"The most ancient manner of writing was that of representing things by persons, and by words, by which was understood something altogether different from what was expressed. In such manner, indeed, that nothing was literally true just as it was written, but under these narratives something allegorical was understood.
Thus they set forth the various affections under the forms of gods and goddesses, to which the heathen nations afterwards instituted Divine worship; which may be known to every scholar, since such ancient books are still extant.
This method of writing they derived from the most ancient people, who lived before the flood, and who represented to themselves things heavenly and Divine, by such as are visible on the earth and in the world, and thus filled their minds and souls with joyous and delightful perceptions."
THE HOLY LANGUAGE DESCRIBED BY EMMANUEL SWEDENBORG