584. From all this it is now clear that there is a correspondence between natural generations and spiritual generations; and because of this correspondence it follows that conception, gestation, birth, and education may not only be predicated of the new birth, but that they actually exist. In this chapter on Regeneration the nature of these are being presented to view in their proper order; here let it be said merely that man's semen is conceived interiorly in the understanding, and is given form in the will; is transferred therefrom to the testicle where it clothes itself with a natural covering, and is thus conducted into the womb and enters the world. Moreover, there is a correspondence of man's regeneration with all things in the vegetable kingdom; therefore in the Word man is also pictured by a tree, his truth by its seed and his good by its fruit. That an evil tree may be born anew, as it were, and afterward bear good fruit and good seed, is evident from grafting and budding, for although the same sap ascends from the root through the trunk to the graft or bud, it is then changed into good sap and makes the tree good. It is the same in the church with those who are engrafted into the Lord, as He teaches in these words:
I am the Vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and is cast into the fire (John 15:5-6).