Ancient Churches Lexicon Entry:


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In the Most Ancient Church, people perceived matters of faith only by means of love (AC 393). However, perception lasted with them only as long as love remained the chief thing; when love to the Lord and love to the neighbor died out, perception came to an end. An inner dictate called conscience then took the place of perception (AC 371).

Because they did not have perception, the people of the Ancient Church were regenerated by learning doctrinal matters of faith. After learning these doctrines, a conscience was instilled into them to prevent them from doing things contrary to the truths of faith they had learned (AC 765, AC 573). With conscience, charity was conferred through faith (AC 371). Once conscience had been acquired, it then dictated, not what was true, as perception had, but the fact that something was true because the Lord in His Word had said that it was true (AC 393). This dictate of the Ancient Church, though called conscience, was in fact halfway between perception and what is known as conscience today (AC 608).

See also:

Antediluvians, Charity, Disposition, Doctrine, Evil Desires, Faith, The Fall, Flood, Love, Noah, Perception, Regeneration, Will and Understanding

Passages relating to Conscience and the Ancient Churches:

AC 104; AC 310; AC 371; AC 393; AC 573; AC 597; AC 607; AC 608; AC 640; AC 765; AC 859; AC 863; AC 875; AC 918; AC 927; AC 986; AC 1023; AC 1043; AC 1076; AC 1083; AC 1410; AC 1442; AC 1914; AC 2831; AE 376
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