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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about Pascal's Penses.

587

Our religion is wise and foolish.  Wise, because it is the most learned, and the most founded on miracles, prophecies, etc.  Foolish, because it is not all this which makes us belong to it.  This makes us indeed condemn those who do not belong to it; but it does not cause belief in those who do belong to it.  It is the cross that makes them believe, ne evacuata sit crux.  And so Saint Paul, who came with wisdom and signs, says that he has come neither with wisdom nor with signs; for he came to convert.  But those who come only to convince, can say that they come with wisdom and with signs.

SECTION IX

PERPETUITY

588

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.

589

Men must be sincere in all religions; true heathens, true Jews, true
Christians.

590

         J. C.
Heathens __|__ Mahomet
        \ /
       Ignorance
        of God.

591

The falseness of other religions.—­They have no witnesses.  Jews have.  God defies other religions to produce such signs:  Isaiah xliii, 9; xliv, 8.

592

History of China.[213]-I believe only the histories, whose witnesses got themselves killed.

[Which is the more credible of the two, Moses or China?]

It is not a question of seeing this summarily.  I tell you there is in it something to blind, and something to enlighten.

By this one word I destroy all your reasoning.  “But China obscures,” say you; and I answer, “China obscures, but there is clearness to be found; seek it.”

Thus all that you say makes for one of the views, and not at all against the other.  So this serves, and does no harm.

We must then see this in detail; we must put the papers on the table.

593

Against the history of China. The historians of Mexico, the five suns,[214] of which the last is only eight hundred years old.

The difference between a book accepted by a nation, and one which makes a nation.

594

Mahomet was without authority.  His reasons then should have been very strong, having only their own force.  What does he say then, that we must believe him?

595

The Psalms are chanted throughout the whole world.

Who renders testimony to Mahomet?  Himself.  Jesus Christ[215] desires His own testimony to be as nothing.

The quality of witnesses necessitates their existence always and everywhere; and he, miserable creature, is alone.

596

Against Mahomet.—­The Koran is not more of Mahomet than the Gospel is of Saint Matthew, for it is cited by many authors from age to age.  Even its very enemies, Celsus and Porphyry, never denied it.

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