Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/424

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THE FIRST OR MOST ANCIENT CHURCH.


This church above all the churches on the whole globe was from the Divine; for it was in the good of love to the Lord. Their voluntary and intellectual part made one, thus one mind. They therefore had a perception of truth from good; for the Lord flowed in through an internal way into the good of their will, and through this into the good of the understanding or truth. Hence it is that that church in preference to the others was called Man[1] (Adam), and also a likeness of God. (A. C. n. 4454.)

The Most Ancient church had immediate revelation from the Lord through their fellowship with spirits and angels; and also by means of visions and dreams,—from which it was given them, in a general way, to know what was good and true. And when they knew generally, then by means of perceptions they confirmed these general goods and truths as principles, by innumerable other things, which were the particulars or single things of the generals to which they related. General [perceptions] were thus daily confirmed as principles. Whatever was not in agreement with general principles they perceived was not true, and whatever was accordant with them they perceived to be true. Such also is the state of the celestial angels. In the Most Ancient church the generals which were as principles were celestial and eternal verities; as, that the Lord governs the universe; that all good and truth are from the Lord; that all life is from the Lord; that man's proprium is nothing but evil; and that in itself it is dead; with other like things. They received from the Lord a perception of innumerable things confirming, and harmonizing with them. Love, with them, was the principal of faith; and through love it was given them of the Lord to perceive whatever was of faith; and therefore faith with them was love, as was said before, (ib. n. 597.)

The Word in the Most Ancient church, which was before the flood, was not a written Word, but was revealed to every one who was of the church; for they were celestial men, and so were in the perception of good and truth, like the angels, with whom

  1. The word Adam אָדָם‬ is the Hebrew generic word for man; corresponding with the Latin homo, and with our word man in the sense of mankind.