For the Jansenists, the battle against the Society of Jesus was ultimately motivated by theological reasons. Since the days of Blaise Pascal’s Lettres provinciales, Jansenists denounced the Jesuits' lax morals. The Jansenists also differed from post-Tridentine Catholicism in their understanding of divine grace. The anonymous etching reflects the Jansenists' view as it refers to Jesuit theologians as the bitter fruits of the fig tree condemned by Jesus Christ. An avenging angel strikes the Jesuits with flashes of lightning while an assembly of clergymen on the right side is illuminated by divine light.
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La prière charitable, etching, Amsterdam (Paris?) ca. 1762, unknown artist; Bildquelle: Bibliothèque de Port-Royal, Paris, Est. 299.