From Swedenborg's Works


Conjugial Love #406

Conjugial Love (Rogers translation)      

Go to section / 535  

← Previous   Next →

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.

Go to section / 535  

← Previous   Next →

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

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous    Full Chapter    Next →

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

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Matthew 23      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verses 1, 2, 3. That instruction from the Word ought to be attended to, without regard to the persons or characters of those who teach it.

Verse 3, latter part. Nevertheless the examples of those who teach, and do not live accordingly, are not to be followed, because they are in the knowledge of truth without the love of it.

Verse 4. And thus, though they lead others into spiritual infestations by what they teach, yet they do not assist them in removing those infestations.

Verse 5. For they teach only for the sake of human reputation, and therefore speak truths magnificently, and do works in externals that they may be seen.

Verses 6, 7. And seek pre-eminence in the communication of good, and truth, and natural science, and to be thought better and wiser than others.

Verse 8. Whereas no man ought to exalt himself above others in his knowledge, but to confess that all the truth he possesses is from the Divine Truth, which is willing to impart itself alike to all.

Verse 9. Neither ought any one to be exalted on account of the good belonging to him, since all good is from the Divine Good of the Lord.

Verse 10. Neither ought he to be exalted on account of science, since all science is from the Divine Truth.

Verse 11. But they who excel others in what is good and true, ought to impart good and truth to others, out of pure love.

Verse 12. Since they who are in self-exaltation, deprive themselves of all good, whereas they who renounce self-exaltation, come into the possession of all good.

Verse 13. They therefore who are in the knowledge of truth separate from the life, are in external worship separate from internal, which is cursed, because they neither enter themselves into the life of heaven, nor encourage others to enter.

Verse 14. And because they deprive those of truths who desire truths, and teach them falsities, when yet they make a show of teaching them truths.

Verse 15. And because in pretending to convert mankind to what is true and good, they confirm them the more in falsities and evils.

Verses 16, 17, 18, 19. All such false teachers therefore are accursed, who seek to confirm themselves in truth and good by the external things of worship, more than by the Lord's Divine Humanity, from which all the good and truth of worship proceed, and which therefore alone sanctifies worship.

Verse 20. For the Divine Humanity of the Lord, as to good, is the continent of all good.

Verse 21. And the Divine Humanity of the Lord, as to truth, is the continent of all truth.

Verse 22. And the recipients of truth and good are the recipients of Truth Divine and of Good Divine.

Verse 23. That they also are accursed, who are scrupulously exact about the external things of the church, or such as relate to the mere science of truth, whilst at the same time they are negligent of the internal things of the church, or such as relate to love to God, to charity towards the neighbour, and to the wisdom of such love and charity.

Verses 23, 24. Whereas both internal and external things ought to be joined together, by exalting the former above the latter, since to act otherwise obstructs the light of truth, so that small falsities are indeed seen, but great ones are not seen.

Verse 25. That they also are accursed, who regulate the outward man by semblances of civil and moral life, without attending to the regulation of the inner man by the laws of spiritual life, leading to shun evils as sins against God.

Verse 26. Whereas the interiors of the will and thought ought first to be purified from evils and falsities by the admission of spiritual goods and truths, and then the exteriors, which are the works and the speech, would be thereby purified.

Verses 27, 28. Otherwise evils are only made externally to appear like goods, and falsities like truths, when yet internally they are evils and falsities from hell.

Verses 29, 30. And thus all truth perishes under what is false, and all good under what is evil, and yet the perpetrators of this mischief are not aware of the spiritual murder which they commit.

Verses 31, 32. When yet their own deeds testify, if they could discern, that their understandings are formed of mere falsities destructive of truths, and that those falsities are filled with evils.

Verse 33. Thus they are mere deceit and cruelty combined, which are altogether infernal, and in connection with hell.

Verse 34. And which extinguish every truth of doctrine, and destroy every good of doctrine and pervert the Word, and wander from one false of doctrine to another.

Verses 35, 36. And thus adulterate all the good, and falsify all the truth of the church by all manner of rejection of the Lord.

Verse 37. When yet the Lord in Divine Mercy is willing to conjoin truth to good in every one, and thereby to conjoin every one to Himself.

Verse 38. But man, from his unwillingness to comply with the Divine purpose, deprives himself of all good and truth.

Verse 39. Since none can have his understanding opened to the light of spiritual truth, unless his will be first disposed to exalt the Divine Humanity of the Lord, and whatever proceeds from Him.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 3703

Apocalypse Revealed 170

Conjugial Love 406

Divine Providence 330

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 51

The Last Judgement 59

True Christian Religion 226, 306, 583

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 254, 631, 735, 746, 966

De Domino 52

De Verbo (The Word) 5, 15

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

  Bible Study Videos:  (see all)

Bible Word Meanings

'Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.

 Bible Jeopardy Game: Trial and Crucifixion
Use the Bible Jeopardy questions to review the story of the Tabernacle.
Activity | Ages 11 - 17

 Does God Get Angry?
God's great love for humankind sometimes appears as anger in the Bible. In reality God is not angry, but zealously loving towards humanity.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Does the Lord Get Angry?
This lesson and the activities look at how and why a loving God can seem angry at times.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 The Lord Is Our Teacher
Color picture of the Lord teaching His followers while here on earth.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Meaning and Purpose of Baptism
Explains how baptism creates an inner link to the Lord through the angels and an outer link via the Word and the church. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18