876. And she returned unto him to the ark. That this signifies good and truth appearing as though they were of faith, is evident from what has been said, and also from what follows. In the internal sense, to "return to the ark" does not signify liberation, for this is signified by being sent forth from the ark and not returning, as is evident from what follows, in the twelfth verse, that he sent forth the dove and she returned not again to him anymore; and further from the fifteenth and sixteenth verses, that Noah was commanded to go forth from the ark; and from the eighteenth, that he went forth. The "ark" signifies the state of the man of this church before regeneration, in which he was in captivity, or in prison, beset on all sides by evils and falsities, or by the waters of the flood. And so the dove's returning unto Noah to the ark, signifies that the good and truth meant by the dove returned again to the man. For whatever good a man supposes that he does from himself, returns to him, since it regards himself; as he does it either that it may appear before the world, or before the angels, or that he may merit heaven, or that he may be greatest in heaven. Such things are in man's Own and in everyone of its ideas, though in outward form there is an appearance as of the good and truth of faith. The good and truth of faith is inwardly good and true from the very inmosts; that is, all the good and truth of faith flows in from the Lord through man's inmosts. But when what a man does is from his Own, or from merit, then the interiors are filthy and the exteriors appear clean; just as with a filthy harlot who appears fair in the face; or like an Ethiopian, or rather an Egyptian mummy, wrapped in a white garment.