605. THE INTERNAL SENSE
The subject now treated of is the formation of a new church, which is called "Noah;" and its formation is described by the ark into which living things of every kind were received. But as is wont to be the case, before that new church could arise it was necessary that the man of the church should suffer many temptations, which are described by the lifting up of the ark, its fluctuation, and its delay upon the waters of the flood. And finally, that he became a true spiritual man and was set free, is described by the cessation of the waters, and the many things that follow. No one can see this who adheres to the sense of the letter only, in consequence (and especially is this the case here) of all things being historically connected, and presenting the idea of a history of events. But such was the style of the men of that time, and most pleasing to them it was that all things should be wrapped up in representative figures, and that these should be arranged in the form of history; and the more coherent the historical series, the better suited it was to their genius. For in those ancient times men were not so much inclined to memory-knowledges [scientiis] as at this day, but to profound thoughts, of which the offspring was such as has been described. This was the wisdom of the ancients.