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by Blaise Pascal



[1] "Abstain and uphold." Stoic maxim.

[2] Petronius, 90. "You have spoken more as a poet than as a man."

[3] "Nothing in excess."

[4] Horace, Epistle to the pisos, 447. "They curtailed pretentious ornaments."

[5] Title given by Pico della Mirandola to one of his proposed nine hundred theses, in 1486.

[6] Tacitus, Annals, iv. "Kindnesses are agreeable so long as one thinks them possible to render; further, recognition makes way for hatred."

[7] St. Augustine, City of God, xxi. 10. "The manner in which the spirit is united to the body can not be understood by man; and yet it is man."

[8] Virgil, Georgics, ii. "Happy is he who is able to know the causes of things."

[9] Horace, Epistles, I. vi. 1. " To be astonished at nothing is nearly the only thing which can give and conserve happiness."

[10] Cicero, Disputationes Tusculanae, i, ii Harum sententiarum quae vera sit, Deus aliquis viderit. "Which of these opinions in the truth, a god will see."

[11] Montaigne, Essays, ii.

[12] Montaigne, Essays, ii.

[13] Treatise on the Vacuum.

[14] Terence, Heauton Timorumenos, III. v. 8. "There is one who will say great foolishness with great effort."

[15] Montaigne, Essays, ii.

[16] Pliny, ii. "As though there were anyone more unhappy than a man dominated by his imagination."

[17] Cicero, De Divinatione ii. 22. "A common happening does not astonish, even though the cause is unknown; an event such as one has never seen before passes for a prodigy."

[18] Allusion to Gen. 7. 14. Ipsi et omne animal secundus genus suum. "And every beast after his kind."

[19] Homer, Odyssey, xviii.

[20] Livy, xxxiv. 17. "A brutal people, for whom, when they have not armour, there is not life."

[21] Ecclus. 24:11. "With all these I have sought rest."

[22] "Terror which is more powerful than religion."

[23] "From fear that they are being led by terror, without guidance, domination appears tyrannical."

[24] "What will become of men who mistake small things and do not believe in greater?"

[25] Is. 45:15. "Thou art a God that hidest thyself."

[26] Wisd. of Sol. 4:12. "Bewitching of naughtiness."

[27] Wisd. of Sol. 5:15. "The remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day."

[28] 1 Cor. 1:21.

[29] "They have seen the thing; they have not seen the cause." St. Augustine, Contra Pelegium, iv.

[30] Matt. 11:27 "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."

[31] Is. 45:15. "Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself."

[32] 1 Cor. 1:17. "Lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

[33] Rom. 1:17. "The just shall live by faith."

[34] Rom. 10:17. "Faith cometh by hearing."

[35] "I know." "I believe."

[36] Ps. 119. 36. "Incline my heart, O Lord."

[37] Wisd. of Sol. 15:8, 16. "He moulds a God... like unto himself."

[38] Matt. 18:3. "Except ye become as little children."

[39] Ps. 119:36. "Incline my heart, O Lord, unto thy testimonies."

[40] Cicero, De finibus, V. 21. "There is no longer anything which is ours; what I call ours is conventional."

[41] Seneca, Epistles, xcv. "It is by virtue of senatus-consultes and plebiscites that one commits crimes."

[42] Tacitus, Annals, iii. 25. "Once we suffered from our vices; today we suffer from our laws."

[43] Saint Augustine, City of God, iv. 27. "As he has ignored the truth which frees, it is right he is mistaken."

[44] Cicero, De officiis, iii, 17. "Concerning true law."

[45] Eccles. 3:19. "for all is vanity."

[46] Rom. 8:20-21. "It shall be delivered."

[47] Horace, Odes, III. xxix. 13. "Changes nearly always please the great."

[48] Seneca, Epistles, xx. 8. "In order that you are satisfied with yourself and the good that is born from you."

[49] Montaigne, Essays, ii. 12.

[50] Cicero, De Divinatione, ii. 58. "There is nothing so absurd that it has not been said by some philosopher."

[51] Cicero, Disputationes Tusculanae, ii. 2. "Devoted to certain fixed opinions, they are forced to defend what they hardly approve."

[52] Seneca, Epistles, cvi. "We suffer from an excess of literature as from an excess of anything."

[53] Cicero, De officiis, i. 31. "What suits each one best is what is to him the most natural."

[54] Virgil, The Georgics, ii. "Nature gave them first these limits."

[55] Seneca, Epistles, cvi. "Wisdom does not demand much teaching."

[56] Cicero, De finibus bonorum et malorum. "What is not shameful begins to become so when it is approved by the multitude."

[57] Terence, Heauton Timorumenos, I. i. 21. "That is how I use it; you must do as you wish."

[58] Quintillian, x. 7. "It is rare that one sufficiently respects one's self."

[59] Seneca the Elder, Suasoriae, i. 4. "So many gods are busy around a single head."

[60] Cicero, Academica, i. 45. "Nothing is more shameful than to affirm before knowing."

[61] Cicero, Disputationes Tusculanae, i. 25. "I have not shame, as they do, to admit that I know not what I do not know."

[62] Seneca, Epistles, lxxii. "It is easier not to begin....

[63] Lam. 3:1. "I am the man that hath seen."

[64] "What you seek without knowing, religion will announce to you." Pascal misquotes Acts 17:23. "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."

[65] Prov. 8:31. "And my delights were with the sons of men."

[66] Joel 2:28. "I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh."

[67] Ps. 82:6. "Ye are gods."

[68] Is. 40:6. "All flesh is grass."

[69] Ps. 49:12, 13. "He is like the beasts that perish; this their way is their folly."

[70] Eccles. 3:18. "I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men."

[71] 1 Cor. 1:25 "The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

[72] Ovid, Metamorphoses, iii. "No one is happy before death."

[73] 1 John 2:16.

[74] 1 Cor. 1:31. "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

[75] John 14:6. "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

[76] 1 Cor. 6:17. "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."

[77] Gen. 4:7. "Unto thee shall be his desire."

[78] Office for Holy Saturday. "Which won for us a Saviour."

[79] Office for Good Friday. "Which won for us God's hallowed members to embrace."

[80] Hymn Vexilla regis. "Worthy God's hallowed members to embrace."

[81] Luke 7:6 "I am not worthy."

[82] 1 Cor. 11:29. "Who eateth unworthily."

[83] Rev. 4:11. "Thou art worthy to receive."

[84] Office of the Holy Virgin. "Make me worthy."

[85] Matthew, 7:7, "Ask and it shall be given you."

[86] Is. 45:15.

[87] John 8:30-33. "Many believed on him. Then Jesus said: 'If ye continue... then ye are my disciples indeed, and the truth shall make you free.' They answered him: 'We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man.'"

[88] Rev. 22:11. "He that is righteous, let him be righteous still."

[89] Circumcidentes cor. Rom. 2. "Circumcision is that of the heart."

[90] 1 Cor. 15:33. "Evil communications corrupt good manners."

[91] "What they have found by their curiosity, they have lost by their pride." Quod curiositate invenerunt, superbia perdiderunt. St. Augustine, Sermon cxli.

[92] 1 Cor. 1:21. "Which... by wisdom knew not... it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."

[93] St. Bernard, Sermones in Cantica Canticorum, lxxxiv. "The better one is, the worse one becomes, if one attributes the cause of this goodness to one's self."

[94] Ibid. "Meriting blows more than kisses, I fear not, because I love."

[95] John 11:33. Et turbarit seipsum. "And he troubled himself."

[96] Matt. 26:46. "Let us be going."

[97] Matt. 18:2. "Jesus went forth."

[98] Gen. 3:5. "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

[99] John 20:17. "Touch me not."

[100] Allusion to John 6:56; 1:47; 8:36; 6:32. "True disciple; an Israelite indeed; free indeed; true bread."

[101] In discipulis meis. Isaiah 8:16. "Seal the law among my disciples."

[102] Is. 45:15.

[103] 1 Cor. 1:17. "Lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

[104] "Rend your heart."

[105] Ps. 9:14. "Have mercy."

[106] Is. 5:7. "He has looked for."

[107] Ezek. 20:25. Praecepta non bona. "Statutes that were not good."

[108] "I will establish my covenant between me and Thee for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto Thee."

[109] Gen. 17:9. "Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore."

[110] Gen. 49:18. "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord."

[111] Essays, 1. 22.

[112] Num. 11:29. Quis tribuat ut omnis populus prophetet. "Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets."

[113] De cultu feminarum, i-3. "He could equally have renewed it, under the Spirit's inspiration, after it had been destroyed by the violence of the deluge, as, after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian storming of it, every document of the Jewish literature is generally agreed to have been restored through Ezra."

[114] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, V. viii. 14. "God was glorified, and the Scriptures were recognized as truly divine, for they all rendered the same things in the same words and the same names, from beginning to end, so that even the heathen who were present knew that the Scriptures had been translated by the inspiration of God. And it is no marvel that God did this, for when the Scriptures had been destroyed in the captivity of the people in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Jews had gone back to their country after seventy years, then in the times of Artaxerxes, the king of the Persians, he inspired Ezra, the priest of the tribe of Levi, to restore all the sayings of the prophets who had gone before, and to restore to the people the law given by Moses." This is Pascal's rendering into Latin of the passage from Eusebius of which the last lines are in Greek, above.

[115] "Each time that."

[116] Mark 2:10, 11. "But that ye may know that the son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins... I say unto thee, Arise."

[117] Rom. 5:14. "The figure of him that was to come."

[118] Ps. 75. 5. "They have slept their sleep."

[119] 1 Cor. 7:31 "The fashion of this world."

[120] Deut. 8:9. "Bread without scarceness."

[121] Luke 11:3. "Our daily bread."

[122] Ps. 71:9. "The enemies of the Lord shall lick the dust."

[123] Exod. 12:8. Cum lacticibus agrestibus. "With bitter herbs."

[124] Ps. 140:10. "Whilst that I withal escape."j

[125] Ps. 44:4 "O most mighty."

[126] Exod. 25:40. "Make them after their pattern, which was showed thee on the mount."

[127] Mark 2:10, 11. "That ye may know... I say unto thee: Arise."

[128] John 4:23. "True worshippers."

[129] John 1:29. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

[130] "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

[131] Is. 44:24. "I am the Lord."

[132] "I will do unto this house."

[133] "For I spoke not unto your fathers."

[134] "According to the number."

[135] Rev. 13:8. "The Lambs slain from the foundation of the world."

[136] Ps. 109:1. " Sit then at my right hand."

[137] Ps. 147:13. Quoniam not quia. "For he hath strengthened the bars."

[138] Acts 17:11. "They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

[139] "Read what has been announced. See what has been accomplished. Meditate on what is to be done."

[140] John 19:15. "We have no king but Caesar."

[141] Is. 65:2. "Arebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good."

[142 "They have pierced."

[143] Ps. 130:8. "from all his iniquities."

[144]Deut. 28:29. Et palpes in meridie. "And thou shalt grope at noonday."

[145] Is. 29:11. Quem (librum) cum dederint scienti litteras et respondebit: Non possum. "Which men deliver to one that is learned... and he saith, I cannot."

[146] Job 19:23-25. "for I know that my redeemer liveth."

[147] Luke 22:32, 61. "And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brother." "And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter."

[148] Is. 6:10. "Shut their eyes."

[149] "The man who exists makes you God."

[150] "It is written: 'You are Gods' (Ps. 80:6), and the Scripture cannot be made naught of."

[151] "This weakness is not for life; it is for death."

[152] "John 11:11 and 14. "'Lazarus sleeps,' and later it says: 'Lazarus is dead.'"

[153] Ps. 44:4. Gladio tuo- "Thy sword, O most mighty."

[154] Heb. 10:5. "When he cometh into the world."

[155] Joel. 2:28. "I will pour out my spirit."

[156] Ps. 21:28. "All peoples shall come and worship him."

[157] Is. 49:6. "It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant," etc.

[158] Ps. 2:8. "Ask of me."

[159] Ps. 71:11. "All kings shall fall down before him."

[160] Ps. 34:11. "Witnesses rise up."

[161] Lam. 3:30. "He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him."

[162] Ps. 68:22. Dederunt in escam meam fel. "They gave me also gall for my meat."

[163] Is. 49:6. "It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant," etc.

[164] Luke 2:32. "A light to lighten the Gentiles."

[165] Ps. 167:20. "He hath not dealt so with any nation."

[166]Matt. 26:27. "Drink ye all of it."

[167] Rom. 5:12. "for that all have sinned."

[168] Luke 12:32. "Fear not little flock."

[169] Phil. 2:12. "With fear and trembling."

[170] Mark 9:37. "Whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me."

[171] Mark 13:32. "No one knows, neither the Son, but the Father."

[172] "Clouds shadowed over the light."

[173] Mark 1:5. "All the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him."

[174] Mark 4:12. "Lest they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them."

[175] Matt. 26:50. "Friend, wherefore art thou come?"

[176] Ps. 2:1, 2. "Why do the heathen rage... and the rulers of the earth... against the Lord."

[177] Is. 8:14. "For a sanctuary and for a rock of offence."

[178] John 3:2. "We know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him."

[179] John. 15:24 "If I had not done... they had not had sin."

[180] Matt. 12:25; Luke 11:17. "Every kingdom divided against itself."

[181] Luke 11:20. "If with the finger of God... the kingdom of God is come upon you."

[182] St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica.

[183] "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled... He hath blinded their eyes."

[184] John 12:41. "These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him."

[185] 1 Cor. 1:22, 23. "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified."

[186] "But full of signs, full of wisdom; you the Jesuits, what you wish is a Christ not crucified, a religion without miracles and without wisdom."

[187] 10:26 "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep."

[188] "Not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye... were filled."

[189] 16. "This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others said: How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?"

[190]John 9:17, 33. "What sayest thou of him? He said, He is a prophet. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing."

[191] Mark 9:39. Nemo est enim qui faciat. "There is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me."

[192] Ps. 138:24. "And see if there be any wicked way in me."

[193] Luke 22:66. "Art thou the Christ? tell us."

[194] John 5:36. "The works which the father hath given me to finish... bear witness of me." John 10:26-27. "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep... My sheep hear my voice.

[195] "What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee. (They do not say: What doctrine do you preach?)"

[196] John 3:2. "No man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him."

[197] "The Lord, making manifest his presence, upholdeth them that are his own portion."

[198] "And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven."

[199] Matt. 12:39. "An evil generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it."

[200] "And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, why doth this generation seek after a sign?"

[201] "Mark 6:5. "And he could there do no mighty work."

[202] John 4:48. "Except ye see... ye will not believe."

[203] 9. "In signs and lying wonders."

[204] II Thess. 2:9-11 "After the working of Satan... and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."

[205] Deut. 13:3. "for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord."

[206] Matt. 24:25-26. "Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold."

[207] Is. 5:4. Quis est quod debui ultra facere vineae meae, et non faci ei? "What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?"

[208] Gal. 1:8. "But though an angel."

[209] Ps. 41:4. "Where is thy God?"

[210] Ps. 111:4. "Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness."

[211] "The yes and the no."

[212] Is. 10:1. "Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees."

[213] John 15:24. "If he had not done."

[214] John 15:24. "If he had not done among them the works which none other man did."

[215] Prov. 26. 4-5. "Answer... Answer not."

[216] Epistle 63. "Priest of the Lord."

[217] Luke 22:26. "But ye shall not be so."

[218] John 10:30. "I and my father are one."

[219] John 5:7. "And these three agree in one."

[220] "The strictest law is the greatest injustice." Terrence, Heauton Timorumenus, iv. 5. 47; and Cicero, De officiis, i. 10.

[221] John 21:17. "Feed my sheep." Not "yours."

[222] "The Church will never be reformed."

[223] Jas. 4:6. "God giveth grace unto the humble."

[224] "But did he not give them humility?"

[225] John 1:11-12. "The world knew him not; and his own received him not."

[226] "And were they not his?"

[227] Rom. 12:2 "But overcome evil with good."

[228] 2 Tim. 4:3. "Shall they heap to themselves teachers."

[229] Ps. 81:6. "Ye are gods."

[230] "To your tribunal, Lord Jesus, I call."

[231] Wisd. of Sol. 19:4. "Doom which they deserved."

[232] "Most impudent Liars." See Provincial Letter xvi.

[233] Prov. 12:8. "A man shall be commended according to his wisdom."


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