586. That man can only be regenerated gradually, may be illustrated by each and all things that come into existence in the natural world. A tree cannot reach its full growth in a day, but there is first growth from the seed, then from the root, and then from the shoot, which becomes the trunk, and from this go forth branches and leaves, and finally blossoms and fruit. Wheat or barley does not ripen for the harvest in a day; a house is not built in a day, nor does a man acquire his full stature in a day, still less wisdom; a church is not established and perfected in a day, nor is there any progression to an end except from a beginning. Those who have a different conception of regeneration know nothing of charity and faith, nor of the growth of either according to man's cooperation with the Lord. From all this it is clear that regeneration is effected in a manner analogous to that in which man is conceived, carried in the womb, born and educated.