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Quotes from Blaise Pascal




"What kind of freak is man! What a novelty he is, how absurd he is, how chaotic and what a mass of contradictions, and yet what a prodigy! He is judge of all things, yet a feeble worm. He is repository of truth, and yet sinks into such doubt and error. He is the glory and the scum of the universe!"


"It is equally dangerous for man to know God without knowing his own wretchedness, and to know his own wretchedness without knowing the Redeemer who can free him from it."


"Man finds nothing so intolerable as to be in a state of complete rest, without passions, without occupation, without diversion, without effort. Then he faces his nullity, loneliness, inadequacy, dependence, helplessness, emptiness. And at once there wells up from the depths of his soul boredom, gloom, depression, chagrin, resentment, despair."


"Reason's last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it."


"The heart has its reasons which reason does not know."


"If there were no obscurity, man would not feel his corruption; if there were no light, man could not hope for a cure."


"All who have claimed to know God and to prove his existence without Jesus Christ have done so ineffectively. . . . Apart from him, and without Scripture, without original sin, without the necessary Mediator who was promised and who came, it is impossible to prove absolutely that God exists, or to teach sound doctrine and sound morality. But through and in Jesus Christ we can prove God's existence, and teach both doctrine and morality."


"That is why I am not trying to prove naturally the existence of God, or indeed the Trinity, or the immortality of the soul or anything of that kind. This is not just because I do not feel competent to find natural arguments that will convince obdurate atheists, but because such knowledge, without Christ, is useless and empty."


"There is enough light for those who desire only to see, and enough darkness for those of a contrary disposition."


"It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason."


"By faith we know he exists. Faith is different from proof. One is human and the other a gift of God. . . . This is the faith that God himself puts into our hearts. . . . We shall never believe with an effective belief and faith unless God inclines our hearts. Then we shall believe as soon as he inclines them."


"No writer within the canon [of Scripture] has ever used nature to prove the existence of God. They all try to help people believe in him."


(Expressing his astonishment at Christians who try to prove God's existence)
"Their enterprise would cause me no surprise if they were addressing the arguments to the faithful, for those with living faith in their hearts can certainly see at once that everything which exists is entirely the work of the God they worship. But for those in whom this light has gone out and in who we are trying to rekindle it, people deprived of faith and grace, . . . to tell them, I say, that they have only to look at the least thing around them and they will see in it God plainly revealed; to give them no other proof of this great and weighty matter than the course of the moon and the planets; to claim to have completed the proof with such an argument; this is giving them cause to think that the proofs of our religion are indeed feeble. . . . This is not how Scripture speaks, with its better knowledge of the things of God."




All quotes are from "Blaise Pascal: An Apologist for Our Times" by Rick Wade. Read the article now, or view the entire citation in the bibliography.