20. I was once asked how from a philosopher I became a theologian; and I answered, In the same manner that fishermen were made disciples and apostles by the Lord; and that I also from early youth had been a spiritual fisherman. On hearing this the inquirer asked, What is a spiritual fisherman? I replied that a fisherman in the spiritual sense of the Word, signifies a man who investigates and teaches natural truths, and afterwards spiritual truths rationally.  To the question, How is this demonstrated? I said, From these passages in the Word:
Then the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be dried up and become dry, therefore the fishers shall mourn, and all that cast a hook into the sea shall be sad (Isa. 19:5, 8).
In another place:
Upon the river whose waters were healed, the fishers stood from Engedi; they were there in the spreading forth of nets; according, to its kind was their fish, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many (Ezek. 47:9-10).
And in another place:
The saying of Jehovah, Behold, I will send to many fishers, who shall fish the sons of Israel (Jer. 16:16).
Thence it is evident, why the Lord chose fishermen for disciples, and said:
Come ye after Me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matt. 4:18-19; Mark 1:16-17).
And to Peter after he had caught a multitude of fishes: From henceforth thou shalt catch men (Luke 5:9-10).
 Afterwards I demonstrated the origin of this signification of fishermen from The Apocalypse Revealed; namely, because "water" signifies natural truths (n. 50, 932); likewise "a river" (n. 409, 932); "fish," those who are in natural truths (n. 405); and thence "fishermen" signify those who investigate and teach truths.  On hearing this my interrogator raised his voice and said, Now I can understand why the Lord called and chose fishermen to be His disciples, and therefore I do not wonder that He has also called and chosen you, since, as you have said, you were from early youth a fisherman in a spiritual sense, that is, an investigator of natural truths; that you are now an investigator of spiritual truths, is because these are founded on the former. To this he added, because he was a man of reason, that the Lord alone knows who is adapted to receive and to teach those things which are of His New Church, whether someone among the primates, or someone among their servants. Moreover, what theologian among Christians does not first study philosophy at college, before he is inaugurated as a theologian; and from what other source has he intelligence?  At last he said, Since you are become a theologian, explain what is your theology. I replied, These are the two principles of it, That God is one, and that there is a conjunction of charity and faith. To which he replied, Who denies these? I answered, The theology of the present day, when interiorly examined.