Ancient Churches Lexicon Entry:


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The people of the Most Ancient Church thought from correspondences (HH 115). They were able to do this because, being celestial, they had Divine truths inscribed on them that allowed them to know, from influx, the corresponding knowledge (AE 617). Because the people of the Most Ancient Church thought from correspondences, they were able to be with the angels in heaven and talk with them, and the Lord frequently appeared to people and taught them (AC 2995, HH 87). All of the rituals of the Most Ancient Church were based on correspondences, because in every object on earth they saw a corresponding celestial and spiritual thing (AC 4580, AC 3021, AC 4581).

As the Most Ancient Church declined, the Lord foresaw that their perception would perish along with their knowledge of correspondences. Therefore, the Lord provided that the people called “Enoch” should collect the correspondences and preserve them in a manuscript (AE 728). It was from here that the people of the Ancient Church learned about correspondences (AC 10355). However, instead of thinking from correspondences themselves, as the people of the Most Ancient Church had done, the people of the Ancient Church thought merely from the knowledge of correspondences (HH 115). This still allowed some conjunction with heaven, but a less intimate one (HH 115, AC 2763).

The people of the Ancient Church used their knowledge of correspondences to create rituals and statutes that corresponded to heavenly things (AC 4288, TCR 201). They also produced images that corresponded to heavenly ideas, and placed them in their temples and houses to remind them of the ideas they stood for (TCR 205). Correspondences were used in their writing as well. Those authors were held in the highest esteem who could write books teeming with meaningful correspondences (AE 543). The Egyptian hieroglyphics were nothing other than the correspondences of natural and spiritual things, for the Egyptians applied themselves to the knowledge of correspondences more than any other people (WHapp 1, AC 9391). The Ancient Word, which was written entirely by correspondences, is still used in heaven by the ancient people who had possessed it on earth (SS 102).

In the later times of the Ancient Church people still possessed the knowledge of correspondences, but they no longer thought from that knowledge. Eventually, at the end of the Ancient Church, they lost the knowledge of correspondences completely, along with the knowledge of heaven and many things pertaining to heaven (HH 115). Because the knowledge of correspondences allowed some communication with the spiritual world, magicians learned to pervert correspondences and use them to perform magical miracles (AC 5223). Also, as the knowledge of correspondences declined, people began to worship the images and statues that had been placed in or near the temples. In this way they became idolaters (TCR 205).

See also:

Ancient Word, Communication with the Spiritual World, Enoch ‘Who Walked with God’, Hieroglyphics, Idolatry, Magic, Perception, Representatives, Rituals

Passages relating to Correspondences and the Ancient Churches:

AC 1001; AC 1832; AC 2588; AC 2763; AC 2995; AC 3021; AC 4288; AC 4580; AC 4581; AC 4964; AC 4966; AC 5223; AC 5658; AC 6692; AC 7097; AC 9293; AC 9391; AC 10355; AC 10437; AE 358; AE 455; AE 514; AE 543; AE 590; AE 617; AE 633; AE 637; AE 654; AE 728; AE 735; AE 740; AE 827; AR 503; CL 78; CL 342; Coro 42; Coro 45; DLW 319; HH 87; HH 111; HH 115; HH 306; HD 247; HD 261; LJP 120; SE 185; SE 5187; SE 5999; SS 20; SS 21; SS 23; SS 102; TCR 201; TCR 202; TCR 205; TCR 279; Verbo 15; WH 4; WH 12; Whapp 1
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