117. Religion has existed from the most ancient times, and the inhabitants of the world everywhere have had a knowledge of God, and some knowledge of a life after death. This has not originated from themselves or their own intelligence, but from the Ancient Word mentioned above Nos. 101-103; and in later times from the Israelitish Word. From these two Words forms of religion spread to the Indies and their Islands, through Egypt and Ethiopia to the kingdoms of Africa, from the maritime parts of Asia to Greece, and thence to Italy. However, as the Word could only be written by representatives, that is, by such things in the world as correspond to and signify heavenly things, therefore religion with many nations was turned into idolatry, and in Greece into mythology. Divine attributes and properties were turned into so many gods, and over these men set one supreme deity whom they called Jove from Jehovah; while it is well known that they had some conception of Paradise, some knowledge of the Flood, the sacred fire, and the four ages from the first or golden age to the last or iron age, by which in the Word are signified the four states of the Church as described in Daniel ii 31-35. It is also known that the Mohammedan religion, which succeeded and destroyed the former religious systems of many nations, was taken from the Word of both Testaments.