We often touch, but seldom dwell, on who the men of the Most Ancient and Ancient Churches actually were. Some attempts have been made to answer the question, the most notable of which is to be found in Dr. H. Lj. Odhner’s The Divine Allegory.The evidence is changing and is far from complete. But there appears to be more solid ground for speculation nowadays than there was, for example, when The Divine Allegory was first pub-lished. We hear recurrent reports from the field of archeology and from the Leakeys in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. We have be-come used to thinking of man’s ancestors as much older than was admitted just a few years ago. The date of the appearance of earliest man had been pushed back to as far as 2.5 million years ago, only to be pushed even further back with the discovery of “Skull 1470.”1 Now the age is 2.8 million years.
Since the first copy of the Arcana Coelestia was sold in London in 1749 until today, many thousands of Swedenborg’s theological books have been published and distributed throughout the world, mostly in the West, but also in Russia and the Orient. Sweden-borg himself sent copies of his books to European universities and to members of the British House of Lords. A good many periodicals have also been published whose professed business it was to spread the ideas of the Swedish scholar. Radio programs have been employed, and Swedenborgian ideas have been dis-cussed in many public prints and places. Although at this day only some 12,000 men and women are listed as Church members, there is evidence indicating that many more persons are acquainted with Swedenborg’s Writings or have been influenced in their lives and ideas more or less.