From Swedenborg's Works


Conjugial Love #406

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406. The nature of the love of little children and love of older children found in spiritual people, and the nature of it in natural ones, is clearly apparent from such people after death. For on arriving in the other world, most fathers remember their children who have passed on before them; and these are also presented to them, and they recognize each other.

Spiritual fathers simply look them over and ask them in what state they are, rejoicing if all is well with them, and grieving if it is not. Then, following some conversation, instruction and counsel regarding a heavenly moral life, they part from them, telling them before parting that they are no longer to be remembered as their fathers, because the Lord is the only Father of all who are in heaven (according to His words in Matthew 23:9), and that they will never remember them as being their children.

In contrast, as soon as natural fathers notice that they are living after death and recall to mind the children who have passed on before them, and in accordance with their wish and prayer these are also presented to them, they immediately throw their arms around each other and cling to each other like bound bundles of sticks. Moreover, the father then takes continual delight in beholding them and talking with them. If the father is told that some of these children of his are satanic fiends, and that they have inflicted injuries on the good, he nevertheless keeps them in a cluster about him or in a troop before him. If he himself sees them inflicting harm and doing evil things, he nevertheless pays no attention to it and does not separate any of them from him. Therefore, in order to keep such a pernicious band from continuing, of necessity they are sent off together into hell; and there, in the presence of his children, the father is shut up in prison, and the children are separated and each dispatched to a place in keeping with his life.

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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".

The Bible


Matthew 23:9



9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.