Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/195

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THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

and in like manner each and all things in the human body. But hitherto it has been unknown what correspondence is. Yet it was very well known in the most ancient times; for to those who then lived the knowledge of correspondences was the knowledge of knowledges, and was so universal that all their books and manuscripts were written by correspondences. The Book of Job, which is a book of the Ancient church, is full of correspondences. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, and the fabulous stories of highest antiquity, were nothing else. All the ancient churches were churches representative of spiritual things; their ceremonies, and also their statutes, according to which their worship was instituted, consisted of pure correspondences. In like manner all things of the Church among the children of Israel,—their burnt-offerings, sacrifices, meat-offerings, and drink-offerings, with the particulars of them,—were correspondences. Also the tabernacle, with all things therein, as well as their feasts,—such as the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of tabernacles, the feast of first-fruits; and the priesthood of Aaron and the Levites, and their garments of holiness; and besides these all their statutes and judgments, which related to their worship and life, were correspondences. Now since Divine things present themselves in the world by correspondences, therefore the Word was written by pure correspondences; for the same reason the Lord, as He spake from the Divine, spake by correspondences; for whatever is from the Divine this descends into such things in nature as correspond to the Divine, and which then conceal things Divine, which are called celestial and spiritual, in their bosom.

I have been informed that the men of the Most Ancient church, which was before the flood, were of so heavenly a genius that they conversed with the angels of heaven, and that they were enabled to converse with them by means of correspondences; hence their state of wisdom became such, that whatever they saw on earth they not only thought of it naturally, but also at the same time spiritually, thus in conjunction with the angels of heaven. I have moreover been informed that Enoch,—who is mentioned in Genesis, v. 21-24,—with his associates, gathered correspondences from their lips, and transmitted the knowledge of them to their posterity; in consequence of which it came to pass that the knowledge of correspondences was not only known in many kingdoms of Asia, but was also cultivated, especially in the land of Canaan, Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, and Arabia, and in Tyre, Sidon, and Nineveh; and that from thence it was conveyed into Greece, where it was turned into fable, as may appear from the most ancient writers of that country. (T. C. R. n. 201, 202.)