199. That the Lord when in the world spoke by correspondences, that is, when He spoke naturally He also spoke spiritually, can be seen from His parables, in each word of which there is a spiritual meaning. Take for example the parable of the ten virgins. He said:
The kingdom of heaven is like ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were wise, but five were foolish. They that were foolish taking their lamps took no oil; but the wise took oil in their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil for our lamps are going out. But the wise answered saying Peradventure, there will not be enough for us and you; go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. But while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with Him to the wedding, and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Matt. 25:1-12).
That in all these particulars there is a spiritual sense and therefore a Divine holiness, no one sees except he who knows that the Word has a spiritual sense and who knows what that sense is. In the spiritual sense "the kingdom of the heavens" means heaven and the church; "the bridegroom" means the Lord; "the wedding" means the marriage of the Lord with heaven and the church, through good of love and truth of faith; "the virgins" mean those who constitute the church; "ten" means all; "five" some portion; "lamps" things pertaining to faith; "oil" things pertaining to good of love; "to sleep" and "to arise" means man's life in the world which is natural, and his life after death which is spiritual; "to buy" means to procure for oneself; "going to those who sell and buying oil" means to procure for oneself good of love from others after death; and because good of love is then no longer to be procured, although they came to the door where the wedding feast was with their lamps and the oil they had bought, still the bridegroom said to them, "I know you not;" this is because man, after his life in the world, remains such as he had lived in the world. From all this it is clear that the Lord spoke solely by correspondences, and this because He spoke from the Divine that was in Him and was His. As "virgins" signify those who constitute the church, so the terms virgin and daughter of Zion, of Jerusalem, of Judah, and of Israel, are frequently used in the prophetic Word. And because "oil" signifies good of love, all the sacred things of the church were anointed with oil. It is the same with the other parables, and with all the words spoken by the Lord. This is why the Lord says that His words are spirit and are life (John 6:63).