530. As has been stated, the names used in this chapter mean Churches, or what amounts to the same, doctrinal systems, for it is by virtue of its doctrine that a Church exists and takes its name. Thus Noah means the Ancient Church, or the doctrine that remained from the Most Ancient Church. The situation with Churches or doctrines has been stated already, namely that they dwindle away until nothing remains any longer of the goods and truths of faith. And when that point has been reached, the Church is in the Word called vastated. Nevertheless a remnant is always preserved, that is, some people are preserved, no matter how few, with whom the good and truth of faith persist. And unless that good and truth of faith were preserved with those people there would be no conjunction of heaven with the human race.
 As regards the remnants that reside with the individual, the fewer they are the less possible it is for the rational concepts and the factual knowledge he possesses to receive light; for the light of good and truth flows in from the remnants, or rather from the Lord by way of the remnants. If there were no remnants residing with a person, he would not be a human being, but someone far inferior to any animal. The fewer the remnants, the less he is a human being, while the more they are, the more he is a human being. Remnants are like a star in the sky; the smaller it is the weaker the light coming from it, but the greater it is, the brighter the light coming from it. The few things that did remain from the Most Ancient Church resided with those who constituted the Church called Noah. Those things were not however the remains of perception but of integrity, and also of doctrine deriving from the things of the Most Ancient Churches that were matters of perception. At that point therefore a new Church was raised up by the Lord. Being entirely different in disposition from the Most Ancient Churches, it is to be referred to as the Ancient Church, ancient from the fact that it existed at the last stage before the Flood and in the first period of time after it. This Church will in the Lord's Divine mercy be dealt with later on.