1795. And the steward of my house. That this signifies an external church, is evident from the signification of the "steward of a house," in the internal sense, that is, in respect to the church. The external church is called "the steward of a house," when the internal church itself is the house, and the father of the family is the Lord. The external church is circumstanced no otherwise, for all stewardship belongs to the external of the church; as the administration of rituals, and of many things that pertain to the place of worship and to the church itself, that is, to the House of Jehovah or of the Lord.
 The externals of the church without the internals are things of naught; they have their being from the internals, and are such as the internals are. The case herein is the same as it is with man: his external or corporeal is in itself a thing of no account unless there is an internal which gives it soul and life. Such therefore as is the internal, such is the external; or such as is the mind [animus et mens], such is the worth of all things which come forth by means of the external or corporeal. The things which are of the heart make the man; not those which are of the mouth and the gestures; and such is the case with the internals of the church. But still the externals of the church are like the externals of a man, in that they take charge of and administer; or what is the same, the external or corporeal man may in like manner be called the steward or administrator of the house, when the house means the interiors. From this it is evident what "childless" means, namely, the state in which there is no internal of the church, but only an external; as was the case at the time of which the Lord complained.