Blaise Pascal.

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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.




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.


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.


_Prophecies._ - Great Pan is dead.[267]


_Susceperunt verbum cum omni aviditate, scrutantes Scripturas, si ita se


_Prodita lege._ - _Impleta cerne._ - _Implenda collige._


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 ...


The synagogue has preceded the church; the Jews, the Christians. The
prophets have foretold the Christians; Saint John, Jesus Christ.


It is glorious to see with the eyes of faith the history of Herod and of


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!


Zeal of the Jewish people for the law, especially after there were no
more prophets.


While the prophets were for maintaining the law, the people were
indifferent. But since there have been no more prophets, zeal has
succeeded them.


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


_Proof._ - Prophecies with their fulfilment; what has preceded and what
has followed Jesus Christ.


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.


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

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.


_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


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.


_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.


_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 ...


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.


_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

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

"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

"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

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

"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."


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.


_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.


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.


[_Prophecies._ - The promise that David will always have descendants.
Jer. xiii, 13.]


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.


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.


_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.


We have no king but Cæsar.


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

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