Blaise Pascal On God

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), founder of Hydrostatics, Hydrodynamics, and the Theory of Probabilities

1.  In his book Pensees (Thoughts, 1660), Blaise Pascal wrote: “Jesus Christ is a God whom we approach without pride and before whom we humble ourselves without despair.” (Pascal 1910, No. 528).

2.  “Jesus Christ did nothing but teach men that they loved themselves, that they were slaves, blind, sick, wretched, and sinners; that He must deliver them, enlighten, bless, and heal them; that this would be effected by hating self, and by following Him through suffering and the death on the cross.

Without Jesus Christ man must be in vice and misery; with Jesus Christ man is free from vice and misery; in Him is all our virtue and all our happiness. Apart from Him there is but vice, misery, darkness, death, despair.” (Pascal 1910, No. 545-546).

3.  “Christianity is strange. It bids man recognise that he is vile, even abominable, and bids him desire to be like God. Without such a counterpoise, this dignity would make him horribly vain, or this humiliation would make him terribly abject.” (Pascal 1910, No. 537).

4.  “The knowledge of God without that of man’s misery causes pride. The knowledge of man’s misery without that of God causes despair. The knowledge of Jesus Christ constitutes the middle course, because in Him we find both God and our misery.” (Pascal 1910, No. 527).

5.  “We know God only by Jesus Christ. Without this mediator, all communion with God is taken away; through Jesus Christ we know God. All those who have claimed to know God, and to prove Him without Jesus Christ, have had only weak proofs. But in proof of Jesus Christ we have the prophecies, which are solid and palpable proofs. And these prophecies, being accomplished and proved true by the event, mark the certainty of these truths and, therefore, the divinity of Christ. In Him, then, and through Him, we know God.” (Pascal 1910, No. 547).

6.  “Not only do we know God by Jesus Christ alone, but we know ourselves only by Jesus Christ. We know life and death only through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ, we do not know what is our life, nor our death, nor God, nor ourselves.

Thus without the Scripture, which has Jesus Christ alone for its object, we know nothing, and see only darkness and confusion in the nature of God and in our own nature.” (Pascal 1910, No. 548).

7.  “There are two ways of proving the truths of our religion; one by the power of reason, the other by the authority of him who speaks.

We do not make use of the latter, but of the former. We do not say, ‘This must be believed, for Scripture, which says it, is divine.’ But we say that it must be believed for such and such a reason, which are feeble arguments, as reason may be bent to everything.” (Pascal 1910, No. 561).

Credit: Nobelists.net

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