Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/272

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fix in the external man the idea that it is so; if afterwards the internal man denies what miracles have confirmed, there arises an opposition and collision between the internal and external of man; and at length, when the ideas derived from miracles are dissipated, a conjunction of the false and the true takes place, which is profanation. Hence it appears how hurtful are miracles at this day in the church, when the internals of worship are made known. These things are signified too by the Lord's words to Thomas, "Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that do not see, and yet believe" (John xx. 29). So also they are blessed who believe and not by miracles. But miracles are not hurtful to those who are in external worship without internal, for with such there is no opposition between the internal and external of man; therefore no collision, and so no profanation. That miracles do not contribute anything to faith is sufficiently manifest from the miracles wrought among the people of Israel in Egypt and in the wilderness; in that they had no effect at all upon them. For that people, although a little time before they had seen so many miracles in Egypt, and afterwards the Red Sea divided and the Egyptians overwhelmed, the pillar of cloud going before them by day and the pillar of fire by night, and the manna daily showering down from heaven; and although they had seen Mount Sinai in smoke, and heard Jehovah speaking thence, besides other miracles, yet even in the midst of such things that people declined from all faith, and from the worship of Jehovah to the worship of a calf (Exod. xxxii). It is evident from this what is the effect of miracles. They would be of still less effect at this day, when it is not acknowledged that anything exists from the spiritual world, and when everything of the kind that takes place, and is not attributed to nature, is denied. For there universally reigns a spirit of denial against the Divine influx and government in the earth. Therefore, if at this day the man of the church were to see the veriest Divine miracles, he would first drag them down into nature and defile them there, and then reject them as phantasms, and finally would laugh at all who attributed them to the Divine and not to nature. That miracles are of no effect is also evident from the Lord's words in Luke: "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead" (xvi. 31). (A. C. n. 7290.)

It should be known that all the miracles which were wrought by the Lord always involved, and therefore signified, such things as are meant by the blind, the lame, the leprous, the deaf, the dead, and the poor, in the internal sense. The miracles of the Lord were therefore Divine; as were also those wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, and others recorded in the Word. (A. C. n, 2383.)