Pascal's Pensées eBook

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

“It is better to obey God than men.”

I fear nothing; I hope for nothing.  It is not so with the bishops.  Port-Royal fears, and it is bad policy to disperse them; for they will fear no longer and will cause greater fear.  I do not even fear your like censures, if they are not founded on those of tradition.  Do you censure all?  What! even my respect?  No.  Say then what, or you will do nothing, if you do not point out the evil, and why it is evil.  And this is what they will have great difficulty in doing.

Probability.—­They have given a ridiculous explanation of certitude; for, after having established that all their ways are sure, they have no longer called that sure which leads to heaven without danger of not arriving there by it, but that which leads there without danger of going out of that road.


...  The saints indulge in subtleties in order to think themselves criminals, and impeach their better actions.  And these indulge in subtleties in order to excuse the most wicked.

The heathen sages erected a structure equally fine outside, but upon a bad foundation; and the devil deceived men by this apparent resemblance based upon the most different foundation.

Man never had so good a cause as I; and others have never furnished so good a capture as you....

The more they point out weakness in my person, the more they authorise my cause.

You say that I am a heretic.  Is that lawful?  And if you do not fear that men do justice, do you not fear that God does justice?

You will feel the force of the truth, and you will yield to it ...

There is something supernatural in such a blindness. Digna necessitas.[380] Mentiris impudentissime ...

Doctrina sua noscitur vir ...

False piety, a double sin.

I am alone against thirty thousand.  No.  Protect, you, the court; protect, you, deception; let me protect the truth.  It is all my strength.  If I lose it, I am undone.  I shall not lack accusations, and persecutions.  But I possess the truth, and we shall see who will take it away.

I do not need to defend religion, but you do not need to defend error and injustice.  Let God, out of His compassion, having no regard to the evil which is in me, and having regard to the good which is in you, grant us all grace that truth may not be overcome in my hands, and that falsehood ...


Probable.—­Let us see if we seek God sincerely, by comparison of the things which we love.  It is probable that this food will not poison me.  It is probable that I shall not lose my action by not prosecuting it ...


It is not absolution only which remits sins by the sacrament of penance, but contrition, which is not real if it does not seek the sacrament.


People who do not keep their word, without faith, without honour, without truth, deceitful in heart, deceitful in speech; for which that amphibious animal in fable was once reproached, which held itself in a doubtful position between the fish and the birds ...

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Pascal's Pensées from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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