The Four Ages

- from the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg
Four Successive Periods within each Age

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There have been four successive states, or periods, of each church, which in the Word are meant by "morning," "day," "evening," and "night."

That there have been our successive states, or periods, of everyone of these churches above mentioned, will be illustrated in the following pages, wherein each will be dealt with in its order. They are described by those alternations of time, because every man who is born in the church, or in whom the church has commenced, first comes into its light, such as that is in the dawn and morning; afterwards, he advances into its day, and, he who loves its truths, even to its mid-day; if he then stops in the way, and does not advance into the heat of spring and summer, his day declines towards evening, and at length, like light at night-time, it grows dark; and then his intelligence in the spiritual things of the church becomes a cold light, like the light of the days in winter, when he indeed sees the trees standing near his house, or in his gardens, but stript of leaves and deprived of fruits, thus like bare logs. For, the man of the church advances from morning to day, to the end that he may be reformed and regenerated by means of the light of reason, which is effected only by a life according to the precepts of the Lord in the Word.

If this does not take place, his light becomes darkness, and the darkness, thick darkness; that is, the truths of light with him are turned into falsities, and the falsities into unseen evils.

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