Ancient Churches Lexicon Entry:

The Fall

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The cause of the fall of the Most Ancient Church was the desire of people to probe the mysteries of faith by means of sensory evidence and factual knowledge. This desire leads not only to falsities but also to evils in life (AC 127). Because of these reasonings from their own self-intelligence, the people of the Most Ancient Church fell from good into truth, and consequently from love to the Lord and the neighbor into a faith without these loves (AC 8891). Those who constituted the Most Ancient Church were celestial people who had celestial seed implanted in them. That is, love ruled their whole mind and unified it. The descendants of such people are necessarily also implanted with celestial seed. It is perilous when celestial people begin to fall away from good and truth, because both parts of the mind (that is, the will and the understanding) become ruined. The mind becomes so perverted that restoration in the other life is scarcely possible (AC 310).

The people of the Most Ancient Church fell because they allowed their rational part to be deceived by their proprium, that is, by self-love, until they believed nothing unless they could see it or touch it (AC 229). They began to trust their sensory perception, which introduced states of doubting. The third generation of the Most Ancient Church began not to believe matters of revelation unless they could see the import of these with their eyes and apprehend them with their senses (AC 194). From being internal people, they became external (AC 9960).

When the Most Ancient Church started to fall, they foresaw that people would no longer be able to perceive the Infinite God as a Divine Human, and that therefore the human race would perish. For this reason, they received a revelation that One would be born who would make the Human in Himself Divine, in order that people might again see the Infinite God as a Divine Human (AC 4687). In fact, it would have been necessary for the Lord to come into the world immediately after the fall of the Most Ancient Church if His entire life on earth had not been manifested to the angels as present realities. This was accomplished by means of the internal sense of the Word and the religious observances of the Jewish Church (AC 2523).

See also:

Adam, Antediluvians, Enoch 'Who Walked with God', Faith, Flood, Four Ages, Perception, Posterities, Proprium, Rational, Revelations, Will and Understanding

Passages relating to The Fall and the Ancient Churches:

AC 125; AC 126; AC 127; AC 192; AC 194; AC 198; AC 202; AC 204; AC 221; AC 229; AC 298; AC 310; AC 2523; AC 4687; AC 8891; AC 9942; AC 9960; AE 581; Charity 204; CL 135; Coro 29; DP 313; DP 328; SE 560; SE 2950; SE 3353
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