16. The admission that God may be able, for reasons which we cannot appreciate, derogate the laws which he has established, would make these laws no more immutable; but at least it is rational to think that God alone possesses this power. One could not admit, without denying totally that he is omnipotent, that it is allowed to the spirit of evil to eclipse the work of God by performing mighty works which may deceive even the very elect. This would imply the possession of a power equal to his own. That is a doctrine, however, which is or has been taught. If Satan has the power to interrupt the course of natural laws, whose work is the divine one? If Satan does it without the divine permission, he is more powerful than God. Moreover, God is not omnipotent if he delegates to him this power, as they pretend he does, in order to induce men more easily to commit wrong; and this theory denies sovereign goodness. In both cases it is a denial of one of the attributes of the Creator, without which he could not be God.
As to the Church, how does it distinguish the good miracles which come from God from evil ones which emanate from Satan? How can one draw the line between them? Let a miracle be official or not, it is not at least a derogation of the laws which emanate from God alone. If an individual is cured, as is said, miraculously, let it be by God or Satan, he is no less cured. It is necessary to have a very poor idea of human intelligence in order to expect that such doctrines can be accepted in our day.
The possibility of certain reputed miraculous facts being recognized, it is just to conclude, that, notwithstanding they are from the source which is attributed to them, they are natural effects which spirits or incarnated beings can employ, like all things, as their own intelligence or scientific knowledge allows them, for good or evil, according to their goodness or perversity. A perverted being can then do things which pass for prodigies to the eyes of the ignorant, by putting to profit his knowledge; but, when effects are good, it would be illogical to attribute to them a diabolical origin.