Heaven and Hell #281

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281. I have talked a lot with angels about innocence and have been told that innocence is the inner reality of everything good and that therefore anything good is good to the extent that there is innocence within it. Consequently wisdom is wisdom to the extent that it derives from innocence, and the same is true of love, thoughtfulness, and faith. 1 This is why no one can enter heaven unless he or she has innocence. This is what the Lord meant by saying,

Let the little ones come to me, do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of the heavens. I tell you in truth, whoever will not accept the kingdom of the heavens like a little child will not enter into it. (Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:16-17)

Little ones in this passage, as elsewhere in the Word, mean the innocent. 2 The state of innocence is described by the Lord in 6:0, but in pure correspondences. The reason good is good to the extent that there is innocence in it is that all good comes from the Lord, and innocence is being willing to be led by the Lord.

I have also been told that truth cannot be united to good or good to truth except by means of innocence. This is also why angels are not angels of heaven unless there is innocence in them, since heaven is not within anyone until the truth has been united with the good within. So the union of the true and the good is called the heavenly marriage, and the heavenly marriage is heaven.

I have also been told that true marriage love derives its origin from innocence because it comes from the union of the good and the true that engages the two minds, the minds of husband and wife. When this union descends, it takes on the appearance of marriage love because the spouses, like their minds, love each other. This is the source of the childlike and innocent play in marriage love. 3


1. All the good of love and the truth of faith need to have innocence within them if they are to be good and true: 2526, 2780, 3111, 3994, 6013, 7840, 9262, 10134. Innocence is the essential element of what is good and true: 2780, 7840. No one is allowed into heaven unless she or he has some innocence: 4797.

2. [Swedenborg's note at this point refers the reader to the note in ?278 above.]

3. True marriage love is innocence: 2736. Marriage love is intending what the other intends, mutually and reciprocally: 2731. People who are in marriage love are living together in the inmost aspects of life: 2732. There is a union of two minds, so effective that they become one from love: 10168-10169. True marriage love derives its origin and essence from the marriage of the good and the true: 2728-2729. About some angelic spirits who could perceive whether a true inclination toward marriage existed from the image they perceived of the union of the good and the true: 10756. Marriage love works exactly like the union of the good and the true: 1094 [1904?], 2173, 2429 [2729?], 2503 [2508?], 3101-3102, 3155, 3179-3180, 4358, 5407 [5807?], 5835, 9206-9207, 9495, 9637. So in the Word, "marriage" means the union of the good and the true as it is in heaven and as it should be in the church: 3132, 4434, 4834.


(References: Matthew 6:25-34, 19:14)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Conjugial Love 394

Heaven and Hell 341

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 314, 329, 376

   Parallel Passages:

Conjugial Love 414

   Swedenborg Research Tools

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for the permission to use this translation.