3179. And they said, Let us call the damsel and inquire at her mouth. That this signifies the consent solely of the affection of truth, appears from the signification of a "damsel," as being an affection wherein is innocence (see n. 3067, 3110); here the affection of truth, because she is Rebekah, who, before she consents, is called "damsel," but when she consents, as presently follows, is called "Rebekah" (that "Rebekah" is the affection of truth, may be seen above, n. 3077); and from the signification of "inquiring at her mouth," as being to perceive whether this consents; thus it is the consent solely of the affection of truth that is here signified.
 The case is this: Truth itself, which is to be initiated into good, acknowledges its own good; because good acknowledges its own truth; hence comes consent, but that it is a consent inspired into truth from good may be seen above (n. 3161). With man it never appears that there is any consent on the part of truth when it is being initiated and conjoined with good (that is, when man is being regenerated), nor on the part of good as knowing its own truth, and initiating and conjoining such truth with itself; and yet these things are effected precisely in this way; for the things that take place during man's regeneration are altogether unknown to him; and if he were to know only one out of ten thousand of them he would be astounded. There are innumerable, nay, illimitable secret things by which man is at that time led of the Lord, some only of which shine forth from the internal sense of the Word.
 The Ancient Church formed for itself an idea of these things from marriages; namely, from the state of a virgin before betrothal, from her state after betrothal, from her state when she was to be wedded, afterwards when she was married, and lastly when she bore offspring to her husband; the fruits of truth from good, or of faith from charity, they called children, and so on. Such was the wisdom of the Ancient Church; their books were also written in this way; and this manner of writing was transmitted from them to the Gentiles; for it was their desire by things which are in the world to express those which are in heaven, and indeed from natural things to see spiritual ones; but at the present day this wisdom is altogether lost.