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SECTION I: THOUGHTS ON MIND AND ON STYLE

1. The difference between the mathematical and the intuitive mind.—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 on... Read More

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 ... Read More

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.... Read More

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. I should not be astonished at the... Read More

SECTION IX: PERPETUITY

589. 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. 590. Men must be sincere in all religions; true heathens, true Jews, true Christians. 591. J. C. H... Read More

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 ... Read More

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 ... Read More

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. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with di... Read More

SECTION VIII: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION

556.... 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 of them. And it is equally of God's mercy that He has given indications of both. And yet they take occasion to conclude t... Read More

SECTION X: TYPOLOGY

642. 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 h... Read More

SECTION XI: THE PROPHECIES

693. 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 incapab... Read More

SECTION XII: PROOFS OF JESUS CHRIST

737. 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 fin... Read More

SECTION XIII: THE MIRACLES

803. 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 ... Read More

SECTION XIV: APPENDIX: POLEMICAL FRAGMENTS

857. 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 r... Read More

The Greatness of Man

The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be miserable. It is then miserable to know oneself to be miserable; but it is also being great to know that one is miserable. All these same miseries prove man's greatness. They are the miseries of a great lord, of a deposed king. We are not ... Read More

Epitaph of M. Pascal, Pere

HERE lies, etc. Illustrious for his great knowledge which was recognized by the scholars of all Europe; more illustrious still for the great probity which he exercised in the offices and employments with which he was honored; but much more illustrious for his exemplary piety. He tasted good and bad ... Read More

Comparison Between Christians of Early Times and Those of To-Day

IN early times, Christians were perfectly instructed in all the points necessary to salvation; whilst we see to-day so gross an ignorance of them, that it makes all those mourn who have sentiments of tenderness for the Church. Men only entered then into the Church after great labors and long desires... Read More

Conversation of Pascal with M. de Saci on Epictetus and Montaigne

"M. PASCAL came, too, at this time, to live at Port-Royal des Champs. I do not stop to tell who this man was, whom not only all France, but all Europe admired; his mind always acute, always active, was of an extent, an elevation, a firmness, a penetration, and a clearness exceeding any thing that ca... Read More

Discourse on the Passion of Love

MAN [1] is born for thought; therefore he is not a moment without it; but the pure thoughts that would render him happy, if he could always maintain them, weary and oppress him. They make a uniform life to which he cannot adapt himself; he must have excitement and action, that is, it is necessary th... Read More

Discourses on the Condition of the Great

I IN order to enter into a real knowledge of your condition, consider it in this image: A man was cast by a tempest upon an unknown island, the inhabitants of which were in trouble to find their king, who was lost; and having a strong resemblance both in form and face to this king, he was taken for ... Read More

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