Blaise Pascal.

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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.


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