Ancient Churches Lexicon Entry:


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The character of the people who lived in most ancient times is difficult to describe because their disposition (or genius or mental constitution) was altogether different from what is found with anyone today. However, some idea of their genius may be gathered from the fact that they came to know truth by means of good, that is, they came to know the things of faith by means of love (AC 200).

But after the Most Ancient Church declined, the Lord raised up a new church (the Ancient Church) that was of an entirely different disposition from the previous church (AC 200, AC 530). If the Lord had not brought the human race into this new disposition, no one could have been saved (AC 608). The people of this new disposition did not discern what is true by means of good, or what is of faith by means of love. Rather, they acquired the knowledge of what is good by means of truth, or what is of love from the knowledge of faith (AC 200). This is because the people after the Flood, who were of this new disposition, had no will for good within them. However, they were given faith, or an understanding of truth. And from this faith they were guided into some form of charity by means of a conscience implanted in them by the Lord (AC 310).

See also:

Charity, Conscience, Faith, Flood, Last Judgments, Love, Will and Understanding

Passages relating to Disposition and the Ancient Churches:

AC 200; AC 201; AC 209; AC 310; AC 442; AC 483; AC 530; AC 605; AC 608; AC 617; AC 640; AC 661; AC 736; AC 765; AC 788; AC 1138; AC 1255; AC 4493; AC 7362; SS 21; TCR 202
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