not been confounded.

"He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? who will be
mine adversary, and accuse me of sin, God himself being my protector?

"All men shall pass away, and be consumed by time; let those that fear
God hearken to the voice of His servant; let him that languisheth in
darkness put his trust in the Lord. But as for you, ye do but kindle the
wrath of God upon you; ye walk in the light of your fire and in the
sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall
lie down in sorrow.

"Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the
Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit
whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah
that bare you: for I called him alone, when childless, and increased
him. Behold, I have comforted Zion, and heaped upon her blessings and
consolations.

"Hearken unto me, my people, and give ear unto me: for a law shall
proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the
Gentiles."

Amos viii. The prophet, having enumerated the sins of Israel, said that
God had sworn to take vengeance on them.

He says this: "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord,
that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the
earth in the clear day; and I will turn your feasts into mourning, and
all your songs into lamentation.

"You all shall have sorrow and suffering, and I will make this nation
mourn as for an only son, and the end therefore as a bitter day. Behold,
the days come, saith the Lord, that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words
of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north
even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the
Lord, and shall not find it.

"In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. They
that have followed the idols of Samaria, and sworn by the god of Dan,
and followed the manner of Beersheba, shall fall, and never rise up
again."

Amos iii, 2: "Ye only have I known of all the families of the earth for
my people."

Daniel xii, 7. Having described all the extent of the reign of the
Messiah, he says: "All these things shall be finished, when the
scattering of the people of Israel shall be accomplished."

Haggai ii, 4: "Ye who, comparing this second house with the glory of the
first, despise it, be strong, saith the Lord, be strong, O Zerubbabel,
and O Jesus, the high priest, be strong, all ye people of the land, and
work. For I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts; according to the word
that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit
remaineth among you. Fear ye not. For thus saith the Lord of hosts: Yet
one little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the
sea, and the dry land," (a way of speaking to indicate a great and an
extraordinary change); "and I will shake all nations, and the desire of
all the Gentiles shall come; and I will fill this house with glory,
saith the Lord.

"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord," (that is to
say, it is not by that that I wish to be honoured; as it is said
elsewhere: All the beasts of the field are mine, what advantages me that
they are offered me in sacrifice?). "The glory of this latter house
shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts; and in
this place will I establish my house, saith the Lord.

"According to all that thou desiredst in Horeb in the day of the
assembly, saying, Let us not hear again the voice of the Lord, neither
let us see this fire any more, that we die not.[272] And the Lord said
unto me, Their prayer is just. I will raise them up a prophet from among
their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and
he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come
to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he will
speak in my name, I will require it of him."

Genesis xlix: "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise, and
thou shalt conquer thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down
before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art
gone up, and art couched as a lion, and as a lioness that shall be
roused up.

"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between
his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the
people be."


726

_During the life of the Messiah._--_Ænigmatis._--Ezek. xvii.

His forerunner. Malachi iii.

He will be born an infant. Is. ix.

He will be born in the village of Bethlehem. Micah v. He will appear
chiefly in Jerusalem, and will be a descendant of the family of Judah
and of David.

He is to blind the learned and the wise, Is. vi, viii, xxix, etc.; and
to preach the Gospel to the lowly, Is. xxix; to open the eyes of the
blind, give health to the sick, and bring light to those that languish
in darkness. Is. lxi.

He is to show the perfect way, and be the teacher of the Gentiles. Is.
lv; xlii, 1-7.

The prophecies are to be unintelligible to the wicked, Dan. xii; Hosea
xiv, 10; but they are to be intelligible to those who are well informed.

The prophecies, which represent Him as poor, represent Him as master of
the nations. Is. lii, 14, etc.; liii; Zech. ix, 9.

The prophecies, which foretell the time, foretell Him only as master of
the nations and suffering, and not as in the clouds nor as judge. And
those, which represent Him thus as judge and in glory, do not mention
the time. When the Messiah is spoken of as great and glorious, it is as
the judge of the world, and not its Redeemer.

He is to be the victim for the sins of the world. Is. xxxix, liii, etc.

He is to be the precious corner-stone. Is. xxviii, 16.

He is to be a stone of stumbling and offence. Is. viii. Jerusalem is to
dash against this stone.

The builders are to reject this stone. Ps. cxvii, 22.

God is to make this stone the chief corner-stone.

And this stone is to grow into a huge mountain, and fill the whole
earth. Dan. ii.

So He is to be rejected, despised, betrayed (Ps. cviii, 8), sold (Zech.
xi, 12), spit upon, buffeted, mocked, afflicted in innumerable ways,
given gall to drink (Ps. lxviii), pierced (Zech. xii), His feet and His
hands pierced, slain, and lots cast for His raiment.

He will raise again (Ps. xv) the third day (Hosea vi, 3).

He will ascend to heaven to sit on the right hand. Ps. cx.

The kings will arm themselves against Him. Ps. ii.

Being on the right hand of the Father, He will be victorious over His
enemies.

The kings of the earth and all nations will worship Him. Is. lx.

The Jews will continue as a nation. Jeremiah.

They will wander, without kings, etc. (Hosea iii), without prophets
(Amos), looking for salvation and finding it not (Isaiah).

Calling of the Gentiles by Jesus Christ. Is. lii, 15; lv, 5; lx, etc.
Ps. lxxxi.

Hosea i, 9: "Ye are not my people, and I will not be your God, when ye
are multiplied after the dispersion. In the places where it was said, Ye
are not my people, I will call them my people."


727

It was not lawful to sacrifice outside of Jerusalem, which was the place
that the Lord had chosen, nor even to eat the tithes elsewhere. Deut.
xii, 5, etc.; Deut. xiv, 23, etc.; xv, 20; xvi, 2, 7, 11, 15.

Hosea foretold that they should be without a king, without a prince,
without a sacrifice, and without an idol; and this prophecy is now
fulfilled, as they cannot make a lawful sacrifice out of Jerusalem.


728

_Predictions._--It was foretold that, in the time of the Messiah, He
should come to establish a new covenant, which should make them forget
the escape from Egypt (Jer. xxiii, 5; Is. xliii, 10); that He should
place His law not in externals, but in the heart; that He should put His
fear, which had only been from without, in the midst of the heart. Who
does not see the Christian law in all this?


729

... That then idolatry would be overthrown; that this Messiah would cast
down all idols, and bring men into the worship of the true God.

That the temples of the idols would be cast down, and that among all
nations, and in all places of the earth, He would be offered a pure
sacrifice, not of beasts.

That He would be king of the Jews and Gentiles. And we see this king of
the Jews and Gentiles oppressed by both, who conspire His death; and
ruler of both, destroying the worship of Moses in Jerusalem, which was
its centre, where He made His first Church; and also the worship of
idols in Rome, the centre of it, where He made His chief Church.


730

_Prophecies._--That Jesus Christ will sit on the right hand, till God
has subdued His enemies.

Therefore He will not subdue them Himself.


731

"... Then they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, saying,
Here is the Lord, _for God shall make Himself known to all._"[273]

"... Your sons shall prophesy."[274] "I will put my spirit and my fear
_in your heart_."

All that is the same thing. To prophesy is to speak of God, not from
outward proofs, but from an inward and immediate feeling.


732

That He would teach men the perfect way.

And there has never come, before Him nor after Him, any man who has
taught anything divine approaching to this.


733

... That Jesus Christ would be small in His beginning, and would then
increase. The little stone of Daniel.

If I had in no wise heard of the Messiah, nevertheless, after such
wonderful predictions of the course of the world which I see fulfilled,
I see that He is divine. And if I knew that these same books foretold a
Messiah, I should be sure that He would come; and seeing that they place
His time before the destruction of the second temple, I should say that
He had come.


734

_Prophecies._--That the Jews would reject Jesus Christ, and would be
rejected of God, for this reason, that the chosen vine brought forth
only wild grapes. That the chosen people would be fruitless, ungrateful,
and unbelieving, _populum non credentem et contradicentem_.[275] That
God would strike them with blindness, and in full noon they would grope
like the blind; and that a forerunner would go before Him.


735

_Transfixerunt._ Zech. xii, 10.

That a deliverer should come, who would crush the demon's head, and free
His people from their sins, _ex omnibus iniquitatibus_; that there
should be a New Covenant, which would be eternal; that there should be
another priesthood after the order of Melchisedek, and it should be
eternal; that the Christ should be glorious, mighty, strong, and yet so
poor that He would not be recognised, nor taken for what He is, but
rejected and slain; that His people who denied Him should no longer be
His people; that the idolaters should receive Him, and take refuge in
Him; that He should leave Zion to reign in the centre of idolatry; that
nevertheless the Jews should continue for ever; that He should be of
Judah, and when there should be no longer a king.



SECTION XII

PROOFS OF JESUS CHRIST


736

... Therefore I reject all other religions. In that way I find an answer
to all objections. It is right that a God so pure should only reveal
Himself to those whose hearts are purified. Hence this religion is
lovable to me, and I find it now sufficiently justified by so divine a
morality. But I find more in it.

I find it convincing that, since the memory of man has lasted, it was
constantly announced to men that they were universally corrupt, but that
a Redeemer should come; that it was not one man who said it, but
innumerable men, and a whole nation expressly made for the purpose, and
prophesying for four thousand years. This is a nation which is more
ancient than every other nation. Their books, scattered abroad, are four
thousand years old.

The more I examine them, the more truths I find in them: an entire
nation foretell Him before His advent, and an entire nation worship Him
after His advent; what has preceded and what has followed; in short,
people without idols and kings, this synagogue which was foretold, and
these wretches who frequent it, and who, being our enemies, are
admirable witnesses of the truth of these prophecies, wherein their
wretchedness and even their blindness are foretold.

I find this succession, this religion, wholly divine in its authority,
in its duration, in its perpetuity, in its morality, in its conduct, in
its doctrine, in its effects. The frightful darkness of the Jews was
foretold: _Eris palpans in meridie.[276] Dabitur liber scienti literas,
et dicet: Non possum legere._[277] While the sceptre was still in the
hands of the first foreign usurper, there is the report of the coming of
Jesus Christ.

So I hold out my arms to my _Redeemer_, who, having been foretold for
four thousand years, has come to suffer and to die for me on earth, at
the time and under all the circumstances foretold. By His grace, I await
death in peace, in the hope of being eternally united to Him. Yet I
live with joy, whether in the prosperity which it pleases Him to bestow
upon me, or in the adversity which He sends for my good, and which He
has taught me to bear by His example.


737

The prophecies having given different signs which should all happen at
the advent of the Messiah, it was necessary that all these signs should
occur at the same time. So it was necessary that the fourth monarchy
should have come, when the seventy weeks of Daniel were ended; and that
the sceptre should have then departed from Judah. And all this happened
without any difficulty. Then it was necessary that the Messiah should
come; and Jesus Christ then came, who was called the Messiah. And all
this again was without difficulty. This indeed shows the truth of the
prophecies.


738

The prophets foretold, and were not foretold. The saints again were
foretold, but did not foretell. Jesus Christ both foretold and was
foretold.


739

Jesus Christ, whom the two Testaments regard, the Old as its hope, the
New as its model, and both as their centre.


740

The two oldest books in the world are those of Moses and Job, the one a
Jew and the other a Gentile. Both of them look upon Jesus Christ as
their common centre and object: Moses in relating the promises of God to
Abraham, Jacob, etc., and his prophecies; and Job, _Quis mihi det
ut_,[278] etc. _Scio enim quod redemptor meus vivit_, etc.


741

The Gospel only speaks of the virginity of the Virgin up to the time of
the birth of Jesus Christ. All with reference to Jesus Christ.


742

_Proofs of Jesus Christ._

    Why was the book of Ruth preserved?

    Why the story of Tamar?


743

"Pray that ye enter not into temptation."[279] It is dangerous to be
tempted; and people are tempted because they do not pray.

_Et tu conversus confirma fratres tuos._ But before, _conversus Jesus
respexit Petrum_.

Saint Peter asks permission to strike Malchus, and strikes before
hearing the answer. Jesus Christ replies afterwards.

The word, _Galilee_, which the Jewish mob pronounced as if by chance, in
accusing Jesus Christ before Pilate, afforded Pilate a reason for
sending Jesus Christ to Herod. And thereby the mystery was accomplished,
that He should be judged by Jews and Gentiles. Chance was apparently the
cause of the accomplishment of the mystery.


744

Those who have a difficulty in believing seek a reason in the fact that
the Jews do not believe. "Were this so clear," say they, "why did the
Jews not believe?" And they almost wish that they had believed, so as
not to be kept back by the example of their refusal. But it is their
very refusal that is the foundation of our faith. We should be much less
disposed to the faith, if they were on our side. We should then have a
more ample pretext. The wonderful thing is to have made the Jews great
lovers of the things foretold, and great enemies of their fulfilment.


745

The Jews were accustomed to great and striking miracles, and so, having
had the great miracles of the Red Sea and of the land of Canaan as an
epitome of the great deeds of their Messiah, they therefore looked for
more striking miracles, of which those of Moses were only the patterns.


746

The carnal Jews and the heathen have their calamities, and Christians
also. There is no Redeemer for the heathen, for they do not so much as
hope for one. There is no Redeemer for the Jews; they hope for Him in
vain. There is a Redeemer only for Christians. (See _Perpetuity_.)


747

In the time of the Messiah the people divided themselves. The spiritual
embraced the Messiah, and the coarser-minded remained to serve as
witnesses of Him.


748

"If this was clearly foretold to the Jews, how did they not believe it,
or why were they not destroyed for resisting a fact so clear?"

I reply: in the first place, it was foretold both that they would not
believe a thing so clear, and that they would not be destroyed. And
nothing is more to the glory of the Messiah; for it was not enough that
there should be prophets; their prophets must be kept above suspicion.
Now, etc.


749

If the Jews had all been converted by Jesus Christ, we should have none
but questionable witnesses. And if they had been entirely destroyed, we
should have no witnesses at all.


750

What do the prophets say of Jesus Christ? That He will be clearly God?
No; but that He is a God truly hidden; that He will be slighted; that
none will think that it is He; that He will be a stone of stumbling,
upon which many will stumble, etc. Let people then reproach us no longer
for want of clearness, since we make profession of it.

But, it is said, there are obscurities.--And without that, no one would
have stumbled over Jesus Christ, and this is one of the formal
pronouncements of the prophets: _Excæca_[280] ...


751

Moses first teaches the Trinity, original sin, the Messiah.

David: a great witness; a king, good, merciful, a beautiful soul, a
sound mind, powerful. He prophesies, and his wonder comes to pass. This
is infinite.

He had only to say that he was the Messiah, if he had been vain; for the
prophecies are clearer about him than about Jesus Christ. And the same
with Saint John.


752

Herod was believed to be the Messiah. He had taken away the sceptre from
Judah, but he was not of Judah. This gave rise to a considerable sect.

Curse of the Greeks upon those who count three periods of time.

In what way should the Messiah come, seeing that through Him the sceptre
was to be eternally in Judah, and at His coming the sceptre was to be
taken away from Judah?

In order to effect that seeing they should not see, and hearing they
should not understand, nothing could be better done.


753

_Homo existens te Deum facit.

Scriptum est, Dii estis, et non potest solvi Scriptura.

Hæc infirmitas non est ad vitam et est ad mortem.

Lazarus dormit, et deinde dixit: Lazarus mortuus est._[281]


754

The apparent discrepancy of the Gospels.[282]


755

What can we have but reverence for a man who foretells plainly things
which come to pass, and who declares his intention both to blind and to
enlighten, and who intersperses obscurities among the clear things which
come to pass?


756

The time of the first advent was foretold; the time of the second is not
so; because the first was to be obscure, and the second is to be
brilliant, and so manifest that even His enemies will recognise it. But,
as He was first to come only in obscurity, and to be known only of those
who searched the Scriptures ...


757

God, in order to cause the Messiah to be known by the good and not to be
known by the wicked, made Him to be foretold in this manner. If the
manner of the Messiah had been clearly foretold, there would have been
no obscurity, even for the wicked. If the time had been obscurely
foretold, there would have been obscurity, even for the good. For their
[goodness of heart] would not have made them understand, for instance,
that the closed _mem_ signifies six hundred years. But the time has been
clearly foretold, and the manner in types.

By this means, the wicked, taking the promised blessings for material
blessings, have fallen into error, in spite of the clear prediction of
the time; and the good have not fallen in error. For the understanding
of the promised blessings depends on the heart, which calls "good" that
which it loves; but the understanding of the promised time does not
depend on the heart. And thus the clear prediction of the time, and the
obscure prediction of the blessings, deceive the wicked alone.


758

[Either the Jews or the Christians must be wicked.]


759

The Jews reject Him, but not all. The saints receive Him, and not the
carnal-minded. And so far is this from being against His glory, that it
is the last touch which crowns it. For their argument, the only one
found in all their writings, in the Talmud and in the Rabbinical
writings, amounts only to this, that Jesus Christ has not subdued the
nations with sword in hand, _gladiumt uum, potentissime_.[283] (Is this
all they have to say? Jesus Christ has been slain, say they. He has
failed. He has not subdued the heathen with His might. He has not
bestowed upon us their spoil. He does not give riches. Is this all they
have to say? It is in this respect that He is lovable to me. I would not
desire Him whom they fancy.) It is evident that it is only His life
which has prevented them from accepting Him; and through this rejection
they are irreproachable witnesses, and, what is more, they thereby
accomplish the prophecies.

[By means of the fact that this people have not accepted Him, this
miracle here has happened. The prophecies were the only lasting miracles
which could be wrought, but they were liable to be denied.]


760

The Jews, in slaying Him in order not to receive Him as the Messiah,
have given Him the final proof of being the Messiah.

And in continuing not to recognise Him, they made themselves
irreproachable witnesses. Both in slaying Him, and in continuing to deny
Him, they have fulfilled the prophecies (Isa. lx; Ps. lxxi).


761

What could the Jews, His enemies, do? If they receive Him, they give
proof of Him by their reception; for then the guardians of the
expectation of the Messiah receive Him. If they reject Him, they give
proof of Him by their rejection.


762

The Jews, in testing if He were God, have shown that He was man.


763

The Church has had as much difficulty in showing that Jesus Christ was
man, against those who denied it, as in showing that he was God; and the
probabilities were equally great.


764

_Source of contradictions._--A God humiliated, even to the death on the
cross; a Messiah triumphing over death by his own death. Two natures in
Jesus Christ, two advents, two states of man's nature.


765

_Types._--Saviour, father, sacrificer, offering, food, king, wise,
law-giver, afflicted, poor, having to create a people whom He must lead
and nourish, and bring into His land....

_Jesus Christ. Offices._--He alone had to create a great people, elect,
holy, and chosen; to lead, nourish, and bring it into the place of rest
and holiness; to make it holy to God; to make it the temple of God; to
reconcile it to, and save it from, the wrath of God; to free it from the
slavery of sin, which visibly reigns in man; to give laws to this
people, and engrave these laws on their heart; to offer Himself to God
for them, and sacrifice Himself for them; to be a victim without
blemish, and Himself the sacrificer, having to offer Himself, His body,
and His blood, and yet to offer bread and wine to God ...

_Ingrediens mundum._[284]

"Stone upon stone."[285]

What preceded and what followed. All the Jews exist still, and are
wanderers.


766

Of all that is on earth, He partakes only of the sorrows, not of the
joys. He loves His neighbours, but His love does not confine itself
within these bounds, and overflows to His own enemies, and then to those
of God.


767

Jesus Christ typified by Joseph, the beloved of his father, sent by his
father to see his brethren, etc., innocent, sold by his brethren for
twenty pieces of silver, and thereby becoming their lord, their saviour,
the saviour of strangers, and the saviour of the world; which had not
been but for their plot to destroy him, their sale and their rejection
of him.

In prison Joseph innocent between two criminals; Jesus Christ on the
cross between two thieves. Joseph foretells freedom to the one, and
death to the other, from the same omens. Jesus Christ saves the elect,
and condemns the outcast for the same sins. Joseph foretells only; Jesus
Christ acts. Joseph asks him who will be saved to remember him, when he
comes into his glory; and he whom Jesus Christ saves asks that He will
remember him, when He comes into His kingdom.


768

The conversion of the heathen was only reserved for the grace of the
Messiah. The Jews have been so long in opposition to them without
success; all that Solomon and the prophets said has been useless. Sages,
like Plato and Socrates, have not been able to persuade them.


769

After many persons had gone before, Jesus Christ at last came to
say:[286] "Here am I, and this is the time. That which the prophets have
said was to come in the fullness of time, I tell you My apostles will
do. The Jews shall be cast out. Jerusalem shall be soon destroyed. And
the heathen shall enter into the knowledge of God. My apostles shall do
this after you have slain the heir of the vineyard."

Then the apostles said to the Jews: "You shall be accursed," (_Celsus
laughed at it_); and to the heathen, "You shall enter into the knowledge
of God." And this then came to pass.


770

Jesus Christ came to blind those who saw clearly, and to give sight to
the blind; to heal the sick, and leave the healthy to die; to call to
repentance, and to justify sinners, and to leave the righteous in their
sins; to fill the needy, and leave the rich empty.


771

_Holiness._--_Effundam spiritum meum._[287] All nations were in unbelief
and lust. The whole world now became fervent with love. Princes
abandoned their pomp; maidens suffered martyrdom. Whence came this
influence? The Messiah was come. These were the effect and sign of His
coming.


772

Destruction of the Jews and heathen by Jesus Christ: _Omnes gentes
venient et adorabunt eum.[288] Parum est ut_,[289] etc. _Postula a
me.[290] Adorabunt eum omnes reges.[291] Testes iniqui.[292] Dabit
maxillam percutienti.[293] Dederunt fel in escam._[294]


773

Jesus Christ for all, Moses for a nation.

The Jews blessed in Abraham: "I will bless those that bless thee."[295]
But: "All nations blessed in his seed."[296] _Parum est ut_, etc.

_Lumen ad revelationem gentium._[297]

_Non fecit taliter omni nationi_,[298] said David, in speaking of the
Law. But, in speaking of Jesus Christ, we must say: _Fecit taliter omni
nationi. Parum est ut_, etc., Isaiah. So it belongs to Jesus Christ to
be universal. Even the Church offers sacrifice only for the faithful.
Jesus Christ offered that of the cross for all.


774

There is heresy in always explaining _omnes_ by "all," and heresy in not
explaining it sometimes by "all." _Bibite ex hoc omnes_;[299] the
Huguenots are heretics in explaining it by "all." _In quo omnes
peccaverunt_;[300] the Huguenots are heretics in excepting the children
of true believers. We must then follow the Fathers and tradition in
order to know when to do so, since there is heresy to be feared on both
sides.


775

_Ne timeas pusillus grex.[301] Timore et tremore.--Quid ergo? Ne timeas
[modo] timeas._ Fear not, provided you fear; but if you fear not, then
fear.

_Qui me recipit, non me recipit, sed eum qui me misit._[302]

_Nemo scit, neque Filius._

_Nubes lucida obumbravit._

Saint John[303] was to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
and Jesus Christ[304] to plant division. There is not contradiction.


776

The effects _in communi_ and _in particulari_. The semi-Pelagians err in
saying of _in communi_ what is true only _in particulari_; and the
Calvinists in saying _in particulari_ what is true _in communi_. (Such
is my opinion.)


777

_Omnis Judæa regio, et Jerosolomymi universi, et baptizabantur._[305]
Because of all the conditions of men who came there. From these stones
there _can_ come children unto Abraham.[306]


778

If men knew themselves, God would heal and pardon them. _Ne convertantur
et sanem eos, et dimittantur eis peccata._[307]


779

Jesus Christ never condemned without hearing. To Judas: _Amice, ad quid
venisti?_[308] To him that had not on the wedding garment, the same.


780

The types of the completeness of the Redemption, as that the sun gives
light to all, indicate only completeness; but [_the types_] of
exclusions, as of the Jews elected to the exclusion of the Gentiles,
indicate exclusion.

"Jesus Christ the Redeemer of all."--Yes, for He has offered, like a man
who has ransomed all those who were willing to come to Him. If any die
on the way, it is their misfortune; but, so far as He was concerned, He
offered them redemption.--That holds good in this example, where he who
ransoms and he who prevents death are two persons, but not of Jesus
Christ, who does both these things.--No, for Jesus Christ, in the
quality of Redeemer, is not perhaps Master of all; and thus, in so far
as it is in Him, He is the Redeemer of all.

When it is said that Jesus Christ did not die for all, you take undue
advantage of a fault in men who at once apply this exception to
themselves; and this is to favour despair, instead of turning them from
it to favour hope. For men thus accustom themselves in inward virtues by
outward customs.


781

The victory over death. "What is a man advantaged if he gain the whole
world and lose his own soul?[309] Whosoever will save his soul, shall
lose it."[310]

"I am not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil."[311]

"Lambs took not away the sins of the world, but I am the lamb which
taketh away the sins."[312]

"Moses[313] hath not led you out of captivity, and made you truly free."


782

... Then Jesus Christ comes to tell men that they have no other enemies
but themselves; that it is their passions which keep them apart from
God; that He comes to destroy these, and give them His grace, so as to
make of them all one Holy Church; that He comes to bring back into this
Church the heathen and Jews; that He comes to destroy the idols of the
former and the superstition of the latter. To this all men are opposed,
not only from the natural opposition of lust; but, above all, the kings
of the earth, as had been foretold, join together to destroy this
religion at its birth. (_Proph.: Quare fremuerunt gentes ... reges terræ
... adversus Christum._)[314]

All that is great on earth is united together; the learned, the wise,
the kings. The first write; the second condemn; the last kill. And
notwithstanding all these oppositions, these men, simple and weak,
resist all these powers, subdue even these kings, these learned men and
these sages, and remove idolatry from all the earth. And all this is
done by the power which had foretold it.


783

Jesus Christ would not have the testimony of devils, nor of those who
were not called, but of God and John the Baptist.


784

I consider Jesus Christ in all persons and in ourselves: Jesus Christ as
a Father in His Father, Jesus Christ as a Brother in His Brethren, Jesus
Christ as poor in the poor, Jesus Christ as rich in the rich, Jesus
Christ as Doctor and Priest in priests, Jesus Christ as Sovereign in
princes, etc. For by His glory He is all that is great, being God; and
by His mortal life He is all that is poor and abject. Therefore He has
taken this unhappy condition, so that He could be in all persons, and
the model of all conditions.


785

Jesus Christ is an obscurity (according to what the world calls
obscurity), such that historians, writing only of important matters of
states, have hardly noticed Him.


786

_On the fact that neither Josephus, nor Tacitus, nor other historians
have spoken of Jesus Christ._--So far is this from telling against
Christianity, that on the contrary it tells for it. For it is certain
that Jesus Christ has existed; that His religion has made a great talk;
and that these persons were not ignorant of it. Thus it is plain that
they purposely concealed it, or that, if they did speak of it, their
account has been suppressed or changed.


787

"I have reserved me seven thousand."[315] I love the worshippers unknown
to the world and to the very prophets.


788

As Jesus Christ remained unknown among men, so His truth remains among
common opinions without external difference. Thus the Eucharist among
ordinary bread.


789

Jesus would not be slain without the forms of justice; for it is far
more ignominious to die by justice than by an unjust sedition.


790

The false justice of Pilate only serves to make Jesus Christ suffer; for
he causes Him to be scourged by his false justice, and afterwards puts
Him to death. It would have been better to have put Him to death at
once. Thus it is with the falsely just. They do good and evil works to
please the world, and to show that they are not altogether of Jesus
Christ; for they are ashamed of Him. And at last, under great temptation
and on great occasions, they kill Him.


791

What man ever had more renown? The whole Jewish people foretell Him
before His coming. The Gentile people worship Him after His coming. The
two peoples, Gentile and Jewish, regard Him as their centre.

And yet what man enjoys this renown less? Of thirty-three years, He
lives thirty without appearing. For three years He passes as an
impostor; the priests and the chief people reject Him; His friends and
His nearest relatives despise Him. Finally, He dies, betrayed by one of
His own disciples, denied by another, and abandoned by all.

What part, then, has He in this renown? Never had man so much renown;
never had man more ignominy. All that renown has served only for us, to
render us capable of recognising Him; and He had none of it for Himself.


792

The infinite distance between body and mind is a symbol of the
infinitely more infinite distance between mind and charity; for charity
is supernatural.

All the glory of greatness has no lustre for people who are in search of
understanding.

The greatness of clever men is invisible to kings, to the rich, to
chiefs, and to all the worldly great.

The greatness of wisdom, which is nothing if not of God, is invisible to
the carnal-minded and to the clever. These are three orders differing in
kind.

Great geniuses have their power, their glory, their greatness, their
victory, their lustre, and have no need of worldly greatness, with which
they are not in keeping. They are seen, not by the eye, but by the mind;
this is sufficient.

The saints have their power, their glory, their victory, their lustre,
and need no worldly or intellectual greatness, with which they have no
affinity; for these neither add anything to them, nor take away anything
from them. They are seen of God and the angels, and not of the body, nor
of the curious mind. God is enough for them.

Archimedes,[316] apart from his rank, would have the same veneration. He
fought no battles for the eyes to feast upon; but he has given his
discoveries to all men. Oh! how brilliant he was to the mind!

Jesus Christ, without riches, and without any external exhibition of
knowledge, is in His own order of holiness. He did not invent; He did
not reign. But He was humble, patient, holy, holy to God, terrible to
devils, without any sin. Oh! in what great pomp, and in what wonderful
splendour, He is come to the eyes of the heart, which perceive wisdom!

It would have been useless for Archimedes to have acted the prince in
his books on geometry, although he was a prince.

It would have been useless for our Lord Jesus Christ to come like a
king, in order to shine forth in His kingdom of holiness. But He came
there appropriately in the glory of His own order.

It is most absurd to take offence at the lowliness of Jesus Christ, as
if His lowliness were in the same order as the greatness which He came
to manifest. If we consider this greatness in His life, in His passion,
in His obscurity, in His death, in the choice of His disciples, in their
desertion, in His secret resurrection, and the rest, we shall see it to
be so immense, that we shall have no reason for being offended at a
lowliness which is not of that order.

But there are some who can only admire worldly greatness, as though
there were no intellectual greatness; and others who only admire
intellectual greatness, as though there were not infinitely higher
things in wisdom.

All bodies, the firmament, the stars, the earth and its kingdoms, are
not equal to the lowest mind; for mind knows all these and itself; and
these bodies nothing.

All bodies together, and all minds together, and all their products, are
not equal to the least feeling of charity. This is of an order
infinitely more exalted.

From all bodies together, we cannot obtain one little thought; this is
impossible, and of another order. From all bodies and minds, we cannot
produce a feeling of true charity; this is impossible, and of another
and supernatural order.


793

Why did Jesus Christ not come in a visible manner, instead of obtaining
testimony of Himself from preceding prophecies? Why did He cause Himself
to be foretold in types?


794

If Jesus Christ had only come to sanctify, all Scripture and all things
would tend to that end; and it would be quite easy to convince
unbelievers. If Jesus Christ had only come to blind, all His conduct
would be confused; and we would have no means of convincing unbelievers.
But as He came _in sanctificationem et in scandalum_,[317] as Isaiah
says, we cannot convince unbelievers, and they cannot convince us. But
by this very fact we convince them; since we say that in His whole
conduct there is no convincing proof on one side or the other.


795

Jesus Christ does not say that He is not of Nazareth, in order to leave
the wicked in their blindness; nor that He is not Joseph's son.


796

_Proofs of Jesus Christ._--Jesus Christ said great things so simply,
that it seems as though He had not thought them great; and yet so
clearly that we easily see what He thought of them. This clearness,
joined to this simplicity, is wonderful.


797

The style of the gospel is admirable in so many ways, and among the rest
in hurling no invectives against the persecutors and enemies of Jesus
Christ. For there is no such invective in any of the historians against
Judas, Pilate, or any of the Jews.

If this moderation of the writers of the Gospels had been assumed, as
well as many other traits of so beautiful a character, and they had only
assumed it to attract notice, even if they had not dared to draw
attention to it themselves, they would not have failed to secure
friends, who would have made such remarks to their advantage. But as
they acted thus without pretence, and from wholly disinterested motives,
they did not point it out to any one; and I believe that many such facts
have not been noticed till now, which is evidence of the natural
disinterestedness with which the thing has been done.


798

An artisan who speaks of wealth, a lawyer who speaks of war, of royalty,
etc.; but the rich man rightly speaks of wealth, a king speaks
indifferently of a great gift he has just made, and God rightly speaks
of God.


799

Who has taught the evangelists the qualities of a perfectly heroic soul,
that they paint it so perfectly in Jesus Christ? Why do they make Him
weak in His agony? Do they not know how to paint a resolute death? Yes,
for the same Saint Luke paints the death of Saint Stephen as braver than
that of Jesus Christ.

They make Him therefore capable of fear, before the necessity of dying
has come, and then altogether brave.

But when they make Him so troubled, it is when He afflicts Himself; and
when men afflict Him, He is altogether strong.


800

_Proof of Jesus Christ._--The supposition that the apostles were
impostors is very absurd. Let us think it out. Let us imagine those
twelve men, assembled after the death of Jesus Christ, plotting to say
that He was risen. By this they attack all the powers. The heart of man
is strangely inclined to fickleness, to change, to promises, to gain.
However little any of them might have been led astray by all these
attractions, nay more, by the fear of prisons, tortures, and death, they
were lost. Let us follow up this thought.


801

The apostles were either deceived or deceivers. Either supposition has
difficulties; for it is not possible to mistake a man raised from the
dead ...

While Jesus Christ was with them, He could sustain them. But, after
that, if He did not appear to them, who inspired them to act?



SECTION XIII

THE MIRACLES


802

_The beginning._--Miracles enable us to judge of doctrine, and doctrine
enables us to judge of miracles.

There are false miracles and true. There must be a distinction, in order
to know them; otherwise they would be useless. Now they are not useless;
on the contrary, they are fundamental. Now the rule which is given to us
must be such, that it does not destroy the proof which the true miracles
give of the truth, which is the chief end of the miracles.

Moses has given two rules: that the prediction does not come to pass
(Deut. xviii), and that they do not lead to idolatry (Deut. xiii); and
Jesus Christ[318] one.

If doctrine regulates miracles, miracles are useless for doctrine.

If miracles regulate....

_Objection to the rule._--The distinction of the times. One rule during
the time of Moses, another at present.


803

_Miracle._--It is an effect, which exceeds the natural power of the
means which are employed for it; and what is not a miracle is an effect,
which does not exceed the natural power of the means which are employed
for it. Thus, those who heal by invocation of the devil do not work a
miracle; for that does not exceed the natural power of the devil.
But ...


804

The two fundamentals; one inward, the other outward; grace and miracles;
both supernatural.


805

Miracles and truth are necessary, because it is necessary to convince
the entire man, in body and soul.


806

In all times, either men have spoken of the true God, or the true God
has spoken to men.


807

Jesus Christ has verified that He was the Messiah, never in verifying
His doctrine by Scripture and the prophecies, but always by His
miracles.

He proves by a miracle that He remits sins.

Rejoice not in your miracles, said Jesus Christ, but because your names
are written in heaven.[319]

If they believe not Moses, neither will they believe one risen from the
dead.

Nicodemus recognises by His miracles that His teaching is of God.
_Scimus quia venisti a Deo magister; nemo enim potest hæc signa facere
quæ tu facis nisi Deus fuerit cum eo._[320] He does not judge of the
miracles by the teaching, but of the teaching by the miracles.

The Jews had a doctrine of God as we have one of Jesus Christ, and
confirmed by miracles. They were forbidden to believe every worker of
miracles; and they were further commanded to have recourse to the chief
priests, and to rely on them.

And thus, in regard to their prophets, they had all those reasons which
we have for refusing to believe the workers of miracles.

And yet they were very sinful in rejecting the prophets, and Jesus
Christ, because of their miracles; and they would not have been
culpable, if they had not seen the miracles. _Nisi fecissem ... peccatum
non haberent._[321] Therefore all belief rests upon miracles.

Prophecy is not called miracle; as Saint John speaks of the first
miracle in Cana, and then of what Jesus Christ says to the woman of
Samaria, when He reveals to her all her hidden life. Then He heals the
centurion's son; and Saint John calls this "the second miracle."[322]


808

The combinations of miracles.


809

The second miracle can suppose the first, but the first cannot suppose
the second.


810

Had it not been for the miracles, there would have been no sin in not
believing in Jesus Christ.


811

I should not be a Christian, but for the miracles, said Saint Augustine.


812

_Miracles._--How I hate those who make men doubt of miracles!
Montaigne[323] speaks of them as he should in two places. In one, we see
how careful he is; and yet, in the other, he believes, and makes sport
of unbelievers.

However it may be, the Church is without proofs if they are right.


813

Montaigne against miracles.

Montaigne for miracles.


814

It is not possible to have a reasonable belief against miracles.


815

Unbelievers the most credulous. They believe the miracles of Vespasian,
in order not to believe those of Moses.


816

_Title: How it happens that men believe so many liars, who say that they
have seen miracles, and do not believe any of those who say that they
have secrets to make men immortal, or restore youth to them._--Having
considered how it happens that so great credence is given to so many
impostors, who say they have remedies, often to the length of men
putting their lives into their hands, it has appeared to me that the
true cause is that there are true remedies. For it would not be possible
that there should be so many false remedies, and that so much faith
should be placed in them, if there were none true. If there had never
been any remedy for any ill, and all ills had been incurable, it is
impossible that men should have imagined that they could give remedies,
and still more impossible that so many others should have believed those
who boasted of having remedies; in the same way as did a man boast of
preventing death, no one would believe him, because there is no example
of this. But as there were a number of remedies found to be true by the
very knowledge of the greatest men, the belief of men is thereby
induced; and, this being known to be possible, it has been therefore
concluded that it was. For people commonly reason thus: "A thing is
possible, therefore it is"; because the thing cannot be denied
generally, since there are particular effects which are true, the
people, who cannot distinguish which among these particular effects are
true, believe them all. In the same way, the reason why so many false
effects are credited to the moon, is that there are some true, as the
tide.

It is the same with prophecies, miracles, divination by dreams,
sorceries, etc. For if there had been nothing true in all this, men
would have believed nothing of them; and thus, instead of concluding
that there are no true miracles because there are so many false, we
must, on the contrary, say that there certainly are true miracles, since
there are false, and that there are false miracles only because some are
true. We must reason in the same way about religion; for it would not be
possible that men should have imagined so many false religions, if there
had not been a true one. The objection to this is that savages have a
religion; but the answer is that they have heard the true spoken of, as
appears by the deluge, circumcision, the cross of Saint Andrew, etc.


817

Having considered how it comes that there are so many false miracles,
false revelations, sorceries, etc., it has seemed to me that the true
cause is that there are some true; for it would not be possible that
there should be so many false miracles, if there were none true, nor so
many false revelations, if there were none true, nor so many false
religions, if there were not one true. For if there had never been all
this, it is almost impossible that men should have imagined it, and
still more impossible that so many others should have believed it. But
as there have been very great things true, and as they have been
believed by great men, this impression has been the cause that nearly
everybody is rendered capable of believing also the false. And thus,
instead of concluding that there are no true miracles, since there are
so many false, it must be said, on the contrary, that there are true
miracles, since there are so many false; and that there are false ones
only because there are true; and that in the same way there are false
religions because there is one true.--Objection to this: savages have a
religion. But this is because they have heard the true spoken of, as
appears by the cross of Saint Andrew, the deluge, circumcision,
etc.--This arises from the fact that the human mind, finding itself
inclined to that side by the truth, becomes thereby susceptible of all
the falsehoods of this ...


818

Jeremiah xxiii, 32. The _miracles_ of the false prophets. In the Hebrew
and Vatable[324] they are the _tricks_.

_Miracle_ does not always signify miracle. I Sam. xiv, 15; _miracle_
signifies _fear_, and is so in the Hebrew. The same evidently in Job
xxxiii, 7; and also Isaiah xxi, 4; Jeremiah xliv, 12. _Portentum_
signifies _simulacrum_, Jeremiah l, 38; and it is so in the Hebrew and
Vatable. Isaiah viii, 18. Jesus Christ says that He and His will be in
_miracles_.


819

If the devil favoured the doctrine which destroys him, he would be
divided against himself, as Jesus Christ said. If God favoured the
doctrine which destroys the Church, He would be divided against Himself.
_Omne regnum divisum._[325] For Jesus Christ wrought against the devil,
and destroyed his power over the heart, of which exorcism is the
symbolisation, in order to establish the kingdom of God. And thus He
adds, _Si in digito Dei ... regnum Dei ad vos_.[326]


820

There is a great difference between tempting and leading into error. God
tempts, but He does not lead into error. To tempt is to afford
opportunities, which impose no necessity; if men do not love God, they
will do a certain thing. To lead into error is to place a man under the
necessity of inferring and following out what is untrue.


821

Abraham and Gideon are above revelation. The Jews blinded themselves in
judging of miracles by the Scripture. God has never abandoned His true
worshippers.

I prefer to follow Jesus Christ than any other, because He has miracle,
prophecy, doctrine, perpetuity, etc.

The Donatists. No miracle which obliges them to say it is the devil.

The more we particularise God, Jesus Christ, the Church ...


822

If there were no false miracles, there would be certainty. If there were
no rule to judge of them, miracles would be useless, and there would be
no reason for believing.

Now there is, humanly speaking, no human certainty, but we have reason.


823

Either God has confounded the false miracles, or He has foretold them;
and in both ways He has raised Himself above what is supernatural with
respect to us, and has raised us to it.


824

Miracles serve not to convert, but to condemn. (Q. 113, A. 10, _Ad._
2.)[327]


825

_Reasons why we do not believe._

John xii, 37. _Cum autem tanta signa fecisset, non credebant in eum, ut
sermo Isayæ impleretur. Excæcavit_, etc.

_Hæc dixit Isaias, quando vidit gloriam ejus et locutus est de eo._

_Judæi signa petunt et Græci sapientiam quærunt, nos autem Jesum
crucifixum. Sed plenum signis, sed plenum sapientia; vos autem Christum
non crucifixum et religionem sine miraculis et sine sapientia._[328]

What makes us not believe in the true miracles, is want of love. John:
_Sed vos non creditis, quia non estis ex ovibus._[329] What makes us
believe the false is want of love. II Thess. ii.

The foundation of religion. It is the miracles. What then? Does God
speak against miracles, against the foundations of the faith which we
have in Him?

If there is a God, faith in God must exist on earth. Now the miracles of
Jesus Christ are not foretold by Antichrist, but the miracles of
Antichrist are foretold by Jesus Christ. And so if Jesus Christ were not
the Messiah, He would have indeed led into error. When Jesus Christ
foretold the miracles of Antichrist, did He think of destroying faith in
His own miracles?

Moses foretold Jesus Christ, and bade to follow Him. Jesus Christ
foretold Antichrist, and forbade to follow him.

It was impossible that in the time of Moses men should keep their faith
for Antichrist, who was unknown to them. But it is quite easy, in the
time of Antichrist, to believe in Jesus Christ, already known.

There is no reason for believing in Antichrist, which there is not for
believing in Jesus Christ. But there are reasons for believing in Jesus
Christ, which there are not for believing in the other.


826

Judges xiii, 23: "If the Lord were pleased to kill us, He would not have
shewed us all these things."

Hezekiah, Sennacherib.

Jeremiah. Hananiah, the false prophet, dies in seven months.

2 Macc. iii. The temple, ready for pillage, miraculously succoured.--2
Macc. xv.

1 Kings xvii. The widow to Elijah, who had restored her son, "By this I
know that thy words are true."

1 Kings xviii. Elijah with the prophets of Baal.

In the dispute concerning the true God and the truth of religion, there
has never happened any miracle on the side of error, and not of truth.


827

_Opposition._--Abel, Cain; Moses, the Magicians; Elijah, the false
prophets: Jeremiah, Hananiah; Micaiah, the false prophets; Jesus Christ,
the Pharisees; St. Paul, Bar-jesus; the Apostles, the Exorcists;
Christians, unbelievers; Catholics, heretics; Elijah, Enoch, Antichrist.


828

Jesus Christ says that the Scriptures testify of Him. But He does not
point out in what respect.

Even the prophecies could not prove Jesus Christ during His life; and
so, men would not have been culpable for not believing in Him before His
death, had the miracles not sufficed without doctrine. Now those who did
not believe in Him, when He was still alive, were sinners, as He said
Himself, and without excuse. Therefore they must have had proof beyond
doubt, which they resisted. Now, they had not the prophecies, but only
the miracles. Therefore the latter suffice, when the doctrine is not
inconsistent with them; and they ought to be believed.

John vii, 40. _Dispute among the Jews as among the Christians of
to-day._ Some believed in Jesus Christ; others believed Him not, because
of the prophecies which said that He should be born in Bethlehem. They
should have considered more carefully whether He was not. For His
miracles being convincing, they should have been quite sure of these
supposed contradictions of His teaching to Scripture; and this obscurity
did not excuse, but blinded them. Thus those who refuse to believe in
the miracles in the present day on account of a supposed contradiction,
which is unreal, are not excused.

The Pharisees said to the people, who believed in Him, because of His
miracles: "This people who knoweth not the law are cursed. But have any
of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? For we know that out
of Galilee ariseth no prophet." Nicodemus answered: "Doth our law judge
any man before it hear him, [and specially, such a man who works such
miracles]?"


829

The prophecies were ambiguous; they are no longer so.


830

The five propositions were ambiguous; they are no longer so.


831

Miracles are no longer necessary, because we have had them already. But
when tradition is no longer minded; when the Pope alone is offered to
us; when he has been imposed upon; and when the true source of truth,
which is tradition, is thus excluded; and the Pope, who is its guardian,
is biased; the truth is no longer free to appear. Then, as men speak no
longer of truth, truth itself must speak to men. This is what happened
in the time of Arius. (Miracles under Diocletian and under Arius.)


832

_Miracle._--The people concluded this of themselves; but if the reason
of it must be given to you ...

It is unfortunate to be in exception to the rule. The same must be
strict, and opposed to exception. But yet, as it is certain that there
are exceptions to a rule, our judgment must though strict, be just.


833

John vi, 26: _Non quia vidisti signum, sed quia saturati estis._

Those who follow Jesus Christ because of His miracles honour His power
in all the miracles which it produces. But those who, making profession
to follow Him because of His miracles, follow Him in fact only because
He comforts them and satisfies them with worldly blessings, discredit
His miracles, when they are opposed to their own comforts.

John ix: _Non est hic homo a Deo, quia sabbatum non custodit. Alii:
Quomodo potest homo peccator hæc signa facere?_

Which is the most clear?

This house is not of God; for they do not there believe that the five
propositions are in Jansenius. Others: This house is of God; for in it
there are wrought strange miracles.

Which is the most clear?

_Tu quid dicis? Dico quia propheta est. Nisi esset hic a Deo, non
poterat facere quidquam._[330]


834

In the Old Testament, when they will turn you from God. In the New, when
they will turn you from Jesus Christ. These are the occasions for
excluding particular miracles from belief. No others need be excluded.

Does it therefore follow that they would have the right to exclude all
the prophets who came to them? No; they would have sinned in not
excluding those who denied God, and would have sinned in excluding those
who did not deny God.

So soon, then, as we see a miracle, we must either assent to it, or have
striking proofs to the contrary. We must see if it denies a God, or
Jesus Christ, or the Church.


835

There is a great difference between not being for Jesus Christ and
saying so, and not being for Jesus Christ and pretending to be so. The
one party can do miracles, not the others. For it is clear of the one
party, that they are opposed to the truth, but not of the others; and
thus miracles are clearer.


836

That we must love one God only is a thing so evident, that it does not
require miracles to prove it.


837

Jesus Christ performed miracles, then the apostles, and the first saints
in great number; because the prophecies not being yet accomplished, but
in the process of being accomplished by them, the miracles alone bore
witness to them. It was foretold that the Messiah should convert the
nations. How could this prophecy be fulfilled without the conversion of
the nations? And how could the nations be converted to the Messiah, if
they did not see this final effect of the prophecies which prove Him?
Therefore, till He had died, risen again, and converted the nations, all
was not accomplished; and so miracles were needed during all this time.
Now they are no longer needed against the Jews; for the accomplished
prophecies constitute a lasting miracle.


838

"Though ye believe not Me, believe at least the works."[331] He refers
them, as it were, to the strongest proof.

It had been told to the Jews, as well as to Christians, that they should
not always believe the prophets; but yet the Pharisees and Scribes are
greatly concerned about His miracles, and try to show that they are
false, or wrought by the devil. For they must needs be convinced, if
they acknowledge that they are of God.

At the present day we are not troubled to make this distinction. Still
it is very easy to do: those who deny neither God nor Jesus Christ do no
miracles which are not certain. _Nemo facit virtutem in nomine meo, et
cito possit de me male loqui._[332]

But we have not to draw this distinction. Here is a sacred relic.[333]
Here is a thorn from the crown of the Saviour of the world, over whom
the prince of this world has no power, which works miracles by the
peculiar power of the blood shed for us. Now God Himself chooses this
house in order to display conspiciously therein His power.

These are not men who do miracles by an unknown and doubtful virtue,
which makes a decision difficult for us. It is God Himself. It is the
instrument of the Passion of His only Son, who, being in many places,
chooses this, and makes men come from all quarters there to receive
these miraculous alleviations in their weaknesses.


839

The Church has three kinds of enemies: the Jews, who have never been of
her body; the heretics, who have withdrawn from it; and the evil
Christians, who rend her from within.

These three kinds of different adversaries usually attack her in
different ways. But here they attack her in one and the same way. As
they are all without miracles, and as the Church has always had miracles
against them, they have all had the same interest in evading them; and
they all make use of this excuse, that doctrine must not be judged by
miracles, but miracles by doctrine. There were two parties among those
who heard Jesus Christ: those who followed His teaching on account of
His miracles; others who said.... There were two parties in the time of
Calvin.... There are now the Jesuits, etc.


840

Miracles furnish the test in matters of doubt, between Jews and
heathens, Jews and Christians, Catholics and heretics, the slandered and
slanderers, between the two crosses.

But miracles would be useless to heretics; for the Church, authorised by
miracles which have already obtained belief, tells us that they have not
the true faith. There is no doubt that they are not in it, since the
first miracles of the Church exclude belief of theirs. Thus there is
miracle against miracle, both the first and greatest being on the side
of the Church.

These nuns,[334] astonished at what is said, that they are in the way of
perdition; that their confessors are leading them to Geneva; that they
suggest to them that Jesus Christ is not in the Eucharist, nor on the
right hand of the Father; know that all this is false, and therefore
offer themselves to God in this state. _Vide si via iniquitatis in me
est._[335] What happens thereupon? This place, which is said to be the
temple of the devil, God makes His own temple. It is said that the
children must be taken away from it. God heals them there. It is said
that it is the arsenal of hell. God makes of it the sanctuary of His
grace. Lastly, they are threatened with all the fury and vengeance of
heaven; and God overwhelms them with favours. A man would need to have
lost his senses to conclude from this that they are therefore in the way
of perdition.

(We have without doubt the same signs as Saint Athanasius.)


841

_Si tu es Christus, dic nobis.[336]

Opera quæ ego facio in nomine patris mei, hæc testimonium perhibent de
me. Sed vos non creditis quia non estis ex ovibus meis. Oves meœ vocem
meam audiunt._[337]

John vi, 30. _Quod ergo tu facis signum ut videamus et credamus
tibi?--Non dicunt: Quam doctrinam prædicas?

Nemo potest facere signa quæ tu facis nisi Deus._[338]

2 Macc. xiv, 15. _Deus qui signis evidentibus suam portionem protegit.

Volumus signum videre de cœlo, tentantes eum._ Luke xi, 16.

_Generatio prava signum quærit; et non dabitur.[339]

Et ingemiscens ait: Quid generatio ista signum quærit?_ (Mark viii, 12.)
They asked a sign with an evil intention.

_Et non poterat facere._[340] And yet he promises them the sign of
Jonah, the great and wonderful miracle of his resurrection.

_Nisi videritis, non creditis._[341] He does not blame them for not
believing unless there are miracles, but for not believing unless they
are themselves spectators of them.

Antichrist _in signis mendacibus_, says Saint Paul, 2 Thess. ii.

_Secundum operationem Satanæ, in seductione iis qui pereunt eo quod
charitatem veritatis non receperunt ut salvi fierent, ideo mittet illis
Deus optationes erroris ut credant mendacio._

As in the passage of Moses: _Tentat enim vos Deus, utrum diligatis
eum.[342]

Ecce prædixi vobis: vos ergo videte._[343]


842

Here is not the country of truth. She wanders unknown amongst men. God
has covered her with a veil, which leaves her unrecognised by those who
do not hear her voice. Room is opened for blasphemy, even against the
truths that are at least very likely. If the truths of the Gospel are
published, the contrary is published too, and the questions are
obscured, so that the people cannot distinguish. And they ask, "What
have you to make you believed rather than others? What sign do you give?
You have only words, and so have we. If you had miracles, good and
well." That doctrine ought to be supported by miracles is a truth, which
they misuse in order to revile doctrine. And if miracles happen, it is
said that miracles are not enough without doctrine; and this is another
truth, which they misuse in order to revile miracles.

Jesus Christ cured the man born blind, and performed a number of
miracles on the Sabbath day. In this way He blinded the Pharisees, who
said that miracles must be judged by doctrine.

"We have Moses: but, as for this fellow, we know not from whence he
is."[344] It is wonderful that you know not whence He is, and yet He
does such miracles.

Jesus Christ spoke neither against God, nor against Moses.

Antichrist and the false prophets, foretold by both Testaments, will
speak openly against God and against Jesus Christ. Who is not hidden ...
God would not allow him, who would be a secret enemy, to do miracles
openly.

In a public dispute where the two parties profess to be for God, for
Jesus Christ, for the Church, miracles have never been on the side of
the false Christians, and the other side has never been without a
miracle.

"He hath a devil." John x, 21. And others said, "Can a devil open the
eyes of the blind?"

The proofs which Jesus Christ and the apostles draw from Scripture are
not conclusive; for they say only that Moses foretold that a prophet
should come. But they do not thereby prove that this is He; and that is
the whole question. These passages therefore serve only to show that
they are not contrary to Scripture, and that there appears no
inconsistency, but not that there is agreement. Now this is enough,
namely, exclusion of inconsistency, along with miracles.

There is a mutual duty between God and men. We must pardon Him this
saying: Quid debui?[345] "Accuse me," said God in Isaiah.

"God must fulfil His promises," etc.

Men owe it to God to accept the religion which He sends. God owes it to
men not to lead them into error. Now, they would be led into error, if
the workers of miracles announced a doctrine which should not appear
evidently false to the light of common sense, and if a greater worker of
miracles had not already warned men not to believe them.

Thus, if there were divisions in the Church, and the Arians, for
example, who declared themselves founded on Scripture just as the
Catholics, had done miracles, and not the Catholics, men should have
been led into error.

For, as a man, who announces to us the secrets of God, is not worthy to
be believed on his private authority, and that is why the ungodly doubt
him; so when a man, as a token of the communion which he has with God,
raises the dead, foretells the future, removes the seas, heals the sick,
there is none so wicked as not to bow to him, and the incredulity of
Pharaoh and the Pharisees is the effect of a supernatural obduracy.

When, therefore, we see miracles and a doctrine not suspicious, both on
one side, there is no difficulty. But when we see miracles and
suspicious doctrine on the same side, we must then see which is the
clearest. Jesus Christ was suspected.

Bar-jesus blinded.[346] The power of God surpasses that of His enemies.

The Jewish exorcists[347] beaten by the devils, saying, "Jesus I know,
and Paul I know; but who are ye?"

Miracles are for doctrine, and not doctrine for miracles.

If the miracles are true, shall we be able to persuade men of all
doctrine? No; for this will not come to pass. _Si angelus_.[348] ...

Rule: we must judge of doctrine by miracles; we must judge of miracles
by doctrine. All this is true, but contains no contradiction.

For we must distinguish the times.

How glad you are to know the general rules, thinking thereby to set up
dissension, and render all useless! We shall prevent you, my father;
truth is one and constant.

It is impossible, from the duty of God to men, that a man, hiding his
evil teaching, and only showing the good, saying that he conforms to God
and the Church, should do miracles so as to instil insensibly a false
and subtle doctrine. This cannot happen.

And still less, that God, who knows the heart, should perform miracles
in favour of such a one.


843

The three marks of religion: perpetuity, a good life, miracles. They
destroy perpetuity by their doctrine of probability; a good life by
their morals; miracles by destroying either their truth or the
conclusions to be drawn from them.

If we believe them, the Church will have nothing to do with perpetuity,
holiness, and miracles. The heretics deny them, or deny the conclusions
to be drawn from them; they do the same. But one would need to have no
sincerity in order to deny them, or again to lose one's senses in order
to deny the conclusions to be drawn from them.

Nobody has ever suffered martyrdom for the miracles which he says he has
seen; for the folly of men goes perhaps to the length of martyrdom, for
those which the Turks believe by tradition, but not for those which they
have seen.


844

The heretics have always attacked these three marks, which they have
not.


845

_First objection_: "An angel from heaven.[349] We must not judge of
truth by miracles, but of miracles by truth. Therefore the miracles are
useless."

Now they are of use, and they must not be in opposition to the truth.
Therefore what Father Lingende[350] has said, that "God will not permit
that a miracle may lead into error...."

When there shall be a controversy in the same Church, miracle will
decide.

_Second objection_: "But Antichrist will do miracles."

The magicians of Pharaoh did not entice to error. Thus we cannot say to
Jesus respecting Antichrist, "You have led me into error." For
Antichrist will do them against Jesus Christ, and so they cannot lead
into error. Either God will not permit false miracles, or He will
procure greater.

[Jesus Christ has existed since the beginning of the world: this is more
impressive than all the miracles of Antichrist.]

If in the same Church there should happen a miracle on the side of those
in error, men would be led into error. Schism is visible; a miracle is
visible. But schism is more a sign of error than a miracle is a sign of
truth. Therefore a miracle cannot lead into error.

But apart from schism, error is not so obvious as a miracle is obvious.
Therefore a miracle could lead into error.

_Ubi est Deus tuus?_[351] Miracles show Him, and are a light.


846

One of the anthems for Vespers at Christmas: _Exortum est in tenebris
lumen rectis corde._[352]


847

If the compassion of God is so great that He instructs us to our
benefit, even when He hides Himself, what light ought we not to expect
from Him when He reveals Himself?


848

Will _Est et non est_ be received in faith itself as well as in
miracles? And if it is inseparable in the others ...

When Saint Xavier[353] works miracles.--[Saint Hilary. "Ye wretches, who
oblige us to speak of miracles."]

Unjust judges, make not your own laws on the moment; judge by those
which are established, and by yourselves. _Væ qui conditis leges
iniquas._[354]

Miracles endless, false.

In order to weaken your adversaries, you disarm the whole Church.

If they say that our salvation depends upon God, they are "heretics." If
they say that they are obedient to the Pope, that is "hypocrisy." If
they are ready to subscribe to all the articles, that is not enough. If
they say that a man must not be killed for an apple, "they attack the
morality of Catholics." If miracles are done among them, it is not a
sign of holiness, and is, on the contrary, a symptom of heresy.

This way in which the Church has existed is that truth has been without
dispute, or, if it has been contested, there has been the Pope, or,
failing him, there has been the Church.


849

The five propositions[355] condemned, but no miracle; for the truth was
not attacked. But the Sorbonne ... but the bull....

It is impossible that those who love God with all their heart should
fail to recognise the Church; so evident is she.--It is impossible that
those who do not love God should be convinced of the Church.

Miracles have such influence that it was necessary that God should warn
men not to believe in them in opposition to Him, all clear as it is that
there is a God. Without this they would have been able to disturb men.

And thus so far from these passages, Deut. xiii, making against the
authority of the miracles, nothing more indicates their influence. And
the same in respect of Antichrist. "To seduce, if it were possible, even
the elect."[356]


850

The history of the man born blind.

What says Saint Paul? Does he continually speak of the evidence of the
prophecies? No, but of his own miracle. What says Jesus Christ? Does He
speak of the evidence of the prophecies? No; His death had not fulfilled
them. But He says, _Si non fecissem_.[357] Believe the works.

Two supernatural foundations of our wholly supernatural religion; one
visible, the other invisible; miracles with grace, miracles without
grace.

The synagogue, which had been treated with love as a type of the Church,
and with hatred, because it was only the type, has been restored, being
on the point of falling when it was well with God, and thus a type.

Miracles prove the power which God has over hearts, by that which He
exercises over bodies.

The Church has never approved a miracle among heretics.

Miracles a support of religion: they have been the test of Jews; they
have been the test of Christians, saints, innocents, and true believers.

A miracle among schismatics is not so much to be feared; for schism,
which is more obvious than a miracle, visibly indicates their error. But
when there is no schism, and error is in question, miracle decides.

_Si non fecissem quæ alius non fecit._ The wretches who have obliged us
to speak of miracles.

Abraham and Gideon confirm faith by miracles.

Judith. God speaks at last in their greatest oppression.

If the cooling of love leaves the Church almost without believers,
miracles will rouse them. This is one of the last effects of grace.

If one miracle were wrought among the Jesuits!

When a miracle disappoints the expectation of those in whose presence it
happens, and there is a disproportion between the state of their faith
and the instrument of the miracle, it ought then to induce them to
change. But with you it is otherwise. There would be as much reason in
saying that, if the Eucharist raised a dead man, it would be necessary
for one to turn a Calvinist rather than remain a Catholic. But when it
crowns the expectation, and those, who hoped that God would bless the
remedies, see themselves healed without remedies ...

_The ungodly._--No sign has ever happened on the part of the devil
without a stronger sign on the part of God, or even without it having
been foretold that such would happen.


851

Unjust persecutors of those whom God visibly protects. If they reproach
you with your excesses, "they speak as the heretics." If they say that
the grace of Jesus Christ distinguishes us, "they are heretics." If they
do miracles, "it is the mark of their heresy."

Ezekiel.--They say: These are the people of God who speak thus.

It is said, "Believe in the Church";[358] but it is not said, "Believe
in miracles"; because the last is natural, and not the first. The one
had need of a precept, not the other. Hezekiah.

The synagogue was only a type, and thus it did not perish; and it was
only a type, and so it is decayed. It was a type which contained the
truth, and thus it has lasted until it no longer contained the truth.

My reverend father, all this happened in types. Other religions perish;
this one perishes not.

Miracles are more important than you think. They have served for the
foundation, and will serve for the continuation of the Church till
Antichrist, till the end.

The two witnesses.

In the Old Testament and the New, miracles are performed in connection
with types. Salvation, or a useless thing, if not to show that we must
submit to the Scriptures: type of the sacrament.


852

[We must judge soberly of divine ordinances, my father.

Saint Paul in the isle of Malta.]


853

The hardness of the Jesuits, then, surpasses that of the Jews, since
those refused to believe Jesus Christ innocent only because they doubted
if His miracles were of God. Whereas the Jesuits, though unable to doubt
that the miracles of Port-Royal are of God, do not cease to doubt still
the innocence of that house.


854

I suppose that men believe miracles. You corrupt religion either in
favour of your friends, or against your enemies. You arrange it at your
will.


855

_On the miracle._--As God has made no family more happy, let it also be
the case that He find none more thankful.



SECTION XIV

APPENDIX: POLEMICAL FRAGMENTS


856

_Clearness, obscurity._--There would be too great darkness, if truth had
not visible signs. This is a wonderful one, that it has always been
preserved in one Church and one visible assembly [of men]. There would
be too great clearness, if there were only one opinion in this Church.
But in order to recognise what is true, one has only to look at what has
always existed; for it is certain that truth has always existed, and
that nothing false has always existed.


857

The history of the Church ought properly to be called the history of
truth.


858

There is a pleasure in being in a ship beaten about by a storm, when we
are sure that it will not founder. The persecutions which harass the
Church are of this nature.


859

In addition to so many other signs of piety, they[359] are also
persecuted, which is the best sign of piety.


860

The Church is in an excellent state, when it is sustained by God only.


861

The Church has always been attacked by opposite errors, but perhaps
never at the same time, as now. And if she suffer more because of the
multiplicity of errors, she derives this advantage from it, that they
destroy each other.

She complains of both, but far more of the Calvinists, because of the
schism.

It is certain that many of the two opposite sects are deceived. They
must be disillusioned.

Faith embraces many truths which seem to contradict each other. _There
is a time to laugh, and a time to weep_,[360] etc. _Responde. Ne
respondeas_,[361] etc.

The source of this is the union of the two natures in Jesus Christ; and
also the two worlds (the creation of a new heaven and a new earth; a new
life and a new death; all things double, and the same names remaining);
and finally the two natures that are in the righteous, (for they are the
two worlds, and a member and image of Jesus Christ. And thus all the
names suit them: righteous, yet sinners; dead, yet living; living, yet
dead; elect, yet outcast, etc.).

There are then a great number of truths, both of faith and of morality,
which seem contradictory, and which all hold good together in a
wonderful system. The source of all heresies is the exclusion of some of
these truths; and the source of all the objections which the heretics
make against us is the ignorance of some of our truths. And it generally
happens that, unable to conceive the connection of two opposite truths,
and believing that the admission of one involves the exclusion of the
other, they adhere to the one, exclude the other, and think of us as
opposed to them. Now exclusion is the cause of their heresy; and
ignorance that we hold the other truth causes their objections.

1st example: Jesus Christ is God and man. The Arians, unable to
reconcile these things, which they believe incompatible, say that He is
man; in this they are Catholics. But they deny that He is God; in this
they are heretics. They allege that we deny His humanity; in this they
are ignorant.

2nd example: On the subject of the Holy Sacrament. We believe that, the
substance of the bread being changed, and being consubstantial with that
of the body of our Lord, Jesus Christ is therein really present. That is
one truth. Another is that this Sacrament is also a type of the cross
and of glory, and a commemoration of the two. That is the Catholic
faith, which comprehends these two truths which seem opposed.

The heresy of to-day, not conceiving that this Sacrament contains at the
same time both the presence of Jesus Christ and a type of Him, and that
it is a sacrifice and a commemoration of a sacrifice, believes that
neither of these truths can be admitted without excluding the other for
this reason.

They fasten to this point alone, that this Sacrament is typical; and in
this they are not heretics. They think that we exclude this truth; hence
it comes that they raise so many objections to us out of the passages of
the Fathers which assert it. Finally, they deny the presence; and in
this they are heretics.

3rd example: Indulgences.

The shortest way, therefore, to prevent heresies is to instruct in all
truths; and the surest way to refute them is to declare them all. For
what will the heretics say?

In order to know whether an opinion is a Father's ...


862

All err the more dangerously, as they each follow a truth. Their fault
is not in following a falsehood, but in not following another truth.


863

Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that
unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.


864

If there is ever a time in which we must make profession of two opposite
truths, it is when we are reproached for omitting one. Therefore the
Jesuits and Jansenists are wrong in concealing them, but the Jansenists
more so, for the Jesuits have better made profession of the two.


865

Two kinds of people make things equal to one another, as feasts to
working days, Christians to priests, all things among them, etc. And
hence the one party conclude that what is then bad for priests is also
so for Christians, and the other that what is not bad for Christians is
lawful for priests.


866

If the ancient Church was in error, the Church is fallen. If she should
be in error to-day, it is not the same thing; for she has always the
superior maxim of tradition from the hand of the ancient Church; and so
this submission and this conformity to the ancient Church prevail and
correct all. But the ancient Church did not assume the future Church,
and did not consider her, as we assume and consider the ancient.


867

That which hinders us in comparing what formerly occurred in the Church
with what we see there now, is that we generally look upon Saint
Athanasius,[362] Saint Theresa, and the rest, as crowned with glory, and
acting towards us as gods. Now that time has cleared up things, it does
so appear. But at the time when he was persecuted, this great saint was
a man called Athanasius; and Saint Theresa was a nun. "Elias was a man
subject to like passions as we are," says Saint James, to disabuse
Christians of that false idea which makes us reject the example of the
saints, as disproportioned to our state. "They were saints," say we,
"they are not like us." What then actually happened? Saint Athanasius
was a man called Athanasius, accused of many crimes, condemned by such
and such a council for such and such a crime. All the bishops assented
to it, and finally the Pope. What said they to those who opposed this?
That they disturbed the peace, that they created schism, etc.

Zeal, light. Four kinds of persons: zeal without knowledge; knowledge
without zeal; neither knowledge nor zeal; both zeal and knowledge. The
first three condemned him. The last acquitted him, were excommunicated
by the Church, and yet saved the Church.


868

If Saint Augustine came at the present time, and was as little
authorised as his defenders, he would accomplish nothing. God directs
His Church well, by having sent him before with authority.


869

God has not wanted to absolve without the Church. As she has part in the
offence, He desires her to have part in the pardon. He associates her
with this power, as kings their parliaments. But if she absolves or
binds without God, she is no longer the Church. For, as in the case of
parliament, even if the king have pardoned a man, it must be ratified;
but if parliament ratifies without the king, or refuses to ratify on the
order of the king, it is no longer the parliament of the king, but a
rebellious assembly.


870

_The Church, the Pope. Unity, plurality._--Considering the Church as a
unity, the Pope, who is its head, is as the whole. Considering it as a
plurality, the Pope is only a part of it. The Fathers have considered
the Church now in the one way, now in the other. And thus they have
spoken differently of the Pope. (Saint Cyprian: _Sacerdos Dei._) But in
establishing one of these truths, they have not excluded the other.
Plurality which is not reduced to unity is confusion; unity which does
not depend on plurality is tyranny. There is scarcely any other country
than France in which it is permissible to say that the Council is above
the Pope.


871

The Pope is head. Who else is known of all? Who else is recognised by
all, having power to insinuate himself into all the body, because he
holds the principal shoot, which insinuates itself everywhere? How easy
it was to make this degenerate into tyranny! That is why Christ has laid
down for them this precept: _Vos autem non sic._[363]


872

The Pope hates and fears the learned, who do not submit to him at will.


873

We must not judge of what the Pope is by some words of the Fathers--as
the Greeks said in a council, important rules--but by the acts of the
Church and the Fathers, and by the canons.

_Duo aut tres in unum._[364] Unity and plurality. It is an error to
exclude one of the two, as the papists do who exclude plurality, or the
Huguenots who exclude unity.


874

Would the Pope be dishonoured by having his knowledge from God and
tradition; and is it not dishonouring him to separate him from this holy
union?


875

God does not perform miracles in the ordinary conduct of His Church. It
would be a strange miracle if infallibility existed in one man. But it
appears so natural for it to reside in a multitude, since the conduct
of God is hidden under nature, as in all His other works.


876

Kings dispose of their own power; but the Popes cannot dispose of
theirs.


877

_Summum jus, summa injuria._

The majority is the best way, because it is visible, and has strength to
make itself obeyed. Yet it is the opinion of the least able.

If men could have done it, they would have placed might in the hands of
justice. But as might does not allow itself to be managed as men want,
because it is a palpable quality, whereas justice is a spiritual quality
of which men dispose as they please, they have placed justice in the
hands of might. And thus that is called just which men are forced to
obey.

Hence comes the right of the sword, for the sword gives a true right.
Otherwise we should see violence on one side and justice on the other
(end of the twelfth _Provincial_). Hence comes the injustice of the
Fronde,[365] which raises its alleged justice against power. It is not
the same in the Church, for there is a true justice and no violence.


878

_Injustice._--Jurisdiction is not given for the sake of the judge, but
for that of the litigant. It is dangerous to tell this to the people.
But the people have too much faith in you; it will not harm them, and
may serve you. It should therefore be made known. _Pasce oves
meas_,[366] non _tuas_. You owe me pasturage.


879

Men like certainty. They like the Pope to be infallible in faith, and
grave doctors to be infallible in morals, so as to have certainty.


880

The Church teaches, and God inspires, both infallibly. The work of the
Church is of use only as a preparation for grace or condemnation. What
it does is enough for condemnation, not for inspiration.


881

Every time the Jesuits may impose upon the Pope, they will make all
Christendom perjured.

The Pope is very easily imposed upon, because of his occupations, and
the confidence which he has in the Jesuits; and the Jesuits are very
capable of imposing upon him by means of calumny.


882

The wretches who have obliged me to speak of the basis of religion.


883

Sinners purified without penitence; the righteous justified without
love; all Christians without the grace of Jesus Christ; God without
power over the will of men; a predestination without mystery; a
redemption without certitude!


884

Any one is made a priest, who wants to be so, as under Jeroboam.[367]

It is a horrible thing that they propound to us the discipline of the
Church of to-day as so good, that it is made a crime to desire to change
it. Formerly it was infallibly good, and it was thought that it could be
changed without sin; and now, such as it is, we cannot wish it changed!
It has indeed been permitted to change the custom of not making priests
without such great circumspection, that there were hardly any who were
worthy; and it is not allowed to complain of the custom which makes so
many who are unworthy!


885

_Heretics._--Ezekiel. All the heathen, and also the Prophet, spoke evil
of Israel. But the Israelites were so far from having the right to say
to him, "You speak like the heathen," that he is most forcible upon
this, that the heathen say the same as he.


886

The Jansenists are like the heretics in the reformation of morality; but
you are like them in evil.


887

You are ignorant of the prophecies, if you do not know that all this
must happen; princes, prophets, Pope, and even the priests. And yet the
Church is to abide. By the grace of God we have not come to that. Woe to
these priests! But we hope that God will bestow His mercy upon us that
we shall not be of them.

Saint Peter, ii: false prophets in the past, the image of future ones.


888

... So that if it is true, on the one hand, that some lax monks, and
some corrupt casuists, who are not members of the hierarchy, are steeped
in these corruptions, it is, on the other hand, certain that the true
pastors of the Church, who are the true guardians of the Divine Word,
have preserved it unchangeably against the efforts of those who have
attempted to destroy it.

And thus true believers have no pretext to follow that laxity, which is
only offered to them by the strange hands of these casuists, instead of
the sound doctrine which is presented to them by the fatherly hands of
their own pastors. And the ungodly and heretics have no ground for
publishing these abuses as evidence of imperfection in the providence of
God over His Church; since, the Church consisting properly in the body
of the hierarchy, we are so far from being able to conclude from the
present state of matters that God has abandoned her to corruption, that
it has never been more apparent than at the present time that God
visibly protects her from corruption.

For if some of these men, who, by an extraordinary vocation, have made
profession of withdrawing from the world and adopting the monks' dress,
in order to live in a more perfect state than ordinary Christians, have
fallen into excesses which horrify ordinary Christians, and have become
to us what the false prophets were among the Jews; this is a private and
personal misfortune, which must indeed be deplored, but from which
nothing can be inferred against the care which God takes of His Church;
since all these things are so clearly foretold, and it has been so long
since announced that these temptations would arise from people of this
kind; so that when we are well instructed, we see in this rather
evidence of the care of God than of His forgetfulness in regard to us.


889

Tertullian: _Nunquam Ecclesia reformabitur._


890

Heretics, who take advantage of the doctrine of the Jesuits, must be
made to know that it is not that of the Church [_the doctrine of the
Church_], and that our divisions do not separate us from the altar.


891

If in differing we condemned, you would be right. Uniformity without
diversity is useless to others; diversity without uniformity is ruinous
for us. The one is harmful outwardly; the other inwardly.


892

By showing the truth, we cause it to be believed; but by showing the
injustice of ministers, we do not correct it. Our mind is assured by a
proof of falsehood; our purse is not made secure by proof of injustice.


893

Those who love the Church lament to see the corruption of morals; but
laws at least exist. But these corrupt the laws. The model is damaged.


894

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from
religious conviction.


895

It is in vain that the Church has established these words, anathemas,
heresies, etc. They are used against her.


896

The servant knoweth not what his lord doeth, for the master tells him
only the act and not the intention.[368] And this is why he often obeys
slavishly, and defeats the intention. But Jesus Christ has told us the
object. And you defeat that object.


897

They cannot have perpetuity, and they seek universality; and therefore
they make the whole Church corrupt, that they may be saints.


898

_Against those who misuse passages of Scripture, and who pride
themselves in finding one which seems to favour their error._--The
chapter for Vespers, Passion Sunday, the prayer for the king.

Explanation of these words: "He that is not with me is against me."[369]
And of these others: "He that is not against you is for you."[370] A
person who says: "I am neither for nor against", we ought to reply to
him ...


899

He who will give the meaning of Scripture, and does not take it from
Scripture, is an enemy of Scripture. (Aug., _De Doct. Christ._)


900

_Humilibus dat gratiam; an ideo non dedit humilitatem?[371]

Sui eum non receperunt; quotquot autem non receperunt an non erant
sui?_[372]


901

"It must indeed be," says Feuillant, "that this is not so certain; for
controversy indicates uncertainty, (Saint Athanasius, Saint Chrysostom,
morals, unbelievers)."

The Jesuits have not made the truth uncertain, but they have made their
own ungodliness certain.

Contradiction has always been permitted, in order to blind the wicked;
for all that offends truth or love is evil. This is the true principle.


902

All religions and sects in the world have had natural reason for a
guide. Christians alone have been constrained to take their rules from
without themselves, and to acquaint themselves with those which Jesus
Christ bequeathed to men of old to be handed down to true believers.
This constraint wearies these good Fathers. They desire, like other
people, to have liberty to follow their own imaginations. It is in vain
that we cry to them, as the prophets said to the Jews of old: "Enter
into the Church; acquaint yourselves with the precepts which the men of
old left to her, and follow those paths." They have answered like the
Jews: "We will not walk in them; but we will follow the thoughts of our
hearts"; and they have said, "We will be as the other nations."[373]


903

They make a rule of exception.

Have the men of old given absolution before penance? Do this as
exceptional. But of the exception you make a rule without exception, so
that you do not even want the rule to be exceptional.


904

_On confessions and absolutions without signs of regret._

God regards only the inward; the Church judges only by the outward. God
absolves as soon as He sees penitence in the heart; the Church when she
sees it in works. God will make a Church pure within, which confounds,
by its inward and entirely spiritual holiness, the inward impiety of
proud sages and Pharisees; and the Church will make an assembly of men
whose external manners are so pure as to confound the manners of the
heathen. If there are hypocrites among them, but so well disguised that
she does not discover their venom, she tolerates them; for, though they
are not accepted of God, whom they cannot deceive, they are of men, whom
they do deceive. And thus she is not dishonoured by their conduct, which
appears holy. But you want the Church to judge neither of the inward,
because that belongs to God alone, nor of the outward, because God
dwells only upon the inward; and thus, taking away from her all choice
of men, you retain in the Church the most dissolute, and those who
dishonour her so greatly, that the synagogues of the Jews and sects of
philosophers would have banished them as unworthy, and have abhorred
them as impious.


905

The easiest conditions to live in according to the world are the most
difficult to live in according to God, and vice versa. Nothing is so
difficult according to the world as the religious life; nothing is
easier than to live it according to God. Nothing is easier, according to
the world, than to live in high office and great wealth; nothing is more
difficult than to live in them according to God, and without acquiring
an interest in them and a liking for them.


906

The casuists submit the decision to the corrupt reason, and the choice
of decisions to the corrupt will, in order that all that is corrupt in
the nature of man may contribute to his conduct.


907

But is it _probable_ that _probability_ gives assurance?

Difference between rest and security of conscience. Nothing gives
certainty but truth; nothing gives rest but the sincere search for
truth.


908

The whole society itself of their casuists cannot give assurance to a
conscience in error, and that is why it is important to choose good
guides.

Thus they will be doubly culpable, both in having followed ways which
they should not have followed, and in having listened to teachers to
whom they should not have listened.


909

Can it be anything but compliance with the world which makes you find
things probable? Will you make us believe that it is truth, and that if
duelling were not the fashion, you would find it probable that they
might fight, considering the matter in itself?


910

Must we kill to prevent there being any wicked? This is to make both
parties wicked instead of one. _Vince in bono malum._[374] (Saint
Augustine.)


911

_Universal._--Ethics and language are special, but universal sciences.


912

_Probability._--Each one can employ it; no one can take it away.


913

They allow lust to act, and check scruples; whereas they should do the
contrary.


914

_Montalte._[375]--Lax opinions please men so much, that it is strange
that theirs displease. It is because they have exceeded all bounds.
Again, there are many people who see the truth, and who cannot attain to
it; but there are few who do not know that the purity of religion is
opposed to our corruptions. It is absurd to say that an eternal
recompense is offered to the morality of Escobar.


915

_Probability._--They have some true principles; but they misuse them.
Now, the abuse of truth ought to be as much punished as the introduction
of falsehood.

As if there were two hells, one for sins against love, the other for
those against justice!


916

_Probability._[376]--The earnestness of the saints in seeking the truth
was useless, if the probable is trustworthy. The fear of the saints who
have always followed the surest way (Saint Theresa having always
followed her confessor).


917

Take away _probability_, and you can no longer please the world; give
_probability_, and you can no longer displease it.


918

These are the effects of the sins of the peoples and of the Jesuits. The
great have wished to be flattered. The Jesuits have wished to be loved
by the great. They have all been worthy to be abandoned to the spirit of
lying, the one party to deceive, the others to be deceived. They have
been avaricious, ambitious, voluptuous. _Coacervabunt tibi
magistros._[377] Worthy disciples of such masters, they have sought
flatterers, and have found them.


919

If they do not renounce their doctrine of probability, their good maxims
are as little holy as the bad, for they are founded on human authority;
and thus, if they are more just, they will be more reasonable, but not
more holy. They take after the wild stem on which they are grafted.

If what I say does not serve to enlighten you, it will be of use to the
people.

If these[378] are silent, the stones will speak.

Silence is the greatest persecution; the saints were never silent. It is
true that a call is necessary; but it is not from the decrees of the
Council that we must learn whether we are called, it is from the
necessity of speaking. Now, after Rome has spoken, and we think that she
has condemned the truth, and that they have written it, and after the
books which have said the contrary are censured; we must cry out so much
the louder, the more unjustly we are censured, and the more violently
they would stifle speech, until there come a Pope who hears both
parties, and who consults antiquity to do justice. So the good Popes
will find the Church still in outcry.

The Inquisition and the Society[379] are the two scourges of the truth.

Why do you not accuse them of Arianism? For, though they have said that
Jesus Christ is God, perhaps they mean by it not the natural
interpretation, but as it is said, _Dii estis_.

If my Letters are condemned at Rome, that which I condemn in them is
condemned in heaven. _Ad tuum, Domine Jesu, tribunal appello._

You yourselves are corruptible.

I feared that I had written ill, seeing myself condemned; but the
example of so many pious writings makes me believe the contrary. It is
no longer allowable to write well, so corrupt or ignorant is the
Inquisition!

"It is better to obey God than men."

I fear nothing; I hope for nothing. It is not so with the bishops.
Port-Royal fears, and it is bad policy to disperse them; for they will
fear no longer and will cause greater fear. I do not even fear your like
censures, if they are not founded on those of tradition. Do you censure
all? What! even my respect? No. Say then what, or you will do nothing,
if you do not point out the evil, and why it is evil. And this is what
they will have great difficulty in doing.

_Probability._--They have given a ridiculous explanation of certitude;
for, after having established that all their ways are sure, they have no
longer called that sure which leads to heaven without danger of not
arriving there by it, but that which leads there without danger of going
out of that road.


920

... The saints indulge in subtleties in order to think themselves
criminals, and impeach their better actions. And these indulge in
subtleties in order to excuse the most wicked.

The heathen sages erected a structure equally fine outside, but upon a
bad foundation; and the devil deceived men by this apparent resemblance
based upon the most different foundation.

Man never had so good a cause as I; and others have never furnished so
good a capture as you....

The more they point out weakness in my person, the more they authorise
my cause.

You say that I am a heretic. Is that lawful? And if you do not fear that
men do justice, do you not fear that God does justice?

You will feel the force of the truth, and you will yield to it ...

There is something supernatural in such a blindness. _Digna
necessitas.[380] Mentiris impudentissime_ ...

_Doctrina sua noscitur vir_ ...

False piety, a double sin.

I am alone against thirty thousand. No. Protect, you, the court;
protect, you, deception; let me protect the truth. It is all my
strength. If I lose it, I am undone. I shall not lack accusations, and
persecutions. But I possess the truth, and we shall see who will take it
away.

I do not need to defend religion, but you do not need to defend error
and injustice. Let God, out of His compassion, having no regard to the
evil which is in me, and having regard to the good which is in you,
grant us all grace that truth may not be overcome in my hands, and that
falsehood ...


921

_Probable._--Let us see if we seek God sincerely, by comparison of the
things which we love. It is _probable_ that this food will not poison
me. It is _probable_ that I shall not lose my action by not prosecuting
it ...


922

It is not absolution only which remits sins by the sacrament of penance,
but contrition, which is not real if it does not seek the sacrament.


923

People who do not keep their word, without faith, without honour,
without truth, deceitful in heart, deceitful in speech; for which that
amphibious animal in fable was once reproached, which held itself in a
doubtful position between the fish and the birds ...

It is important to kings and princes to be considered pious; and
therefore they must confess themselves to you.



NOTES


The following brief notes are mainly based on those of M. Brunschvicg.
But those of MM. Faugère, Molinier, and Havet have also been consulted.
The biblical references are to the Authorised English Version. Those in
the text are to the Vulgate, except where it has seemed advisable to
alter the reference to the English Version.


[1] P. 1, l. 1. _The difference between the mathematical and the
    intuitive mind._--Pascal is here distinguishing the logical or
    discursive type of mind, a good example of which is found in
    mathematical reasoning, and what we should call the intuitive type
    of mind, which sees everything at a glance. A practical man of sound
    judgment exemplifies the latter; for he is in fact guided by
    impressions of past experience, and does not consciously reason from
    general principles.

[2] P. 2, l. 34. _There are different kinds_, etc.--This is probably a
    subdivision of the discursive type of mind.

[3] P. 3, l. 31. _By rule._--This is an emendation by M. Brunschvicg.
    The MS. has _sans règle_.

[4] P. 4, l. 3. _I judge by my watch._--Pascal is said to have always
    carried a watch attached to his left wrist-band.

[5] P. 5, l. 21. _Scaramouch._--A traditional character in Italian
    comedy.

[6] P. 5, l. 22. _The doctor._--Also a traditional character in Italian
    comedy.

[7] P. 5, l. 24. _Cleobuline._--Princess, and afterwards Queen of
    Corinth, figures in the romance of Mademoiselle de Scudéry, entitled
    _Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus_. She is enamoured of one of her
    subjects, Myrinthe. But she "loved him without thinking of love; and
    remained so long in that error, that this affection was no longer in
    a state to be overcome, when she became aware of it." The character
    is supposed to have been drawn from Christina of Sweden.

[8] P. 6, l. 21. _Rivers are_, etc.--Apparently suggested by a chapter
    in Rabelais: _How we descended in the isle of Odes, in which the
    roads walk_.

[9] P. 6, l. 30. _Salomon de Tultie._--A pseudonym adopted by Pascal as
    the author of the _Provincial Letters_.

[10] P. 7, l. 7. _Abstine et sustine._--A maxim of the Stoics.

[11] P. 7, l. 8. _Follow nature._--The maxim in which the Stoics summed
     up their positive ethical teaching.

[12] P. 7, l. 9. _As Plato._--Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 9.

[13] P. 9, l. 29. _We call this jargon poetical beauty._--According to
     M. Havet, Pascal refers here to Malherbe and his school.

[14] P. 10, l. 23. _Ne quid nimis._--Nothing in excess, a celebrated
     maxim in ancient Greek philosophy.

[15] P. 11, l. 26. _That epigram about two one-eyed people._--M. Havet
     points out that this is not Martial's, but is to be found in
     _Epigrammatum Delectus_, published by Port-Royal in 1659.

          _Lumine Æon dextro, capta est Leonilla sinistro,
          Et potis est forma vincere uterque deos.
          Blande puer, lumen quod habes concede parenti,
          Sic tu cæcus Amor, sic erit ilia Venus._

[16] P. 11, l. 29. _Ambitiosa recidet ornamenta._--Horace, _De Arte
     Poetica_, 447.

[17] P. 13, l. 2. _Cartesian._--One who follows the philosophy of
     Descartes (1596-1650), "the father of modern philosophy."

[18] P. 13, l. 8. _Le Maître._--A famous French advocate in Pascal's
     time. His _Plaidoyers el Harangues_ appeared in 1657. _Plaidoyer
     VI_ is entitled _Pour un fils mis en religion par force_, and on
     the first page occurs the word _répandre_: "_Dieu qui répand des
     aveuglements et des ténèbres sur les passions illégitimes._"
     Pascal's reference is probably to this passage.

[19] P. 13, l. 12. _The Cardinal._--Mazarin. He was one of those
     statesmen who do not like condolences.

[20] P. 14, l. 12. _Saint Thomas._--Thomas Aquinas (1223-74), one of the
     greatest scholastic philosophers.

[21] P. 14, l. 16. _Charron._--A friend of Montaigne. His _Traité de la
     Sagesse_ (1601), which is not a large book, contains 117 chapters,
     each of which is subdivided.

[22] P. 14, l. 17. _Of the confusion of Montaigne._--The Essays of
     Montaigne follow each other without any kind of order.

[23] P. 14, l. 27. _Mademoiselle de Gournay._--The adopted daughter of
     Montaigne. She published in 1595 an edition of his _Essais_, and,
     in a Preface (added later), she defends him on this point.

[24] P. 15, l. 1. _People without eyes._--Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[25] P. 15, l. 1. _Squaring the circle._--Ibid., ii, 14.

[26] P. 15, l. 1. _A greater world._--Ibid., ii, 12.

[27] P. 15, l. 2. _On suicide and on death._--Ibid., ii, 3.

[28] P. 15, l. 3. _Without fear and without repentance._--Ibid., iii.,
     2.

[29] P. 15, l. 7. (730, 231).--These two references of Pascal are to the
     edition of the _Essais_ of Montaigne, published in 1636.

[30] P. 16, l. 32. _The centre which is everywhere, and the
     circumference nowhere._--M. Havet traces this saying to
     Empedocles. Pascal must have read it in Mlle de Gournay's preface
     to her edition of Montaigne's _Essais_.

[31] P. 18, l. 33. _I will speak of the whole._--This saying of
     Democritus is quoted by Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[32] P. 18, l. 37. _Principles of Philosophy._--The title of one of
     Descartes's philosophical writings, published in 1644. See note on
     p. 13, l. 8 above.

[33] P. 18, l. 39. _De omni scibili._--The title under which Pico della
     Mirandola announced nine hundred propositions which he proposed to
     uphold publicly at Rome in 1486.

[34] P. 19, l. 26. _Beneficia eo usque læta sunt._--Tacitus, _Ann._,
     lib. iv, c. xviii. Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 8.

[35] P. 21, l. 35. _Modus quo_, etc.--St. Augustine, _De Civ. Dei_, xxi,
     10. Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[36] P. 22, l. 8. _Felix qui_, etc.--Virgil, _Georgics_, ii, 489, quoted
     by Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 10.

[37] P. 22, l. 10. _Nihil admirari_, etc.--Horace, _Epistles_, I. vi. 1.
     Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 10.

[38] P. 22, l. 19. 394.--A reference to Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[39] P. 22, l. 20. 395.--Ibid.

[40] P. 22, l. 22. 399.--Ibid.

[41] P. 22, l. 28. _Harum sententiarum._--Cicero, _Tusc._, i, 11,
     Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[42] P. 22, l. 39. _Felix qui_, etc.--See above, notes on p. 22, l. 8
     and l. 10.

[43] P. 22, l. 40. 280 _kinds of sovereign good in
     Montaigne._--_Essais_, ii, 12.

[44] P. 23, l. 1. _Part I_, 1, 2, _c_. 1, _section_ 4.--This reference
     is to Pascal's _Traité du vide_.

[45] P. 23, l. 25. _How comes it_, etc.--Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 8.

[46] P. 23, l. 29. See Epictetus, _Diss._, iv, 6. He was a great Roman
     Stoic in the time of Domitian.

[47] P. 24, l. 9. _It is natural_, etc.--Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, i,
     4.

[48] P. 24, l. 12. _Imagination._--This fragment is suggestive of
     Montaigne. See _Essais_, iii, 8.

[49] P. 25, l. 16. _If the greatest philosopher_, etc. See Raymond
     Sebond's _Apologie_, from which Pascal has derived his
     illustrations.

[50] P. 26, l. 1. _Furry cats._--Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 8.

[51] P. 26, l. 31. _Della opinione_, etc.--No work is known under this
     name. It may refer to a treatise by Carlo Flori, which bears a
     title like this. But its date (1690) is after Pascal's death
     (1662), though there may have been earlier editions.

[52] P. 27, l. 12. _Source of error in diseases._--Montaigne, _Essais_,
     ii, 12.

[53] P. 27, l. 27. _They rival each other_, etc.--Ibid.

[54] P. 28, l. 31. _Næ iste_, etc.--Terence, _Heaut._, IV, i, 8.
     Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 1.

[55] P. 28, l. 15. _Quasi quidquam_, etc.--Plin., ii, 7. Montaigne,
     ibid.

[56] P. 28, l. 29. _Quod crebro_, etc.--Cicero, _De Divin._, ii, 49.

[57] P. 29, l. 1. _Spongia solis._--The spots on the sun. Pascal sees in
     them the beginning of the darkening of the sun, and thinks that
     there will therefore come a day when there will be no sun.

[58] P. 29, l. 15. _Custom is a second nature_, etc.--Montaigne,
     _Essais_, i, 22.

[59] P. 29, l. 19. _Omne animal._--See Genesis vii, 14.

[60] P. 30, l. 22. _Hence savages_, etc.--Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 22.

[61] P. 32, l. 3. _A great part of Europe_, etc.--An allusion to the
     Reformation.

[62] P. 33, l. 13. _Alexander's chastity._--Pascal apparently has in
     mind Alexander's treatment of Darius's wife and daughters after the
     battle of Issus.

[63] P. 34, l. 17. _Lustravit lampade terras._--Part of Cicero's
     translation of two lines from Homer, _Odyssey_, xviii, 136.
     Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

          _Tales sunt hominum mentes, quali pater ipse
          Jupiter auctiferas lustravit lampade terras._

[64] P. 34, l. 32. _Nature gives_, etc.--Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 19.

[65] P. 37, l. 23. _Our nature consists_, etc.--Montaigne, _Essais_,
     iii, 13.

[66] P. 38, l. 1. _Weariness._--Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[67] P. 38, l. 8. _Cæsar was too old_, etc.--See Montaigne, _Essais_,
     ii, 34.

[68] P. 38, l. 30. _A mere trifle_, etc.--Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 4.

[69] P. 40, l. 21. _Advice given to Pyrrhus._--Ibid., i, 42.

[70] P. 41, l. 2. _They do not know_, etc.--Ibid., i, 19.

[71] P. 44, l. 14. _They are_, etc.--Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 38.

[72] P. 46, l. 7. _Those who write_, etc.--A thought of Cicero in _Pro
     Archia_, mentioned by Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 41.

[73] P. 47, l. 3. _Ferox gens._--Livy, xxxiv, 17. Montaigne, _Essais_,
     i, 40.

[74] P. 47, l. 5. _Every opinion_, etc.--Montaigne, ibid.

[75] P. 47, l. 12. 184.--This is a reference to Montaigne, _Essais_, i,
     40. See also ibid., iii, 10.

[76] P. 48, l. 8. _I know not what (Corneille)._--See _Médée,_ II, vi,
     and _Rodogune_, I, v.

[77] P. 48, l. 22. _In omnibus requiem quæsivi._--Eccles. xxiv, II, in
     the Vulgate.

[78] P. 50, l. 5. _The future alone is our end._--Montaigne, _Essais_, i,
     3.

[79] P. 50, l. 14. _Solomon._--Considered by Pascal as the author of
     Ecclesiastes.

[80] P. 50, l. 20. _Unconscious of approaching fever._--Compare
     Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 19.

[81] P. 50, l. 22. _Cromwell._--Cromwell died in 1658 of a fever, and
     not of the gravel. The Restoration took place in 1660, and this
     fragment was written about that date.

[82] P. 50, l. 28. _The three hosts._--Charles I was beheaded in 1649;
     Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated in 1654; Jean Casimir, King of
     Poland, was deposed in 1656.

[83] P. 50, l. 32. _Macrobius._--A Latin writer of the fifth century. He
     was a Neo-Platonist in philosophy. One of his works is entitled
     _Saturnalia_.

[84] P. 51, l. 5. _The great and the humble_, etc.--See Montaigne,
     _Essais_, ii, 12.

[85] P. 53, l. 5. _Miton._--A man of fashion in Paris known to Pascal.

[86] P. 53, l. 15. _Deus absconditus._--Is. xiv, 15.

[87] P. 60, l. 26. _Fascinatio nugacitatis._--Book of Wisdom iv, 12.

[88] P. 61, l. 10. _Memoria hospitis_, etc.--Book of Wisdom v, 15.

[89] P. 62, l. 5. _Instability._--Compare Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 12.

[90] P. 66, l. 19. _Foolishness, stultitium._--I Cor. i, 18.

[91] P. 71, l. 5. _To prove Divinity from the works of nature._--A
     traditional argument of the Stoics like Cicero and Seneca, and of
     rationalist theologians like Raymond Sebond, Charron, etc. It is
     the argument from Design in modern philosophy.

[92] P. 71, l. 27. _Nemo novit_, etc.--Matthew xi, 27. In the Vulgate,
     it is _Neque patrem quis novit_, etc. Pascal's biblical quotations
     are often incorrect. Many seem to have been made from memory.

[93] P. 71, l. 30. _Those who seek God find Him._--Matthew vii, 7.

[94] P. 72, l. 3. _Vere tu es Deus absconditus._--Is. xiv, 15.

[95] P. 72, l. 22. _Ne evacuetur crux Christi._--I Cor. i, 17. In the
     Vulgate we have_ut non_ instead of _ne_.

[96] P. 72, l. 25. _The machine._--A Cartesian expression. Descartes
     considered animals as mere automata. According to Pascal, whatever
     does not proceed in us from reflective thought is a product of a
     necessary mechanism, which has its root in the body, and which is
     continued into the mind in imagination and the passions. It is
     therefore necessary for man so to alter, and adjust this mechanism,
     that it will always follow, and not obstruct, the good will.

[97] P. 73, l. 3. _Justus ex fide vivit._--Romans i, 17.

[98] P. 73, l. 5. _Fides ex auditu._--Romans x, 17.

[99] P. 73, l. 12. _The creature._--What is purely natural in us.

[100] P. 74, l. 15. _Inclina cor meum, Deus._--Ps. cxix, 36.

[101] P. 75, l. 11. _Unus quisque sibi Deum fingit._--See Book of Wisdom
      xv, 6, 16.

[102] P. 76, l. 34. _Eighth beatitude._--Matthew v, 10. It is to the
      fourth beatitude that the thought directly refers.

[103] P. 77, l. 6. _One thousand and twenty-eight._--The number of the
      stars according to Ptolemy's catalogue.

[104] P. 77, l. 29. _Saint Augustine._--_Epist._ cxx, 3.

[105] P. 78, l. 1. _Nisi efficiamini sicut parvuli._--Matthew xviii, 3.

[106] P. 80, l. 20. _Inclina cor meum, Deus, in_....--Ps. cxix, 36.

[107] P. 80, l. 22. _Its establishment._--The constitution of the
      Christian Church.

[108] P. 81, l. 20. _The youths and maidens and children of the Church
      would prophesy._--Joel ii, 28.

[109] P. 83, l. 11. _On what_, etc.--See Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[110] P. 84, l. 16. _Nihil amplius ... est._--Ibid. Cicero, _De
      Finibus_, v, 21.

[111] P. 84, l. 17. _Ex senatus ... exercentur._--Montaigne, _Essais_,
      iii, 1. Seneca, _Letters_, 95.

[112] P. 84, l. 18. _Ut olim ... laboramus._--Montaigne, _Essais_, iii,
      13. Tacitus, _Ann._, iii, 25.

[113] P. 84, l. 20. _The interest of the sovereign._--The view of
      Thrasymachus in Plato's _Republic_, i, 338.

[114] P. 84, l. 21. _Another, present custom._--The doctrine of the
      Cyrenaics. Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 13.

[115] P. 84, l. 24. _The mystical foundation of its
      authority._--Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 13. See also ii, 12.

[116] P. 85, l. 2. _The wisest of legislators._--Plato. See _Republic_,
      ii, 389, and v, 459.

[117] P. 85, l. 4. _Cum veritatem_, etc.--An inexact quotation from St.
      Augustine, _De Civ. Dei_, iv, 27. Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[118] P. 85, l. 17. _Veri juris._--Cicero, _De Officiis_, iii, 17.
      Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, I.

[119] P. 86, l. 9. _When a strong man_, etc.--Luke xi, 21.

[120] P. 86, l. 26. _Because he who will_, etc.--See Epictetus, _Diss._,
      iii, 12.

[121] P. 88, l. 19. _Civil wars are the greatest of evils._--Montaigne,
      _Essais_, iii, 11.

[122] P. 89, l. 5. _Montaigne._--_Essais_, i, 42.

[123] P. 91, l. 8. _Savages laugh at an infant king._--An allusion to a
      visit of some savages to Europe. They were greatly astonished to
      see grown men obey the child king, Charles IX. Montaigne,
      _Essais_, i, 30.

[124] P. 92, l. 8. _Man's true state._--See Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 54.

[125] P. 95, l. 3. _Omnis ... vanitati._--Eccles. iii, 19.

[126] P. 95, l. 4. _Liberabitur._--Romans viii, 20-21.

[127] P. 95, l. 4. _Saint Thomas._--In his Commentary on the Epistle of
      St. James. James ii, 1.

[128] P. 96, l. 9. _The account of the pike and frog of Liancourt._--The
      story is unknown. The Duc de Liancourt led a vicious life in
      youth, but was converted by his wife. He became one of the firmest
      supporters of Port-Royal.

[129] P. 97, l. 18. _Philosophers._--The Stoics.

[130] P. 97, l. 24. _Epictetus._--_Diss._, iv, 7.

[131] P. 97, l. 26. _Those great spiritual efforts_, etc.--On this, and
      the following fragment, see Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 29.

[132] P. 98, l. 3. _Epaminondas._--Praised by Montaigne, _Essais_, ii,
      36. See also iii, 1.

[133] P. 98, l. 17. _Plerumque gratæ principibus vices._--Horace,
      _Odes_, III, xxix, 13, cited by Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 42. Horace
      has _divitibus_ instead of _principibus_.

[134] P. 99, l. 4. _Man is neither angel nor brute_, etc.--Montaigne,
      _Essais_, iii, 13.

[135] P. 99, l. 14. _Ut sis contentus_, etc.--A quotation from Seneca.
      See Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 3.

[136] P. 99, l. 21. _Sen._ 588.--Seneca, _Letter to Lucilius_, xv.
      Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, I.

[137] P. 99, l. 23. _Divin._--Cicero, _De Divin._, ii, 58.

[138] P. 99, l. 25. _Cic._--Cicero, _Tusc_, ii, 2. The quotation is
      inaccurate. Montaigne, _Essais_, ii, 12.

[139] P. 99, l. 27. _Senec._--Seneca, _Epist._, 106.

[140] P. 99, l. 28. _Id maxime_, etc.--Cicero, _De Off._, i, 31.

[141] P. 99, l. 29. _Hos natura_, etc.--Virgil, _Georgics_, ii, 20.

[142] P. 99, l. 30. _Paucis opus_, etc.--Seneca, _Epist._, 106.

[143] P. 100, l. 3. _Mihi sic usus_, etc.--Terence, _Heaut._, I, i, 28.

[144] P. 100, l. 4. _Rarum est_, etc.--Quintilian, x, 7.

[145] P. 100, l. 5. _Tot circa_, etc.--M. Seneca, _Suasoriæ_, i, 4.

[146] P. 100, l. 6. _Cic._--Cicero, _Acad._, i, 45.

[147] P. 100, l. 7. _Nec me pudet_, etc.--Cicero, _Tusc._, i, 25.

[148] P. 100, l. 8. _Melius non incipiet._--The rest of the quotation is
      _quam desinet_. Seneca, _Epist._, 72.

[149] P. 100, l. 25. _They win battles._--Montaigne, in his _Essais_,
      ii, 12, relates that the Portuguese were compelled to raise the
      siege of Tamly on account of the number of flies.

[150] P. 100, l. 27. _When it is said_, etc.--By Descartes.

[151] P. 102, l. 20. _Arcesilaus._--A follower of Pyrrho, the sceptic.
      He lived in the third century before Christ.

[152] P. 105, l. 20. _Ecclesiastes._--Eccles. viii, 17.

[153] P. 106, l. 16. _The academicians._--Dogmatic sceptics, as opposed
      to sceptics who doubt their own doubt.

[154] P. 107, l. 10. _Ego vir videns._--Lamentations iii, I.

[155] P. 108, l. 26. _Evil is easy_, etc.--The Pythagoreans considered
      the good as certain and finite, and evil as uncertain and
      infinite. Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 9.

[156] P. 109, l. 7. _Paulus Æmilius._--Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 19.
      Cicero, _Tusc._, v, 40.

[157] P. 109, l. 30. _Des Barreaux._--Author of a licentious love song.
      He was born in 1602, and died in 1673. Balzac call him "the new
      Bacchus."

[158] P. 110, l. 16. _For Port-Royal._--The letters, A. P. R., occur in
      several places, and are generally thought to indicate what will be
      afterwards treated in lectures or conferences at Port-Royal, the
      famous Cistercian abbey, situated about eighteen miles from Paris.
      Founded early in the thirteenth century, it acquired its greatest
      fame in its closing years. Louis XIV was induced to believe it
      heretical; and the monastery was finally demolished in 1711. Its
      downfall was no doubt brought about by the Jesuits.

[159] P. 113, l. 4. _They all tend to this end._--Montaigne, _Essais_,
      i, 19.

[160] P. 119, l. 15. _Quod ergo_, etc.--Acts xvii, 23.

[161] P. 119, l. 26. _Wicked demon._--Descartes had suggested the
      possibility of the existence of an _evil genius_ to justify his
      method of universal doubt. See his _First Meditation_. The
      argument is quite Cartesian.

[162] P. 122, l. 18. _Deliciæ meæ_, etc.--Proverbs viii, 31.

[163] P. 122, l. 18. _Effundam spiritum_, etc.--Is. xliv, 3; Joel ii,
      28.

[164] P. 122, l. 19. _Dii estis._--Ps. lxxxii, 6.

[165] P. 122, l. 20. _Omnis caro fænum._--Is. xl, 6.

[166] P. 122, l. 20. _Homo assimilatus_, etc.--Ps. xlix, 20.

[167] P. 124, l. 24. _Sapientius est hominibus._--1 Cor. i, 25.

[168] P. 125, l. 1. _Of original sin._--The citations from the Rabbis in
      this fragment are borrowed from a work of the Middle Ages,
      entitled _Pugio christianorum ad impiorum perfidiam jugulandam et
      maxime judæorum_. It was written in the thirteenth century by
      Raymond Martin, a Catalonian monk. An edition of it appeared in
      1651, edited by Bosquet, Bishop of Lodève.

[169] P. 125, l. 24. _Better is a poor and wise child_, etc.--Eccles.
      iv, 13.

[170] P. 126, l. 17. _Nemo ante_, etc.--See Ovid, _Met._, iii, 137, and
      Montaigne, _Essais_, i, 18.

[171] P. 127, l. 10. _Figmentum._--Borrowed from the Vulgate, Ps. ciii,
      14.

[172] P. 128. l. 5. _All that is in the world_, etc.--First Epistle of
      St. John, ii, 16.

[173] P. 128, l. 7. _Wretched is_, etc.--M. Faugère thinks this thought
      is taken from St. Augustine's Commentary on Ps. cxxxvii, _Super
      flumina Babylonis._

[174] P. 129, l. 6. _Qui gloriatur_, etc.--1 Cor. i, 31.

[175] P. 130, l. 13. _Via, veritas._--John xiv, 6.

[176] P. 130, l. 14. _Zeno._--The original founder of Stoicism.

[177] P. 130, l. 15. _Epictetus._--_Diss._, iv, 6, 7.

[178] P. 131, l. 32. _A body full of thinking members._--See I Cor. xii.

[179] P. 133, l. 5. _Book of Wisdom._--ii, 6.

[180] P. 134, l. 28. _Qui adhæret_, etc.--1 Cor. vi, 17.

[181] P. 134, l. 36. _Two laws._--Matthew xxii, 35-40; Mark xii, 28-31.

[182] P. 135, l. 6. _The kingdom of God is within us._--Luke xvii, 29.

[183] P. 137, l. 1. _Et non_, etc.--Ps. cxliii, 2.

[184] P. 137, l. 3. _The goodness of God leadeth to repentance._--Romans
      ii, 4.

[185] P. 137, l. 5. _Let us do penance_, etc.--See Jonah iii, 8, 9.

[186] P. 137, l. 27. _I came to send war._--Matthew x, 34.

[187] P. 137, l. 28. _I came to bring fire and the sword._--Luke xii,
      49.

[188] P. 138, l. 2. _Pharisee and the Publican._--Parable in Luke xviii,
      9-14.

[189] P. 138, l. 13. _Abraham._--Genesis xiv, 22-24.

[190] P. 138, l. 17. _Sub te erit appetitus tuus._--Genesis iv, 7.

[191] P. 140, l. 1. _It is_, etc.--A discussion on the Eucharist.

[192] P. 140, l. 34. _Non sum dignus._--Luke vii, 6.

[193] P. 140, l. 35. _Qui manducat indignus._--I Cor. xi, 29.

[194] P. 140, l. 36. _Dignus est accipere._--Apoc. iv, II.

[195] P. 141. In the French edition on which this translation is based
      there was inserted the following fragment after No. 513:

        "Work out your own salvation with fear."

        Proofs of prayer. _Petenti dabitur._

        Therefore it is in our power to ask. On the other hand, there is
        God. So it is not in our power, since the obtaining of (the
        grace) to pray to Him is not in our power. For since salvation
        is not in us, and the obtaining of such grace is from Him,
        prayer is not in our power.

        The righteous man should then hope no more in God, for he ought
        not to hope, but to strive to obtain what he wants.

        Let us conclude then that, since man is now unrighteous since
        the first sin, and God is unwilling that he should thereby not
        be estranged from Him, it is only by a first effect that he is
        not estranged.

        Therefore, those who depart from God have not this first effect
        without which they are not estranged from God, and those who do
        not depart from God have this first effect. Therefore, those
        whom we have seen possessed for some time of grace by this first
        effect, cease to pray, for want of this first effect.

        Then God abandons the first in this sense.

        It is doubtful, however that this fragment should be included in
        the _Pensées_, and it has seemed best to separate it from the
        text. It has only once before appeared--in the edition of
        Michaut (1896). The first half of it has been freely translated
        in order to give an interpretation in accordance with a
        suggestion from M. Emile Boutroux, the eminent authority on
        Pascal. The meaning seems to be this. In one sense it is in our
        power to ask from God, who promises to give us what we ask. But,
        in another sense, it is not in our power to ask; for it is not
        in our power to obtain the grace which is necessary in asking.
        We know that salvation is not in our power. Therefore some
        condition of salvation is not in our power. Now the conditions
        of salvation are two: (1) The asking for it, and (2) the
        obtaining it. But God promises to give us what we ask. Hence the
        obtaining is in our power. Therefore the condition which is not
        in our power must be the first, namely, the asking. Prayer
        presupposes a grace which it is not within our power to obtain.

        After giving the utmost consideration to the second half of this
        obscure fragment, and seeking assistance from some eminent
        scholars, the translator has been compelled to give a strictly
        literal translation of it, without attempting to make sense.

[196] P. 141, l. 14. _Lord, when saw we_, etc.--Matthew xxv, 37.

[197] P. 143, l. 19. _Qui justus est, justificetur adhuc._--Apoc. xxii,
      II.

[198] P. 144, l. 2. _Corneille._--See his _Horace_, II, iii.

[199] P. 144, l. 15. _Corrumpunt mores_, etc.--I Cor. xv, 33.

[200] P. 145. l. 25. _Quod curiositate_, etc.--St. Augustine, _Sermon
      CXLI_.

[201] P. 146, l. 34. _Quia ... facere._--I Cor. i, 21.

[202] P. 148, l. 7. _Turbare semetipsum._--John xi, 33. The text is
      _turbavit seipsum_.

[203] P. 148, l. 25. _My soul is sorrowful even unto death._--Mark xiv,
      34.

[204] P. 149, l. 3. _Eamus. Processit._--John xviii, 4. But _eamus_ does
      not occur. See, however, Matthew xxvi, 46.

[205] P. 150, l. 36. _Eritis sicut_, etc.--Genesis iv, 5.

[206] P. 151, l. 2. _Noli me tangere._--John xx, 17.

[207] P. 156, l. 14. _Vere discipuli_, etc.--Allusions to John viii, 31,
      i, 47; viii, 36; vi, 32.

[208] P. 158, l. 41. _Signa legem in electis meis._--Is. viii, 16. The
      text of the Vulgate is _in discipulis meis_.

[209] P. 159, l. 2. _Hosea._--xiv, 9.

[210] P. 159, l. 13. _Saint John._--xii, 39.

[211] P. 160, l. 17. _Tamar._--Genesis xxxviii, 24-30.

[212] P. 160, l. 17. _Ruth._--Ruth iv, 17-22.

[213] P. 163, l. 13. _History of China._--A History of China in Latin
      had been published in 1658.

[214] P. 164, l. I. _The five suns_, etc.--Montaigne, _Essais_, iii, 6.

[215] P. 164, l. 9. _Jesus Christ._--John v, 31.

[216] P. 164, l. 17. _The Koran says_, etc.--There is no mention of
      Saint Matthew in the Koran; but it speaks of the Apostles
      generally.

[217] P. 165, l. 35. _Moses._--Deut. xxxi, 11.

[218] P. 166, l. 23. _Carnal Christians._--Jesuits and Molinists.

[219] P. 170, l. 14. _Whom he welcomed from afar._--John viii, 56.

[220] P. 170, l. 19. _Salutare_, etc.--Genesis xdix, 18.

[221] P. 173, l. 33. _The Twelve Tables at Athens._--There were no such
      tables. About 450 B.C. a commission is said to have been appointed
      in Rome to visit Greece and collect information to frame a code of
      law. This is now doubted, if not entirely discredited.

[222] P. 173, l. 35. _Josephus.--Reply to Apion_, ii, 16. Josephus, the
      Jewish historian, gained the favour of Titus, and accompanied him
      to the siege of Jerusalem. He defended the Jews against a
      contemporary grammarian, named Apion, who had written a violent
      satire on the Jews.

[223] P. 174, l. 27. _Against Apion._--ii, 39. See preceding note.

[224] P. 174, l. 28. _Philo._--A Jewish philosopher, who lived in the
      first century of the Christian era. He was one of the founders of
      the Alexandrian school of thought. He sought to reconcile Jewish
      tradition with Greek thought.

[225] P. 175, l. 20. _Prefers the younger._--See No. 710.

[226] P. 176, l. 32. _The books of the Sibyls and Trismegistus._--The
      Sibyls were the old Roman prophetesses. Their predictions were
      preserved in three books at Rome, which Tarquinius Superbus had
      bought from the Sibyl of Erythræ. Trismegistus was the Greek name
      of the Egyptian god Thoth, who was regarded as the originator of
      Egyptian culture, the god of religion, of writing, and of the arts
      and sciences. Under his name there existed forty-two sacred books,
      kept by the Egyptian priests.

[227] P. 177, l. 3. _Quis mihi_, etc.--Numbers xi, 29. _Quis tribuat ut
      omnis populus prophetet?_

[228] P. 177, l. 25. _Maccabees._--2 Macc. xi, 2.

[229] P. 177, l. 7. _This book_, etc.--Is. xxx, 8.

[230] P. 178, l. 9. _Tertullian._--A Christian writer in the second
      century after Christ. The quotation is from his _De Cultu Femin._,
      ii, 3.

[231] P. 178, l. 16. (Θεὸς), etc.--Eusebius, _Hist._, lib. v, c. 8.

[232] P. 178, l. 22. _And he took that from Saint Irenæus._--_Hist._,
      lib. x, c 25.

[233] P. 179, l. 5. _The story in Esdras._--2 Esdras xiv. God appears to
      Esdras in a bush, and orders him to assemble the people and
      deliver the message. Esdras replies that the law is burnt. Then
      God commands him to take five scribes to whom for forty days He
      dictates the ancient law. This story conflicted with many passages
      in the prophets, and was therefore rejected from the Canon at the
      Council of Trent.

[234] P. 181, l. 14. _The Kabbala._--The fantastic secret doctrine of
      interpretation of Scripture, held by a number of Jewish rabbis.

[235] P. 181, l. 26. _Ut sciatis_, etc.--Mark ii, 10, 11.

[236] P. 183, l. 29. _This generation_, etc.--Matthew xxiv, 34.

[237] P. 184, l. 11. _Difference between dinner and supper._--Luke xiv,
      12.

[238] P. 184, l. 28. _The six ages_, etc.--M. Havet has traced this to a
      chapter in St. Augustine, _De Genesi contra Manichæos_, i, 23.

[239] P. 184, l. 31. _Forma futuri._--Romans v, 14.

[240] P. 186, l. 13. _The Messiah_, etc.--John xii, 34.

[241] P. 186, l. 30. _If the light_, etc.--Matthew vi, 23.

[242] P. 187, l. 1. _Somnum suum._--Ps. lxxvi, 5.

[243] P. 187, l. 1. _Figura hujus mundi._--1 Cor. vii, 31.

[244] P. 187, l. 2. _Comedes panem tuum._--Deut. viii, 9. _Panem
      nostrum,_ Luke xi, 3.

[245] P. 187, l. 3. _Inimici Dei terram lingent._--Ps. lxxii, 9.

[246] P. 187, l. 8. _Cum amaritudinibus._--Exodus xii, 8. The Vulgate
      has _cum lacticibus agrestibus_.

[247] P. 187, l. 9. _Singularis sum ego donec transeam._--Ps. cxli, 10.

[248] P. 188, l. 19. _Saint Paul._--Galatians iv, 24; I Cor. iii, 16,
      17; Hebrews ix, 24; Romans ii, 28, 29.

[249] P. 188, l. 25. _That Moses_, etc.--John vi, 32.

[250] P. 189, l. 3. _For one thing alone is needful._--Luke x, 42.

[251] P. 189, l. 9. _The breasts of the Spouse._--Song of Solomon iv, 5.


[252] P. 189, l. 15. _And the Christians_, etc.--Romans vi, 20; viii,
      14, 15.

[253] P. 189, l. 17. _When Saint Peter_, etc.--Acts xv. See Genesis
      xvii, 10; Leviticus xii, 3.

[254] P. 189, l. 27. _Fac secundum_, etc.--Exodus xxv, 40.

[255] P. 190, l. 1. _Saint Paul._--1 Tim. iv, 3; 1 Cor. vii.

[256] P. 190, l. 7. _The Jews_, etc.--Hebrews viii, 5.

[257] P. 192, l. 15. _That He should destroy death through
      death._--Hebrews ii, 14.

[258] P. 192, l. 30. _Veri adoratores._--John iv, 23.

[259] P. 192, l. 30. _Ecce agnus_, etc.--John i, 29.

[260] P. 193, l. 15. _Ye shall be free indeed._--John viii, 36.

[261] P. 193, l. 17. _I am the true bread from heaven._--Ibid., vi, 32.

[262] P. 194, l. 27. _Agnus occisus_, etc.--Apoc. xiii, 8.

[263] P. 194, l. 34. _Sede a dextris meis._--Ps. cx, 1.

[264] P. 195, l. 12. _A jealous God._--Exodus xx, 5.

[265] P. 195, l. 14. _Quia confortavit seras._--Ps. cxlvii, 13.

[266] P. 195, l. 17. _The closed mem._--The allusions here are to
      certain peculiarities in Jewish writing. There are some letters
      written in two ways, closed or open, as the _mem_.

[267] P. 199, l. 1. _Great Pan is dead._--Plutarch, _De Defect. Orac._,
      xvii.

[268] P. 199, l. 2. _Susceperunt verbum_, etc.--Acts xvii, 11.

[269] P. 199, l. 20. _The ruler taken from the thigh._--Genesis xlix,
      10.

[270] P. 208, l. 6. _Make their heart fat._--Is. vi, 10; John xii, 40.

[271] P. 209, l. 1. _Non habemus regem nisi Cæsarem._--John xix, 15.

[272] P. 218, l. 17. _In Horeb_, etc.--Deut. xviii, 16-19.

[273] P. 220, l. 34. _Then they shall teach_, etc.--Jeremiah xxxi, 34.

[274] P. 221, l. 1. _Your sons shall prophesy._--Joel ii, 28.

[275] P. 221, l. 20. _Populum_, etc.--Is. lxv, 2; Romans x, 21.

[276] P. 222, l. 25. _Eris palpans in meridie._--Deut. xxviii, 29.

[277] P. 222, l. 26. _Dabitur liber_, etc.--Is. xxix, 12. The quotation
      is inaccurate.

[278] P. 223, l. 24. _Quis mihi_, etc.--Job xix, 23-25.

[279] P. 224, l. 1. _Pray_, etc.--The fragments here are Pascal's notes
      on Luke. See chaps. xxii and xxiii.

[280] P. 225, l. 20. _Excæca._--Is. vi, 10.

[281] P, 226, l. 9. _Lazarus dormit_, etc.--John xi, 11, 14.

[282] P. 226, l. 10. _The apparent discrepancy of the Gospels._--To
      reconcile the apparent discrepancies in the Gospels, Pascal wrote
      a short life of Christ.

[283] P. 227, l. 13. _Gladium tuum, potentissime._--Ps. xlv, 3.

[284] P. 228, l. 25. _Ingrediens mundum._--Hebrews x, 5.

[285] P. 228, l. 26. _Stone upon stone._--Mark xiii, 2.

[286] P. 229, l. 20. _Jesus Christ at last_, etc.--See Mark xii.

[287] P. 230, l. 1. _Effundam spiritum meum._--Joel ii, 28.

[288] P. 230, l. 6. _Omnes gentes ... eum._--Ps. xxii, 27.

[289] P. 230, l. 7. _Parum est ut_, etc.--Is. xlix, 6.

[290] P. 230, l. 7. _Postula a me._--Ps. ii, 8.

[291] P. 230, l. 8. _Adorabunt ... reges._--Ps. lxxii, 11.

[292] P. 230, l. 8. _Testes iniqui._--Ps. xxv, 11.

[293] P. 230, l. 8. _Dabit maxillam percutienti._--Lamentations iii, 30.

[294] P. 230, l. 9. _Dederunt fel in escam._--Ps. lxix, 21.

[295] P. 230, l. 11. _I will bless them that bless thee._--Genesis xii,
      3.

[296] P. 230, l. 12. _All nations blessed in his seed._--Ibid., xxii,
      18.

[297] P. 230, l. 13. _Lumen ad revelationem gentium._--Luke ii, 32.

[298] P. 230, l. 14. _Non fecit taliter_, etc.--Ps. cxlvii, 20.

[299] P. 230, l. 20. _Bibite ex hoc omnes._--Matthew xxvi, 27.

[300] P. 230, l. 22. _In quo omnes peccaverunt._--Romans v, 12.

[301] P. 230, l. 26. _Ne timeas pusillus grex._--Luke xii, 32.

[302] P. 230, l. 29. _Qui me_, etc.--Matthew x, 40.

[303] P. 230, l. 32. _Saint John._--Luke i, 17.

[304] P. 230, l. 33. _Jesus Christ._--Ibid., xii, 51.

[305] P. 231, l. 5. _Omnis Judæa_, etc.--Mark i, 5.

[306] P. 231, l. 7. _From these stones_, etc.--Matthew iii, 9.

[307] P. 231, l. 9. _Ne convertantur_, etc.--Mark iv, 12.

[308] P. 231, l. 11. _Amice, ad quid venisti?_--Matthew xxvi, 50.

[309] P. 231, l. 31. _What is a man_, etc.--Luke ix, 25.

[310] P. 231, l. 32. _Whosoever will_, etc.--Ibid., 24.

[311] P. 232, l. 1. _I am not come_, etc.--Matthew v, 17.

[312] P. 232, l. 2. _Lambs took not_, etc.--See John i, 29.

[313] P. 232, l. 4. _Moses._--Ibid., vi, 32; viii, 36.

[314] P. 232, l. 15. _Quare_, etc.--Ps. ii, 1, 2.

[315] P. 233, l. 8. _I have reserved me seven thousand._--1 Kings xix,
      18.

[316] P. 234, l. 27. _Archimedes._--The founder of statics and
      hydrostatics. He was born at Syracuse in 287 B.C., and was killed
      in 212 B.C. He was not a prince, though a relative of a king. M.
      Havet points out that Cicero talks of him as an obscure man
      _(Tusc,_ v, 23).

[317] P. 235, l. 33. _In sanctificationem et in scandalum._--Is. viii,
      14.

[318] P. 238, l. 11. _Jesus Christ._--Mark ix, 39.

[319] P. 239, l. 7. _Rejoice not_, etc.--Luke x, 20.

[320] P. 239, l. 12. _Scimus_, etc.--John iii, 2.

[321] P. 239, l. 25. _Nisi fecissem ... haberent._--Ibid., xv, 24.

[322] P. 239, l. 32. _The second miracle._--Ibid., iv, 54.

[323] P. 240, l. 6. _Montaigne._--_Essais_, ii, 26, and iii, 11.

[324] P. 242, l. 9. _Vatable._--Professor of Hebrew at the Collège
      Royal, founded by Francis I. An edition of the Bible with notes
      under his name, which were not his, was published in 1539.

[325] P. 242, l. 19. _Omne regnum divisum._--Matthew xii, 25; Luke xi,
      17.

[326] P. 242, l. 23. _Si in digito ... vos._--Luke xi, 20.

[327] P. 243, l. 12. _Q. 113, A. 10, Ad. 2._--Thomas Aquinas's _Summa_,
      Pt. I, Question 113, Article 10, Reply to the Second Objection.

[328] P. 243, l. 18. _Judæi signa petunt_, etc.--I Cor. i, 22.

[329] P. 243, l. 23. _Sed vos_, etc.--John x, 26.

[330] P. 246, l. 15. _Tu quid dicis_? etc.--John ix, 17, 33.

[331] P. 247, l. 14. _Though ye believe not_, etc.--John x, 38.

[332] P. 247, l. 25. _Nemo facit_, etc.--Mark ix, 39.

[333] P. 247, l. 27. _A sacred relic._--This is a reference to the
      miracle of the Holy Thorn. Marguerite Périer, Pascal's niece, was
      cured of a fistula lachrymalis on 24 March, 1656, after her eye
      was touched with this sacred relic, supposed to be a thorn from
      the crown of Christ. This miracle made a great impression upon
      Pascal.

[334] P. 248, l. 23. _These nuns._--Of Port-Royal, as to which, see note
      on page 110, line 16, above. They were accused of Calvinism.

[335] P. 248, l. 28. _Vide si_, etc.--Ps. cxxxix, 24.

[336] P. 249, l. 1. _Si tu_, etc.--Luke xxii, 67.

[337] P. 249, l. 2. _Opera quæ_, etc.--John v, 36; x, 26-27.

[338] P. 249, l. 7. _Nemo potest_, etc.--John iii, 2.

[339] P. 249, l. 11. _Generatio prava_, etc.--Matthew xii, 39.

[340] P. 249, l. 14. _Et non poterat facere._--Mark vi, 5.

[341] P. 249, l. 16. _Nisi videritis, non creditis._--John iv, 8, 48.

[342] P. 249, l. 23. _Tentat enim_, etc.--Deut. xiii, 3.

[343] P. 249, l. 25. _Ecce prædixi vobis: vos ergo videte._--Matthew
      xxiv, 25, 26.

[344] P. 250, l. 7. _We have Moses_, etc.--John ix, 29.

[345] P. 250, l. 30. _Quid debui._--Is. v, 3, 4. The Vulgate is _Quis
      est quod debui ultra facere vineæ meæ, et non feci ei_.

[346] P. 251, l. 12. _Bar-jesus blinded._--Acts xiii, 6-11.

[347] P. 251, l. 14. _The Jewish exorcists._--Ibid., xix, 13-16.

[348] P. 251, l. 18. _Si angelus._--Galatians i, 8.

[349] P. 252, l. 10. _An angel from heaven._--See previous note.

[350] P. 252, l. 14. _Father Lingende._--Claude de Lingendes, an
      eloquent Jesuit preacher, who died in 1660.

[351] P. 252, l. 33. _Ubi est Deus tuus?_--Ps. xiii, 3.

[352] P. 252, l. 34. _Exortum est_, etc.--Ps. cxii, 4.

[353] P. 253, l. 6. _Saint Xavier._--Saint François Xavier, the friend
      of Ignatius Loyola, became a Jesuit.

[354] P. 253, l. 9. _Væ qui_, etc.--Is. x, I.

[355] P. 253, l. 24. _The five propositions._--See Preface.

[356] P. 253, l. 36. _To seduce_, etc.--Mark xiii, 22.

[357] P. 254, l. 6. _Si non fecissem._--John xv, 24.

[358] P. 255, l. 11. _Believe in the Church._--Matthew xviii, 17-20.

[359] P. 257, l. 14. _They._--The Jansenists, who believed in the system
      of evangelical doctrine deduced from Augustine by Cornelius
      Jansen (1585-1638), the Bishop of Ypres. They held that interior
      grace is irresistible, and that Christ died for all, in reaction
      against the ordinary Catholic dogma of the freedom of the will,
      and merely sufficient grace.

[360] P. 258, l. 4. _A time to laugh_, etc.--Eccles. iii, 4.

[361] P. 258, l. 4. _Responde. Ne respondeas._--Prov. xxvi, 4, 5.

[362] P. 260, l. 3. _Saint Athanasius._--Patriarch of Alexandria,
      accused of rape, of murder, and of sacrilege. He was condemned by
      the Councils of Tyre, Aries, and Milan. Pope Liberius is said to
      have finally ratified the condemnation in A.D. 357. Athanasius
      here stands for Jansenius, Saint Thersea for Mother Angélique, and
      Liberius for Clement IX.

[363] P. 261, l. 17. _Vos autem non sic._--Luke xxii, 26.

[364] P. 261, l. 23. _Duo aut tres in unum._--John x, 30; First Epistle
      of St. John, V, 8.

[365] P. 262, l. 18. _The Fronde._--The party which rose against Mazarin
      and the Court during the minority of Louis XIV. They led to civil
      war.

[366] P. 262, l. 25. _Pasce oves meas._--John xxi, 17.

[367] P. 263, l. 14. _Jeroboam._--I Kings xii, 31.

[368] P. 265, l. 21. _The servant_, etc.--John xv, 15.

[369] P. 266, l. 4. _He that is not_, etc.--Matthew xii, 30.

[370] P. 266, l. 5. _He that is not_, etc.--Mark ix, 40.

[371] P. 266, l. 11. _Humilibus dot gratiam._--James iv, 6.

[372] P. 266, l. 12. _Sui eum non_, etc.--John i, 11, 12.

[373] P. 266, l. 33. _We will be as the other nations._--I Sam. viii,
      20.

[374] P. 268, l. 19. _Vince in bono malum._--Romans xii, 21.

[375] P. 268, l. 26. _Montalte._--See note on page 6, line 30, above.

[376] P. 269, l. 11. _Probability._--The doctrine in casuistry that of
      two probable views, both reasonable, one may follow his own
      inclinations, as a doubtful law cannot impose a certain
      obligation. It was held by the Jesuits, the famous religious order
      founded in 1534 by Ignatius Loyola. This section of the _Pensées_
      is directed chiefly against them.

[377] P. 269, l. 22. _Coacervabunt sibi magistros._--2 Tim. iv, 3.

[378] P. 270, l. 3. _These._--The writers of Port-Royal.

[379] P. 270, l. 15. _The Society._--The Society of Jesus.

[380] P. 271, l. 15. _Digna necessitas._--Book of Wisdom xix, 4.



INDEX

_The figures refer to the numbers of the Pensées, and not to the pages._


ABRAHAM,
  took nothing for himself, 502;
  from stones can come children unto, 777;
  and Gideon, 821

Absolutions, without signs of regret, 903, 904

Act, the last, is tragic, 210

Adam,
  compared with Christ, 551;
  his glorious state, 559;
  _forma futuri_, 655

Advent, the time of the first, foretold, 756

Age,
  influences judgment, 381;
  the six ages, 654

Alexander, the example of his chastity, 103

Amusements, dangerous to the Christian life, 11

Animals, intelligence and instinct of, 340, 342

Antichrist,
  miracles of, foretold by Christ, 825;
  will speak openly against God, 842;
  miracles of, cannot lead into error, 845

Apocalyptics, extravagances of the, 650

Apostles,
  hypothesis that they were deceivers, 571;
  foresaw heresies, 578;
  supposition that they were either deceived or deceivers, 801

Aquinas, Thomas, 61, 338

Arcesilaus, the sceptic, became a dogmatist, 375

Archimedes, greatness of, 792

Arians, where they go wrong, 861

Aristotle, and Plato, 331

Arius, miracles in his time, 831

Athanasius, St., 867

Atheism, shows a certain strength of mind, 225

Atheists,
  who seek, to be pitied, 190;
  ought to say what is perfectly evident, 221;
  objections of, against the Resurrection and the Virgin Birth,
  222, 223;
  objection of, 228

Augustine, St.,
  saw that we work for an uncertainty, 234;
  on the submission of reason, 270;
  on miracles, 811;
  his authority, 868

Augustus, his saying about Herod's son, 179

Authority, in belief, 260

Authors, vanity of certain, 43

Automatism, human, 252


Babylon, rivers of, 459

Beauty,
  a certain standard of, 32;
  poetical, 33

Belief,
  three sources of, 245;
  rule of, 260;
  of simple people, 284;
  without reading the Testaments, 286;
  the Cross creates, 587;
  reasons why there is no, in the miracles, 825

Bias, leads to error, 98

Birth,
  noble, an advantage, 322;
  persons of high, honoured and despised, 337

Blame, and praise, 501

Blood, example of the circulation of, 96

Body,
  nourishment of the, 356;
  the, and its members, 475, 476;
  infinite distance between mind and, 792

Brutes, no mutual admiration among the, 401


Cæsar, compared with Alexander and Augustus, 132

Calling, chance decides the choice of a, 97

Calvinism, error of, 776

Canonical, the heretical books prove the, 568

Carthusian monk, difference between a soldier and a, 538

Casuists,
  true believers have no pretext for following their laxity, 888;
  submit the decision to a corrupted reason, 906;
  cannot give assurance to a conscience in error, 908;
  allow lust to act, 913

Causes, seen by the intellect and not by the senses, 234

Catholic, the, doctrine, of the Holy Sacrament, 861

Ceremonies, ordained in the Old Testament, are types, 679

Certain, nothing is, 234

Chance,
  according to the doctrine of chance, one should believe in God, 233;
  and work for an uncertainty, 234;
  and seek the truth, 236;
  gives rise to thoughts, 370

Chancellor, the position of the, uneral, 307

Character, the Christian, the human, and the inhuman, 532

Charity,
  nothing so like it as covetousness, 662;
  not a figurative precept, 664;
  the sole aim of the Scripture, 669

Charron, the divisions of, 62

Children,
  frightened at the face they have blackened, 88;
  of Port-Royal, 151;
  illustration of usurpation from, 295

China, History of, 592, 593

Christianity,
  alone cures pride and sloth, 435;
  is strange, 536;
  consists in two points, 555;
  evidence for, 563;
  is wise and foolish, 587

Christians,
  few true, 256;
  without the knowledge of the prophecies and evidences, 287;
  comply with folly, 338;
  humility of, 537;
  their hope, 539;
  their happiness, 540;
  the God of, 543

Church,
  history of the, 857;
  the, in persecution, like a ship in a storm, 858;
  when in a good state, 860;
  has always been attacked by opposite errors, 861;
  the, and tradition, 866;
  absolution and the, 869;
  the Pope and the, 870;
  the, and infallibility, 875;
  true justice in the, 877;
  the work of the, 880;
  the discipline of the, 884;
  the anathemas of the, 895

Cicero, false beauties in, 31

Cipher,
  a, has a double meaning, 676, 677;
  key of, 680;
  the, given by St. Paul, 682

Circumcision,
  only a sign, 609;
  the apostles and, 671

Clearness,
  sufficient, for the elect, 577;
  and obscurity, 856

Cleobuline, the passion of, 13

Cleopatra,
  the nose of, 162;
  and love, 163

Compliments, 57

Conditions, the easiest, to live in, according to the world and to
  God, 905

Condolences, formal, 56

Confession, 100;
  different effects of, 529

Contradiction, 157;
  a bad sign of truth, 384

Conversion, the, 470;
  of the heathen, 768

Copernicus, 218

Cords, the, which bind the respect of men to each other, 304

Correct, how to, with advantage, 9

Cripple, why a, does not offend us, and a fool does, 80

Cromwell, death of, 176

Custom,
  is our nature, 89;
  our natural principles, principles of, 92;
  a second nature, 93;
  the source of our strongest beliefs, 252

Cyrus, prediction of, 712


Damned, the, condemned by their own reason, 562

Daniel, 721;
  the seventy weeks of, 722

David,
  a saying of, 689;
  the eternal reign of the race of, 716, 717

Death,
  easier to bear without thinking of it, 166;
  men do not think of, 168;
  fear of, 215, 216;
  examples of the noble deaths of the Lacedæmonians, 481

Deference, meaning of, 317

Deeds, noble, best when hidden, 159

Deism, as far removed from Christianity as atheism, 555

Democritus, saying of, 72

Demonstrations, not certain that there are true, 387

Descartes, 76, 77, 78, 79

Devil,
  the, and miracle, 803;
  the, and doctrine, 819

Disciples, and true disciples, 518

Discourses, on humility, 377

Diseases, a source of error, 82

Disproportion of man, 72

Diversion, reason why men seek, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 168, 170

Docility, 254

Doctor, the, 12

Doctrine, and miracles, 802, 842

Dogmatism, and scepticism, 434

Dream, life like a, 386

Duty, and the passions, 104


Ecclesiastes, 389

Eclipses, why said to foretoken misfortune, 173

Ego,
  what is the, 323;
  consists in thought, 469

Egyptians, conversion of the, 724

Elect,
  the, ignorant of their virtues, 514;
  all things work together for good to the, 574

Eloquence, 15, 16, 25, 26

Emilius, Paulus, 409, 410

Enemies, meaning of, in the prophecies, 570, 691

Epictetus, 80, 466, 467

Error, a common, when advantageous, 18

Esdras, the story in, 631, 632, 633

Eternity, existence of, 195

Ethics,
  consoles us, 67;
  a special science, 911

Eucharist, the, 224, 512, 788

Evangelists, the, painted a perfectly heroic soul in Jesus Christ, 799

Evil, infinite forms of, 408

Examples, in demonstration, 40

Exception, and the rule, 832, 903

Excuses, on, 58

External, the, must be joined to the internal, 250

Ezekiel, spoke evil of Israel, 885


Faith,
  different from proof, 248;
  and miracle, 263;
  and the senses, 264;
  what is, 278;
  without, man cannot know the true good or justice, 425;
  consists in Jesus Christ, 522

Fancy,
  effects of, 86;
  confused with feeling, 274

Faults, we owe a great debt to those who point out, 534

Fear, good and bad, 262

Feeling,
  and reasoning, 3, 274;
  harmed in the same way as the understanding, 6

Flies, the power of, 366, 367

Friend, importance of a true, 155

Fundamentals, the two, 804


Galilee, the word, 743

Gentiles,
  conversion of the, 712;
  calling of the, 713

Gentleman,
  the universal quality, 35;
  man never taught to be a, 68

Glory, 151, 401;
  the greatest baseness of man is the pursuit of, 404

God,
  the conduct of, 185;
  is infinite, 231, 233;
  infinitely incomprehensible, 233;
  we should wager that there is a, 233;
  a _Deus absconditus,_ 194, 242;
  knowledge of, is not the love of Him, 280;
  two kinds of persons know, 288;
  has created all for Himself, 314;
  the wisdom of, 430;
  must reign over all, 460;
  we must love Him only, 479;
  not true that all reveals, 556;
  has willed to blind some and to enlighten others, 565, 575;
  foresaw heresies, 578;
  has willed to hide Himself, 584;
  formed for Himself the Jewish people, 643;
  the word does not differ from the intention in, 653;
  the greatness of His compassion, 847;
  has not wanted to absolve without the Church, 869

Godliness, why difficult, 498

Good, the inquiry into the sovereign, 73, 462

Gospel, the style of the, admirable, 797

Grace,
  unites us to God, 430, 507;
  necessary to turn a man into a saint, 508;
  the law and, 519, 521;
  nature and, 520;
  morality and, 522;
  man's capacity for, 523

Great, the, and the humble have the same misfortunes, 180

Greatness,
  the, of man, 397, 398, 400, 409;
  constituted by thought, 346;
  even in his lust, 402, 403;
  and wretchedness of man, 416, 417, 418, 423, 430, 443


Haggai, 725

Happiness,
  all men seek, 425;
  is in God, 465

Happy, in order to be, man does not think of death, 169

Hate, all men naturally, one another, 451

Heart,
  the, has its reasons, 277;
  experiences God, 278;
  we know truth, not only by the reason, but also by the, 282;
  has its own order, 283

Heresy, 774;
  source of all, 861

Heretics,
  and the three marks of religion, 843, 844;
  and the Jesuits, 890

Herod, 178, 179

Hosts, the three, 177


Image, an, of the condition of men, 199

Imagination,
  that deceitful part in man, 82;
  enlarges little objects, 84;
  magnifies a nothing, 85;
  often mistaken for the heart, 275;
  judges, etc., appeal only to the, 307

Inconstancy, in, 112, 113

Infinite,
  the, of greatness and of littleness, 72;
  and the finite, 233

Injustice, 214, 191, 293, 326, 878

Instability, 212

Intellect, different kinds of, 2

Isaiah, 712, 725


Jacob, 612, 710

Jansenists,
  the, are persecuted, 859;
  are like the heretics, 886

Jeremiah, 713, 818

Jesuits,
  the, unjust persecutors, 851;
  hardness of the, 853;
  and Jansenists, 864;
  impose upon the Pope, 881;
  effects of their sins, 918;
  do not keep their word, 923

Jesus Christ
  employs the rule of love, 283;
  is a God whom we approach without pride, 527;
  His teaching, 544;
  without, man must be in misery, 545;
  God known only through, 546;
  we know ourselves only through, 547;
  useless to know God without, 548;
  the sepulchre of, 551;
  the mystery of, 552;
  and His wounds, 553;
  genealogy of, 577;
  came at the time foretold, 669;
  necessary for Him to suffer, 678;
  the Messiah, 719;
  prophecies about, 730, 733, 734;
  foretold, and was foretold, 738;
  how regarded by the Old and New Testaments, 239;
  what the prophets say of, 750;
  His office, 765;
  typified by Joseph, 767;
  what He came to say, 769, 782;
  came to blind, etc., 770;
  never condemned without hearing, 779;
  Redeemer of all, 780;
  would not have the testimony of devils, 783;
  an obscurity, 785, 788;
  would not be slain without the forms of justice, 789;
  no man had more renown than, 791;
  absurd to take offence at the lowliness of, 792;
  came _in sanctificationem et in scandalum_, 794;
  said great things simply, 796;
  verified that He was the Messiah, 807;
  and miracles, 828

Jews,
  their religion must be differently regarded in the Bible and in
    their tradition, 600;
  and is wholly divine, 602;
  the carnal, 606, 607, 661, 746;
  true, and true Christians have the same religion, 609;
  their advantages, 619;
  their antiquity, 627;
  their sincerity, 629, 630;
  their long and miserable existence, 639;
  the, expressly made to witness to the Messiah, 640;
  earthly thoughts of the, 669;
  were the slaves of sin, 670;
  their zeal for the law, 700, 701;
  the devil troubled their zeal, 703;
  their captivity, 712;
  reprobation of the, 712;
  accustomed to great miracles, 745;
  the, but not all, reject Christ, 759;
  the, in slaying Him, have proved Him to be the Messiah, 760;
  their dilemma, 761

Job and Solomon, 174

John, St., the Baptist, 775

Joseph, 622, 697, 767

Josephus, 628, 786

Joshua, 626

Judgment,
  the, and the intellect, 4;
  of another easily prejudiced, 105

Just, the, act by faith, 504

Justice,
  the, of God, 233;
  relation of, to law and custom, 294, 325;
  and might, 298, 299;
  determined by custom, 309;
  is what is established, 312


King,
  the, surrounded by people to amuse him, 139;
  a, without amusement, is full of wretchedness, 142;
  why he inspires respect, 308;
  and tyrant, 310;
  on what his power is founded, 330

Knowledge,
  limitations of man's, 72;
  of ourselves impossible, apart from the mystery of the transmission
    of sin, 434;
  of God and of man's wretchedness found in Christ, 526

Koran, the, 596


Lackeys, afford a means of social distinction, 318, 319

Language, 27, 45, 49, 53, 54, 59, 648

Law,
  the, and nature, 519;
  the, and grace, 521;
  the, of the Jews, the oldest and most perfect, 618

Laws,
  the, are the only universal rules, 299;
  two, rule the Christian Republic, 484

Liancourt, the frog and the pike of, 341

Life,
  human, a perpetual illusion, 100;
  we desire to live an imaginary, 147;
  short duration of, 205;
  only, between us and heaven or hell, 213

Love,
  nature of self-, 100, 455;
  causes and effects of, 162, 163;
  nothing so opposed to justice and truth as self-, 492

Lusts, the three, 458, 460, 461


Machine,
  the, 246, 247;
  the arithmetical, 340

Macrobius, 178, 179

Magistrates, make a show to strike the imagination, 82

Mahomet, 590;
  without authority, 594;
  his own witness, 595;
  a false prophet, 596;
  is ridiculous, 597;
  difference between Christ and, 598, 599;
  religion of, 600

Man,
  full of wants, 36;
  misery of, without God, 60, 389;
  disproportion of, 72;
  a subject of error, 83;
  naturally credulous, 125;
  description of, 116;
  condition of, 127;
  disgraceful for, to yield to pleasure, 160;
  despises religion, 187;
  lacks heart, 196;
  his sensibility to trifles, 197;
  a thinking reed, 347, 348;
  neither angel, nor brute, 358;
  necessarily mad, 414;
  two views of the nature of, 415;
  does not know his rank, 427;
  a chimera, 434;
  the two vices of, 435;
  pursues wealth, 436;
  only happy in God, 438;
  does not act by reason, 439;
  unworthy of God, 510;
  is of two kinds, 533;
  holds an inward talk with himself, 535;
  without Christ, must be in vice and misery, 545;
  everything teaches him his condition, 556

Martial, epigrams of, 41

Master and servant, 530, 896

Materialism, on, 72, 75

Members, we are, of the whole, 474, 477, 482, 483

Memory,
  intuitive, 95;
  necessary for reason, 369

Merit, men and, 490

Messiah,
  necessary that there should be preceding prophecies about the, 570;
  the, according to the carnal Jews and carnal Christians, 606;
  the, has always been believed in, 615;
  and expected, 616;
  prophecies about the, 726, 728, 729;
  Herod believed to be the, 752

Mind,
  difference between the mathematical and the intuitive, 1;
  and body, 72, 792;
  natural for it to believe, 81;
  the, easily disturbed, 366

Miracles,
  and belief, 263;
  a test of doctrine, 802, 842, 845;
  definition of, 803;
  necessary, 805;
  Christ and 807, 810, 828, 833, 837, 838;
  Montaigne and, 812, 813;
  the reason people believe false, 816, 817;
  the, of the false prophets, 818;
  false, 822, 823;
  their use, 824;
  the foundation of religion, 825, 826, 850;
  no longer necessary, 831;
  the miracle of the Holy Thorn, 838, 855;
  the test in matters of doubt, 840;
  one mark of religion, 843

Misery,
  diversion alone consoles us for, and is the greatest, 171;
  proves man's greatness, 398;
  we have an instinct which raises us above, 411;
  induces despair, 525

Miton, 192, 448, 455

Montaigne, 18;
  criticism of, 62, 63, 64, 65; 220, 234, 325, 812, 813

Moses, 577, 592, 623, 628, 688, 689, 751, 802


Nature
  has made her truths independent of one another, 21;
  and theology, 29;
  is corrupt, 60;
  has set us in the centre, 70;
  only a first custom, 93;
  makes us unhappy in every state, 109;
  imitates herself, 110;
  diversifies, 120;
  always begins the same things again, 121;
  our, consists in motion, 129;
  and God, 229, 242, 243, 244;
  acts by progress, 355;
  the least movement affects all, 505;
  perfections and imperfections of, 579;
  an image of grace, 674

Nebuchadnezzar, 721

Novelty, power of the charms of, 82


Obscurity,
  the, of religion shows its truth, 564;
  without, man would not be sensible of corruption, 585

Opinion, the queen of the world, 311

Outward, the Church judges only by the, 904


Painting, vanity of, 134

Passion,
  makes us forget duty, 104;
  we are sure of pleasing a man, if we know his ruling, 106;
  how to prevent the harmful effect of, 203

Patriarchs, longevity of, 625

Paul, St., 283, 532, 672, 682, 852

Pelagians, the semi-, 776

Penitence, 660, 922

People,
  ordinary, have the power of not thinking of that about which they do
    not want to think, 259;
  sound opinions of the people, 313, 316, 324

Perpetuity, 612, 615, 616

Perseus, 410

Persons,
  only three kinds of, 257;
  two kinds of, know God, 288

Peter, St., 671, 743

Philosophers,
  the, have confused ideas of things, 72;
  influence of imagination upon, 82;
  disquiet inquirers, 184;
  made their ethics independent of the immortality of the soul,
  219, 220;
  have mastered their passions, 349;
  believe in God without Christ, 463;
  their motto, 464;
  have consecrated vices, 503;
  what they advise, 509;
  did not prescribe suitable feelings, 524

Piety, different from superstition, 255

Pilate, the false justice of, 790

Plato, 219, 331

Poets, 34, 38, 39

Pope, the, 870, 871, 872, 873, 874, 879, 881

Port-Royal, 151, 838, 919

Prayer, why established, 513

Predictions
  of particular things, 710;
  of Cyrus, 712;
  of events in the fourth monarchy, 723;
  of the Messiah, 728, 730

Present, we do not rest satisfied with the, 172

Presumption of men, 148

Pride, 152, 153, 406

Probability, the Jesuitical doctrine of, 901, 907, 909, 912, 915, 916,
  917, 919, 921

Proofs,
  of religion, 289, 290;
  metaphysical, of God, 542

Prophecies,
  the, entrusted to the Jews, 570;
  the strongest proof of Christ, 705;
  necessarily distributed, 706;
  about Christ, 709, 726, 730, 732, 735;
  proofs of divinity, 712;
  in Egypt, 725

Prophets,
  the, prophesied by symbols, 652;
  their discourses obscure, 658;
  their meaning veiled, 677;
  zeal after the, 702;
  did not speak to flatter the people, 718;
  foretold, 738

Propositions,
  the five, 830, 849
  Purgatory, 518

_Provincial Letters_, the, 52, 919

Pyrrhus, advice given to, 139


Rabbinism, chronology of, 634

Reason
  and the imagination, 82;
  and the senses, 83;
  recognises an infinity of things beyond it, 267;
  submission of, 268, 269, 270, 272;
  the heart and, 277, 278, 282;
  and instinct, 344, 395;
  commands us imperiously, 345;
  and the passions, 412, 413;
  corruption of, 440

Reasoning, reduces itself to yielding to feeling, 274

Redemption,
  the Red Sea an image of the, 642;
  the completeness of the, 780

Religion,
  its true nature and the necessity of studying it, 194;
  sinfulness of indifference to it, 195;
  whether certain, 234;
  suited to all kinds of minds, 285;
  true, 470, 494;
  test of the falsity of a, 487;
  two ways of proving its truths, 560;
  the Christian, has something astonishing in it, 614;
  the Christian, founded upon a preceding, 618;
  reasons for preferring the Christian, 736;
  three marks of, 843;
  and natural reason, 902

Republic, the Christian, 482, 610

Rivers, moving roads, 17

Roannez, M. de, a saying of, 276

Rule, a, necessary to judge a work, 5


Sabbath, the, only a sign, 609

Sacrifices, of the Jews and Gentiles, 609

Salvation, happiness of those who hope for, 239

Scaramouch, 12

Scepticism, 373, 376, 378, 385, 392, 394;
  truth of, 432;
  chief arguments of, 434

Sciences, vanity of the, 67

Scripture,
  and the number of stars, 266;
  its order, 283;
  has provided passages for all conditions of life, 531;
  literal inspiration of, 567;
  blindness of, 572;
  and Mahomet, 597;
  extravagant opinions founded on, 650;
  how to understand, 683, 686;
  against those who misuse passages of, 898

Self,
  necessary to know, 66;
  the little knowledge we have of, 175

Sensations, and molecules, 368

Senses,
  perceptions of the, always true, 9;
  perceive no extreme, 72;
  mislead the reason, 83

Silence,
  eternal, of infinite space, 206;
  the greatest persecution, 919

Sin, original, 445, 446, 447

Sneezing, absorbs all the functions of the soul, 160

Soul,
  immortality of the, 194, 219,
  220; immaterial, 349

_Spongia solis_, 91

Stoics, the, 350, 360, 465

Struggle, the, alone pleases us, 135

Style, charm of a natural, 29

Swiss, the, 305

Symmetry, 28

Synagogue, the, a type, 645, 851


Talent, chief, 118

Temple, reprobation of the, 712

Testaments,
  proof of the two, at once, 641;
  proof that the Old is figurative, 658;
  the Old and the New, 665

Theology, a science, 115

Theresa, St., 499, 867, 916

Thought,
  one, alone occupies us, 145;
  constitutes man's greatness, 346;
  and dignity, 365;
  sometimes escapes us, 370, 372

Time, effects of, 122, 123

Truth,
  nothing shows man the, 83;
  different degrees in man's aversion to, 100;
  the pretext that it is disputed, 261;
  known by the heart, 282;
  we desire, 437;
  here is not the country of, 842;
  obscure in these times, 863

Types, 570, 642, 643, 644, 645, 656, 657, 658, 669, 674, 678, 686;
  the law typical, 646, 684;
  some, clear and demonstrative, 649;
  particular, 651, 652, 653;
  are like portraits, 676, 677;
  the sacrifices are, 679, 684

Tyranny, 332


Understanding, different kinds of, 2

Universe,
  the relation of man to the, 72;
  his superiority to it, 347


Vanity,
  is anchored in man's heart, 150;
  effects of, 151, 153;
  curiosity only, 152;
  little known, 161;
  love and, 162, 163;
  only youths do not see the world's, 164

Variety, 114, 115

Vices, some, only lay hold on us through others, 102

Virtues,
  division of, 20;
  measure of, 352;
  excess of, 353, 357;
  only the balancing of opposed vices, 359;
  the true, 485


Weariness,
  in leaving favourite pursuits, 128;
  nothing so insufferable to man as, 131

Will,
  natural for the, to love, 81;
  one of the chief factors in belief, 99;
  self-, will never be satisfied, 472;
  is depraved, 477;
  God prefers to incline the, rather than the intellect, 580

Words,
  and meanings, 23, 50;
  repeated in a discourse, 48;
  superfluous, 49, 59

Works,
  necessity to do good, 497;
  external, 499

World,
  the, a good judge of things, 327;
  all the, under a delusion, 335;
  all the, not astonished at its own weakness, 314;
  all good maxims are in the, 380;
  the, exists for the exercise of mercy and judgment, 583


Transcribers' note

Numbered anchors changed to letter anchors for the four footnotes in the
introduction.

All the notes at the end of the text were numbered and appropriate
anchors inserted in the text.

Note No. 54 on page 28 has the wrong line number and is positioned two
notes after where it should be. Corrected the position.

"judgment" was consistently used throughout the text.


Page |Pensée |Details
     |       |
  9  |    32 |"beauty whch consists" - Typo for "which". Corrected.
     |       |
 37  |   121 |"that is infinite" - Added a period at the end of the
     |       |sentence.
     |       |
 46  |   154 |Mismatched brackets in original text.
     |       |
 75  |   260 |"youself" - corrected to "yourself".
     |       |
 86  |   301 |"It is because they have more reason?" - As in image.
     |       |
129  |   463 |"feel ull of feelings" - Typo corrected to "feel full of
     |       |feelings".
     |       |
133  |   479 |"the worst that can can happen" - deleted one "can".
     |       |
134  |   484 |Supplied missing period at the end.
     |       |
158  |   570 |"those whose whose only good" - deleted one "whose"
     |       |
162  |   587 |"they come with wisdom and with signs." - Typo corrected
     |       |to "they come with wisdom and with signs."
     |       |
165  |   598 |"Jesus Christ caused His wn to be slain." - Typo
     |       |corrected to "Jesus Christ caused His own to be slain."
     |       |
170  |   612 |"Salutare taum expectabo, Domine." - As in image.
     |       |
181  |   641 |"but it they have" - Typo corrected to "but if they
     |       |have".
     |       |
282  |       |Endnote 210. - "P. 158, l. 13. _Saint John_.--xii, 39."
     |       |-Corrected to ""P. 159, l. 13. _Saint John_.--xii, 39."
     |       |
286  |       |Endnote 331. "_Though ye believe not_, ect.--John x, 38."
     |       |-Corrected to "_Though ye believe not_, etc.--John x, 38."





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