904. And God spake unto Noah. That this signifies the presence of the Lord with the man of this church, is evident from the internal sense of the Word. The Lord speaks with every man, for whatever a man wills and thinks that is good and true, is from the Lord. There are with every man at least two evil spirits and two angels. The evil spirits excite his evils, and the angels inspire things that are good and true. Every good and true thing inspired by the angels is of the Lord; thus the Lord is continually speaking with man, but quite differently with one man than with another. With those who suffer themselves to be led away by evil spirits, the Lord speaks as if absent, or from afar, so that it can scarcely be said that He is speaking; but with those who are being led by the Lord, He speaks as more nearly present; which may be sufficiently evident from the fact that no one can ever think anything good and true except from the Lord.
 The presence of the Lord is predicated according to the state of love toward the neighbor and of faith in which the man is. In love toward the neighbor the Lord is present, because He is in all good; but not so much in faith, so called, without love. Faith without love and charity is a separated or disjoined thing. Wherever there is conjunction there must be a conjoining medium, which is nothing else than love and charity, as must be evident to all from the fact that the Lord is merciful to everyone, and loves everyone, and wills to make everyone happy to eternity. He therefore who is not in such love that he is merciful to others, loves them, and wills to make them happy, cannot be conjoined with the Lord, because he is unlike Him and not at all in His image. To look to the Lord by faith, as they say, and at the same time to hate the neighbor, is not only to stand afar off, but is also to have the abyss of hell between themselves and the Lord, into which they would fall if they should approach nearer, for hatred to the neighbor is that infernal abyss which is between.
 The presence of the Lord is first possible with a man when he loves the neighbor. The Lord is in love; and so far as a man is in love, so far the Lord is present; and so far as the Lord is present, so far He speaks with the man. Man knows no otherwise than that he thinks from himself, whereas he has not a single idea, nor even the least bit of an idea, from himself; but he has what is evil and false through evil spirits from hell, and what is good and true through angels from the Lord. Such is the influx with man, from which is his life and the interaction of his soul with the body. From these things it is evident what is meant by the words "God spake unto Noah." His "saying" to anyone means one thing (as Gen. 1:29; 3:13-14, 17; 4:6, 9, 15; 6:13; 7:1), and His "speaking" means another. Here, His speaking to Noah denotes being present, because the subject is now the regenerated man, who is gifted with charity.