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And when at times he exceeded his income, and her, without delay, to a seminary, where he placed
He had in his house at the time, a poor man, with
sure his friends, that there was not the least shadow "Such sentiments led us to adopt some general of danger. Pascal however felt that owing to the plan, according to which, the necessities of all severity of his sufferings, and the exhaustion of might be supplied; but this he did not approve. He constant sleeplessness, he was becoming much ensaid, we were not called to act on general princi- feebled, and on the fourth day of his illness, sent ples, but to meet particular cases; and he believed, for the curate of the parish, and confessed. The that the most pleasing method of serving God, was report of this spread rapidly among his friends; in serving the poor out of our poverty; that each and they gathered round him, overwhelmed with should relieve the poor around him, according to apprehension. The medical men were so surprised his several ability, without occupying his mind with by this, that they said, it was an indication of fear those great designs, which aim at a fancied and pro- on his part, which they did not anticipate from him; bably unattainable excellence of operation, and and, notwithstanding his suspicions, they persisted leave the practicable good undone; and that instead in maintaining a favorable opinion of his case. In of intermeddling with great enterprises which are the mean time, however, he became much more reserved for but few, Christians generally were emaciated; and believing, in opposition to all their called to the daily assistance of the poor in the par- representations, that he was really in danger, he ticular cases which occurred within the sphere of communicated freely and repeatedly with the cutheir own immediate influence."
rate, on the subject of his religious hope. One very interesting instance of Pascal's benevo- At this time also he made his will, on which oclence occurred about three months before his death. casion he stated, that if M. Perier had been at As he returned one day from the Church of St. Paris, and would have consented, he would have Sulpice, he was accosted by a young person about given all his property to the poor. He said to Mafifteen years of age, and very beautiful, who asked dame Perier," How is it that I have done nothing charity. He felt the danger of her situation, and for the poor, though I have always loved them ?" inquired into her circumstances; and having learn- To which she replied, “Your means have not been ed that she came from the country—that her father such as to enable you to do much for them.”. “But," was dead, and that her mother being ill, had been said he,“ if I could not give them money, I might, that day brought to the Hotel Dieu for medical as- at least, have given my time and my labor. Here I sistance; he regarded himself as sent of God to her have come short indeed! And if the physicians relief, in the crisis of her necessity; and he took are right, and God permits me to recover, I am de
termined to have no other employment all the rest This thought will recall to the attention, the les- of my life.” sons of a modern school of no little celebrity; and the There are multitudes of persons gifted with both peculiar, but important and convincing statements of wealth and leisure, who know nothing whatever of one great mind, from which that school has originated the wants and miseries of the poor, and of those It is impossible to be well acquainted with the writings scenes of distress and death which occur around of Pascal and of Chalmers, and not to feel in more them, and which, a little attention on their part, instances than one, the striking coincidence of thought might materially alleviate. To float upon the between them
stream of pleasure-to indulge a luxurious and sel
fish listlessness, in the expenditure of all the means great mind like his, this is incomparably lovely. I that they can command—to turn away froin, and would gladly change places with him.” forget that others are miserable, this seems with As the time drew on, he earnestly desired to remany the great object of life. Let such persons ceive the sacrament; but the medical men opposed look at Pascal, at the close of a life of disease, the it, on the ground that they could not justify the adsmall intervals of which, he had dedicated to use ministering the viaticum, because he was not in imful and charitable purposes; let them consider his mediate danger of death; and because he was too sincere and penitential regrets, that he had done so weak to receive it with fasting, according to the cuslittle for his poorer fellow-creatures; and then let tomary method of persons not dangerously ill; and them ask themselves, how they will meet the so- that it was preferable, that he should wait till he was lemn scrutiny of that hour, when God will enter able to receive it at the church. His sufferings, into judgment with them? It is an awful sentence, however, continued to increase; and though they " In as much as ye did it not, to the least of these yielded, in a degree, to the influence of medicine, my brethren, ye did it not to me.” The truly Chris- ihey were, at length, 'attended with severe pain and tian view of duty in this respect is, that the gifts of giddiness in the head, which distressed him greatly, a bounteous Providence, are not bestowed on us for and induced him to press on his friends with the personal indulgence; but that while we take a mo- greatest earnestness, ihat they would allow him to derate and rational enjoyment of the comforts of partake of the Lord's Supper, and cease to make those life, we should regard ourselves as stewards of the objections by which he had hitherto been prevented manifold gifts of God, to dispense blessings to those from receiving it. He said, “ They do not feel who suffer, and to make the opportunity of reliev- what I suffer; and they will find themselves mising temporal distresses, the channel for a gift still taken about me. There is something very extramore valuable, in the instruction of the soul in ordinary about this pain in my head.” When, righteousness. To live for this, is duty and happi- however, he found that his wish was still oppos
ed, he ceased to importune, but said, “Since they The Saviour of mankind lived among the poor will not grant me this favor, let me, at least, substiof this world, and labored for their relief and their tute something else in its stead. If I may not comsalvation. Pascal endeavoreù to follow in the steps municate with the head, at least, let me have comof his blessed Master, and only regretted, that he munion with the members. Let a poor person be had done this so imperfectly. And whoever shall brought into the house, and treated with the same strive sincerely 10 follow the lovely example of attention as myself
, that in the confusion with which Christ's most holy life, will find in it, both here and I am overwhelmed at the abundance of my mercies, hereafter, an abundant blessing—a blessing which I may, at least, have the gratification of knowing, no contingency can alter-the present sense of Di- that one poor creature shares them with me. For vine favor on earth, and the approving smile of his when I think of my own comforts, and of the multigracious and compassionate Lord in heaven. tude of poor who are in a worse state than I am,
The patience with which Pascal endured pain, and are destitute of the merest necessaries, I feel a was equally remarkable with his overflowing love distress which I cannot endure." And when he to the poor. When some one observed to him found that this wish could not be granted, he enthe distress which they felt at seeing him suffer, he treated to be carried out to the Hospital of the Inanswered, " It does not grieve me. I only fear to curables, that he might die among the poor. He be relieved. I know both the dangers of health, was told, that the physicians could not consent to and the benefit of suffering. Do not mourn for me; his being removed, at which he was much grieved, disease is the natural and proper state for Christians and made his sister promise, that if he at all revivThen we are, as we ought to be-in a state of af-ed, this indulgence should be granted to him. fliction, by which we become alienated from the About midnight, however, of the 17th of August, joys and the pleasures of sense, and delivered from he was seized with violent 'convulsions, at the terthose passions which disturb all other periods of mination of which, he appeared to be rapidly sinkour life; we are freed from ambition and from ava- ing; and his friends began to fear, thai alihough rice, and looking perpetually for death. Is not this Madame Perier had, of her own accord, made arthe lule that a Christian should live? Is it not a rangements for his partaking of the Lord's Supper privilege to be brought into a state that makes it on that day, he must at length, die without the comimperative so to live; and that requires only the fort of that sacred ordinance, which he had so earnduly of humble and thankful submission ? For estly requested, and which they, at the instance of this reason, I desire no other blessing now of God, the medical advisers, had withheld. But, as if God than that he would continue to me the grace of was willing graciously to indulge his request, his sanctified affiction."
convulsions subsided, and his senses became as perHe was so simple and child-like in his spirit, that fectly collected, as if he were in health; and just at he would listen to any one who pointed out a fault this moment, the curate arrived with the sacred elein him, and yielded implicitly to their advice. The ments. As the curate entered the room, he said, exquisite sensitiveness of his mind, sometimes be- | "Now you shall be indulged in your earnest wish. trayed him into impatience; but if this was men- This address completely roused him. He raised tioned to him, or if he discovered that he had griev- himself by his own strength on his elbow, to receive ed any one, he instantly addressed himself to the the communion with greater outward reverence. reparation of his fault, by acts of the most unquali- On being questioned previously as to the leading fied tenderness and kindness. The curate of St. points of the faith, he answered distinctly to each Etienne, who attended him during the whole of his question, "Yes, sir, I believe this with all my heart." illness, used to say repeatedly, “He is an infant- He then received the viaticum, and extreme unction, humble and submissive as an infant.” And another with sentiments of the tenderest emotion, and with ecclesiastic who came to see him, and remained tears. He repeated the several responses; he thank an hour with him, said to Madame Perier when he ed the curate for his attention; and when he received left him, "Be comforted, Madame; if God calls his blessing, said, “May my God never forsake me.” him, you have good reason to bless him for the Excepting a short expression of thanksgiving, these grace bestowed on your brother. I have always were his last words.' Immediately afierward, the admired many noble points about his character; but convulsions again returned, and continued till his I have never noticed any thing superior to the death, about twenty-four hours after, without any child-like simplicity which he now exhibits. In a returning interval of consciousness. He died on the 19th of August, 1662, at one o'clock in the morn- de Port Royal were well known, it would be seen ing, aged thirty-nine years, and two months. that the Jesuits never ceased from their political in
Ön examination, his stomach and liver were trigues, till they had succeeded in expelling this last found very much diseased, and his intestines in a remnant of pure religion from the church of France. state of mortification.
The Protestants were murdered by thousands. This Thus died a man who was one of the brightest need not be wondered at. But in proof that the ornaments that the church of Rome could ever | hostility of the Jesuits was not against names and boast. If nothing else were wanting, there is, in sects, so much as against principles, we have their the life and death of Pascal ample proof, that not inflexible hostility and unrelenting persecution of withstanding all the wretched errors and criminal these great and holy men, who were faithful and abominations of that apostate church, and the fear- regular members of their communion, but who difful wickedness, hypocrisy, and pretence of a large fered from the Jesuits, mainly in this, that instead portion of its ecclesiastics, there have been some of making a religious profession a cloak for perfaithful men, sincere servants of God, who have sonal aggrandizements, for the accumulation of adhered to its communion. In proof of this it is wealth, the attainment of power, and the secret comfashionable and popular now, for the friends of mand of every sensual indulgence, they were, in the Rome, to make a parade of the virtues and merits midst of a corrupt church with which they were of Pascal; but then, it must ever be remembered, conscientiously associated, faithful, humble, self-dethat though he remained in the communion of the nied followers of the blessed Jesus. The fact is a Romish church, and cordially submitted to its dis- valuable one. It teaches, that there may be in recipline, and respected what he considered as the mote corners, and in private life, and possibly even unity of the church, never was any man a more in the priesthood, some individuals in the comdetermined enemy of its errors. He was hated as munion of Rome, who are the sincere servants of the very scourge of its abominations; and there is God; yet that wherever they are, they must, in their good reason for suspicion, that the man of whom conscience, protest against and renounce some of now they make their boast, was not permitted by the evils by which they are surrounded ; but that the them to continue the exercise of those commanding grand scheme and system of its hierarchy is a mere talents, which would have gone far towards work- pretence--a forcing upon men of a human system ing a reformation in the church of France, at least, of policy and power, garnished with every trick and if not elsewhere. Louis de Montalte could never trapping that art can invent, and blind and childish be forgiven, by that deep designing body of men, superstition receive, to conceal its real deformity, whom he had exposed; and who have always re- infidelity, and cool intentional iniquity from its degarded poison among the most legitimate modes of luded followers. Through all this mass of mischief, silencing an adversary.
it is just possible, that in the mercy of God, a man Most probably Pascal fell the slow but certain vic- may find his way to the Saviour, and repose his soul tim of their enmity. The circumstances of his disease upon the simple promise of salvation through him; were very peculiar. They were evidently unintel- but he who does so, must first renounce those other ligible to his physicians, who had no conception that grounds of confidence which the Romish church he was so near his end; and the extensive decay puts far more prominently forward, the merit of his that had taken place within, can scarcely be refer- own works and penances--the blasphemous indulred to any one specific disease, without the symp- gences of the Pope and his vicars—the value of motoms of it having been such, as to render its nature ney as a coin current at the gate of heaven-the unequivocal. To these grounds of suspicion are to impious adoration of a woman, who has herself be added, the unquestionable sentiments of the entered heaven only as a forgiven sinner, and the school of the Jesuits, on this method of removing idolatrous worship, and the fabled intercession of an obnoxious person, and the many authenticated the whole Calendar of Saints, many of whom, it is instances of murder in which they are implicated. to be feared, are not in heaven, and never will be. It would be cruel indeed to charge the Jesuits as a Not one of these vital errors stained the creed of body, with more than the enormous load of guilt scal. His great mind threw them all off as utwhich lies upon their heads; but knowing as we terly inconsistent with the simplicity of the Chrisdo historically, their dark machinations, their bitter tian faith. But how few must they be, who have and unmitigable hate, and their bold admission of strength for this! How few are likely to discern, the principle, that the end sanctifies the means- through these mists of error, the simple object of knowing also that no individual ever did more than worship and confidence in the incarnate Son of God, Pascal did to sting them to the quick, and to bring or to break through all this bondage, to the liberty all their rancor and malice in its deadliest form wherewith Christ has made us free! upon his head, it is impossible to look at the suspi- The man who is saved in the Romish church, cious circumstances of his death-bed, without fear must be essential protestant against its errors; and and indignation. This is, however, one of those mys- till the whole body of its hierarchy shall be brought teries which must be referred, with many other to this, and to lay their unscriptural and unholy hoscenes of horror and treachery, in which Rome has nors at the feet of Him whose power they have borne a part, to that day when "the earth shall dis- usurped, and whose truth and purity have libelclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” led and insulted, this must continue to be the case. It is impossible, however, to leave this subject with. And if this be the fact, then it must ever be a subject out recalling to the recollection, that the society of of mourning, that any portion of our empire is so the Jesuits is revived—that their principles of mo- criminally left to this meagre chance of salvation rals and of policy are precisely the same as ever- in her communion. However men may differ as to that they have never disclaimed a single sentiment their opinion of the rights of men, as subjects of a of all their code of vice; and that at this moment, human government, it becomes them to remember they have large educational establishments, not only what the Church of Rome has ever been, and what in Ireland, but in the very heart of Britain.
in all its avowed sentiments and public documents But to return; it does seem strange, that Pascal it still is——the patron of ignorance and debasing and his friends should now be made the prominent superstition in the mass of its members; and if they subject of praise, by the friends of the Papacy, when, see it right to give liberty to her sons with one in fact, they were treated when living, as its bitterest hand, they should be yet more strenuous to give encmies, and their works proscribed in the Index of them' light with the other. Nothing can be more prohibited books. And if the history of the MM. awful, and to the British empire more disgraceful,
than that 300 years after the reformation, four mil- tionate reliance upon the blessing of a Divine power, Jions of its subjects, at our very doors, should be in which makes a man regardless of consequences, as a state of the most melancholy ignorance of the first long as he does his duty-these were the qualities principles of the pure word oi God, worshipping which fitted him, in an especial manner, to be the idols, doing meritorious penances, wearing charms champion of scriptural truth, in the fallen church and consecrated amulets, trusting purchased indul- of the Papacy. Had he been gifted with health gences, vowing allegiance to a foreign potentate, as and strength, he was the man, of all others, adapted the representative of their God, and denouncing to accomplish a general return to the Christian certain perdition on all those who are not partakers principles from which that church had strayed; and of their folly. When will the spirit of our fathers if views, simple and scriptural as his, had spread come upon us again? Where is the mantle of our and become popular-if the bad parts of the Romish Elijahs of former days? When will a truly Pro- system had, with others, as with him, fallen into testant heart return again to the British people? dissuetude and contempt; and its ministers, instead When will the day come, in which we shall be pre- of being the fawning supporters of an unchristian pared, as a people, in the simplicity of a scriptural tyranny over the consciences of men and the scepfaith, to leave the message of mercy unfettered by tres of the earth, had become like him, the faithtu the safeguards of human prudence, to win iis cwn advocates of the leading features of scriptural truth triumphant way to the hearts of men ? When will —such a change would have gone far to satisfy the the churches of this favored land, rise, as with one Christian world. There can be no wish, on the consent, against the vile and debasing superstitions part of the universal church of Christ, to nochurch which the influence of Rome still pours as a poison- The Church of Rome, or needlessly to interfere with ous deluge over so fair a portion of the British do any of its views or non-essential points, which are minions; when they shall go forth, not to increase harmless in their nature, and are, in fact, ground or to perpetuate the political rigors of former days on which charity requires all to be neutral; and nor to punish, by the privation of civil rights, the though, apon some points, that church might still errors of an uninformed and misguided conscience; be regarded by some as too superstitious, yet had but to visit these sad victims of priestcraft and de- she openly and honestly maintained and preached lusion, with the kindly offices of mercy and love, to the doctrine of her Pascals, and Arnaulds, and remonstrate affectionately, to reason calmly, to open Quesnels, and Fenelons, the leading features of and explain the Scriptures, to preach in their high quarrel with her on the part of the Protestant ways and hedges the unsearchable riches of the churches, would have almost ceased to exist., gospel of Christ, and to triumph as the Head and But it is not so. These men must now be looked High-priest of our profession triumphed, by turning on only as extraordinary exceptions, from the domithem from darkness to light, and from the power of nant evils of that community. They, are not speciSatan unto God.
mens of the brilliant attainments in knowledge and Pascal was a very striking instance of the superi- piety of the disciples of the Papacy. They are anoority of a great mind, enlightened by the reading of malies to the universality of error. They are only Scripture, to the errors and superstitions of his age a few scattered lights, that have been permited ocand country. Though he was a layman, yet to him, casionally to shine out amidst the surrounding as a man of learning, those Scriptures were open, gloom-io make the palpable thickness of the dark from which the common people are, by authority, ness that covers the multitude more visible. They excluded; and the promised blessing of God attend- are only proofs of what the Romish clergy should ed the obedient study of His word. The progress have been, and might have been, even while they of his mind was rapid, in the perception of religious remained conscientiously in communion with that truth, and in the discrimination of it from the essen- church. But they stand forth as a swift witness tial and destructive errors with which it had been against the errors, that have almost universally mixed up, in the avowed doctrinal sentiments of the been sanctioned and encouraged by its authorities; Romish Church. His views were clear, perspicu- and perhaps, no condemnation more fearful will ous, and liberal; and, at the same time, he main issue in the last day against the antichristian errors tained a chastened, child-like, and humble spirit. of Rome, than that which marks, with Divine apBut there was in him that inflexible rectitude of probation, the solemn protestation of Pascal and his mind, by which he saw almost intuitively, the pro- friends, and recognizes the melancholy fact, that minent and essential features of truth; and grasp. sound scriptural truth was hunted down and perseing these with gigantic firmness, he was prepared, cuted, and condemned in their persons, and the in the seraphic strength which they iinparied, to true religion of the Saviour once more sacrificed in combat for them against the world. Of course, the them to the worldly policy and intrigue, to the pride accuracy and keenness with which he detected er- and passion of the Jesuits. ror was equally remarkable, and only equalled by With the death of Pascal, and the banishment of the honesty with which he went forth against it. his friends, all rational hope of the reformation of He knew his own principles too well to be incon- the French church ceased. “Darkness covered the sistent. He knew ihe power and the promises of people-gross darkness that might be felt.” And God too well, to be any other than undaunted. He from that day to this, successive woes have fallen, was prepared equally lo defend Divine truth against in almost unming bitterness, on that irreligious infidelity or superstition, or against that worst, and and careless people. What further evils may yet most frequent of all opponents in the Romnish assail them, iime will unfold; but even now, inChurch, against him who upholds for sinister pur-creasing darkness gathers round. The sad lessons poses, the superstitious practices which, in the secret of experienced suffering, are already thrown aside ; of his heart, he holds in contempt.
and darker superstition frowns, while she forges for To this unbending rectitude of spirit, Pascal them new and heavier chains. In the prospect of united talents peculiarly adapted to make him a the gloom that lowers upon that melancholy counpowerful and efficient controversialist. The rea- try, and in the belief that the torch of truth in the diness which brings all his powers up at the mo- hand of the Jansenists, and of their great champion, ment of necessity; the perspicuity which facilitates might have dispelled it, the friends of irue religion the communication of ideas, and the playful wit may well take up the friendly lamentation which which adorns them; the habiiual humiliiy which is mourned over the tomb of Pascal, the loss sustained the best safeguard against betraying himself by the by his country in his untimely fall, and say, Here! indulgence of any evil passion and the simple, affec- Heu! Cecidit Pascalis.
Pascal was buried at Paris, in the parish church Hunc Philosophi quærunt Sapientem, of St. Etienne du Mont, behind the main altar, near Hunc Doctores laudant Theologum, to, and directly before the pillar on the left hand,
Hunc Pii venerantur austerum. entering the Chapel of the Virgin. A Latin epi- Hunc omnes mirantur, omnibus ignotum, taph, remarkably quaint and original in its style,
Omnibus licet notum. written by Aimonius Proust de Chamhourg, Pro- Quid plura? Viator, quem perdidimus fessor of Law in the University of Orleans, was
PASCALEM, laid over the grave; but as it lay in a very frequent
Is LUDOVICOs erat MONTALTIUS. ed part of the church, it was speedily effaced; and
Heu! a second inscription, engraved on a marble tablet,
Satis dixi, urgent lachrymæ, was affixed to the pillar immediately adjoining.
Sileo. This second inscription, owing to some repairs in Ei qui bene precaberis, bene tibi eveniat, the church, was afterwards removed, and placed
Et vivo et mortuo. over the side door at the right side of the church. Vixit. An. 39. m. 2. Obiit an. rep. Sal. 1662. During the revolution, it was carried away to the
14 Kal, Sept. Museum of French Monuments; but on ihe 21st
ΩΛΕΤΟ ΠΑΣΚΑΛΙΟΣ, of April, 1818, it was restored to its original pillar,
ΦΕΥ! ΦΕΥ! ΠΕΝΘΟΣ ΟΣΟΝ ! in the presence of the Prefect of the department of
Cecidit Pascalis. the Seine, a deputation of the academy, and many
Heu! Heu! qualis luctus! relations of the deceased.
Posuit A. P. D. C. mærens Aurelian. Canonista. Nobilissimi Scutarii Blasii Pascalis Tumulus.
Pro columna superiori,
Sub tumulo marmoreo,
Pascal in Suprema apud Arvernos Subsidíorum Pietas si non moritur, æternum vivet; Curia Præsidis filius, post aliquot annos in severiori Vir conjugii nescius,
secessu et divinæ legis meditatione transactos, feliReligione sanctus, Virtute clarus,
citer et religiose in pace Christi, vita functus anno Doctrina celebris,
1662, ætatis 39, die 19 Augusti. Optasset ille quiIngenio acutus,
dem præ paupertatis et humilitatis studio, etiam his Sanguine et animo pariter illustris; sepulchri honoribus carere, mortuusque etiamnum Doctus, non Doctor,
latere, qui vivus semper latere voluerat. Verum Æquitatis amator,
ejus hac in parte votis cum cedere non posset FloVeritatis defensor,
rinus Perier in eadem suosidiorum Curia Consili. Viginum ultor,
arius, ac Gilbertæ Pascal, Blasii Pascal sororis, Christianæ Moralis Čorruptorum acerrimus hostis. conjux amantissimus, hanc tabulam posuit, qua et Hunc Rhetores amant facundum,
suam in illum pietatem significaret, et Christianos Hunc Scriptores norunt elegantem, ad Christiana precum officia sibi et defuncto profuHunc Mathematici stupent profundum, tura cohortaretur.