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THE

PROVINCIAL LETTERS

OF

BLAISE PASCAL.

A XKW TRAiVSLATWX,

WITH HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION AND NOTES,

BY

THOMAS M'CRIE, D.D., LL.D.

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'* If my letters are condemned at Rome, that which I condemn hi them la oondemned In heaven."— Pascal.

"The ' Provincial letters' .ire models of eloquence and pleasantry. The best comedies of Moliere have not more wit in them than the first Letters; Bosauet has nothing more sublime than the concluding ones."— Voltaib«,

'.iba 'rrovfrulal Letters' on the fcdlaeles cf the Jesuits, while they exhibit as entire a fceedom from bigotry, exhibit also as much pointed wit, and as much sound reasoning, asa/a te bo found in the whole mass of modem philosophy."—Hannah Mori,

CONTENTS.

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Historical Introduction, . .... xiii

Letter I.—Disputes in the Sorbonne, and the invention of proximate

power—a term employed by the Jesuits to procure the censure of M.

Arnauld, . . . , . . • 69

Letter II.—Of sufficient grace, ...... 81

Reply of " the Provincial" to the first Two Letters of his Friend, . 92

Letter III. —Injustice, absurdity, and nullity of the censure on M.

Arnauld, . ...... 04

Letter IV.—On actual grace and sins of ignorance, . . . 103

Letter V.—Design of the Jesuits in establishing a new system of morals

—Two sorts of casuists among them—A great many lax and some

severe ones—Reason of this difference—Explanation of the doctrine

of probabilism—A multitude of modern and unknown authors, sub-

stituted in the place of the holy fathers, .... 116

Letter VL—Various artifices of the Jesuits to elude the authority of

the gospel, of councils, and of the popes—Some consequences which

result from their doctrine of probabilism—Their relaxation in favour

of beneficiaries, priests, monks, and domestics—Anecdote of John

d'Alba, 132

Litter VII.—Method of directing the intention adopted by the casuists

—Permission to kill in defence of honour and property, extended

even to priests and monks—Curious question raised by Caramuel as

to whether Jesuits may be allowed to kill Jansenists, . . 149

Letter VIII.—Corrupt maxims of the casuists relating to Judges-

Usurers—The contract Mohatra—Bankrupts—Restitution — Diver?

ridiculous notions of these samo casuists, . , . . Ibl

A2

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