122. That the Lord has delivered the spiritual world, and through it will deliver the church from universal damnation, may be illustrated by comparison with a king who by victories over his enemy liberates his sons the princes, whom the enemy had captured and imprisoned and bound in fetters, and restores them to his court; also by comparison with a shepherd, who like Samson and David rescues his sheep from the jaws of a lion or bear; or who drives back those beasts when they break forth from the woods into the fields, hunts them back to the farthest boundaries, and at last drives them into swamps or into deserts; and then returns to his sheep, pastures them in safety, and waters them at limpid fountains. It may also be illustrated by comparison with one who sees a serpent coiled up lying in the road and ready to strike the heel of a traveller, and who seizes it by the head, and although it twists about his hand, carries it home, cuts off its head, and throws the body into the fire; also by a bridegroom or husband, who seeing an adulterer attempting violence to his bride or wife, attacks him, and either wounds him in the hand with a sword, or belabors him with blows on legs and loins, or has his servants throw him into the street and pursue him with cudgels to his home; while the rescued one he carries into his own chamber. In the Word, "bride" and "wife" mean the Lord's church, and "adulterers" those who violate the church, who are such as adulterate His Word. This the Jews did; and this is why the Lord called them "an adulterous generation."