The Four Ages

- from the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg
Every Religion Declines in Time

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Every religion in process of time declines and is consummated. On this earth there have been several Churches, one after another; as wherever the human race exists there a Church exists; for, as was shown above, heaven which is the end of creation is from the human race; and no one can enter heaven unless he is in the two universals of the Church which, as was shown above (Divine Providence n. 326), are the acknowledgment of God and the leading of a good life. Hence it follows that there have been Churches on this earth from the most ancient times down to the present.

These Churches are described in the Word, but not historically with the exception of the Israelitish and Jewish Church. Before that, however, there were several that are only described in the Word under the names of nations and of persons, and by certain particulars concerning them.

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