CLEMENT XI 1700-1721
Errors of Paschasius Quesnel *
[Condemned in the dogmatic Constitution, “Unigenitus,” * Sept. 8, 1713]
1351 (Sec. 3) 1. What else remains for the soul that has lost God and His grace except sin and the consequences of sin, a proud poverty and a slothful indigence, that is, a general impotence for labor, for prayer, and for every good work?
1352 2. The grace of Jesus Christ, which is the efficacious principle of every kind of good, is necessary for every good work; without it, not only is nothing done, but nothing can be done.
1353 3. In vain, O Lord, do You command, if You do not give what you command.
1354 4. Thus, O Lord, all things are possible to him for whom You make all things possible by effecting those same things in him.
1355 5. When God does not soften a heart by the interior unction of His grace, exterior exhortations and graces are of no service except to harden it the more.
1356 6. The difference between the Judaic dispensation and the Christian is this, that in the former God demanded flight from sin and a fulfillment of the Law by the sinner, leaving him in his own weakness; but in the latter, God gives the sinner what He commands, by purifying him with His grace.
1357 7. What advantage was there for a man in the old covenant, in which God left him to his own weakness, by imposing on him His law? But what happiness is it not to be admitted to a convenant in which God gives us what He asks of us?
1358 8. But we do not b long to the new covenant, except in so far as we are participators in that new grace which works in us that which God commands us.
1359 9. The grace of Christ is a supreme grace, without which we can never confess Christ, and with which we never deny Him.
1360 10. Grace is the working of the omnipotent hand of God, which nothing can hinder or retard.
1361 11. Grace is nothing else than the omnipotent Will of God, ordering and doing what He orders.
1362 12. When God wishes to save a soul, at whatever time and at whatever place, the undoubted effect follows the Will of God.
1363 13. When God wishes to save a soul and touches it with the interior hand of His grace, no human will resists Him.
1364 14. Howsoever remote from salvation an obstinate sinner is, when Jesus presents Himself to be seen by him in the salutary light of His grace, the sinner is forced to surrender himself, to have recourse to Him, and to humble himself, and to adore his Savior.
1365 15. When God accompanies His commandment and His eternal exhortation by the unction of His Spirit and by the interior force of His grace, He works that obedience in the heart that He is seeking.
1366 16. There are no attractions which do not yield to the attractions of grace, because nothing resists the Almighty.
1367 17. Grace is that voice of the Father which teaches men interiorly and makes them come to Jesus Christ; whoever does not come to Him, after he has heard the exterior voice of the Son, is in no wise taught by the Father.
1368 18. The seed of the word, which the hand of God nourishes, always brings forth its fruit.
1369 19. The grace of God is nothing else than His omnipotent Will; this is the idea which God Himself gives us in all His Scriptures.
1370 20. The true idea of grace is that God wishes Himself to be obeyed by us and He is obeyed; He commands, and all things are done; He speaks as the Lord, and all things are obedient to Him.
1371 21. The grace of Jesus Christ is a strong, powerful, supreme, invincible grace, that is, the operation of the omnipotent Will, the consequence and imitation of the operation of God causing the incarnation and the resurrection of His Son.
1372 22. The harmony of the all powerful operation of God in the heart of man with the free consent of man’s will is demonstrated, therefore, to us in the Incarnation, as in the fount and archetype of all other operations of mercy and grace, all of which are as gratuitous and as dependent on God as the original operation itself.
1373 23. God Himself has taught us the idea of the omnipotent working of His grace, signifying it by that operation which produces creatures from nothing and which restores life to the dead.
1374 24. The right idea which the centurion had about the omnipotence of God and of Jesus Christ in healing bodies by a single act of His will, [Matt. 8:8] is an image of the idea we should have about the omnipotence of His grace in healing souls from cupidity.
1375 25. God illumines the soul, and heals it, as well as the body, by His will only; He gives orders and He is obeyed.
1376 26. No graces are granted except through faith.
1377 27. Faith is the first grace and the source of all others.
1378 28. The first grace which God grants to the sinner Is the remission of sin.
1379 29. Outside of the Church, no grace is granted.
1380 30. All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved.
1381 31. The desires of Christ always have their effect; He brings peace to the depth of hearts when He desires it for them.
1382 32. Jesus Christ surrendered Himself to death to free forever from the hand of the exterminating angel, by His blood, the first born, that is, the elect.
1383 33. Ah, how much one ought to renounce earthly goods and himself for this, that he may have the confidence of appropriating, so to speak, Christ Jesus to himself, His love, death, and mysteries, as St. Paul does, when he says: “He who loved me, and delivered Himself for me” [Gal.2:20].
1384 34. The grace of Adam produced nothing except human merit.
1385 35. The grace of Adam is a consequence of creation and was due to his whole and sound nature.
1386 36. The essential difference between the grace of Adam and of his state of innocence and Christian grace, is that each one would have received the first in his own person, but the second is not received except in the person of the risen Jesus Christ to whom we are united.
1387 37. The grace of Adam by sanctifying him in himself was proportionate to him; Christian grace, by sanctifying us in Jesus Christ, is omnipotent, and worthy of the Son of God.
1388 38. Without the grace of the Liberator, the sinner is not free except to do evil.
1389 39. The will, which grace does not anticipate, has no light except for straying, no eagerness except to put itself in danger, no strength except to wound itself, and is capable of all evil and incapable of all good.
1390 40. Without grace we can love nothing except to our own condemnation.
1391 41. All knowledge of God, even natural knowledge, even in the pagan philosophers, cannot come except from God; and without grace knowledge produces nothing but presumption, vanity, and opposition to God Himself, instead of the affections of adoration, gratitude, and love.
1392 42. The grace of Christ alone renders a man fit for the sacrifice of faith; without this there is nothing but impurity, nothing but unworthiness.
1393 43. The first effect of baptismal grace is to make us die to sin so that our spirit, heart, and senses have no more life for sin than a dead man has for the things of the world.
1394 44. There are but two loves, from which all our volitions and actions arise: love of God, which does all things because of God and which God rewards; and the love with which we love ourselves and the world, which does not refer to God what ought to be referred to Him, and therefore becomes evil.
1395 45. When love of God no longer reigns in the heart of sinners, it needs must be that carnal desire reign in it and corrupt all of its actions.
1396 46. Cupidity or charity makes the use of the senses good or evil.
1397 47. Obedience to the law ought to flow from the source, and this source is charity. When the love of God is the interior principle of obedience and the glory of God is its end, then that is pure which appears externally; otherwise, it is but hypocrisy and false justice.
1398 48. What else can we be except darkness, except aberration, and except sin, without the light of faith, without Christ, and without charity?
1399 49. As there is no sin without love of ourselves, so there is no good work without love of God.
1400 50. In vain we cry out to God: My Father, if it is not the spirit of charity which cries out.
1401 51. Faith justifies when it operates, but it does not operate except through charity.
1402 52. All other means of salvation are contained in faith as in their own germ and seed; but this faith does not exist apart from love and confidence.
1403 53. Only charity in the Christian way makes (Christian actions) through a relation to God and to Jesus Christ.
1404 54. It is charity alone that speaks to God; it alone that God hears.
1405 55. God crowns nothing except charity; he who runs through any other incentive or any other motive, runs in vain.
1406 56. God rewards nothing but charity; for charity alone honors God.
1407 57. All fails a sinner, when hope fails him; and there is no hope in God, when there is no love of God.
1408 58. Neither God nor religion exists where there is no charity.
1409 59. The prayer of the impious is a new sin; and what God grants to them is a new judgment against them.
1410 60. If fear of punishment alone animates penance, the more intense this is, the more it leads to despair.
1411 61. Fear restrains nothing but the hand, but the heart is addicted to the sin as long as it is not guided by a love of justice.
1412 62. He who does not refrain from evil except through fear of punishment, commits that evil in his heart, and is already guilty before God.
1413 63. A baptized person is still under the law as a Jew, if he does not fulfill the law, or if he fulfills it from fear alone.
1414 64. Good is never done under the condemnation of the law, because one sins either by doing evil or by avoiding it only through fear.
1415 65. Moses, the prophets, priests, and doctors of the Law died without having given any son to God, since they produced only slaves through fear.
1416 66. He who wishes to approach to God, should not come to Him with brutal passions, nor be led to Him by natural instinct, or through fear as animals, but through faith and love, as sons.
1417 67. Servile fear does not represent God to itself except as a stern imperious, unjust, unyielding master.
1418 68. The goodness of God has shortened the road to salvation, by enclosing all in faith and in prayers.
1419 69. Faith, practice of it, increase, and reward of faith, all are a gift of the pure liberality of God.
1420 70. Never does God afflict the innocent; and afflictions always serve either to punish the sin or to purify the sinner.
1421 71. For the preservation of himself man can dispense himself from that law which God established for his use.
1422 72. A mark of the Christian Church is that it is catholic, embracing all the angels of heaven, all the elect and the just on earth, and of all times.
1423 73. What is the Church except an assembly of the sons of God abiding in His bosom, adopted in Christ, subsisting in His person, redeemed by His blood, living in His spirit, acting through His grace, and awaiting the grace of the future life?
1424 74. The Church or the whole Christ has the Incarnate Word as head, but all the saints as members.
1425 75. The Church is one single man composed of many members, of which Christ is the head, the life, the subsistence and the person; it is one single Christ composed of many saints, of whom He is the sanctifier
1426 76. There is nothing more spacious than the Church of God; because all the elect and the just of all ages comprise it.
1427 77. He who does not lead a life worthy of a son of God and a member of Christ, ceases interiorly to have God as a Father and Christ as a head.
1428 78. One is separated from the chosen people, whose figure was the Jewish people, and whose head is Jesus Christ, both by not living according to the Gospel and by not believing in the Gospel.
1429 79. It is useful and necessary at all times, in all places, and for every kind of person, to study and to know the spirit, the piety, and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture.
1430 80. The reading of Sacred Scripture is for all.
1431 81. The sacred obscurity of the Word of God is no reason for the laity to dispense themselves from reading it.
1432 82. The Lord’s Day ought to be sanctified by Christians with readings of pious works and above all of the Holy Scriptures. It is harmful for a Christian to wish to withdraw from this reading.
1433 83. It is an illusion to persuade oneself that knowledge of the mysteries of religion should not be communicated to women by the reading of Sacred Scriptures. Not from the simplicity of women, but from the proud knowledge of men has arisen the abuse of the Scriptures, and have heresies been born.
1434 84. To snatch away from the hands of Christians the New Testament, or to hold it closed against them by taking away from them the means of understanding it, is to close for them the mouth of Christ.
1435 85. To forbid Christians to read Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is to forbid the use of light to the sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a kind of excommunication.
1436 86. To snatch from the simple people this consolation of joining their voice to the voice of the whole Church is a custom contrary to the apostolic practice and to the intention of God.
1437 87. A method full of wisdom, light, and charity is to give souls time for bearing with humility, and for experiencing their state of sin, for seeking the spirit of penance and contrition, and for beginning at least to satisfy the justice of God, before they are reconciled.
1438 88. We are ignorant of what sin is and of what true penance is, when we wish to be restored at once to the possession of the goods of which sin has despoiled us, and when we refuse to endure the confusion of that separation.
1439 89. The fourteenth step in the conversion of a sinner is that, after he has already been reconciled, he has the right of assisting at the Sacrifice of the Church.
1440 90. The Church has the authority to excommunicate, so that it may exercise it through the first pastors with the consent, at least presumed, of the whole body.
1441 91. The fear of an unjust excommunication should never hinder us from fulfilling our duty; never are we separated from the Church, even when by the wickedness of men we seem to be expelled from it, aslong as we are attached to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the Church herself by charity.
1442 92. To suffer in peace an excommunication and an unjust anathema rather than betray truth, is to imitate St. Paul; far be it from rebelling against authority or of destroying unity.
1443 93. Jesus sometimes heals the wounds which the precipitous haste of the first pastors inflicted without His command. Jesus restored what they, with inconsidered zeal, cut off.
1444 94. Nothing engenders a worse opinion of the Church among her enemies than to see exercised there an absolute rule over the faith of the faithful, and to see divisions fostered because of matters which do not violate faith or morals.
1445 95. Truths have descended to this, that they are, as it were, a foreign tongue to most Christians, and the manner of preaching them is, as it were, an unknown idiom, so remote is the manner of preaching from the simplicity of the apostles, and so much above the common grasp of the faithful; nor is there sufficient advertence to the fact that this defect is one of the greatest visible signs of the weakening of the Church and of the wrath of God on His sons.
1446 96. God permits that all powers be opposed to the preachers of truth, so that its victory cannot be attributed to anyone except to divine grace.
1447 97. Too often it happens that those members, who are united to the Church more holily and more strictly, are looked down upon, and treated as if they were unworthy of being in the Church, or as if they were separated from Her; but, “the just man liveth by faith” [Rom. 1:17], and not by the opinion of men.
1448 98. The state of persecution and of punishment which anyone endures as a disgraceful and impious heretic, is generally the final trial and is especially meritorious, inasmuch as it makes a man more conformable to Jesus Christ.
1449 99. Stubbornness, investigation, and obstinacy in being unwilling either to examine something or to acknowledge that one has been deceived, daily changes into an odor, as it were, of death, for many people, that which God has placed in His Church to be an odor of life within it, for instance, good books, instructions, holy examples, etc.
1450 100 Deplorable is the time in which God is believed to be honored by persecution of the truth and its disciples! This time has come. . . . To be considered and treated by the ministers of religion as impious and unworthy of all commerce with God, as a putrid member capable of corrupting everything in the society of saints, is to pious men a more terrible death than the death of the body. In vain does anyone flatter himself on the purity of his intentions and on a certain zeal for religion, when he persecutes honest men with fire and sword, if he is blinded by his own passion or carried away by that of another on account of which he does not want to examine anything. We frequently believe that we are sacrificing an impious man to God, when we are sacrificing a servant of God to the devil.
1451 101. Nothing is more opposed to the spirit of God and to the doctrine of Jesus Christ than to swear common oaths in Church, because this is to multiply occasions of perjury, to lay snares for the weak and inexperienced, and to cause the name and truth of God to serve sometimes the plan of the wicked.
Declared and condemned as false, captious, evil-sounding, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, pernicious, rash, injurious to the Church and her practice, insulting not only to the Church but also the secular powers, seditious, impious, blasphemous, suspected of heresy, and smacking of heresy itself, and, besides, favoring heretics and heresies, and also schisms, erroneous, close to heresy, many times condemned, and finally heretical, clearly renewing many heresies respectively and most especially those which are contained in the infamous propositions of Jansen, and indeed accepted in that sense in which these have been condemned.