(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 597

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597. By "Noah" is signified a new church, which is to be called the Ancient Church, for the sake of distinction between the Most Ancient Church, which was before the flood, and that which was after the flood. The states of these two churches were entirely different. The state of the Most Ancient Church was such that they had from the Lord a perception of good and the derivative truth. The state of the Ancient Church, or "Noah" became such that they had a conscience of good and truth. Such as is the difference between having perception and having conscience, such was the difference of state of the Most Ancient and the Ancient Churches. Perception is not conscience: the celestial have perception; the spiritual have conscience. The Most Ancient Church was celestial, the Ancient was spiritual.
[2] The Most Ancient Church had immediate revelation from the Lord by consort with spirits and angels, as also by visions and dreams; whereby it was given them to have a general knowledge of what was good and true; and after they had acquired a general knowledge, these general leading principles, as we may call them, were confirmed by things innumerable, by means of perceptions; and these innumerable things were the particulars or individual things of the general principles to which they related. Thus were the general leading principles corroborated day by day; whatever was not in agreement with the general principles they perceived not to be so; and whatever was in agreement with them they perceived to be so. Such also is the state of the celestial angels. [3] The general principles of the Most Ancient Church were heavenly and eternal truths-as that the Lord governs the universe, that all good and truth is from the Lord, that all life is from the Lord, that man's Own is nothing but evil, and in itself is dead; with many others of similar character. And they received from the Lord a perception of countless things that confirmed and supported these truths. With them love was the principal of faith. By love it was given them of the Lord to perceive whatever was of faith, and hence with them faith was love, as was said before. But the Ancient Church became entirely different, concerning which of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.


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