49. They further related that they are there distinguished into nations, families, and houses, and that they all live apart with their own kindred; and that hence their interaction is confined to relatives; likewise, that no one ever covets the goods of another; and that it never enters into their minds to desire the possessions of another, still less to obtain them fraudulently, and least of all to break in and plunder. This they consider as a crime against human nature, and regard it as horrible. When I would have told them that on this earth there are wars, depredations, and murders, they then turned away, and were unwilling to hear. It was declared to me by the angels that the most ancient people on this earth lived in like manner, namely, that they were distinguished into nations, families, and houses that all at that time were content with their own possessions that it was a thing altogether unknown for one person to enrich himself from the goods of another, and to have dominion from self-love; and that on this account the ancient times, and especially the most ancient, were more acceptable to the Lord than succeeding times: and such being the state of the world, innocence also then reigned, and with it wisdom; every one then did what was good from good, and what was just from justice. To do what is good and just with a view to their own honor, or gain, was unknown. At the same time they spoke nothing but what was true, and this not so much from truth as from good, that is, not from the understanding separate from the will, but from the will conjoined with the understanding. Such were the ancient times; wherefore angels could then converse with men, and convey their minds, almost separate from things corporeal, into heaven, yea, lead them about, and show them the magnificent and blessed things there, and likewise communicate to them their happinesses and delights. These times were known also to the ancient writers, and were by them called the golden and also Saturnian ages. The reason that those times were such, was owing to this, that men were then distinguished into nations, nations into families, and families into houses, and every house lived apart by itself; and it then never entered into any one's mind to invade another's inheritance, and thence acquire to himself opulence and dominion. Self-love and the love of the world were then far removed; every one rejoiced in his own, and not less in his neighbor's good. But in succeeding times this scene was changed, and totally reversed, when the lust of dominion and of large possessions invaded the mind. Then mankind, for the sake of self-defense, collected themselves into kingdoms and empires; and because the laws of charity and of conscience, which were inscribed on the hearts, ceased, it became necessary to enact laws in order to restrain violence, in which honors and gains were rewards, and privation of them punishments. When the state of the world was thus changed, heaven removed itself from man, and this more and more even to this age, when it is no longer known whether there is a heaven and a hell, yea, by some it is denied. These things are said, that it may be illustrated by the parallel, what is the state of the inhabitants of the earth Jupiter, and whence they have their probity, and also their wisdom, concerning which more will be said hereafter.