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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.


_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

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.


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.


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.


[Japhet begins the genealogy.]

Joseph folds his arms, and prefers the younger.[225]


Why should Moses make the lives of men so long, and their generations so

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.


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.


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.


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.


_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.


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.


_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.


_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.


_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

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._


_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.


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.


_Chronology of Rabbinism._ (The citations of pages are from the book

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

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_.


_If_ does not indicate indifference: Malachi, Isaiah.

Is., _Si volumus_, etc.

_In quacumque die._


_Prophecies._ - The sceptre was not interrupted by the captivity in
Babylon, because the return was promised and foretold.


_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.


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.


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.


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.




_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

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.]


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.


_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

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....


_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.


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.


That the law was figurative.


Two errors: 1. To take everything literally. 2. To take everything


To speak against too greatly figurative language.


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

[It is like men, who employ a certain obscure language among themselves.
Those who should not understand it, would understand only a foolish


_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

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.


_Particular Types._ - A double law, double tables of the law, a double
temple, a double captivity.


_Types._ - The prophets prophesied by symbols of a girdle, a beard and
burnt hair, etc.


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

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,


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


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.


_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.

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