He wrote it down on a piece of parchment and sewed into his coat where it was found after his death eight years later. "[19] His point is that the Bible itself (and not only Christian apologists) invites the reader to look for a spiritual meaning whenever the literal meaning is unsatisfactory. This shows that truth is not accessible by the light of reason alone and that man should give up all forms of intellectual pride. . The audience that Pascal had in mind were the sophisticated freethinkers (libertins) who preferred polite agnosticism to militant atheism. Montaigne repeatedly stresses the frailty and futility of human life and argues that man's besetting sin is arrogance, based on exaggerated claims made for human reason, but easily confounded since the greatest thinkers throughout the ages were never able to agree among themselves. Very soon after his conversion, Pascal must have begun scribbling notes for this great apologetic work he was planning called an Apology for the Christian Religion. Joy, Joy, Joy, tears of joy. Pascal answers it by practically, if not theoretically, denying sufficient grace and liberty. Our cravings can take us to new spouses, new jobs, or even new cities or countries. Facts are God's infallible words, says Pascal, and when a literal interpretation of Scripture is at variance with facts, a new interpretation is called for. The Jews also fulfilled the second condition, and their sincerity is demonstrated in the way they transmitted unflattering words about themselves: Lovingly and faithfully they hand on this book in which Moses declares that they have been ungrateful towards God throughout their lives, that he knows they will be still more so after his death, but that calls heaven and earth to witness against them that he told them so often enough. If this were the case, the testimony of those who acknowledged Christ, like the apostles, would be worthless. Hence the futility of the condemnation of Galileo, for the motion of the earth is a scientific theory that might one day be confirmed: It was in vain too that you obtained from Rome the decree against Galileo, which condemned his opinion regarding the movement of the Earth. As we can see from the passages in italic, which are all direct quotations from the Bible, Pascal's familiarity with Holy Scripture was such that it became both the source and the medium of his personal experience. Eve of Saint Chrysogonus, Martyr and others. Any bright person can come up with a clever hypothesis; the snag is to make it stick. Between 23 January 1656 and 24 March 1657, Pascal wrote 18 letters in defense of his Jansenist friends who had been accused of heresy by the Jesuits. [33]. Year of grace 1654, Monday 23 November, feast of St. Clement . In 1670 Port Royal issued an incomplete edition. Hence the plan of the Apology: "First Part: Wretchedness of man without God. The first four treat the dogmatic question which forms the basis of Jansenism on the agreement between grace and human liberty. God of Jesus Christ. Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more — all for only $19.99... Born at Clermont-Ferrand, 19 June 1623; died in Paris, 19 August 1662. //