Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/425

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also they had fellowship. They thus had the Word inscribed on their hearts, (ih, n. 2896.)


The Worship of the Most Ancient Church.

The man of the Most Ancient church had no other than internal worship, such as there is in heaven; for with them heaven so communicated with man that they made one. This communication was the perception of which so much has been said above. And being thus angelic they were internal men; sensible indeed of the external things relating to their bodies and the world, but not caring for them; perceiving in all objects of sense something Divine and heavenly. Thus, for example, when they saw any high mountain, they did not receive the idea of a mountain, but of height, and from height they had a perception of heaven and of the Lord. Hence it came to pass that the Lord was said to dwell on high; and that He Himself was called the Highest, and the Most Exalted; and that the worship of the Lord was afterwards offered up on mountains. And so in other things. Thus, when they perceived the morning, they did not perceive the morning itself of the day, but the heavenly state which was like the morning and day-dawn in their minds. Hence the Lord was called the Morning, the East (Oriens), and the Day-Spring. So when they beheld a tree, and its fruit and leaves, their attention was not occupied with these, but they saw in them as it were man represented,—in the fruit, love and charity; in the leaves, faith. Hence too the man of the church was not only compared to a tree and so to a paradise, and what was in him to fruit and leaves, but they were even so called. Such are they who are in heavenly and angelic ideas. Every one can recognise the fact that the general idea governs all particulars,—thus, all the objects of sense, both those that they see and those that they hear; and even so that they pay no attention to the objects, except in so far as they flow in with one's general idea. Thus, to him who is of joyful mind all things that he sees and hears appear as it were smiling and joyful; and to him who is of sorrowful mind, all things that he sees and hears appear as if sad and sorrowful. So with all other things. For the general affection is in the particular things, and makes one see and hear particular things in the general affection. Otherwise they do not even appear, but are as if they were absent, or as nothing. Thus it was with the man of the Most Ancient church; whatever he saw with his eyes was to him heavenly; and thus with him each and all things were as if alive. From this it is evident what the nature of his Divine worship was; that it was internal, and in no respect external. (A. C. n. 920.)