471. The reason why they dwelt thus alone by themselves, distinguished only into houses, families, and nations, was that by this means the church might be preserved entire, that all the houses and families might be dependent on their parent, and thereby remain in love and in true worship. It is to be remarked also that each house was of a peculiar genius, distinct from every other; for it is well known that children, and even remote descendants, derive from their parents a particular genius, and such marked characteristics that they can be distinguished by the face, and by many other peculiarities. Therefore, in order that there might not be a confounding, but an exact distinction, it pleased the Lord that they should dwell in this manner. Thus the church was a living representative of the kingdom of the Lord; for in the Lord's kingdom there are innumerable societies, each one distinct from every other, according to the differences of love and faith. This, as observed above, is what is meant by "living alone" and by "dwelling in tents." For the same reason also it pleased the Lord that the Jewish Church should be distinguished into houses, families, and nations, and that everyone should contract marriage within his own family; but concerning this, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.