Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/284

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delivered to his servants his goods, to one five talents, to another two, and to another one; . . . and he that received five talents, traded with the same and gained other five talents; and likewise he that had received two, gained other two; but he that received one, hid his Lord's silver in the earth" (Matt. xxv. 14, and following verses). One who does not think beyond the literal sense cannot know but that these numbers, five, two, and one, were assumed merely for composing the story of the parable, and involve nothing further; and yet even in these numbers themselves there is an arcanum. For by the servant who received five talents, they are signified who have admitted goods and truths from the Lord, that is who have received remains; by him who received two, they are signified who in advanced age have adjoined charity to faith; and by him who received one they who have received faith only, without charity, are signified. Of this one it is said that he hid his Lord's silver in the earth; for the silver, which is mentioned in connection with him in the internal sense signifies truth which is of faith; and faith without charity cannot make gain, or bear fruit. Such things are contained in these numbers. So in the other parables. . . . Likewise in these words of the Lord, "Think ye that I am come to give peace on the earth? I tell you nay, but rather division. For from henceforth there shall he five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three" (Luke xii. 51, 52). And also in these actual historical incidents, that the Lord fed five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes; and that at that time He commanded them to sit down by hundreds and by fifties; and that after they had eaten, they gathered of the fragments twelve baskets (Matt. xiv. 15-21; Mark vi. 38, and following verses; Luke ix. 12-17; John vi. 5-13). Because these incidents are historical it can scarcely be believed that the numbers in them are significative; as the number five thousand, which was that of the men; the number five, which was that of the loaves; and two, which was that of the fishes; and also the number a hundred, and the number fifty, which were those of the companies that sat down; and lastly twelve, which was that of the baskets containing the fragments. And yet in each number there is an arcanum; for each particular circumstance took place of Providence, to the end that Divine things might be represented. That the number five contains within it a heavenly mystery, and similar to that in the number ten, is plain from the cherubim of which we read in the first book of the Kings; "Within the oracle Solomon made two cherubim of olive wood; the height of each was ten cubits; five cubits was the wing of one cherub, and five cubits was the wing of the other cherub: it was ten cubits from the extremities of its wings to the extremities of its wings; thus ten cubits was the cherub; both