Miracles and Signs (Johnson) n. 4

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4. The reason why plainly-apparent Divine miracles do not now take place has been revealed to me. It is because the inward things of faith, which we receive from the Lord, cannot be sown or implanted under compulsion, but only in freedom, thus not amid the terror and amazement induced by miracles. The things that inflow under compulsion, as when one is influenced by miracles, are of such a nature that they affect a man's interiors and there they excite persuasions not in accordance with his own state as to time or order. Consequently, in the case of those who have no faith from any other source, the goods and truths of faith which flow in at the same time are adjoined to falsities and are defiled by evils. Because they have no other root, in a short time they are either perverted or denied, whence arises a danger of profanation of that which is holy, a danger from which man is withheld by the Lord as far as possible; this must also be obvious to any one. And even if such miracles as were wrought in Egypt, and by Elijah and Elisha in Canaan, were to take place in these days, while at first regarded as something holy and demanding recognition, yet very soon, when men began to reason about them, would they not be disproved in various ways, and at length be ascribed to nature? This would be the case, more especially with the so-called erudite and intellectual than with the simple minded, but in time these also would be persuaded by the former, and their latter state would thereby become far worse than that in which they had formerly been. For first to acknowledge, but subsequently to pervert and deny, is profanation. (See AC nos. 573, 1008, 1010, 1059, 2081 and 2426.)

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