2552. Abraham said. That this signifies a perception which is an answer, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historicals of the Word, as explained many times before (n. 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2061, 2080, 2238, 2260, 2271, 2287). With regard to the Lord's thought from the doctrine of faith being signified by the words "Abimelech said to Abraham;" and the perception which was an answer being meant by "Abraham said," the case is this: perception is a higher thing, and the Lord had it from the Divine Itself; whereas thought is a lower thing, and the Lord had it from the intellectual itself; and as it was perception from which He had the thought, so the answer of the thought was from perception. This may be illustrated by something similar with man. The celestial man cannot think except from perception, nor the spiritual man except from conscience (n. 2515). The perception of the former, like the conscience [of the latter] is from the Lord, and it is not apparent to the man himself whence it is; but his thought is from the rational, and appears to him as from himself. And so again, when a man is thinking concerning any subject from the rational, then the conclusion of the thought, or the answer, comes either from perception or from conscience; consequently an answer is given him by the Lord in accordance with his state of life, his affection, and the truth of doctrine implanted or impressed in agreement therewith.