24. The reason why the knowledge of correspondences, which gives the spiritual sense of the Word, was not disclosed in times after those, is that the Christians of the primitive church were so very simple that it could not be disclosed to them; for it would have been of no use to them, nor would it have been understood. After their day, in consequence of the papal dominion, darkness came over all the Christian world; and they who are of that dominion, and have confirmed themselves in its falsities, neither can nor will apprehend anything spiritual, nor consequently what is the correspondence in the Word of natural things with spiritual. For thereby they would be convinced that by "Peter" is not meant Peter, but the Lord as a rock; and they would also be convinced that the Word is Divine even to its inmosts, and that a decree of the Pope is relatively of no account. On the other hand, after the Reformation, as men began to effect a separation between faith and charity, and to worship God in three Persons - thus three gods, whom they conceived to be one - heavenly truths were hidden from them; and if they had been disclosed they would have falsified them and applied them to faith alone, and not one of them to charity and love. And thus they would have closed heaven against themselves.