Pascal's Pensées eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 370 pages of information about Pascal's Pensées.

Moses has given two rules:  that the prediction does not come to pass (Deut. xviii), and that they do not lead to idolatry (Deut. xiii); and Jesus Christ[318] one.

If doctrine regulates miracles, miracles are useless for doctrine.

If miracles regulate....

Objection to the rule.—­The distinction of the times.  One rule during the time of Moses, another at present.


Miracle.—­It is an effect, which exceeds the natural power of the means which are employed for it; and what is not a miracle is an effect, which does not exceed the natural power of the means which are employed for it.  Thus, those who heal by invocation of the devil do not work a miracle; for that does not exceed the natural power of the devil.  But ...


The two fundamentals; one inward, the other outward; grace and miracles; both supernatural.


Miracles and truth are necessary, because it is necessary to convince the entire man, in body and soul.


In all times, either men have spoken of the true God, or the true God has spoken to men.


Jesus Christ has verified that He was the Messiah, never in verifying His doctrine by Scripture and the prophecies, but always by His miracles.

He proves by a miracle that He remits sins.

Rejoice not in your miracles, said Jesus Christ, but because your names are written in heaven.[319]

If they believe not Moses, neither will they believe one risen from the dead.

Nicodemus recognises by His miracles that His teaching is of God. Scimus quia venisti a Deo magister; nemo enim potest haec signa facere quae tu facis nisi Deus fuerit cum eo.[320] He does not judge of the miracles by the teaching, but of the teaching by the miracles.

The Jews had a doctrine of God as we have one of Jesus Christ, and confirmed by miracles.  They were forbidden to believe every worker of miracles; and they were further commanded to have recourse to the chief priests, and to rely on them.

And thus, in regard to their prophets, they had all those reasons which we have for refusing to believe the workers of miracles.

And yet they were very sinful in rejecting the prophets, and Jesus Christ, because of their miracles; and they would not have been culpable, if they had not seen the miracles. Nisi fecissem ... peccatum non haberent.[321] Therefore all belief rests upon miracles.

Prophecy is not called miracle; as Saint John speaks of the first miracle in Cana, and then of what Jesus Christ says to the woman of Samaria, when He reveals to her all her hidden life.  Then He heals the centurion’s son; and Saint John calls this “the second miracle."[322]


The combinations of miracles.


The second miracle can suppose the first, but the first cannot suppose the second.

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Pascal's Pensées from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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