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Monday, November 23rd, day of Saint Clement, pope
and martyr, and others in the martyrology,
Eve of Saint Chrysogonus, martyr, and others;
From about half past ten at night, to
about half after midnight,


God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,
Not of the philosophers and the wise.
Security, security. Feeling, joy, peace.
God of Jesus Christ

Deum meum et Deum vestrum.
Thy God shall be my God.

Forgetfulness of the world and of all save God.
He can be found only in the ways taught
in the Gospel.

Greatness of the human soul.

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee,
but I have known thee.

Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.

I have separated myself from him.
Dereliquerunt me fontem aquæ vivæ.

My God, why hast thou forsaken me? . .

That I be not separated from thee eternally.

This is life eternal: That they might know thee

the only true God, and him whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ,

Jesus Christ,

Jesus Christ.

I have separated myself from him; I have fled, renounced, crucified him.
May I never be separated from him.

He maintains himself in me only in the ways taught
in the Gospel.

Renunciation total and sweet.



LET them at least learn what is the Religion they assail,

before they assail it. If this religion claimed to have a clear view of God, and to possess it openly and unveiled, then to say that we see nothing in the world which manifests him with this clearness would be to assail it. But since on the contrary it affirms that men are in darkness and estranged from God, that he has hidden himself from their knowledge, that the very name he has given himself in the Scriptures is Deus absconditus; and if indeed it aims equally at establishing these two points, that God has set in the Church evident notes to enable those who seek him in sincerity to recognise him, and that he has nevertheless so concealed them that he can only be perceived by those who seek him with their whole hearts; what advantages it them, when, in their professed neglect of the search after truth, they declare that nothing reveals it to them? For the very obscurity in which they are, and for which they blame the Church, does but establish one of the points which she maintains, without affecting the other, and far from destroying, establishes her doctrine.

In order to assail it they ought to urge that they have sought everywhere with all their strength, and even in that which the Church proposes for their instruction, but without avail. Did they thus speak, they would indeed assail one of her claims. But I hope here to show that no rational person can thus speak, and I am even bold to say that no one has ever done so. We know well enough how men of this temper behave. They believe they have made great efforts for their instruction, when they have spent a few

hours in reading some book of Scripture, and have talked with some Ecclesiastic on the truths of the faith. Whereupon they boast that they have in vain consulted books and men. But indeed I will tell them what I have often said, that such carelessness is intolerable. We are not here dealing with the light interest of a stranger, that we should thus treat it; but with that which concerns ourselves and our all.

The immortality of the soul is a matter of so great moment to us, it touches us so deeply, that we must have lost all feeling if we are careless of the truth about it. Our every action and our every thought must take such different courses, according as there are or are not eternal blessings for which to hope, that it is impossible to take a single step with sense or judgment, save in view of that point which ought to be our end and aim.

Thus our first interest and our first duty is to gain light on this subject, whereon our whole conduct depends. Therefore among unbelievers, I make a vast difference between those who labour with all their power to gain instruction, and those who live without taking trouble or thought for it.

I can have nothing but compassion for all who sincerely lament their doubt, who look upon it as the worst of evils, and who, sparing no pains to escape it, find in that endeavour their principal and most serious occupation.

But as for those who pass their life without thought of the ultimate goal of life, who, solely because they do not find within themselves the light of conviction, neglect to seek it elsewhere and to examine thoroughly whether the opinion in question be among those which are popularly received with credulous simplicity, or among those which, although in themselves obscure, have yet a solid and indestructible basis, of those, I say, my thoughts are very different.

This neglect of a matter in which themselves are concerned, their eternity, and their all, makes me angry rather than compassionate; it astonishes and terrifies me, it is to me something monstrous. I do not say this out of the pious zeal of a spiritual devotion. I mean on the contrary

that such a feeling should spring from principles of human interest and self-love; and for this we need see no more than what is seen by the least enlightened persons.

We need no great elevation of soul to understand that here is no true and solid satisfaction, that all our pleasures are but vanity, our evils infinite, and lastly that death, which threatens us every moment, must infallibly and within a few years place us in the dread alternative of being for ever either annihilated or wretched.

Nothing is more real than this, nothing more terrible. Brave it out as we may, that is yet the end which awaits the fairest life in the world. Let us reflect on this, and then say if it be not certain that there is no good in this life save in the hope of another, that we are happy only in proportion as we approach it, and that as there is no more sorrow for those who have an entire assurance of eternity, so there is no happiness for those who have not a ray of its light.

Assuredly then it is a great evil thus to be in doubt, but it is at least an indispensable duty to seek when we are in such doubt; he therefore who doubts and yet seeks not is at once thoroughly unhappy and thoroughly unfair. And if at the same time he be easy and content, profess to be so, and in fact pride himself thereon; if even it be this very condition of doubt which forms the subject of his joy and boasting, I have no terms in which to describe a creature so extravagant.

Whence come such feelings? What delight can we find in the expectation of nothing but unavailing misery? What cause of boasting that we are in impenetrable darkness? How can such an argument as the following occur to a reasoning man?

"I know not who has sent me into the world, nor what the world is, nor what I myself am; I am terribly ignorant of every thing; I know not what my body is, nor my senses, nor my soul, nor even that part of me which thinks what I say, which reflects on all and on itself, yet is as ignorant of itself as of all beside. I see those dreadful spaces of the universe which close me in, and I find myself fixed in one corner of this vast expanse, without knowing why I am set

in this place rather than elsewhere, nor why this moment of time given me for life is assigned to this point rather than another of the whole Eternity which was before me or which shall be after me. I see nothing but infinities on every side, which close me round as an atom, and as a shadow which endures but for an instant and returns no more. I know only that I must shortly die, but what I know the least is this very death which I cannot avoid.


'As I know not whence I come, so I know not whither I go; only this I know, that on departing this world, I shall either fall for ever into nothingness, or into the hands of an offended God, without knowing which of these two conditions shall eternally be my lot. Such is my state, full of weakness and uncertainty; from all which I conclude that I ought to pass all the days of my life without thought of searching for what must happen to me. Perhaps I might find some ray of light in my doubts, but I will not take the trouble, nor stir a foot to seek it; and after treating with scorn those who are troubled with this care, I will go without foresight and without fear to make trial of the grand event, and allow myself to be led softly on to death, uncertain of the eternity of my future condition."

Who would wish to have for his friend a man who should thus speak; who would choose him rather than another for advice in business; who would turn to him in sorrow? And indeed to what use in life could we put him?

In truth, it is the glory of Religion to have for enemies men so unreasoning, whose opposition is so little dangerous to her, that it the rather serves to establish her truths. For the Christian faith goes mainly to the establishment of these two points, the corruption of nature, and the Redemption by Jesus Christ. Now I maintain that if these men serve not to demonstrate the truth of Redemption by the holiness of their morals, they at least serve admirably to show the corruption of nature by sentiments so unnatural.

Nothing is so important to man as his condition, nothing so formidab e to him as eternity; and thus it is not natural there should be men indifferent to the loss of their being,

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