Pascal, Pensées, S 415–437

Before the annotated text of the Pensées of Pascal, Sellier 415–437, here is an attempt at a detailed summary. I have tried to indicate all chapters of the Bible (OT, Apocrypha, NT) quoted from by Pascal or by me. I may have figured out what passages are by looking at the notes of Descotes and Proust. I may not always have completed this work, which can be tedious and which I hope not to be doing so much for later readings. Pascal may be study scripture as scientists such as himself study nature, and Isaac Newton (nineteen years younger) may resemble him in this.

  • Contre la fable d’Esdras: S 415–8, L 949, 968, 953

    Esdras or Ezra says the Law was burnt in the conquest of Jerusalem (2 Esdras 14:21). Pascal cannot accept this. It’s not clear why he does not want to allow that we may still have the law through the miracle of Ezra’s restoration of it. He does find that the preponderance of historical evidence, in the Bible and elsewhere, does not support this conclusion.

  • Miracles I: S 419–20, L 830–1

  • Miracles II: S 421–37, L 832–58

    • Fragment 1. A long fragment, setting out the basic problem: Les miracles discernent la doctrine, et la doctrine discerne les miracles. Deuteronomy 13, 18; Matthew 24; Mark 9; John 10, 12; 1 Corinthians 1; 2 Thessalonians 2

    • Fragment 2. Les prophéties, les miracles mêmes et les preuves de notre religion ne sont … absolument convaincants.

    • Fragment 3. There must be both

      • false miracles,

      • a rule for discerning them.

      Judges 13; 1 Kings 17, 18; Jeremiah 28; 2 Maccabees 3 and 15.

    • Fragment 4. Les preuves que Jésus-Christ et les apôtres tirent de l’Écriture ne sont pas démonstratives. John 9, 10

    • Fragment 5. Prophecy and thus doctrine could not prove Jesus Christ before his death, so miracles had to. John 7.

    • Fragment 6. Notre religion est sage et folle … Ce qui les fait croire c’est la croix. 1 Corinthians 1.

    • Fragment 7. Les miracles sont pour la doctrine et non pas la doctrine pour les miracles, and yet each is judged by the other, Car il faut distinguer les temps. Isaiah 1, 5; John 5; Acts 13, 19; Galatians 1.

    • Fragment 8. Jesus Christ proved himself, not by scripture or prophecy, but by miracles. La prophétie n’est point appelée miracle. Deuteronomy 17 18; Mark 2; Luke 10, 16; John 3, 15.

    • Fragment 9. Some brief remarks, including one on politics: En montrant la vérité, on la fait croire, mais en montrant l’injustice des ministres, on ne la corrige pas. Matthew 6.

    • Fragment 10. Il y a bien de la différence entre tenter et induire en erreur.

    • Fragment 11. All Bible: Deuteronomy 13; 2 Maccabees 14; Mark 6, 8; Matthew 12; Luke 11; John 3, 4, 6, 10; 2 Thessalonians 2.

    • Fragment 12. Notes on rejecting prophets.

    • Fragment 13. Today it’s easy to distinguish a false prophet, since ceux qui ne nient ni Dieu ni Jésus-Christ ne font point de miracles qui ne soient sûrs. Mark 9, John 6, 9, 10.

    • Fragment 14. A list of contestation:

      [good] [bad] mentioned
      Abel Caïn
      Moïse magiciens
      Élie faux prophètes
      Jérémie Ananias Fragment 3
      Michée faux prophètes Sellier 265
      Jésus-Christ pharisiens Fragments 4, 5, 13
      Saint Paul Barjésu Fragment 7
      Apôtres exorcistes Fragment 7
      Les chrétiens les infidèles
      Les catholiques les hérétiques Fragment 7
      Élie, Énoch Antéchrist Fragment 3
    • Fragment 15. The Hebrew word Latinized as miraculum can mean something other than a miracle.

Contre la fable d’Esdras


Contre la fable d’Esdras.

2, Macch., 2.

By the definition in 417–953–632 below, the fable of Esdras (Ἔσδρας, Ezra) is that the Law was burnt with the destruction of Solomon’s Temple after the successful Siege of Jerusalem.

Pascal now takes verses of the Apochryphal 2 Maccabees 2 to contradict the fable:

1 It is also found in the records, that Jeremy the prophet commanded them that were carried away to take of the fire, as it hath been signified:

2 And how that the prophet, having given them the law, charged them not to forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, when they see images of silver and gold, with their ornaments.

3 And with other such speeches exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their hearts.

However, one can remember the Law without having it written. As the Wikipedia article on the Torah (accessed March 23, 2021) has it,

According to Jewish tradition, the Torah was recompiled by Ezra during Second Temple period.

One of two cited sources is Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, translated from the German by Henrietta Szold, available as a pdf file from (whose master says, “I who was once Unclean am now Holy in Christ and thus I am now a Holy little piglet in God’s eyes”):

In restoring the Jewish state in Palestine, Ezra cherished two hopes, to preserve the purity of the Jewish race, and to spread the study of the Torah until it should become the common property of the people at large …

In the realization of his second hope, the spread of the Torah, Ezra was so zealous and efficient that it was justly said of him: “If Moses had not anticipated him, Ezra would have received the Torah.” In a sense he was, indeed, a second Moses. The Torah had fallen into neglect and oblivion in his day, and he restored and re-established it in the minds of his people.

This tradition will come up in 418–953–632 below. Meanwhile, one verse of the Apocrychal Second Book of Esdras, chapter 14, says the law was not only neglected, but burned:

19 Then answered I before thee, and said,

20 Behold, Lord, I will go, as thou hast commanded me, and reprove the people which are present: but they that shall be born afterward, who shall admonish them? thus the world is set in darkness, and they that dwell therein are without light.

21 For thy law is burnt, therefore no man knoweth the things that are done of thee, or the work that shall begin.

22 But if I have found grace before thee, send the Holy Ghost into me, and I shall write all that hath been done in the world since the beginning, which were written in thy law, that men may find thy path, and that they which will live in the latter days may live.

23 And he answered me, saying, Go thy way, gather the people together, and say unto them, that they seek thee not for forty days.

In their Dossier thématique on Esdras, Descotes and Proust quote 2 Esdras 14 (as 14e ch. du 4e livre d’Esdras), verse 21, a couple of times: Car ta loi est allumée, par quoi aucun ne sait quelles choses sont faites de toi, ni quelles œuvres commenceront.

Searching 2 Esdras for “burn” and “law,” I find only the following additional relevant passage, which may contradict the fable:

2 Esdras 9:

36 For we that have received the law perish by sin, and our heart also which received it.

37 Notwithstanding the law perisheth not, but remaineth in his force.


Josèphe, Ant., XI, 1. Cyrus prit sujet de la prophétie d’Isaïe de relâcher le peuple.

Les Juifs avaient des possessions paisibles sous Cyrus en Babylone. Donc ils pouvaient bien avoir la Loi.


Josèphe en toute l’histoire d’Esdras ne dit pas un mot de ce rétablissement.

Reestablishment of the Law by Ezra, apparently.

4, Rois, 17, 27.

The cited Bible verse suggests retention of the Law.

It seems the original Hebrew books of Samuel and Kings became the Book of Kingdoms in the Septuagint, then four books of Kings in the Vulgate, and somehow, “eventually,” 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. From 2 Kings 17 then:

22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;

23 Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.

24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.

25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the Lord: therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them.

26 Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.

27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.

28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.

29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.

416–968–634 Si la fable d’Esdras est croyable, donc il faut croire que l’Écriture est écriture sainte. Car cette fable n’est fondée que sur l’autorité de ceux qui disent celle des Septante, qui montre que l’Écriture est sainte.

Donc, si ce conte est vrai, nous avons notre compte par là, sinon nous l’avons d’ailleurs. Et ainsi ceux qui voudraient ruiner la vérité de notre religion, fondée sur Moïse, l’établissent par la même autorité par où ils l’attaquent. Ainsi par cette providence, elle subsiste toujours.

The Seventy who gave us the Septuagint with its books of Esdras gave us the whole Bible as being holy. As Pascal does of much of the Old Testament, he might say the burning of 2 Esdras 14:21 is figurative.

Can he not also say that the written law was restored or established, as 2 Esdras chapter 14 goes on to relate, and is therefore authoritative?—:

37 So I took the five men, as he commanded me, and we went into the field, and remained there.

38 And the next day, behold, a voice called me, saying, Esdras, open thy mouth, and drink that I give thee to drink.

39 Then opened I my mouth, and, behold, he reached me a full cup, which was full as it were with water, but the colour of it was like fire.

40 And I took it, and drank: and when I had drunk of it, my heart uttered understanding, and wisdom grew in my breast, for my spirit strengthened my memory:

41 And my mouth was opened, and shut no more.

42 The Highest gave understanding unto the five men, and they wrote the wonderful visions of the night that were told, which they knew not: and they sat forty days, and they wrote in the day, and at night they ate bread.

43 As for me. I spake in the day, and I held not my tongue by night.

44 In forty days they wrote two hundred and four books.


Sur Esdras.

Fable : les livres ont été brûlés avec le temple.

Faux par les Macchabées : Jérémie leur donna la loi.

Fable : qu’il récita tout par cœur.

Josèphe et Esdras marquent qu’il lut le livre.

Baron., Ann., 180.

Nullus penitus Hæbræorum antiquorum reperitur qui tradiderit libros periisse et per Esdram esse restitutos nisi in 4 Esdras [On ne trouve absolument personne parmi les anciens Juifs qui ait rapporté que les livres avaient disparu et qu’ils avaient été reconstitués par Esdras, sauf au Quatrième livre d’Esdras].

Fable : qu’il changea les lettres.

Philo, in Vita Moysis. Illa lingua ac caracter quo antiquitus scripta est Lex sic permansit usque ad 70 [Cette langue et le caractère avec lesquels la Loi était écrite a subsisté jusqu’aux Septante].

According to Descotes and Proust, those words are not exactly in Philo, and La citation est peut-être forgée par Pascal; if a real passage is intended, it could be this:

V. (25) And that beauty and dignity of the legislation of Moses is honoured not among the Jews only, but also by all other nations, is plain, both from what has been already said and from what I am about to state. (26) In olden time the laws were written in the Chaldaean language, and for a long time they remained in the same condition as at first, not changing their language as long as their beauty had not made them known to other nations; (27) but when, from the daily and uninterrupted respect shown to them by those to whom they had been given, and from their ceaseless observance of their ordinances, other nations also obtained an understanding of them, their reputation spread over all lands; for what was really good, even though it may through envy be overshadowed for a short time, still in time shines again through the intrinsic excellence of its nature. Some persons, thinking it a scandalous thing that these laws should only be known among one half portion of the human race, namely, among the barbarians, and that the Greek nation should be wholly and entirely ignorant of them, turned their attention to their translation.

Josèphe dit que la Loi était en hébreu quand elle fut traduite par les Septante.

Josephus says, in Antiquities of the Jews XII, Chapter 2,

WHEN Alexander had reigned twelve years, and after him Ptolemy Soter forty years, Philadelphus then took the kingdom of Egypt, and held it forty years within one. He procured the law to be interpreted, and set free those that were come from Jerusalem into Egypt, and were in slavery there, who were a hundred and twenty thousand. The occasion was this: Demetrius Phalerius, who was library keeper to the king, was now endeavoring, if it were possible, to gather together all the books that were in the habitable earth, and buying whatsoever was any where valuable, or agreeable to the king’s inclination, (who was very earnestly set upon collecting of books,) to which inclination of his Demetrius was zealously subservient. And when once Ptolemy asked him how many ten thousands of books he had collected, he replied, that he had already about twenty times ten thousand; but that, in a little time, he should have fifty times ten thousand. But be said he had been informed that there were many books of laws among the Jews worthy of inquiring after, and worthy of the king’s library, but which, being written in characters and in a dialect of their own, will cause no small pains in getting them translated into the Greek tongue; (3) that the character in which they are written seems to be like to that which is the proper character of the Syrians, and that its sound, when pronounced, is like theirs also; and that this sound appears to be peculiar to themselves. Wherefore he said that nothing hindered why they might not get those books to be translated also; for while nothing is wanting that is necessary for that purpose, we may have their books also in this library. So the king thought that Demetrius was very zealous to procure him abundance of books, and that he suggested what was exceeding proper for him to do; and therefore he wrote to the Jewish high priest, that he should act accordingly.


Sous Antiochus et Vespasien, où l’on a voulu abolir les Livres et où il n’y avait point de prophète, on ne l’a pu faire. Et sous les Babyloniens, où nulle persécution n’a été faite et où il y avait tant de prophètes, l’auraient‑ils laissé brûler ?


Josèphe se moque des Grecs qui ne souffriraient …


Tertullien : Perinde potuit abolefactam eam violentia cataclysmi, in spiritu rursus reformare : quemadmodum et Hierosolymis babylonia expugnatione deletis, omne instrumentum Judaicæ litteraturæ per Esdram constat restauratum [[Noah] could equally have renewed [the Book of Enoch], under the Spirit’s inspiration, after it had been destroyed by the violence of the deluge, as, after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian storming of it, every document of the Jewish literature is generally agreed to have been restored through Ezra]. Tert., lib. I, De cultu femin., c. 3.

Il dit que Noé a pu aussi bien rétablir en esprit le livre d’Énoch perdu par le Déluge, qu’Esdras a pu rétablir les Écritures perdues durant la captivité.

Θεὸς ἐν τῇ ἐπὶ Ναϐουκοδόνοσορ αἰχμαλωσίᾳ τοῦ λαοῦ, διαφθαρεισῶν τῶν γραφῶν, ἐνέπνευσε Ἐσδρᾷ τῷ ἱερεῖ ἐκ τῆς φυλῆς Λευὶ τοῦς τῶν προγεγονότων προφητῶν πάντας ἀνατάξασθαι λόγους, καὶ ἀποκαταστῆσαι τῷ λαῷ τὴν διὰ Μωσέως νομοθεσίαν [les Écritures ayant été détruites … ].

Il allègue cela pour prouver qu’il n’est pas incroyable que les Septante aient expliqué les Écritures saintes avec cette uniformité que l’on admire en eux. Eusèb. lib. 5, Hist. c. 8. et il a pris cela de saint Irénée, lib. 3, ch. 25.

The Latin text at the end of this fragment is apparently Pascal’s translation of a larger portion of the Greek than he quotes from Eusebius in Church History, the Wikipedia article on which links to the Greek text in a pdf file, where Chapter 8 has the following; I make bold what Pascal elides; otherwise, Pascal replaces Eusebius’s relative pronoun “who” with its antecedent “God,” and drops the upsilon from Μωυσέως:

« … καὶ οὐδέν γε θαυμαστὸν τὸν θεὸν τοῦτο ἐνηργηκέναι, ὅς γε καὶ ἐν τῇ ἐπὶ Ναβουχοδονόσορ αἰχμαλωσίᾳ τοῦ λαοῦ διαφθαρεισῶν τῶν γραφῶν καὶ μετὰ ἑβδομήκοντα ἔτη τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἀνελθόντων εἰς τὴν χώραν αὐτῶν, ἔπειτα ἐν τοῖς χρόνοις Ἀρταξέρξου τοῦ Περσῶν βασιλέως ἐνέπνευσεν Ἔσδρᾳ τῷ ἱερεῖ ἐκ τῆς φυλῆς Λευὶ τοὺς τῶν προγεγονότων προφητῶν πάντας ἀνατάξασθαι λόγους καὶ ἀποκαταστῆσαι τῷ λαῷ τὴν διὰ Μωυσέως νομοθεσίαν».

τοσαῦτα ὁ Εἰρηναῖος.

The English translation by McGiffert, in html or pdf, including the previous paragraph that Pascal adds in Latin, has:

“But when they came together in the presence of Ptolemy, and compared their several translations, God was glorified, and the Scriptures were recognized as truly divine. For all of them had rendered the same things in the same words and with the same names from beginning to end, so that the heathen perceived that the Scriptures had been translated by the inspiration of God.

“And this was nothing wonderful for God to do, who, in the captivity of the people under Nebuchadnezzar, when the Scriptures had been destroyed, and the Jews had returned to their own country after seventy years, afterwards, in the time of Artaxerxes, king of the Persians, inspired Ezra the priest, of the tribe of Levi, to relate all the words of the former prophets, and to restore to the people the legislation of Moses.”

Such are the words of Irenæus.

Saint Hilaire dans la préface sur les psaumes dit qu’Esdras a mis les psaumes en ordre.

L’origine de cette tradition vient du 14e ch. du 4e livre d’Esdras.


Deus glorificatus est, et Scripturæ veræ divinæ creditæ sunt, omnibus eamdem et eisdem verbis et eisdem nominibus recitantibus ab initio usque ad finem, uti et præsentes gentes cognoscerent quoniam per inspirationem Dei interpretatæ sunt Scripturæ, et non esset mirabile Deum hoc in eis operatum quando in ea captivitate populi quæ facta est a Nabuchodonosor corruptis Scripturis et post 70 annos Judæis descendentibus in regionem suam, et post deinde temporibus Artaxerxis Persarum regis inspiravit Esdræ sacerdoti tribus Levi præteritorum prophetarum omnes rememorare sermones et restituere populo eam legem quæ data esset per Moysen.

Miracles I

By the account of Hume, “Of Miracles,” An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (1748, 1777),

A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined.

The plain consequence is (and it is a general maxim worthy of our attention), “That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish: And even in that case there is a mutual destruction of arguments, and the superior only gives us an assurance suitable to that degree of force, which remains, after deducting the inferior.”

This requires requires a conviction that there are laws of nature, in the sense that nature not only ought not, but cannot break them. Pascal did recognize what is called Pascal’s law, but may not have conceived of it as inviolable.

Descotes and Proust offer the definition,

Miracle : manifestation extraordinaire de la volonté divine dans la nature. Événement qui illumine le rapport des ordres de réalité. Les apologistes soutiennent que le miracle manifeste le surnaturel dans l’ordre de la nature.

419–830–app. XIII Les points que j’ai à demander à Monsieur l’abbé de Saint-Cyran sont principalement ceux‑ci. Mais, comme je n’en ai point de copie, il faudrait qu’il prît la peine de renvoyer ce papier avec la réponse qu’il aura la bonté d’y faire.

  1. S’il faut, pour faire qu’un effet soit miraculeux, qu’il soit au‑dessus de la force des hommes, des démons, des anges et de toute la nature créée.

« Les théologiens disent

  • que les miracles sont surnaturels ou dans leur substance, quoad substantiam, comme

    • la pénétration de deux corps ou

    • la situation d’un même corps en deux lieux en même temps ; ou

  • qu’ils sont surnaturels dans la manière de les produire quoad modum, comme quand ils sont produits par des moyens qui n’ont nulle vertu naturelle de les produire : comme quand Jésus-Christ guérit

    • les yeux de l’aveugle avec la boue et

    • la belle‑mère de saint Pierre en se penchant sur elle, et

    • la femme malade du flux de sang en touchant le bord de sa robe.

Et la plupart des miracles qu’il a faits dans l’Évangile sont de ce second genre. Telle est aussi la guérison d’une fièvre, ou autre maladie faite en un moment, ou plus parfaitement que la nature ne porte, par l’attouchement d’une relique ou par l’invocation du nom de Dieu, de sorte que la pensée de celui qui propose ces difficultés est vraie et conforme à tous les théologiens, même de ce temps. »

Is the miracle of Cana quoad substantiam? See 420–831–810, Le second miracle peut supposer le premier; le premier ne peut supposer le second.

  1. S’il ne suffit pas qu’il soit au‑dessus de la force naturelle des moyens qu’on y emploie, ma pensée étant que tout effet est miraculeux lequel surpasse la force naturelle des moyens qu’on y emploie. Ainsi j’appelle miraculeux la guérison d’une maladie faite par l’attouchement d’une sainte relique, la guérison d’un démoniaque faite par l’invocation du nom de Jésus, etc., parce que ces effets surpassent la force naturelle des paroles par lesquelles on invoque Dieu ; et la force naturelle d’une relique ne peut guérir les maladies et chasser les démons. Mais je n’appelle pas miracle de chasser les démons par l’art du diable, car, quand on emploie la puissance du diable pour chasser le diable, l’effet ne surpasse pas la force naturelle des moyens qu’on y emploie. Et ainsi il m’a paru que la vraie définition des miracles est celle que je viens de dire.

« Ce que le diable peut faire n’est pas miracle, non plus que ce que peut faire une bête, quoique l’homme ne le puisse faire par lui‑même. »

  1. Si saint Thomas n’est pas contraire à cette définition, et s’il n’est pas d’avis qu’un effet pour être miraculeux doit surpasser la force de toute la nature créée.

« Saint Thomas est de même opinion que les autres, quoiqu’il divise en deux la seconde espèce de miracles, savoir en

  • miracles quoad subjectum et

  • miracles quoad ordinem naturæ.

Il dit

  • que les premiers sont ceux que la nature peut produire absolument, mais non dans un tel sujet comme elle peut produire la vie, mais non dans un corps mort ; et

  • que les seconds sont ceux qu’elle peut produire dans un sujet, mais non par tels moyens avec tant de promptitude, etc., comme guérir en un moment et par un seul attouchement une fièvre ou une autre maladie quoique non incurable. »

This notion of classifying miracles is pre-scientific, or perhaps more precisely pre-Copernican (Thomas, 1225–74; Copernicus, 1473–1543), Copernicus having allowed the perfect mathematical regularity of the heavens to apply here on earth.

  1. Si les hérétiques déclarés et connus peuvent faire de vrais miracles pour confirmer une erreur.

  2. Si les hérétiques déclarés et connus peuvent faire des miracles comme la guérison des maladies qui ne sont pas incurables. Par exemple, s’ils peuvent guérir une fièvre pour confirmer une proposition erronée comme le P. Lingendes prêche que oui.

« Il ne se peut jamais faire de vrais miracles par qui que ce soit, catholique ou hérétique, saint ou méchant, pour confirmer une erreur, parce que Dieu confirmerait et approuverait par son sceau l’erreur comme faux témoin ou plutôt comme faux juge. Cela est assuré et constant. »

  1. Si les hérétiques déclarés et connus peuvent faire des miracles qui soient au‑dessus de toute la nature créée par l’invocation du nom de Dieu ou par une sainte relique.

« Ils le peuvent pour confirmer une vérité et il y en a des exemples dans l’histoire. »

What are the examples? Descotes and Proust give references, though no examples themselves.

  1. Si les hérétiques couverts et qui, ne se séparant pas de l’Église, sont néanmoins dans l’erreur, et qui ne se déclarent pas contre l’Église afin de pouvoir plus facilement séduire les fidèles et fortifier leur parti, peuvent faire, par l’invocation du nom de Jésus ou par une sainte relique, des miracles qui soient au‑dessus de la nature entière, ou même s’ils en peuvent faire qui ne soient qu’au‑dessus de l’homme, comme de guérir sur‑le‑champ des maux qui ne sont pas incurables.

« Les hérétiques couverts n’ont pas plus de pouvoir sur les miracles que les hérétiques déclarés, rien n’étant couvert à Dieu qui est le seul auteur et opérateur des miracles, quels qu’ils soient, pourvu qu’ils soient vrais miracles. »

  1. Si les miracles faits par le nom de Dieu et par l’interposition des choses divines ne sont pas les marques de la vraie Église, et si tous les catholiques n’ont pas tenu l’affirmative contre tous les hérétiques.

« Tous les catholiques en demeurent d’accord et surtout les auteurs jésuites : il ne faut que lire Bellarmin. Lors même que les hérétiques ont fait des miracles, ce qui est arrivé quelquefois, quoique rarement, ces miracles étaient marques de l’Église parce qu’ils n’étaient faits que pour confirmer la vérité que l’Église enseigne et non l’erreur des hérétiques. »

  1. S’il n’est jamais arrivé que les hérétiques aient fait des miracles et de quelle nature sont ceux qu’ils ont faits.

« Il y en a fort peu d’assurés, mais ceux dont on parle sont miraculeux seulement quoad modum, c’est‑à‑dire des effets naturels produits miraculeusement et en une manière qui surpasse l’ordre de la nature. »

  1. Si cet homme de l’Évangile, qui chassait les démons au nom de Jésus-Christ et dont Jésus‑Christ dit qui n’est point contre vous est pour vous, était ami ou ennemi de Jésus-Christ, et ce qu’en disent les interprètes de l’Évangile. Je demande cela parce que le P. Lingendes prêcha que cet homme‑là était contraire à Jésus-Christ.

« L’Évangile témoigne assez qu’il n’était pas contraire à Jésus-Christ, et les Pères le tiennent et presque tous les auteurs jésuites. »

Is the argument circular? “That’s a miracle, therefore the worker cannot be a heretic.” “Well, he seems heretical to me.” “Oh, then what he did was not actually a miracle.” See Pascal’s next question, 11; or see 421–832–803, Les miracles discernent la doctrine, et la doctrine discerne les miracles.

A negative answer to the question of whether any women have performed miracles will be suggested by the answer to 12.

Meanwhile, in 10, Pascal quotes Mark 9:

36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,

37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

38 ¶ And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.

39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

Luke 9:47–50 is similar, adding to 37, “he that is least among you all, the same shall be great,” but omitting from 39, “for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.”

  1. Si l’Antéchrist fera ses signes au nom de Jésus-Christ ou en son propre nom.

« Comme il ne viendra au nom de Jésus-Christ mais au sien propre, selon l’Évangile, ainsi il ne fera point des miracles au nom de Jésus-Christ mais au sien et contre Jésus-Christ, pour détruire la foi et son Église. Et à cause de cela ce ne seront point vrais miracles. »

Sounds like an ad hoc rescue or no true Scotsman fallacy, or just begging the question of what is from God.

  1. Si les oracles ont été miraculeux.

« Les miracles des païens et des idoles n’ont été non plus miraculeux que les autres opérations des démons et des magiciens. »

420–831–810 Le second miracle peut supposer le premier; le premier ne peut supposer le second.

Les commentateurs demeurent à peu près silencieux sur ce fragment; still the suggestion is to look at 429–846–808, which begins and ends:

Jésus-Christ a vérifié qu’il était le Messie, jamais en vérifiant sa doctrine sur l’Écriture ou les prophéties, et toujours par ses miracles.

La prophétie n’est point appelée miracle. Comme saint Jean parle du premier miracle en Cana, et puis de ce que Jésus-Christ dit à la Samaritaine qui découvre toute sa vie cachée et puis guérit le fils d’un seigneur. Et saint Jean appelle cela le deuxième signe.

In John 4,

25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Is this doctrine, which needed to be preceded by the miracle quoad substantiam of turning water to wine at a wedding, rather than quoad modum of curing a sick boy as mentioned in 432–851–842?

Miracles II

Fragment n° 1 / 15



Les miracles discernent la doctrine, et la doctrine discerne les miracles.


Il y a de faux et de vrais. Il faut une marque pour les connaître, autrement ils seraient inutiles.

A scientific attitude would look for evidence as the mark of the truth:

  • empirical, in natural science,

  • logical, in mathematics,

  • something else, in history: perhaps the evidence of successful re-enactment, in the sense of Collingwood.

Pascal will say

  • in 423–835–564, Les prophéties, les miracles mêmes et les preuves de notre religion ne sont pas de telle nature qu’on puisse dire qu’ils sont absolument convaincants;

  • in 425–840–843, Les preuves que Jésus-Christ et les apôtres tirent de l’Écriture ne sont pas démonstratives.

Meanwhile, he wants a miracle to be the mark; but the miracle itself will have to be true:

Or ils [sc. de faux et de vrais] ne sont pas inutiles et sont au contraire fondement. Or il faut que la règle qu’il [sc. le fondement] nous donne soit telle qu’elle [sc. la règle] ne détruise la preuve que les vrais miracles donnent de la vérité, qui est la fin principale des miracles.

On rules and utility, see 424–837–823 below:

S’il n’y avait point de faux miracles, il y aurait certitude.

S’il n’y avait point de règle pour les discerner, les miracles seraient inutiles et il n’y aurait point de raison de croire.

Or il n’y a pas humainement de certitude humaine, mais raison.

Meanwhile, in the present fragment, he will say, Si la doctrine règle les miracles, les miracles sont inutiles pour la doctrine.


Moïse en a donné deux,

  • que la prédiction n’arrive pas (Deutér., 18) et

  • qu’ils ne mènent point à l’idolâtrie (Deut., 13),

et Jésus-Christ une.

These are two-and-one—marks, or rules, or proofs? Here they are:

  • Deuteronomy 18:

    21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?

    22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

  • Deuteronomy 13:

    1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

    2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

    3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

  • As for Jesus, see Mark 9:39 (“there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me”), quoted above at 419–830–app. XIII, question 10; also John 10:

    37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

    38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

The last verse is quoted in 434–854–839.


Si la doctrine règle les miracles, les miracles sont inutiles pour la doctrine.

Si les miracles règlent …

Objection à la règle.

Le discernement des temps,

  • autre règle durant Moïse,

  • autre règle à présent.

Compare 424–837–823, S’il n’y avait point de règle pour les discerner, les miracles seraient inutiles.


___–833–487 Toute religion est fausse qui, dans sa foi, n’adore pas un Dieu comme principe de toutes choses et qui, dans sa morale, n’aime pas un seul Dieu comme objet de toutes choses.


Raison pourquoi on ne croit point.

Joh. 12. 37 :

Cum autem tanta signa fecisset non credebant in eum.

Ut sermo Isaiae impleretur : Excaecavit, etc.

Haec dixit Isaias quando vidit gloriam ejus et locutus est de eo.

37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.


Judaei signa petunt et Graeci sapientiam quaerunt.

Nos autem Jesum crucifixum.

Sed plenum signis, sed plenum sapientia [Mais plein de signes, mais plein de sagesse].

Vos autem Christum, non crucifixum, et religionem sine miraculis et sine sapientia [Mais vous vous voulez un Christ non crucifié, et une religion sans miracles et sans sagesse].

The first two verses are from 1 Corinthians 1:

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

The third verse is said to be Pascal’s paraphrase; the last, his addition.


  • Ce qui fait qu’on ne croit pas les vrais miracles est le manque de charité.

Joh. [10:26] Sed vos non creditis quia non estis ex ovibus.

22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Verses 24–7 in Latin are in 432–851–842, Fragment n° 11.

  • Ce qui fait croire les faux est le manque de charité.

2. Thess., 2.

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The mark of a true miracle is not true doctrine, but being beloved, as the shepherd of the sheep. But in Matthew 24:24, quoted presently, whatever the mark is, the elect perceive it.

Fondement de la religion.

C’est les miracles. Quoi donc ! Dieu parle‑t‑il contre les miracles, contre les fondements de la foi qu’on a en lui ?

Moïse a prédit Jésus-Christ et ordonné de le suivre.

Deuteronomy 18, preceding the quotation above for 421–832–803 on the signs given by Moses:

15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

Jésus-Christ a prédit l’Antéchrist et défendu de le suivre.

Matthew 24:

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25 Behold, I have told you before.

26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.


S’il y a un Dieu, il fallait que la foi de Dieu fût sur la terre. Or les miracles de Jésus-Christ ne sont pas prédits par l’Antéchrist, mais les miracles de l’Antéchrist sont prédits par Jésus-Christ. Et ainsi, si Jésus-Christ n’était pas le Messie, il aurait bien induit en erreur, mais l’Antéchrist ne peut bien induire en erreur.

Quand Jésus-Christ a prédit les miracles de l’Antéchrist, a‑t‑il cru détruire la foi de ses propres miracles ?

Il était impossible qu’au temps de Moïse on réservât sa créance à l’Antéchrist qui leur était inconnu, mais il est bien aisé, au temps de l’Antéchrist, de croire en Jésus-Christ déjà connu.

Il n’y a nulle raison de croire en l’Antéchrist qui ne soit à croire en Jésus-Christ, mais il y en a en Jésus-Christ qui ne sont pas en l’autre.

Fragment n° 2 / 15

423–835–564 Les prophéties, les miracles mêmes et les preuves de notre religion ne sont pas de telle nature qu’on puisse dire qu’ils sont absolument convaincants, mais ils le sont aussi de telle sorte qu’on ne peut dire que ce soit être sans raison que de les croire. Ainsi il y a de l’évidence et de l’obscurité pour éclairer les uns et obscurcir les autres. Mais l’évidence est telle qu’elle surpasse ou égale pour le moins l’évidence du contraire, de sorte que ce n’est pas la raison qui puisse déterminer à ne la pas suivre. Et ainsi ce ne peut être que la concupiscence et la malice du cœur. Et par ce moyen il y a assez d’évidence pour condamner et non assez pour convaincre, afin qu’il paraisse qu’en ceux qui la suivent c’est la grâce et non la raison qui fait suivre, et qu’en ceux qui la fuient c’est la concupiscence et non la raison qui fait fuir.


Vere discipuli ; Vere Israelita ; Vere liberi ; Vere cibus [Vrais disciples, vrai israélite, vrais enfants, vraie nourriture].


Je suppose qu’on croit les miracles.


___–836–855 Vous corrompez la religion, ou en faveur de vos amis ou contre vos ennemis. Vous en disposez à votre gré.

Fragment n° 3 / 15


  • S’il n’y avait point de faux miracles, il y aurait certitude.

  • S’il n’y avait point de règle pour les discerner, les miracles seraient inutiles et il n’y aurait point de raison de croire.

Or il n’y a pas humainement de certitude humaine, mais raison.

There must be a non-obvious distinction between the true and false miracles. See also 421–832–803 in Fragment n° 1 above.



  • Les Juifs, qui ont été appelés à dompter les nations et les rois, ont été esclaves du péché, et

  • les chrétiens, dont la vocation a été à servir et à être sujets, sont les enfants libres.


___–839–827 Jug., 13, 23. Si le Seigneur nous eût voulu faire mourir il ne nous eût pas montré toutes ces choses.

2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.

3 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.

20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.

21 But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.

22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

23 But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.


Ézéchias, Sennachérib.

See below in 2 Maccabees 15:22.


Jérémie. Hananias, faux prophète meurt le septième mois.

Jeremiah 28:

1 And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,

2 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.

3 Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon:

12 Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,

13 Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.

14 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.

15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.

16 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.

17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.


2, Mach., 3. le temple prêt à piller, secouru miraculeusement.

In 2 Maccabees 3, Simon of the tribe of Benjamin sends word to Seleucus king of Asia that the treasury in Jerusalem is full of “infinite sums of money,” and the king sends Heliodorus to confiscate it.

21 Then it would have pitied a man to see the falling down of the multitude of all sorts, and the fear of the high priest being in such an agony.

22 They then called upon the Almighty Lord to keep the things committed of trust safe and sure for those that had committed them.

23 Nevertheless Heliodorus executed that which was decreed.

24 Now as he was there present himself with his guard about the treasury, the Lord of spirits, and the Prince of all power, caused a great apparition, so that all that presumed to come in with him were astonished at the power of God, and fainted, and were sore afraid.

25 For there appeared unto them an horse with a terrible rider upon him, and adorned with a very fair covering, and he ran fiercely, and smote at Heliodorus with his forefeet, and it seemed that he that sat upon the horse had complete harness of gold.

26 Moreover two other young men appeared before him, notable in strength, excellent in beauty, and comely in apparel, who stood by him on either side; and scourged him continually, and gave him many sore stripes.

27 And Heliodorus fell suddenly unto the ground, and was compassed with great darkness: but they that were with him took him up, and put him into a litter.

28 Thus him, that lately came with a great train and with all his guard into the said treasury, they carried out, being unable to help himself with his weapons: and manifestly they acknowledged the power of God.

29 For he by the hand of God was cast down, and lay speechless without all hope of life.

30 But they praised the Lord, that had miraculously honoured his own place: for the temple; which a little afore was full of fear and trouble, when the Almighty Lord appeared, was filled with joy and gladness.

2, Mach., 15.

In 2 Maccabees 15, miraculous victories:

21 Maccabeus seeing the coming of the multitude, and the divers preparations of armour, and the fierceness of the beasts, stretched out his hands toward heaven, and called upon the Lord that worketh wonders, knowing that victory cometh not by arms, but even as it seemeth good to him, he giveth it to such as are worthy:

22 Therefore in his prayer he said after this manner; O Lord, thou didst send thine angel in the time of Ezekias king of Judea, and didst slay in the host of Sennacherib an hundred fourscore and five thousand:

23 Wherefore now also, O Lord of heaven, send a good angel before us for a fear and dread unto them;

24 And through the might of thine arm let those be stricken with terror, that come against thy holy people to blaspheme. And he ended thus.

25 Then Nicanor and they that were with him came forward with trumpets and songs.

26 But Judas and his company encountered the enemies with invocation and prayer.

27 So that fighting with their hands, and praying unto God with their hearts, they slew no less than thirty and five thousand men: for through the appearance of God they were greatly cheered.

28 Now when the battle was done, returning again with joy, they knew that Nicanor lay dead in his harness.

29 Then they made a great shout and a noise, praising the Almighty in their own language.


3, Rois, 17. La veuve à Élie qui avait ressuscité l’enfant. Par là je connais que tes paroles sont vraies.

In 1 Kings 17, Elijah is fed by ravens, and drinks from a brook till it dries up; then he is sent to Zarepath, where a widow woman will sustain him—miraculously, since “I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse.”

16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.

17 ¶ And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.

18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.

20 And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?

21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.

22 And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.

24 ¶ And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.


3, Rois, 18. Élie avec les prophètes de Baal.

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah sets up a contest to prove, through a miracle, which god is real.

21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:

24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

The Lord is the one who answers.


Jamais en la contention du vrai Dieu, de la vérité de la religion, il n’est arrivé de miracle du côté de l’erreur et non de la vérité.

Fragment n° 4 / 15

425–840–843 Ce n’est point ici le pays de la vérité. Elle erre inconnue parmi les hommes. Dieu l’a couverte d’un voile qui la laisse méconnaître à ceux qui n’entendent pas sa voix. Le lieu est ouvert au blasphème et même sur des vérités au moins bien apparentes. Si l’on publie les vérités de l’Évangile, on en publie de contraires, et on obscurcit les questions en sorte que le peuple ne peut discerner. Et on demande : Qu’avez‑vous qui vous fasse plutôt croire que les autres ? Quel signe faites‑vous ? Vous n’avez que des paroles et nous aussi. Si vous aviez des miracles, bien. Cela est une vérité que la doctrine doit être soutenue par les miracles dont on abuse pour blasphémer la doctrine. Et si les miracles arrivent, on dit que les miracles ne suffisent pas sans la doctrine, et c’est une autre vérité pour blasphémer les miracles.


Jésus-Christ guérit l’aveugle‑né et fit quantité de miracles au jour du sabbat, par où il aveuglait les pharisiens qui disaient qu’il fallait juger des miracles par la doctrine.

Nous avons Moïse, mais celui‑là nous ne savons d’où il est.

C’est ce qui est admirable, que vous ne savez d’où il est, et cependant il fait de tels miracles.

Roughly, John 9:

29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.

30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.


Jésus-Christ ne parlait ni contre Dieu, ni contre Moïse.

L’Antéchrist et les faux prophètes prédits par l’un et l’autre Testament parleront ouvertement contre Dieu et contre Jésus-Christ.

Qui n’est point contre, qui serait ennemi couvert, Dieu ne permettrait pas qu’il fît des miracles ouvertement.


Jamais en une dispute publique où les deux partis se disent à Dieu, à Jésus-Christ, à l’Église, les miracles ne sont du côté des faux chrétiens, et l’autre côté sans miracle.


Il a le diable. Jeh., 10, 21 : Et les autres disaient : Le diable peut‑il ouvrir les yeux des aveugles ?


Les preuves que Jésus-Christ et les apôtres tirent de l’Écriture ne sont pas démonstratives, car ils disent seulement que Moïse a dit qu’un prophète viendrait, mais ils ne prouvent pas par là que ce soit celui‑là, et c’était toute la question. Ces passages ne servent donc qu’à montrer qu’on n’est pas contraire à l’Écriture et qu’il n’y paraît point de répugnance, mais non pas qu’il y ait accord. Or cela suffit : exclusion de répugnance avec miracles.

Fragment n° 5 / 15

426–841–829 Jésus-Christ dit que les Écritures témoignent de lui, mais il ne montre point en quoi.


Même les prophéties ne pouvaient pas prouver Jésus-Christ pendant sa vie, et ainsi on n’eût point été coupable de ne point croire en lui avant sa mort, si les miracles n’eussent pas suffi sans la doctrine. Or ceux qui ne croient pas en lui encore vivant étaient pécheurs, comme il le dit lui‑même, et sans excuse. Donc il fallait qu’ils eussent une démonstration à laquelle ils résistassent. Or ils n’avaient pas l’Écriture, mais seulement les miracles, donc ils suffisent quand la doctrine n’est pas contraire. Et on doit y croire.


Jeh., 7, 40. Contestation entre les Juifs comme entre les chrétiens aujourd’hui.

Les uns croient en Jésus-Christ, les autres ne le croient pas à cause des prophéties qui disaient qu’il devait naître de Bethléem.

John 7:

40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

Ils devaient mieux prendre garde s’il n’en était pas, car ses miracles étant convaincants, ils devaient bien s’assurer de ces prétendues contradictions de sa doctrine à l’Écriture, et cette obscurité ne les excusait pas, mais les aveuglait. Ainsi ceux qui refusent de croire les miracles d’aujourd’hui pour une prétendue contradiction chimérique ne sont pas excusés. Le peuple qui croyait en lui sur ses miracles, les pharisiens leur disent : Ce peuple est maudit qui ne sait pas la Loi. Mais y a‑t‑il un prince ou un pharisien qui ait cru en lui ? Car nous savons que nul prophète ne sort de Galilée. Nicodème répondit : Notre Loi juge‑t‑elle un homme devant que de l’avoir ouï ?

Fragment n° 6 / 15

427–842–588 Notre religion est sage et folle.

  • Sage, parce que c’est la plus savante et la plus fondée en miracles, prophéties, etc.

  • Folle, parce que ce n’est point tout cela qui fait qu’on en est.

Cela fait bien condamner ceux qui n’en sont pas, mais non pas croire ceux qui en sont. Ce qui les fait croire c’est la croix. Ne evacuata sit crux [Pour ne pas anéantir la croix de Jésus-Christ].

Et ainsi saint Paul, qui est venu en sagesse et signes, dit qu’il n’est venu ni en sagesse ni en signes, car il venait pour convertir. Mais ceux qui ne viennent que pour convaincre peuvent dire qu’ils viennent en sagesse et signes.

The last paragraph alludes to verses 22–3 (“the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom”) of 1 Corinthians 1, quoted above in 421–834–826; but the Latin phrase, to verse 17 (misprinted as 22 in Descotes and Proust):

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

The Vulgate for verse 17 has … ut non evacuetur crux Christi.

Pascal says, Ce qui les fait croire c’est la croix. The resemblance in the words seems to be accidental:

  • croire is from credo and thus cognate in PIE with cœur;

  • croix is from crux, “perhaps from Phoenician” (AHD).

As Trotter has it, “It is the cross that makes them believe”; Ariew (p. 119), “What makes them believe is the cross”; but one might say, “What makes them credulous is the cross.”

Pascal might make more sense if his sentence did mean, “What makes them believe is belief”; for belief must be freely entered into, and thus there is ultimately no explanation for it.

Pascal may be saying such a thing anyway. “The only thing that makes them believe is the cross,” the cross being a symbol of—belief!

But belief in what exactly? Belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior? Paul does say, as above,

the preaching of the cross is

  • to them that perish foolishness; but

  • unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

How literally does one take the salvation from perishing? Pascal says in the previous fragment, 426–841–829,

on n’eût point été coupable de ne point croire en lui avant sa mort, si les miracles n’eussent pas suffi sans la doctrine.

Death on the cross is key. Is this because followed by literal resurrection of the body, or because showing that even God can die?

In the only other use of croix in this reading, 436–856–828 will say, Toujours le vrai prévaut en miracles. Les deux croix. The word croix is not in the index of the 1976 Brunschvicg edition by Descotes.


___–843–836 Il y a bien de la différence entre

  • n’être pas pour Jésus-Christ et le dire, ou

  • n’être point pour Jésus-Christ et feindre d’en être.

Les uns peuvent faire des miracles, non les autres, car il est clair des uns qu’ils sont contre la vérité, non des autres. Et ainsi les miracles sont plus clairs.

Probably Pascal’s grammar has but one interpretation, as does Ariew’s (p. 119 as above):

There is a great difference between not being for Jesus Christ and saying so, and not being for Jesus Christ but pretending to be so.

But what about “not being for Christ, but saying you are”?


___–844–837 C’est une chose si visible

  • qu’il faut aimer un seul Dieu,

  • qu’il ne faut pas de miracles pour le prouver.


___–845–861 Bel état de l’Église quand elle n’est plus soutenue que de Dieu.

Fragment n° 7 / 15

428–840–843 Il y a un devoir réciproque entre Dieu et les hommes. Il faut pardonner ce mot, Quod debui [Qu’ai-je dû faire]. Accusez‑moi, dit Dieu dans Isaïe.

As for “Accuse me,” in Isaiah 1:18 the Vulgate has arguite me, but King James,

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

This “reason together” seems to be a Bowdlerization; Le traducteur a apparemment reculé devant un terme choquant, as Descotes and Proust say. According to the New Oxford Annotated Bible (1973), “Reason, as one argues a case before a judge.”

The Quod debui is from Isaiah 5:

1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.

4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

〈1.〉 Dieu doit accomplir ses promesses, etc.

Les hommes doivent à Dieu de recevoir la religion qu’il leur envoie. Dieu doit aux hommes de ne les point induire en erreur.

Or ils seraient induits en erreur si les faiseurs [de] miracles annonçaient une doctrine qui ne paraît pas visiblement fausse aux lumières du sens commun, et si un plus grand faiseur de miracles n’avait déjà averti de ne les pas croire.

Ainsi s’il y avait division dans l’Église, et que les ariens, par exemple, qui se disaient fondés en l’Écriture comme les catholiques, eussent fait des miracles, et non les catholiques, on eût été induit en erreur.



  • comme un homme qui nous annonce les secrets de Dieu n’est pas digne d’être cru sur son autorité privée, et que c’est pour cela que les impies en doutent,

  • aussi un homme qui, pour marque de la communication qu’il a avec Dieu, ressuscite les morts, prédit l’avenir, transporte les mers, guérit les maladies, il n’y a point d’impie qui ne s’y rende.

Et l’incrédulité de Pharaon et des pharisiens est l’effet d’un endurcissement surnaturel.

Jesus denied being the former such man, in John 5:

30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.

What would be the secrets of God to which Pascal refers? What wisdom cannot be believed by the light of one’s own faculties, but can be somehow accepted anyway? I accept what medical experts tell me, for example, but I believe in principle I could become an expert myself.


Quand donc on voit les miracles et la doctrine non suspecte tout ensemble d’un côté, il n’y a pas de difficulté, mais quand on voit les miracles et [la] doctrine suspecte d’un même côté, alors il faut voir quel est le plus clair. Jésus-Christ était suspect.

Barjésu aveuglé. La force de Dieu surmonte celle de ses ennemis.

Acts 13:

2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.

10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.


Les exorcistes juifs, battus par les diables, disant : Je connais Jésus et Paul, mais vous qui êtes‑vous ?

Acts 19:

13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.


Les miracles sont pour la doctrine et non pas la doctrine pour les miracles.

From Maugham, The Razor’s Edge (1944):

“Is it true that the Yogis acquire powers that would seem to us supernatural?”

“I wouldn’t know. All I can tell you is that it’s commonly believed in India. But the wisest don’t attach any importance to powers of that sort; they think they’re apt to hinder spiritual progress. I remember one of them telling me of a Yogi who came to the bank of a river; he hadn’t the money to pay the ferryman to take him across and the ferryman refused to take him for nothing, so he stepped on the water and walked upon its surface to the other side. The Yogi who told me shrugged his shoulders rather, scornfully. ‘A miracle like that,’ he said, ‘is worth no more than the penny it would have cost to go on the ferryboat.’ ”

“But d’you think the Yogi really walked over the water?” asked Gray.

“The Yogi who told me implicitly believed it.”

And here is “The Real Miracle,” from 101 Zen Stories:

When Bankei was preaching at Ryumon temple, a Shinshu priest, who believed in salvation through repetition of the name of the Buddha of Love, was jealous of his large audience and wanted to debate with him.

Bankei was in the midst of a talk when the priest appeared, but the fellow made such a disturbance that Bankei stopped his discourse and asked about the noise.

“The founder of our sect,” boasted the priest, “had such miraculous powers that he held a brush in his hand on one bank of the river, his attendant held up a paper on the other bank, and the teacher wrote the holy name of Amida through the air. Can you do such a wonderful thing?”

Bankei replied lightly: “Perhaps your fox can perform that trick, but that is not the manner of Zen. My miracle is that when I feel hungry I eat, and when I feel thirsty I drink.


Si les miracles sont vrais pourra‑t‑on persuader toute doctrine ? Non, car cela n’arrivera pas.

Si angelus.

Galatians 1:8:

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.



  • Il faut juger de la doctrine par les miracles.

  • Il faut juger des miracles par la doctrine.

Tout cela est vrai mais cela ne se contredit pas.


Car il faut distinguer les temps.

Must one consider whether the time is before or after the crucifixion?


Que vous êtes aise de savoir les règles générales, pensant par là jeter le trouble et rendre tout inutile. On vous en empêchera, mon Père. La vérité est une et ferme.

In Trotter’s rendition, “How glad you are to know the general rules, thinking thereby to set up dissension and render all useless!” According to Descotes and Proust, Les casuistes et les jésuites savent énoncer des règles générales qui jettent la confusion dans la morale chrétienne. Does Pascal think they intended to cause trouble?

I think of Collingwood’s observation in An Autobiography (1939), p. 101:

if ready-made rules for dealing with situations of specific types are what you want, natural science is the kind of thing which can provide them. The reason why the civilization of 1600–1900, based upon natural science, found bankruptcy staring it in the face was because, in its passion for ready-made rules, it had neglected to develop that kind of insight which alone could tell it what rules to apply, not in a situation of a specific type, but in the situation in which it actually found itself. It was precisely because history offered us something altogether different from rules, namely insight, that it could afford us the help we needed in diagnosing our moral and political problems.


Il est impossible, par le devoir de Dieu, qu’un homme, cachant sa mauvaise doctrine et n’en faisant paraître qu’une bonne et se disant conforme à Dieu et à l’Église, fasse des miracles pour couler insensiblement une doctrine fausse et subtile. Cela ne se peut.


Et encore moins que Dieu, qui connaît les cœurs, fasse des miracles en faveur d’un tel.

It is strange that Pascal would feel the need to say such a thing. One can read it in connection with the beginning of the next fragment. Is the point to establish what is true doctrine, or what is not a miracle?

Fragment n° 8 / 15

429–846–808 Jésus-Christ a vérifié qu’il était le Messie, jamais en vérifiant sa doctrine sur l’Écriture ou les prophéties, et toujours par ses miracles.


Il prouve qu’il remet les péchés par un miracle.

Mark 2:

9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.


Ne vous éjouissez point de vos miracles, dit Jésus-Christ, mais de ce que vos noms sont écrits aux cieux.

Luke 10:

17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.


S’ils ne croient point Moïse, ils ne croiront pas un ressuscité.

The rich man in hell, concerning Lazarus, in Luke 16:

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


Nicodème reconnaît par ses miracles que sa doctrine est de Dieu. Scimus quia venisti a Deo magister, nemo enim potest facere quae tu facis nisi Deus fuerit cum illo. Il ne juge pas des miracles par la doctrine, mais de la doctrine par les miracles.

John 3:

1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.


Les Juifs avaient une doctrine de Dieu comme nous en avons une de Jésus-Christ, et confirmée par miracles, et défense de croire à tous faiseurs de miracles, et de plus ordre de recourir aux grands prêtres et de s’en tenir à eux. Et ainsi toutes les raisons que nous avons pour refuser de croire les faiseurs de miracles, ils les avaient à l’égard de leurs prophètes. Et cependant ils étaient très coupables de refuser les prophètes à cause de leurs miracles et Jésus-Christ, et n’eussent point été coupables s’ils n’eussent point vu les miracles. Nisi fecissem, peccatum non haberent.

Donc toute la créance est sur les miracles.

John 15:

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

Deuteronomy 17:

8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the Lord thy God shall choose;

9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:

10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the Lord shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:

Deuteronomy 18:

9 When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.


La prophétie n’est point appelée miracle. Comme saint Jean parle du premier miracle en Cana, et puis de ce que Jésus-Christ dit à la Samaritaine qui découvre toute sa vie cachée et puis guérit le fils d’un seigneur. Et saint Jean appelle cela le deuxième signe.

Fragment n° 9 / 15

430–847–893 En montrant la vérité, on la fait croire, mais en montrant l’injustice des ministres, on ne la corrige pas. On assure la conscience en montrant la fausseté, on n’assure pas la bourse en montrant l’injustice.


___–848–806 Les miracles et la vérité sont nécessaires à cause qu’il faut convaincre l’homme entier, en corps et en âme.


___–849–665 La charité n’est pas un précepte figuratif. Dire que Jésus‑Christ, qui est venu ôter les figures pour mettre la vérité, ne soit venu que mettre la figure de la charité pour ôter la réalité qui était auparavant, cela est horrible.

Si la lumière est ténèbres, que seront les ténèbres ?

Matthew 6:

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Fragment n° 10 / 15

431–850–821 Il y a bien de la différence entre tenter et induire en erreur. Dieu tente mais il n’induit pas en erreur. Tenter est procurer les occasions que, n’imposant point de nécessité, si on n’aime pas Dieu, on fera une certaine chose. Induire en erreur est mettre l’homme dans la nécessité de conclure et suivre une fausseté.

How can falsehood ever be necessitated?

Fragment n° 11 / 15


Si tu es Christus dic nobis.

Opera quæ ego facio in nomine patris mei.

Hæc testimonium perhibent de me.

Sed vos non creditis, quia non estis ex ovibus meis. Oves meæ vocem meam audiunt.

John 10:24–7, referred to in 422–834–826, Fragment n° 1.


J., 6, 30. Quod ergo tu facis signum, ut videamus et credamus tibi. Non dicunt : quam doctrinam prædicas ?

John 6, following what is referred to below in 435–855–834, Fragment n° 13:

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

Pascal adds that they don’t ask, “What doctrine do you preach?”


Nemo potest facere signa quæ tu facis, nisi Deus fuerit cum illo.

John 3:2, referred to above in 429–846–808, Fragment n° 8: “no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

2, Mach., 14, 15.

Deus qui signis evidentibus suam portionem protegit.

2 Maccabees 14:

15 Now when the Jews heard of Nicanor’s coming, and that the heathen were up against them, they cast earth upon their heads, and made supplication to him that had established his people for ever, and who always helpeth his portion with manifestation of his presence.


Volumus signum videre, de cælo tentantes eum. Luc, 11, 16.

Luke 11:16:

et alii temptantes signum de caelo quaerebant ab eo.

And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.

See above 431–850–821, Fragment n° 10, distinguishing tempting from inducing error.

Generatio prava signum quærit, et non dabitur.

Matthew 12:

38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Et ingemiscens ait : quid generatio ista signum quærit ? Mar., 8, 12. Elle demandait signe à mauvaise intention.

Mark 8:

11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.

12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

Et non poterat facere. Et néanmoins il leur promet le signe de Jonas, de sa résurrection, le grand et l’incomparable.

Mark 6:

4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

The sign of Jonah is mentioned above in Matthew 12:39.


Nisi videritis signa, non creditis. Il ne les blâme pas de ce qu’ils ne croient pas sans qu’il y ait de miracles, mais sans qu’ils en soient eux‑mêmes les spectateurs.

Is Pascal alluding to Doubting Thomas The Latin quote is from John 4:

46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.

47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.

48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.

50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.

54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

Here is John 20:

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Thomas is still a saint.


L’Antéchrist. In signis mendacibus, dit saint Paul. 2, Thess., 2. Secundum operationem Satanæ. In seductione iis qui pereunt eo quod charitatem veritatis non receperunt ut salvi fierent. Ideo mittet illis Deus operationes erroris ut credant mendacio. Comme au passage de Moïse : Tentat enim vos Deus utrum diligatis eum.

2 Thessalonians 2:9–11 referred to in 422–834–826; Deuteronomy 13:3, in 421–832–803; Fragment n° 1.


Ecce praedixi vobis. Vos ergo videte.

The first sentence is Matthew 24:25, “Behold, I have told you before,” referred to in 422–834–826, Fragment n° 1. The second is later in the chapter:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Fragment n° 12 / 15


  • Dans le Vieux Testament quand on vous détournera de Dieu,

  • dans le Nouveau quand on vous détournera de Jésus-Christ.


Voilà les occasions d’exclusion à la foi des miracles marquées. Il ne faut pas y donner d’autres exclusions.


S’ensuit‑il de là qu’ils avaient droit d’exclure tous les prophètes qui leur sont venus ? Non, ils

  • eussent péché en n’excluant pas ceux qui niaient Dieu, et

  • eussent péché d’exclure ceux qui ne niaient pas Dieu.


D’abord donc qu’on voit un miracle, il faut

  • ou se soumettre

  • ou avoir d’étranges marques du contraire.

Il faut voir s’ils nient

  • un Dieu, ou

  • Jésus-Christ ou

  • l’Église.


___–853–192 Reproches à Mitton de ne point se remuer.

Quand Dieu le reprochera.

Fragment n° 13 / 15

434–854–839 Si vous ne croyez en moi croyez au moins aux miracles. Il les renvoie comme au plus fort.

The quote is from John 10:38, quoted also above for 421–832–803, Les miracles discernent la doctrine, et la doctrine discerne les miracles.


Il avait été dit aux Juifs aussi bien qu’aux chrétiens qu’ils ne crussent pas toujours les prophètes. Mais néanmoins les pharisiens et les scribes font grand état de ses miracles, et essayent de montrer qu’ils sont faux ou faits par le diable, étant nécessités d’être convaincus s’ils reconnaissent qu’ils sont de Dieu.


Nous ne sommes point aujourd’hui dans la peine de faire ce discernement. Il est pourtant bien facile à faire : ceux qui ne nient ni Dieu ni Jésus-Christ ne font point de miracles qui ne soient sûrs.

Nemo facit virtutem in nomine meo et cito possit de me male loqui.

Mark 9:39 (“there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me”), quoted above at 419–830–app. XIII, question 10, and alluded to at 421–832–803.

Mais nous n’avons point à faire ce discernement. Voici une relique sacrée, voici une épine de la couronne du sauveur du monde en qui le prince de ce monde n’a point puissance, qui fait des miracles par la propre puissance de ce sang répandu pour nous. Voici que Dieu choisit lui‑même cette maison pour y faire éclater sa puissance.

Ce ne sont point des hommes qui font ces miracles par une vertu inconnue et douteuse qui nous oblige à un difficile discernement. C’est Dieu même, c’est l’instrument de la passion de son fils unique qui, étant en plusieurs lieux, choisit celui‑ci et fait venir de tous côtés les hommes pour y recevoir ces soulagements miraculeux dans leurs langueurs.

435–855–834 Jeh., 6, 26.

Non quia vidistis signum, sed quia saturati estis.

Ceux qui suivent Jésus-Christ à cause de ses miracles honorent sa puissance dans tous les miracles qu’elle produit. Mais ceux qui, en faisant profession de le suivre pour ses miracles, ne le suivent en effet que parce qu’il les console et les rassasie des biens du monde, ils déshonorent ses miracles quand ils sont contraires à leurs commodités.

John 6:

24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.

25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.


Jeh., 9.

Non est hic homo a Deo quia sabbatum non custodit. Alii : Quomodo potest homo peccator hæc signa facere ? Lequel est le plus clair ?

Cette maison est de Dieu, car il y fait d’étranges miracles.

Les autres : Cette maison n’est point de Dieu, car on n’y croit pas que les cinq propositions soient dans Jansénius. Lequel est le plus clair ?

Tu quid dicis ? Dico quia propheta est. Nisi esset hic a Deo non poterat facere quidquam.

The Latin is from three verses of John 9:

14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.

16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.

17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.

32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.

33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

Fragment n° 14 / 15



Abel, Caïn. / Moïse, magiciens. / Élie, faux prophètes. / Jérémie, Ananias. / Michée, faux prophètes. / Jésus-Christ, pharisiens. / Saint Paul, Barjésu. / Apôtres, exorcistes. / Les chrétiens et les infidèles. / Les catholiques, les hérétiques. / Élie, Énoch, Antéchrist.

Toujours le vrai prévaut en miracles. Les deux croix.

Fragment n° 15 / 15

437–857–819 Jér., 23, 32. Les miracles des faux prophètes. En l’hébreu et Vatable, il y a les légèretés.

François Vatable (died 1547) edited the Hebrew texts of books of the Bible. I’m assuming the Vulgate translates the Hebrew literally. In this fragment then, we are looking at the different meanings, in several passages, of

  • miraculum: lightness, trembling, terror, fear, astonishment;

  • portentum: simulacrum, idol, wonder.

First Jeremiah 23:

25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;

27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.

29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.

32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.

32 ecce ego ad prophetas somniantes mendacium ait Dominus qui narraverunt ea et seduxerunt populum meum in mendacio suo et in miraculis suis cum ego non misissem eos nec mandassem eis qui nihil profuerunt populo huic dicit Dominus.

Miracle ne signifie pas toujours miracles. I, Rois, 14-15.

1 Samuel 14:

12 And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.

13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him.

14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.

15 And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.

15 et factum est miraculum in castris per agros sed et omnis populus stationis eorum qui ierant ad praedandum obstipuit et conturbata est terra et accidit quasi miraculum a Deo.

Miracle signifie crainte et est ainsi en l’hébreu.

De même en Job manifestement, 33, 7.

Job 33:

6 Behold, I am according to thy wish in God’s stead: I also am formed out of the clay.

7 Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee.

7 verumtamen miraculum meum non te terreat et eloquentia mea non sit tibi gravis.

Et encore Is., 21, 4, Jér., 44, 22 [sic].

Isaiah 21:

1 The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.

2 A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.

3 Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it.

4 My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.

4 emarcuit cor meum tenebrae stupefecerunt me Babylon dilecta mea posita est mihi in miraculum.

The latter verse should be Jeremiah 44:12:

11 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah.

12 And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; they shall even be consumed by the sword and by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach.

12 et adsumam reliquias Iudae qui posuerunt facies suas ut ingrederentur terram Aegypti et habitarent ibi et consumentur omnes in terra Aegypti cadent in gladio et in fame consumentur a minimo usque ad maximum in gladio et in fame morientur et erunt in iusiurandum et in miraculum et in maledictionem et in obprobrium.


Portentum signifie simulacrum, Jér., 50, 38, et est ainsi en l’hébreu et en Vatable.

Descotes and Proust italicize the whole phrase Portentum signifie simulacrum, but it is evidently a definition of one Latin word by another, illustrated by Jeremiah 50:

35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.

36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.

37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.

38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

38 siccitas super aquas eius erit et arescent quia terra sculptilium est et in portentis gloriantur.


Is., 8, 18. Jésus-Christ dit que lui et les siens seront en miracle.

“Jesus says,” that is, Isaiah says:

11 For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,

12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

13 Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

17 And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

18 ecce ego et pueri quos mihi dedit Dominus in signum et in portentum Israhelis a Domino exercituum qui habitat in monte Sion.


___–858–840 L’Église a trois sortes d’ennemis :

  • les Juifs qui n’ont jamais été de son corps,

  • les hérétiques qui s’en sont retirés, et

  • les mauvais chrétiens qui la déchirent au-dedans.

Ces trois sortes de différents adversaires la combattent d’ordinaire diversement, mais ici ils la combattent d’une même sorte. Comme ils sont tous sans miracles et que l’Église a toujours eu contre eux des miracles, ils ont tous eu le même intérêt à les éluder et se sont tous servis de cette défaite, qu’il ne faut pas juger de la doctrine par les miracles mais des miracles par la doctrine. Il y avait deux partis entre ceux qui écoutaient Jésus-Christ, les uns qui suivaient sa doctrine pour ses miracles, les autres qui disaient … Il y avait deux partis au temps de Calvin. Il y a maintenant les Jésuites, etc.

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