139. In ancient times those were said to "dwell alone" who were under the Lord's guidance as celestial men, because such were no longer infested by evils, or evil spirits. This was represented in the Jewish Church also by their dwelling alone when they had driven out the nations. On this account it is sometimes said of the Lord's church, in the Word, that she is "alone" as in Jeremiah:
Arise, get you up to a quiet nation that dwelleth confidently, saith the Lord, which hath neither gates nor bar; they dwell alone (Jer. 49:31).
In the prophecy of Moses: Israel hath dwelt confidently alone (Deut. 33:28).
And still more clearly in the prophecy of Balaam:
Lo, the people dwelleth alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations (Num. 23:9),
where "nations" signify evils. This posterity of the Most Ancient Church was not disposed to dwell alone, that is, to be a celestial man, or to be led by the Lord as a celestial man, but, like the Jewish Church, desired to be among the nations. And because they desired this, it is said, "it is not good that the man should be alone" for he who desires is already in evil, and it is granted him.