Conjugial Love #116

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116. THE MARRIAGE OF THE LORD AND THE CHURCH AND CORRESPONDENCE TO IT

This chapter also takes up the marriage of the Lord and the church and correspondence to it, because without a knowledge and understanding of the subject, scarcely anyone can see that conjugial love in its origin is sacred, spiritual and heavenly, and that it comes from the Lord. Some in the church indeed say that marriage has a relationship to the marriage of the Lord with the church, but they do not know what the nature of that relationship is.

In order to make this relationship perceptible to some sight of the understanding, therefore, we must discuss in detail that sacred marriage which exists with and in those people who form the Lord's church. They, too, and not others, possess truly conjugial love.

To explain this secret, however, we must divide our treatment into sections under the following headings:

1. In the Word, the Lord is called a Bridegroom and Husband, and the church a bride and wife; and the conjunction of the Lord with the church and the reciprocal conjunction of the church with the Lord is called a marriage.

2. The Lord is also called Father, and the church, mother.

3. The offspring from the Lord as Husband and Father and from the church as wife and mother are all spiritual offspring, and this is what is meant in the spiritual sense of the Word by sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, and by other terms which have to do with descending generations.

4. The spiritual offspring that are born from the marriage of the Lord with the church are truths, from which come understanding, perception and all thought; and also qualities of goodness, from which come love, charity and all affection.

5. From the marriage of good and truth that emanates and flows in from the Lord, a person acquires truth, to which the Lord joins good, and in this way the church is formed in the person by the Lord.

6. A husband does not represent the Lord and his wife the church, because both husbands and wives together form the church.

7. Therefore neither in the marriages of angels in heaven nor in the marriages of people on earth does the husband correspond to the Lord and the wife to the church.

8. Rather, the correspondence rests with conjugial love, insemination, procreation, love for little children, and other things of a similar sort that occur in marriage and result from it.

9. The Word is the means of conjunction, because it is from the Lord and thus is the Lord.

10. The church comes from the Lord and it exists in people who go to Him and live according to His commandments.

11. Conjugial love depends on the state of the church in a person, because it depends on the state of his wisdom.

12. So, then, because the church comes from the Lord, conjugial love comes from Him as well.

Now follows the development of these points.

  
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Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation. The full title of this translation is "DELIGHTS OF WISDOM RELATING TO CONJUGIAL LOVE".