(55) What is the meaning of the expression, “Sowing-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and spring, shall not cease day nor night?” (#Ge 8:22). If taken literally this expression signifies the continuation of the duration of the annual seasons, and that the earthly temperature adapted to animals and plants is not again to be destroyed; since indeed, if the weather is corrupted it would corrupt them likewise, and if it is preserved in its existing state it would preserve them also safe and sound; for it is according to the weather and temperature that all animals and plants are preserved safe and sound, without any infirmity, being accustomed, in some measure, to be produced separately, in an admirable way, and to grow up together. But nature is like a harmony, composed of opposite sounds, both flat and sharp; for thus, also, the world is compounded of opposite qualities, for when, in the first place, the mortal commixtures of cold and heat, of moisture and dryness, preserve their natural order, without any confusion, they are themselves a cause which prevents destruction from overwhelming everything upon the earth. But if we regard the inward sense of the passage, the seed time is the beginning and the harvest time is the end, and both the beginning and the end are concurrent causes of safety, for either thing alone is by itself imperfect, because the beginning requires an end, and the end has a natural inclination for the beginning; but cold and heat bring round winter and autumn; for the autumn is fiery, but only in such a degree as succeeding in its annual revolution to cool the fiery summer. And, symbolically, with reference to the mind, cold indicates fear, since it causes terror and trepidation; but heat indicates anger, because an angry disposition bears in itself a resemblance to flame and fire; for it is necessary that those things should always exist and always remain among created and corruptible beings; since summer and spring have been instituted for the production of fruits; spring for the perfection of the seeds, and summer for the perfecting of fruits and the buds of trees. These things indeed are discerned symbolically in addition to the inward sense of the words, producing a double fruit; what is necessary being computed in the season of spring, and what is superfluous in the summer. Therefore necessary food is for the most part for the body, being whatever is produced freely from seeds; as virtues are necessary for the soul. But as many fruits as come by way of excess from trees in summer, besides the advantage which they are to the body, do also bring corporeal goods to the mind, as external advantages: for these external advantages are subservient to the body, and the body is subservient to the mind, and the mind to God. But day and night are the measures of times and numbers; and time and number exist without interruption. Day indicates lucid wisdom, and night betokens obscure folly.