468. THE INTERNAL SENSE.
From what has been said and shown in the foregoing chapter, it is evident that by names are signified heresies and doctrines. Hence it may be seen that by the names in this chapter are not meant persons, but things, and in the present instance doctrines, or churches, which were preserved, notwithstanding the changes they underwent, from the time of the Most Ancient Church even to "Noah." But the case with every church is that in course of time it decreases, and at last remains among a few; and the few with whom it remained at the time of the flood were called "Noah."
 That the true church decreases and remains with but few, is evident from other churches which have thus decreased. Those who are left are in the Word called "remains" and a "remnant" and are said to be "in the midst" or "middle" "of the land." And as this is the case in the universal, so also it is in the particular, or as it is with the church, so it is with every individual man; for unless remains were preserved by the Lord in everyone, he must needs perish eternally, since spiritual and celestial life are in the remains. So also in the general or universal-if there were not always some with whom the church, or true faith, remained, the human race would perish; for, as is generally known, a city, nay, sometimes a whole kingdom, is saved for the sake of a few. It is in this respect with the church as it is with the human body; so long as the heart is sound, life is possible for the neighboring viscera, but when the heart is enfeebled, the other parts of the body cease to be nourished, and the man dies. The last remains are those which are signified by "Noah;" for (as appears from Gen. 6:12, as well as from other places) the whole earth had become corrupt.
 Of remains as existing in each individual as well as in the church in general, much is said in the Prophets; as in Isaiah:
He that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy to Him, even everyone that is written unto lives in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have washed away the bloods of Jerusalem from the midst thereof (Isa. 4:3-4),
in which passage holiness is predicated of the remains, by which are signified the remains of the church, and also of a man of the church; for "those left" in Zion and Jerusalem could not be holy merely because they were "left." Again:
It shall come to pass in that day, that the remains of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them, but shall stay upon Jehovah the Holy One of Israel in truth. The remains shall return, the remains of Jacob, unto the mighty God (Isa. 10:20-21).
In those days, and in that time, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon him whom I shall make a remnant (Jer. 50:20).
The remains of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples, as the dew from Jehovah, as the showers upon the grass (Micah 5:7). The residue or remains of a man, or of the church, were also represented by the tenths, which were holy; hence also a number with ten in it was holy, and "ten" is therefore predicated of remains; as in Isaiah:
Jehovah shall remove man, and many things [shall be] left in the midst of the land; and yet in it [shall be] a tenth part, and it shall return, and shall be for exterminating; as an oak, and an ilex, when the stock is cast forth from them, the holy seed is the stock thereof (Isa. 6:12-13);
where the residue is called a "seed of holiness." And in Amos:
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, The city that goeth forth a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which goeth forth a hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel (Amos 5:3).
In these and many other passages, in the internal sense are signified the "remains" of which we have been speaking. That a city is preserved for the sake of the remains of the church, is evident from what was said to Abraham concerning Sodom:
Abraham said, Peradventure ten may be found there; and He said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake (Gen. 18:32).