Washington, 2003

February 12, 2004
Pascal! Would thou livest to override
The shame and vacuum of much modern thought:
Where our selfishness chokes the sense of ought
And men are blind to the peril of pride,
Christ's ways of charity and peace untried;
The world hath need of thee! Thy pensées taught:
Oh! Call us back to truths so dearly bought;
Lift us from vain and low aim; be our guide.
How rare the Maker's gifts of heart and mind
To thee, master in science, invention, math,
Faith, and pen. Thy words and deeds show the path
Which faithfully followed shall save our souls,
Make us servants of the good, true, and kind,
Bring to fruition noble and godly goals.

Langley, BA '49, is executive director emeritus of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention. The inspiration for this sonnet is William Wordsworth's appeal and paean to Milton titled "London, 1802." Langley first learned about Blaise Pascal, the 17th century French mathematician, scientist, satirist, inventor and Christian philosopher, from a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary.
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