Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 607

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607. The character of that Church is described later on, but in order that some notion of it may be gained at this point let a brief description be given here. The Most Ancient Church, as has been stated, was celestial whereas this Ancient Church became spiritual. Whereas the Most Ancient Church possessed perception of good and truth this Church had instead of perception a different kind of dictate, which may be called conscience.

[2] Something as yet unknown to the world and perhaps hard to believe is that the member of the Most Ancient Church possessed internal breathing, but no external breathing except that which was soundless. Consequently people spoke not so much by means of vocal utterances, as they did in later times and as they do nowadays, but like angels, by means of ideas. They were able to express ideas by means of countless alterations in their facial expressions and in their looks, and especially by means of alterations of the lips where there are innumerable threads of muscular fibres which are all knotted up nowadays but which had freedom of movement in those times. They were in this way able to present, mean, and represent inside a minute things which nowadays take an hour by the use of articulated sounds or utterance. And they did so far more fully and more clearly to the comprehension and understanding of those present than can possibly be done with words or sentences. This is perhaps hard to believe but is nevertheless the truth. There are also many others who do not originate from this earth who spoke and still do so today in this manner. These in the Lord's Divine mercy will be dealt with later on.

[3] I have been given to know also the nature of that internal breathing and how in course of time it was changed. And because their manner of breathing resembled that of angels who breathe in that kind of way, profound ideas constituted their thought, and they were able to have perception, such as defies description. Consequently if such a description were attempted it would not be comprehended nor therefore believed either. Among their descendants however that internal breathing gradually passed away, and with those who were obsessed with dreadful persuasions and delusions it became such that they were incapable any longer of presenting any idea comprising thought except the very grotesque. The outcome of this was their inability to survive, and so all of them were wiped out.

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