115. I have been taught from heaven that the most ancient men on our earth, who were celestial men, thought from correspondences themselves, the natural things of the world before their eyes serving them as means of thinking in this way; and that they could be in fellowship with angels and talk with them because they so thought, and that thus through them heaven was conjoined to the world. For this reason that period was called the Golden Age, of which it is said by ancient writers that the inhabitants of heaven dwelt with men and associated with them as friends with friends. But after this there followed a period when men thought, not from correspondences themselves, but from a knowledge of correspondences, and there was then also a conjunction of heaven with man, but less intimate. This period was called the Silver Age. After this there followed men who had a knowledge of correspondences but did not think from that knowledge, because they were in natural good, and not, like those before them in spiritual good. This period was called the Copper Age. After this man gradually became external, and finally corporeal, and then the knowledge of correspondences was wholly lost, and with it a knowledge of heaven and of the many things pertaining to heaven. It was from correspondence that these ages were named from gold, silver, and copper,# and for the reason that from correspondence gold signifies celestial good in which were the most ancient people, silver spiritual good in which were the ancient people that followed, and copper natural good in which were the next posterity; while iron, from which the last age takes its name, signifies hard truth apart from good.
# Gold from correspondence signifies celestial good (n. 113, 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917, 9510, 9874, 9881).
Silver signifies spiritual good, that is, truth from a celestial origin (n. 1551, 1552, 2954, 5658).
Copper signifies natural good (n. 425, 1551).
Iron signifies truth in the outmost of order (n. 425, 426).