(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 7290

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7290. Saying, Give you a wonder. That this signifies, and they therefore desire to be confirmed, is evident from the signification of "wonders and signs," as being confirmations of truths (see n. 3900, 6870). As regards the wonders and signs treated of in what follows, be it known that they were done among such as were in external worship, and did not desire to know anything about internal worship, for they who were in such worship had to be driven by external means. This is the reason why miracles were done among the Israelitish and Jewish people, for they were in external worship only. In the absence of their desire for internal worship they had to be in external, in order that they might represent holy things in outward ones, and that in this way there might be communication with heaven as by something of a church, for correspondences, representatives, and significatives conjoin the natural world with the spiritual. This is the reason why so many miracles were done in that nation.
[2] But miracles are not done among those who are in internal worship, that is, in charity and faith, because to these they are hurtful, for miracles compel belief, and what is compelled does not remain, but is dissipated. The inward things of worship, which are faith and charity, must be implanted in freedom, for then they are appropriated, and what is so appropriated remains; whereas that which is implanted in compulsion, remains outside the internal man in the external, because nothing enters into the internal man except by means of intellectual ideas, which are reasons; for the ground which there receives is an enlightened rational. Hence it is that no miracles are wrought at this day. That they would be hurtful, can be seen from what has been said; for they drive men to believe, and fix their ideas in the external man that the case is so; and if the internal man afterward denies that which the miracles have confirmed, there results an opposition and collision of the internal and external man; and finally when the ideas derived from miracles are dissipated, there is effected a conjunction of falsity and truth, and thus a profanation. From this it is evident how injurious at the present day are miracles in a church in which the inward things of worship have been disclosed. These moreover are the things signified by the Lord's words to Thomas:
Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed; blessed are they who see not, and believe (John 20:29);
thus they are blessed who do not believe through miracles.
[3] But miracles are not injurious to those who are in external worship without internal, for with such there can be no opposition of the internal and external man, thus no collision, consequently no profanation. That miracles do not contribute anything to faith, may be sufficiently evident 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. Although that people had recently seen so many miracles in Egypt, and afterward the sea Suph divided, and the Egyptians sunk therein; the pillar of a cloud going before them by day, and the pillar of fire by night; the manna daily raining down from heaven and although they saw Mount Sinai smoking, and heard Jehovah speaking thence, besides other miracles, nevertheless in the midst of such things they fell away from all faith, and from the worship of Jehovah to the worship of a calf (Exod. 32); from which it is plain what is the effect of miracles.
[4] Still less would be their effect at this day, when it is not acknowledged that there is anything from the spiritual world, and when everything of the kind which takes place, and which is not attributed to nature, is denied; for denial universally reigns against the Divine influx and government in the earth. And therefore if the man of the church were at this day to see the veriest Divine miracles, he would first bring them down into nature, and there defile them, and afterward would 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 (Luke 16:31).


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