To speak of miracles in post-Reformation England may seem like something of an oxymoron. The sense of internal contradiction in my title springs from the fact that sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Protestant ministers consistently maintained that this category of extraordinary events had long since ceased. They did not deny that supernatural acts of this kind had taken place in biblical times. As set down in the books of the Old Testament, God had vouchsafed many wonders to His chosen people, the Hebrews, including the parting of the Red Sea, the raining of manna from heaven, and the metamorphosis of Aaron’s rod into a serpent. Equally, the New Testament recorded the prodigious feats performed by Christ and his apostles to convince the disbelieving Gentiles and Jews: from the raising of Lazarus and the transformation of water into wine at the marriage at Cana to curing lepers of their sores and restoring sight to the blind, not to mention the great mysteries of the Incarnation and Resurrection. But dozens of sermons and tracts reiterated the precept that God no longer worked wonders above, beyond, or against the settled order and instinct of nature – the standard definition of miracle inherited from the scholastic writings of St Thomas Aquinas. Such special dispensations were the ‘seales and testimonials’ of the Gospel. They had been necessary to sow the first seeds of the faith, to plant the new religion centring on the redemption of mankind by Jesus of Nazareth. But this gift, stressed John Calvin and his disciples, was only of ‘temporary duration’. Miracles were the swaddling bands of the primitive Church, the mother’s milk on which it had been initially weaned. Once the Lord had begun to feed His people on the meat of the Word, he expected them to believe the truth as preached and revealed in Scripture rather than wait for astonishing visible spectacles to be sent down from heaven. Although there was some uncertainty about exactly when such wonders had come to an end, Protestant divines were in general agreement that, as a species, miracles were now extinct. Christians could and should not expect to see such occurrences in the course of their lifetimes.