177. It is the continual operation of the Divine Providence of the Lord to withdraw man from evils. If anyone were to perceive and feel this continual operation, and yet were not led as one bound, would he not continually struggle against it, and thus either dispute with God or mingle self with the Divine Providence? If he did the latter he would make himself also God; if the former he would release himself from restraint and deny God. It is very evident that there would then be two powers continually acting against each other, the power of evil from man and the power of good from the Lord; and when two opposites act against each other then either one conquers or both perish. In this case if one conquers they both perish; for the evil that belongs to man does not receive good from the Lord in a moment, nor does good from the Lord cast out the evil from man in a moment; for if either were done in a moment no life would be left to man. These and many other harmful results would follow if man were manifestly to perceive or feel the operation of the Divine Providence. But this will be clearly demonstrated by examples in what follows.