The Christian in the World
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In other words, a ruler or man of politics could not adhere consistently to moral principles, at least as understood in a traditional Christian sense, and be successful, that is, maintain and increase the power of his state.
there is such a difference between how men live and how they ought to live that he who abandons what is done for what ought to be done learns his destruction rather than his preservation, because any man who under all conditions insists on making it his business to be good will surely be destroyed among so many who are not good. Hence a prince, in order to hold his position, must acquire the power to be not good, and understand when to use it and when not to use it, in accord with necessity.1
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- 2.Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, trans. and ed. John K. Ryan (New York: Doubleday Image Books, 1989), pp. 34, 41, 43–4, 193.Google Scholar
- 3.Blaise Pascal, The Provincial Letters, Pensées, Scientific Treatises (Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952), p. 29. Translator of the Provincial Letters is Thomas M’Crie.Google Scholar
- 4.Pensées, no. 253, ibid., p. 220. Translator is W. F. Trotter.Google Scholar
- 5.Ibid., no. 277, p. 222.Google Scholar
- 6.Cited in Jerome J. Langford, Galileo, Science, and the Church, 3rd edn (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1992), p. 89.Google Scholar