236. Some of the things will now be enumerated which belong to permission and yet are in accordance with the laws of the Divine Providence, by which the merely natural man confirms himself in favour of nature against God, and in favour of human prudence against the Divine Providence. For example, he reads in the Word that:
1. The wisest of men, Adam, and his wife suffered themselves to be led astray by a serpent, and God did not avert this by His Divine Providence.
2. Their first son Cain killed his brother Abel, and God did not withhold him at the time by speaking to him, but only after the deed cursed him.
3. The Israelitish nation worshipped a golden calf in the desert, and acknowledged it as the god which led them out of the land of Egypt. Yet Jehovah saw this from Mount Sinai nearby and did not seek to prevent it.
4. David numbered the people, and in consequence a pestilence was sent upon them, by which so many thousands of men perished; and God, not before but after the deed, sent the prophet Gad to him and announced punishment.
5. Solomon was permitted to establish idolatrous worship.
6. Many kings after him were permitted to profane the temple and the holy things of the Church.
7. And lastly, that nation was permitted to crucify the Lord.
In these and many other passages in the Word he who acknowledges nature and human prudence sees nothing but what is contrary to the Divine Providence. Therefore, he can use these as arguments to deny it, if not in his exterior thought which is nearest to speech, still in his interior thought which is remote from it.