A third testament by Malcolm Muggeridge

By Malcolm Muggeridge

According to a celebrated television sequence, those illuminating snap shots convey to lifestyles seven well-known males looking for God.

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Sample text

It is a unique A Third Testament blaise pascal  and intensely moving document which like some spiritual seismograph reflects in its very strokes and flourishes the fluctuations of his state of mind as he was writing it. We may imagine him sitting at home in the evening. He opens his New Testament at the account of the Passion, and his eye fastens on Peter’s thrice-repeated denial that he was an associate of Jesus. As he reads the cock crows – not for Peter, but for him, Pascal. Peter, con­ fronted with his disloyalty, wept and so does Pascal, realizing that he too has separated himself from Christ.

There is nothing so absurd that it has not been said by one philoso­ pher or another,” Pascal quoted Cicero as having said. The subsequent centuries have certainly not detracted from the force of this observa­ tion – least of all, our own. To Pascal, what sort of creature was this monster man? “What a nov­ elty, what a portent, what a chaos, what a mass of contradictions, what a prodigy! Judge of all things. A ridiculous earthworm who is nonethe­ less the repository of truth. A sink of uncertainty and error.

However, “The man who enters,” Augustine wrote: is bound to see drunkards, misers, tricksters, gamblers, adulterers, fornica­ tors, people wearing amulets, assiduous clients of sorcerers, astrologers. He must be warned that the same crowds that press into the churches on Christian festivals also fill the theatres on pagan holidays… Wherever the towering mass of the theater is erected, there the founda­ tions of Christian virtue are undermined, and while this insane expen­ diture gives to the sponsors a glorious result, men mock at the works of mercy… It is only charity that distinguishes the children of God from the chil­ dren of the Devil.

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