Conjugial Love #523

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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The Lord says, "Judge not, that you be not condemned." 1 (Matthew 7:1) This cannot in the least mean judging of someone's moral and civil life in the world, but judging of someone's spiritual and heavenly life. Who does not see that if people were not allowed to judge of the moral life of those dwelling with them in the world, society would collapse? What would become of society if there were no public courts of law, and if no one was permitted to have his judgment of another? But to judge what the inner mind or soul is like within, thus what a person's spiritual state is and so his fate after death - of this one is not permitted to judge, because it is known to the Lord alone. Nor does the Lord reveal it until after death, in order that everyone may do what he does in freedom, and that good or evil may consequently be from him and so in him, and the person thus live his own life and be his own person to eternity.

The inner qualities of the mind, hidden in the world, are revealed after death for the reason that it affects and benefits the societies into which the person then comes; for all there are spiritual. That these inner qualities are then revealed is evident from these words of the Lord:

There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light; and what you have spoken into the ear in your rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops. (Luke 12:2-3)

[2] A general judgment is allowed, such as the following, "If you are in your inward qualities as you appear in your outward ones, you will be saved or condemned." But a specific judgment - as for example to say, "You are of this or that character in your inward qualities, therefore you will be saved or condemned" - is not allowed.

Judgment with respect to a person's spiritual life or the inner life of the soul is meant by the imputation which we take up here. What mortal person knows who is licentious at heart and who is married at heart? And yet it is the thoughts of the heart, or purposes of the will, which judge everyone.

But this subject will be presented according to the following outline:

1. Everyone has imputed to him after death the evil in which he is engaged; likewise the good.

2. A transfer of one person's good to another is impossible.

3. If such a transference is meant by imputation, imputation is a frivolous term.

4. Evil is imputed to a person in accordance with the nature of his will and in accordance with the nature of his understanding; so, too, good.

5. Thus is licentious love imputed to a person.

6. And so, too, conjugial love.

Explanation of these statements now follows.


1. The text here follows the translation of Sebastian Schmidt, Biblia Sacra, Argentorati (Strasburg), 1696.

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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".