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The Sixth Commandment
[This is taken from Emanuel Swedenborg's Spiritual Life and the Word of God.]
Thus far five commandments of the Decalogue have been explained. Now follows the explanation of the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
Who at this day can believe that the delight of adultery is hell in man, and that the delight of marriage is heaven in him, consequently so far as he is in the one delight he is not in the other, since so far as man is in hell he is not in heaven? Who at this day can believe that the love of adultery is the fundamental love of all hellish and devilish loves, and that the chaste love of marriage is the fundamental love of all heavenly and Divine loves; consequently so far as a man is in the love of adultery he is in every evil love, if not in act yet in endeavor; and on the other hand, so far as he is in the chaste love of marriage he is in every good love, if not in act yet in endeavor? Who at this day can believe that he who is in the love of adultery believes nothing of the Word, thus nothing of the church, and even in his heart denies God; and on the other hand, that he who is in the chaste love of marriage is in charity and in faith, and in love to God; also that the chastity of marriage makes one with religion, and the lasciviousness of adultery makes one with naturalism?
All this is at this day unknown because the church is at its end, and is devastated in respect to truth and in respect to good; and when the church is such, the man of the church, by influx from hell, comes into the persuasion that adulteries are not detestable things and abominations, and thus comes into the belief that marriages and adulteries do not differ in their essence, but only as a matter of order, and yet the difference between them is like the difference between heaven and hell. That such is the difference between them will be seen in what follows. This, then, is why in the Word in its spiritual sense heaven and the church are meant by nuptials and marriages, and hell and rejection of all things of the church are meant in the Word in its spiritual sense by adulteries and whoredoms. (A.E., n. 981.)
Since adultery is hell in man and marriage is heaven in him, it follows that so far as a man loves adultery he removes himself from heaven; consequently adulteries close heaven and open hell, and this they do so far as they are believed to be allowable and are perceived to be more delightful than marriages. The man, therefore, who confirms himself in adulteries and commits them from the favor and consent of his will, and turns away from marriage, closes heaven to himself, until finally he ceases to believe anything of the church or of the Word, and becomes a wholly sensual man, and after death an infernal spirit; for, as has been said above, adultery is hell, and thus an adulterer is a form of hell. And since adultery is hell it follows that unless a man abstains from adulteries and shuns them and turns away from them as infernal he shuts up heaven to himself, and does not receive the least influx therefrom. Afterward he reasons that marriages and adulteries are alike, but that marriages must be maintained in kingdoms for the sake of order and the training of offspring; also that adulteries are not criminal, since children are equally born from them; and they are not harmful to women, since they can endure them, and by them the procreation of the human race is promoted. He does not know that these and other like reasonings in favor of adulteries ascend from the Stygian [extremely dark] waters of hell, and that the lustful and bestial nature of man which inheres in him from birth attracts them and sucks them in with delight, as a swine does excrement. That such reasonings, which at this day possess the minds of most men in the Christian world, are diabolical, will be seen. (A.E., n. 982.)
That marriage is heaven and that adultery is hell cannot be better seen than from considering their origin. The origin of true marriage love is the Lord’s love for the church; and this is why the Lord is called in the Word a “Bridegroom” and a “Husband,” and the church a “bride” and a “wife.” It is from this marriage that the church is a church in general and in particular. The church in particular is a man in whom the church is. From this it is clear that the Lord’s conjunction with a man of the church is the very origin of true marriage love; and how that conjunction can be the origin shall be told.
The Lord’s conjunction with a man of the church is a conjunction of good and truth; good is from the Lord, and truth is a man, and from this is the conjunction that is called the heavenly marriage, and from that marriage true marriage love exists between the married pair that are in such conjunction with the Lord.
From this it is now evident that true marriage love is from the Lord alone, and exists in those who are in the conjunction of good and truth from the Lord. As this conjunction is reciprocal it is said by the Lord that They are in Him, and He in them (John xiv. 20).
This conjunction or this marriage was thus established from creation. The man was created to be an understanding of truth, and the woman to be an affection for good; and thus the man to be a truth, and the woman to be a good. When understanding of truth which is in the man makes one with the affection for good which is in the woman, there is a conjunction of the two minds into one. This conjunction is the spiritual marriage from which marriage love descends. For when two minds are so conjoined as to be one mind there is love between them; and when this love, which is the love of spiritual marriage, descends into the body it becomes the love of natural marriage. That this is so anyone can clearly perceive if he will. A married pair who interiorly or in respect to their minds love each other mutually and reciprocally also love each other mutually and reciprocally in respect to their bodies. It is well known that all love descends into the body from an affection of the mind, and that apart from such an origin no love exists.
Since then the origin of marriage love is the marriage of good and truth, which marriage in its essence is heaven, it is clear that the origin of the love of adultery is a marriage of evil and falsity, which in its essence is hell. Heaven is a marriage because all who are in the heavens are in a marriage of good and truth; and hell is adultery because all who are in the hells are in a marriage of evil and falsity. From this it follows that marriage and adultery are as opposite as heaven and hell are. (A.E., n. 983.)
Man was so created as to be spiritual and celestial love, and thus an image and likeness of God. Spiritual love, which is a love for truth, is an image of God; and celestial love, which is a love for good, is a likeness of God. All angels in the third heaven are likenesses of God; and all angels in the second heaven are images of God. Man can become the love which is an image or likeness of God only by a marriage of good and truth; for good and truth inmostly love one another, and ardently long to be united that they may be one; and for the reason that Divine good and Divine truth go forth from the Lord united, therefore they must be united in an angel of heaven and in a man of the church.
This union is by no means possible except by a marriage of two minds into one, since, as has been said before, man was created to be an understanding of truth, and thus a truth, and woman was created to be an affection for good, and thus a good; therefore in them a conjunction of good and truth is possible. For marriage love which descends from that conjunction is the veriest medium by which man (homo) becomes the love that is an image or likeness of God. For the married pair who are in conjugal love from the Lord love one another mutually and reciprocally from the heart, thus from inmosts; and therefore although apparently two they are actually one, two in respect to their bodies, but one in respect to life.
This may be compared to the eyes, which are two as organs but one in respect to the sight; also to the ears, which are two as organs but one in respect to hearing; so, too, the arms and the feet are two as members but one in respect to use, the arms one in respect to action, and the feet one in respect to walking. So with the other pairs with man. All these have reference to good and truth, the organ or member on the right to good, and that on the left to truth. It is the same with a husband and wife between whom there is a true marriage love; they are two in respect to their bodies but one in respect to life; consequently in heaven the married pair are not called two angels but one. All this makes clear that through marriage man becomes a form of love, and thus a form of heaven, which is an image and likeness of God.
Man is born into a love of evil and falsity, which love is the love of adultery; and this love cannot be turned about and changed into spiritual love, which is an image of God, and still less into celestial love, which is a likeness of God, except by a marriage of good and truth from the Lord, and not fully except by a marriage of two minds and two bodies. From this it is clear why marriages are heavenly and adulteries infernal; for marriage is an image of heaven, and true marriage love is an image of the Lord, while adultery is an image of hell, and love of adultery is an image of the devil. Moreover, marriage love appears in the spiritual world in form like an angel, and love of adultery in form like a devil. Reader, treasure this up within you, and after death, when you are living as a spirit-man, inquire whether this is true, and you will see. (A.E., n. 984.)
How profane and thus how much to be detested adulteries are can be seen from the holiness of marriages. All things in the human body, from the head to the sole of the feet, both interior and exterior, correspond to the heavens, and in consequence man is a heaven in its least form, and also angels and spirits are in form perfectly human, for they are forms of heaven. All the members devoted to generation in both sexes, especially the womb, correspond to societies of the third or inmost heaven, and for the reason that true marriage love is derived from the Lord’s love for the church, and from the love of good and truth which is the love of the angels of the third heaven; therefore marriage love, which descends therefrom as the love of that heaven, is innocence, which is the very being (esse) of every good in the heavens. And for this reason embryos in the womb are in a state of peace, and when they have been born as infants are in a state of innocence; so, too, is the mother in relation to them.
As this is the correspondence of the genital organs in the two sexes, it is evident that by creation they are holy, and therefore they are devoted solely to chaste and pure marriage love, and are not to be profaned by the unchaste and impure love of adultery, by which man converts the heaven in himself into hell; for as the love of marriage corresponds to the love of the highest heaven, which is love to the Lord from the Lord, so the love of adultery corresponds to the love of the lowest hell.
The love of marriage is so holy and heavenly because it has its beginning in the inmosts of man from the Lord Himself, and it descends according to order to the outmosts of the body, and thus fills the whole man with heavenly love and brings him into a form of the Divine love, which is the form of heaven, and is an image of the Lord. But the love of adultery has its beginning in the outmosts of man from an impure lascivious fire there, and thus, contrary to order, penetrates toward the interiors, always into the things that are man’s own, which are nothing but evil, and brings these into a form of hell, which is an image of the devil. Therefore a man who loves adultery and turns away from marriage is in form a devil.
As the organs of generation in the two sexes correspond to the societies of the third heaven, and the love of a married pair corresponds to the love of good and truth, so those organs and that love correspond to the Word. The reason is that the Word is Divine truth united to Divine good going forth from the Lord; and this is why the Lord is called “the Word,” also why in every particular of the Word there is a marriage of good and truth, or a heavenly marriage. That there is such a correspondence is a mystery not yet known in the world, but it has been made evident and proved to me by much experience.
From this also it is clear how holy and heavenly marriages are in themselves, and how profane and diabolical adulteries are. And for this reason adulterers make no account of Divine truths and thus of the Word, and if they were to speak from the heart they would even blaspheme the holy things that are in the Word. This they do when they have become spirits after death, for every spirit is compelled to speak from the heart, that his interior thoughts may be revealed. (A.E., n. 985.)
As all the delights that man has in the natural world are turned into correspondent delights in the spiritual world, so are the delights of the love of marriage and the delights of the love of adultery. The love of marriage is represented in the spiritual world as a virgin, whose beauty is such as to inspire the beholder with the charms of life; while the love of adultery is represented in the spiritual world by an old woman, whose deformity is such as to inspire in the beholder a coldness and death to every charm of life. Therefore in the heavens the angels are beautiful according to the quality of marriage love in them, and in the hells the spirits are deformed according to the quality of the love of adultery in them. In a word, the angels of heaven have life in their faces, in the movements of the body, and in their speech, in the measure of their marriage love, while the spirits of hell have death in their faces in the measure of their love of adultery.
In the spiritual world the delights of marriage love are represented to the sense by odors from fruits and flowers of various kinds, while the delights of the love of adultery are there represented to the sense by the stenches from excrements and putridities of various kinds. Moreover, the delights of the love of adultery are actually turned into such things, since all things pertaining to adultery are spiritual filth. Therefore from the brothels in the hells stenches pour forth that excite vomiting. (A.E., n. 986.)
How holy in themselves, that is, from creation, marriages are can be seen from the fact that they are the nurseries of the human race; and as the angelic heaven is from the human race they are also the nurseries of heaven; consequently by marriages not only the earths but also the heavens are filled with inhabitants; and as the end of the entire creation is the human race, and thus heaven, where the Divine itself may dwell as in its own and as it were in itself, and as the procreation of mankind according to Divine order is accomplished through marriages, it is clear how holy marriages are in themselves, that is, from creation, and thus how holy they should be esteemed. It is true that the earth might be filled with inhabitants by fornications and adulteries as well as by marriages, but not heaven; and for the reason that hell is from adulteries but heaven from marriages.
Hell is from adulteries because adultery is from the marriage of evil and falsity, from which hell in the whole complex is called adultery; while heaven is from marriages because marriage is from the marriage of good and truth, from which heaven in its whole complex is called a marriage. That is called adultery where its love, which is called a love of adultery, reigns, whether it be within wedlock or apart from it, and that is called marriage where its love, which is called marriage love, reigns.
When procreations of the human race are effected by marriages in which the holy love of good and truth from the Lord reigns, then it is on earth as it is in the heavens, and the Lord’s kingdom on earth corresponds to the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens. For the heavens consist of societies arranged according to all the varieties of celestial and spiritual affections, from which arrangement the form of heaven springs, and this pre-eminently surpasses all other forms in the universe. There would be a like form on the earth if the procreations there were effected by marriages in which a true marriage love reigned; for then, however many families might descend in succession from one head of a family, there would spring forth as many images of the societies of heaven in a like variety.
Families would then be like fruit-bearing trees of various kinds, forming as many different gardens, each containing its own kind of fruit, and these gardens taken together would present the form of a heavenly paradise. This is said in the way of comparison, because “trees” signify men of the church, “gardens” intelligence, “fruits” goods of life, and “paradise” heaven. I have been told from heaven that with the most ancient people, from whom the first church on this globe was established, which was called by ancient writers the golden age, there was such a correspondence between families on the earth and societies in the heavens, because love to the Lord, mutual love, innocence, peace, wisdom, and chastity in marriages then prevailed; and it was also told me from heaven that they were then inwardly horrified at adulteries, as at the abominable things in hell. (A.E., n. 987.)
That heaven is from marriages and hell from adulteries has been shown above. What this means shall now be told. The hereditary evils into which man is born are not from Adam’s having eaten of the tree of knowledge, but from the adulteration of good and the falsification of truth by parents, thus from the marriage of evil and falsity, from which a love of adultery springs. The ruling love of parents by means of a germ from it passes over into the offspring and is transcribed upon it and becomes its nature. If the love of the parents is a love of adultery it is also a love of evil for falsity and of falsity for evil. From this source man has all evil, and from evil he has hell. All this makes clear that it is from adulteries that man has hell, until he is reformed by the Lord by means of truths and a life according to them. And no one can be reformed unless he shuns adulteries as infernal and loves marriages as heavenly. In this and in no other way is hereditary evil broken and rendered milder in the offspring.
It is to be noted, however, that while from adulterous parents man is born a hell, he is not born for hell but for heaven. For the Lord provides that no one shall be condemned to hell on account of hereditary evils, but only on account of the evils that the man has actually made his own by his life, as can be seen from the lot of infants after death, all of whom are adopted by the Lord, educated under His auspices in heaven, and saved. This makes clear that every man, although from the evils with which he is born he is a hell, is born not for hell but for heaven.
It is the same with every man born from adultery if he does not himself become an adulterer. Becoming an adulterer means living in the marriage of evil and falsity by thinking evils and falsities from a delight in them and by doing them from a love for them. Every man who does this becomes an adulterer. Moreover, it is from Divine justice that no one suffers punishments on account of the evils of his parents, but only on account of his own; therefore the Lord provides that hereditary evils shall not return after death, but only one’s own evils, and it is only for those that return that a man is then punished. (A.E., n. 989.)
It has been said that the difference between a love of marriage and a love of adultery is like that between heaven and hell. There is a like difference between the delights of these loves; for delights derive their all from the loves from which they spring. The delights of the love of adultery derive what they are from the delights of doing evil uses, thus of evil-doing; and the delights of the love of marriage from the delights of doing good uses, thus of well-doing. Therefore such as the delight of the evil is in doing evil such is the delight of their love of adultery; because a love of adultery descends therefrom. That it descends from that scarcely anyone can believe; and yet such is its origin. From this it is evident that the delight of adultery ascends from the lowest hell. But the delight of the love of marriage, since it is from the love of the conjunction of good and truth and from the love of doing good, is a heavenly delight; and it comes down from the inmost or third heaven, where love to the Lord from the Lord reigns.
From this it can be seen that the difference between these two delights is like that between heaven and hell. And yet, for a wonder, it is believed that the delight of marriage and the delight of adultery are similar; nevertheless the difference between them is such as has now been described. But the difference can be discerned and felt only by one who is in the delight of marriage love. One who is in that delight plainly feels that in the delight of marriage there is nothing impure or unchaste, thus nothing lascivious; and that in the delight of adultery there is nothing but what is impure, unchaste, and lascivious. He feels that unchastity comes up from beneath, and that chastity comes down from above. But one who is in the delight of adultery is incapable of feeling this, because he feels what is infernal as his heavenly.
From all this it follows that the love of marriage, even in its outmost act, is purity itself and chastity itself; and that the love of adultery in its acts is impurity itself and unchastity itself. Since the delights of these two loves are alike in outward appearance, although inwardly they are wholly unlike, because opposites, the Lord provides that the delights of adultery shall not ascend into heaven and that the delight of marriage shall not descend into hell; and yet that there shall be some correspondence of heaven with prolification in adulteries, though none with the delight itself in them. (A.E., n. 990.)
It has been said that marriage love, which is natural, descends from the love of good and truth, which is spiritual; this spiritual therefore is in the natural love of marriage as a cause is in its effect. So from the marriage of good and truth there comes forth a love of bearing fruit, that is, good through truth and truth from the good; and from that love a love of producing offspring descends, and in that love there is every delight and pleasure.
On the contrary, love of adultery, which is natural, springs from a love of evil and falsity, which is spiritual; consequently this spiritual is in the natural love of adultery as a cause is in its effect. So from the marriage of evil and falsity by love there comes forth a love of bearing fruit, namely, evil through falsity and falsity from evil; and from that love a love of producing offspring in adulteries descends, and in that love there is every delight and pleasure.
There is every delight and pleasure in the love of producing offspring, because all that is delightful, pleasurable, blessed, and happy, in the whole heaven and in the whole world, has been from creation brought together into the effort and thus into the act of bringing forth uses; and these joys increase in an ascending degree to eternity, according to the goodness and excellence of the uses. This make evident why the pleasure of producing offspring, which surpasses every other pleasure, is so great. It surpasses every other because its use, which is the procreation of the human race, and thus of heaven, surpasses all other uses.
From this, too, comes the pleasure and delight of adultery; but as prolification by adulteries corresponds to the bringing forth of evil through falsity and of falsity from evil, that pleasure or delight decreases and becomes vile by degrees until it is changed at last into aversion and disgust. Because, as has been said above, the delight of the love of marriage is a heavenly delight, so the delight of adultery is an infernal delight, so the delight of adultery is from a certain impure fire, which as long as it lasts, counterfeits the delight of the love of good, but in itself it is the delight of the love of evil, which is in its essence the delight of hatred against good and truth. And because this is its origin there is not love between an adulterer and an adulteress except such as the love of hatred is, which is such that they can be in conjunction in externals but not in internals. For in the externals there is something fiery, but in the internals there is coldness; therefore after a short time the fire is extinguished and coldness succeeds, either with impotence or a turning away as from something filthy.
It has been granted me to see that love in its essence, and it was such that within it was deadly hatred, while without it appeared like a fire from burning dung and putrid and stinking matters. And as that fire with its delight burnt out, so by degrees the life of mutual discourse and intercourse expired, and hatred came forth, manifested first as contempt, afterward as aversion, then as rejection, and finally as abuse and contention. And what was wonderful, although they hated each other they could from time to time come together and for the time feel the delight of hatred as the delight of love; but this came from a hankering of the flesh.
What the delight of hatred and thus of doing evil is with those who are in hell can neither be described nor believed. To do evil is the joy of their heart, and this they call their heaven. Their delight in doing evil derives its all from hatred and vengeance against good and truth; when, therefore, they are moved by a deadly and devilish hatred they rage against heaven, especially against those who are from heaven and who worship the Lord; for they violently burn to slaughter them, and because they cannot destroy their bodies they desire to destroy their souls. It is, therefore, the delight of hatred which, becoming a fire in the extremes and being injected into the lusting flesh, becomes for the moment the delight of adultery,--the soul in which the hatred lies concealed then withdrawing itself. It is for this reason that hell is called adultery, and also that adulterers are desperately unmerciful, savage, and cruel. This, then, is the infernal marriage. (A.E., n. 991.)
It has been said that the love of adultery is a fire enkindled from impurities that soon burns out and is turned into cold, and into an aversion corresponding to hatred. But the reverse is true of the love of marriage. This is a fire enkindled from a love of good and truth and from a delight in well-doing, thus from love to the Lord and from love toward the neighbor. This fire, which from its origin is heavenly, is full of innumerable delights, as many, in fact, as are the delights and blessednesses of heaven. It has been told me that the charms and pleasantnesses of that love, which are manifested from time to time, are so many and such that they cannot be numbered or described. Moreover, they are multiplied with continued increase to eternity. These delights have their origin in the fact that the married pair wish to be united into one in respect to their minds, and into such a union heaven breathes from the marriage of good and truth from the Lord in heaven. (A.E., n. 992.)
That true marriage love contains in itself ineffable delights that can neither be numbered nor described can be seen from the fact that this is the fundamental love of all celestial and spiritual loves, since through that love man becomes love; for from it each of the married pair loves the other as good loves truth and truth loves good, thus representatively as the Lord loves heaven and the church. Such a love can come forth only through a marriage in which the man is truth and the wife is good. When a man through marriage has become such a love he is also in love to the Lord and in love toward the neighbor, and thus in a love for all good and in a love for all truth. For from man as a love loves of every kind must proceed; therefore marriage love is the fundamental love of all the loves of heaven. And as it is the fundamental love of all the loves of heaven it is also the foundation of all the delights and joys of heaven, since every delight and joy is of love. From this it follows that heavenly joys, in their order and in their degrees, have their origins and their causes in marriage love.
From the felicities of marriages a conclusion may be drawn respecting the infelicities of adulteries, namely, that the love of adultery is the fundamental love of all infernal loves, which are in themselves not loves, but hatreds, consequently from the love of adultery hatreds of every kind gush forth, both against God and against the neighbor, and in general against every good and truth of heaven and the church; therefore to it all infelicities belong, for, as has been said before, from adulteries man becomes a form of hell, and from the love of adulteries he becomes an image of the devil. That from the marriages in which there is true marriage love all delights and felicities increase even till they become the delights and felicities of the inmost heaven, and that all that is undelightful and unhappy in the marriages in which love of adultery reigns increases in direfulness even to the lowest hell, can be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 386). (A.E., n. 993.)
True marriage love is from the Lord alone. It is from the Lord alone because it descends from the Lord’s love for heaven and the church, and thus from the love of good and truth; for good is from the Lord, and truth is in heaven and the church; and from this it follows that true marriage love in its first essence is love to the Lord. And from this it is that no one can be in true marriage love and in its pleasantnesses, delights, blessings, and joys, unless he acknowledges the Lord alone, that is, that the trinity is in Him. One who approaches the Father as a person by Himself, or the Holy Spirit as a person by Himself, and not these as in the Lord, can have no marriage love.
The genuine conjugal principle is given especially in the third heaven, because the angels there are in love to the Lord and acknowledge Him alone as God, and do His commandments. To them doing the commandments is loving the Lord. To them the Lord’s commandments are the truths in which they receive Him. There is conjunction of the Lord with them, and of them with the Lord; for they are in the Lord because they are in good, and the Lord is in them because they are in truths. This is the heavenly marriage, from which true marriage love descends. (A.E., n. 995.)
As true marriage love in its first essence is love to the Lord from the Lord it is also innocence. Innocence is loving the Lord as one’s Father by doing His commandments and wishing to be led by Him and not by oneself, thus like a little child. As that love is innocence, it is the very being (esse) of all good; and therefore man has so much of heaven in himself, or he is so much in heaven, as he is in marriage love, because he is so far in innocence. It is because true marriage love is innocence that the playfulness between a married pair is like the play of little children; and this is so in the measure in which they love each other, as is evident in the case of all in the first days after the nuptials, when their love emulates true marriage love. The innocence of marriage love is meant in the Word by the “nakedness” at which Adam and his wife blushed not; and for the reason that there is nothing of lasciviousness, and thus nothing of shame, between a married pair, any more than between little children when they are naked together. (A.E., n. 996.)
Since marriage love in its first essence is love to the Lord from the Lord, and thus is innocence, marriage love is also peace, such as angels in the heavens have. For as innocence is the very being (esse) of all good, so peace is the very being (esse) of all delight from good, consequently is the very being (esse) of all joy between the married pair. As, then, all joy is of love, and marriage love is the fundamental love of all the loves of heaven, so peace itself has its seat chiefly in marriage love. Peace is bliss of heart and soul arising from the conjunction of the Lord with heaven and the church, as well as from conjunction of good and truth, when all conflict and combat of evil and falsity with good and truth has ceased. And as marriage love descends from such conjunction so all the delight of that love descends and derives its essence from heavenly peace. Moreover, this peace shines forth in the heavens as heavenly bliss from the faces of a married pair who are in that love, and who mutually regard each other from that love. But such heavenly bliss, which inmostly affects the delights of loves, and is called peace, can be granted only to those who can be joined together inmostly, that is, as to their very hearts. (A.E., n. 997.)
Man has such and so much of intelligence and wisdom as he has of marriage love. The reason is that marriage love descends from the love of good and truth as an effect does from its cause, or as the natural from its spiritual; and from the marriage of good and truth the angels of the three heavens have all their intelligence and wisdom; for intelligence and wisdom are nothing else than the reception of light and heat from the Lord as a sun, that is, the reception of Divine truth joined to Divine good, and of Divine good joined to Divine truth; thus it is a marriage of good and truth from the Lord.
That it is such has been made clearly evident by angels in the heavens. When these are separated from their consorts they are indeed in intelligence, but not in wisdom; but when they are with their consorts they are also in wisdom; and what seemed wonderful, as they turn the face to their consort they are to the same extent in a state of wisdom; for the conjunction of truth and good is effected in the spiritual world by looking; and the wife there is good and the husband truth; therefore as truth turns itself to good so truth becomes living. By intelligence and wisdom ingenuity in reasoning about truths and goods is not meant, but a capacity to see and understand truths and goods, and this capacity man has from the Lord. (A.E., n. 998.)
True marriage love is a source of power and protection against the hells, as it is against the evils and falsities that ascend from the hells, and for the reason that through marriage love man has conjunction with the Lord, and the Lord alone has power over all the hells; also because through marriage love man has heaven and the church; consequently as the Lord unceasingly protects heaven and the church from the evils and falsities that rise up from the hells, so He protects all who are in true marriage love, because such and no others have heaven and the church. For heaven and the church are a marriage of good and truth, from which is marriage love, as has been said above. And this is why through marriage love man has peace, which is inmost joy of heart from a complete safety from the hells and a protection from infestations of the evil and falsity therefrom. (A.E., n. 999.)
Those who are in true marriage love, when after death they become angels, return to their early manhood and to youth, the males, however spent with age, becoming young men, and the wives, however spent with age, becoming maidens. Each of the married pair returns to the flower and joy of the age when marriage love begins to exalt the life with new delights, and to inspire playfulness for the sake of prolification. The man who while he lived in the world had shunned adulteries as sins, and who has been inaugurated by the Lord into marriage love, comes into this state first outwardly and afterward more and more interiorly to eternity.
As such continue to grow young more interiorly it follows that true marriage love continually increases and enters into its charms and satisfactions, which have been provided for it from the creation of the world, and which are the charms and satisfactions of the inmost heaven, arising from the love of the Lord for heaven and the church, and thus from the love of good for truth and truth for good, which loves are the source of every joy in the heavens. Man thus grows young in heaven because he then enters into the marriage of good and truth; and in good there is the conatus [instinct] to love truth continually, and in truth there is the conatus [instinct] to love good continually; and then the wife is good in form and the husband is truth in form. From that conatus [instinct] man puts off all the austerity, sadness, and dryness of old age, and puts on the liveliness, gladness, and freshness of youth, from which the conatus [instinct] becomes living and a joy.
I have been told from heaven that such then have the life of love, which cannot otherwise be described than as the life of joy itself. That the man who lives in true marriage love in the world comes after death into the heavenly marriage, which is the marriage of good and truth springing from the marriage of the Lord with the church, is clearly evident from this, that from the marriages in the heavens, although the married pair have consociations there like those on the earth, children are not born, but instead of children goods and truths, and thus wisdom, as has been said above. And this is why births, nativities, and generations mean in the Word, in its spiritual sense, spiritual births, nativities, and generations, and sons and daughters mean the truths and goods of the church, and other like things are meant by daughters-in-law, mothers-in-law, and fathers-in-law. This also makes clear that marriages on the earth correspond to marriages in the heavens; and that after death man comes into the correspondence, that is, comes from natural bodily marriage into spiritual heavenly marriage, which is heaven itself and the joy of heaven. (A.E., n. 1000.)
From marriage love angels have all their beauty; thus each angel has beauty in the measure of that love. For all angels are forms of their affections, for the reason that it is not permitted in heaven to counterfeit with the face things that do not belong to one’s affection; consequently their faces are types of their minds. When, therefore, they have marriage love, and love of wisdom, these loves in them give form to their faces, and show themselves like vital fires in their eyes; to which innocence and peace add themselves, which complete their beauty. Such are the forms of the inmost angelic heaven; and they are truly human forms. (A.E., n. 1001.)
From what has been thus far presented what the good is that results from chastity in marriage can be inferred, consequently what the good works of chastity are that a man does who shuns adulteries as sins against God. The good works of chastity concern either the married pair themselves, or their offspring and posterity, or the heavenly societies.
The good works of chastity that concern the married pair themselves are spiritual and celestial loves, intelligence and wisdom, innocence and peace, power and protection against the hells and against the evils and the falsities therefrom, and manifold joys and felicities to eternity. Those who live in chaste marriages, as before described, have all these.
The good works of chastity that concern the offspring and posterity are that so many and so great evils do not become innate in families. For the ruling love of parents is transmitted to the offspring and sometimes to remote posterity, and becomes their hereditary nature. This is broken and softened in parents who shun adulteries as infernal and love marriages as heavenly. The good works of chastity that concern the heavenly societies are that chaste marriages are the charms of heaven, that they are its nurseries, and that they are its supports. They supply charms to heaven by communications; they are nurseries to heaven by producing offspring; and they are supports to heaven by their power against the hells; for at the presence of conjugal love devilish spirits become furious, insane, and mentally impotent, and cast themselves into the deep. (A.E., n. 1002.)
From the goods enumerated and described that result from chaste marriages it may be concluded what the evils are that result from adulteries; for such evils are the opposites of such goods; that is, in place of the spiritual and celestial loves that those have who live in chaste marriages, there are the infernal and devilish loves that those have who are in adulteries. So in place of the intelligence and wisdom that those have who live chastely in marriages there are the insanities and follies that those have who are in adulteries; in place of the innocence and peace that those have who live in chaste marriages there are the deceit and no peace that those have who are in adulteries; in place of the power and protection against the hells that those have who live chastely in marriages there are the very Asmodean demons and the hells that those have who live in adulteries; in place of the beauty that those have who live chastely in marriages there is the deformity that those have who live in adulteries, which is monstrous according to what they are. Their final lot is that from the extreme impotence to which they are at length reduced they become emptied of all the fire and light of life, and dwell alone in deserts as images of the slothfulness and weariness of their own life. (A.E., n. 1003.)
True marriage love is impossible except between two, like the Lord’s love toward heaven, which is one from Him and in Him, or toward the church, which like heaven is one from Him and in Him. All who are in the heavens and who are in the church must be one through mutual love from love to the Lord. An angel in heaven or a man in the church who does not thus make one with the rest is not of heaven or of the church. Moreover, in the whole heaven and in the whole world there are two things to which all things have reference; these two are called good and truth, from which, when joined into one, all things in heaven and in the world have had existence and subsistence. When these are one, good is in truth and truth is in good, and truth is of good and good is of truth; thus one recognizes the other as its mutual and reciprocal, or as an agent recognizes its reagent, each in its turn.
This universal marriage is the source of marriage love between husband and wife. The husband has been so created as to be the understanding of truth, and the wife so created as to be the will of good, and thus the husband to be a truth and the wife a good, as well as that both may be truth and good in form, which form is man, and an image of God.
Since, then, for truth to come to be of good and good to be of truth mutually and reciprocally has its origin in creation, so it is impossible for one truth to be united to two diverse goods, or the reverse; neither is it possible for one understanding to be united to two diverse wills or the reverse; neither for one person who is spiritual to be united to two diverse churches; neither in like manner for one man (vir) to be inmostly united to two women. Inmost union is like that of soul and heart; the soul of the wife is the husband, and the heart of the husband is the wife. The husband communicates and conjoins his soul to the wife by actual love; it is in his seed; and the wife receives it in her heart, and from this the two become one, and then each and all things in the body of the one look to their mutual in the body of the other. This is genuine marriage, which is possible only between two. For it is by creation that all things of the husband, both of his mind and of his body, have their mutual in the mind and in the body of the wife; and thus the most particular things look mutually to each other and will to be united. From this looking and conatus [instinct] marriage love springs.
All things in the body, which are called members, viscera, and organs, are nothing but natural corporeal forms corresponding to the spiritual form of the mind; from this each and all things of the body so correspond to each and all things of the mind that whatever the mind wills and thinks the body at its command instantly brings forth into act. When, therefore, two minds act as one their two bodies are potentially so united that they are no more two but one flesh. To will to become one flesh is marriage love; and such as the willing is, such is that love.
It is allowed to confirm this by a wonderful thing in the heavens. There are married pairs there in such marriage love that the two can be one flesh, and are one whenever they wish, and they then appear as one man. I have seen and talked with such; and they said that they have one life, and are like the life of good in truth and the life of truth in good, and are like the pairs in man, that is, like the two hemispheres of the brain enclosed in one membrane, the two ventricles of the heart within a common covering, likewise the two lobes of the lungs; these, although they are two, yet are one in regard to life and the activities of life, which are uses. They said that their life so conjoined is full of heaven, and is the very life of heaven with its infinite beatitudes, for the reason that heaven that heaven also is such from the marriage of the Lord with it, for all the angels of heaven are in the Lord and the Lord in them.
Furthermore, they said that it is impossible for them to think from any intention about an additional wife or woman, because this would be turning heaven into hell, consequently if an angel merely thinks of such a thing he falls from heaven. They added that natural spirits do not believe such conjunctions as theirs to be possible, for the reason that with those who are merely natural there is no marriage from a spiritual origin, which is of good and truth, but only a marriage from a natural origin; therefore there is no union of minds, but only a union of bodies from a lascivious disposition in the flesh; and this lust is from a universal law impressed upon and thus implanted in everything animate and inanimate from creation. The law is that everything in which there is force wills to produce its like and to multiply its kind to infinity and to eternity. As the posterity of Jacob, who were called the sons of Israel, were merely natural men, and thus their marriages were not spiritual but carnal, so they were permitted on account of the hardness of their hearts to take more wives than one. (A.E., n. 1004.)
But it is to be noted that adulteries are more and less infernal and abominable. The adulteries that spring from more grievous evils and their falsities are more grievous, and those from the milder evils and their falsities are milder; for adulteries correspond to adulterations of good and consequent falsifications of truth; adulterations of good are in themselves evils, and falsifications of truth are in themselves falsities. According to correspondences with these the hells are arranged into genera and species. (A.E., n. 1006.)
In brief, from every conjunction of evil and falsity in the spiritual world a sphere of adultery flows forth, but only from those who are in falsities in regard to doctrine and in evils in regard to life; not from those who are in falsities in regard to doctrine but are in goods in regard to life, for in such there is no conjunction of evil and falsity, but only in the former. That sphere flows forth particularly from priests who have taught falsely and lived wickedly; for these have adulterated and falsified the Word. Although such were not adulterers in the world, adultery is excited by them; but it is an adultery called sacerdotal [priestly] adultery, which is distinguishable from other adulteries. All this makes clear that the origin of adulteries is the love and consequent conjunction of evil and falsity. (A.E., n. 1007.)
Adulteries are less abhorrent to Christians than to the heathen, and even to some barbarous nations, for the reason that at present in the Christian world there is no marriage of good and truth, but a marriage or evil and falsity. For the religion and doctrine of faith separated from good works is a religion and doctrine of truth separated from good; and truth separated from good is not truth, but inwardly regarded is falsity; and good separated from truth is not good, but inwardly regarded is evil. Consequently in the Christian religion there is doctrine of falsity and evil, from which origin a desire and inclination for adultery from hell flow in; and this is why adulteries are believed in the Christian world to be allowable, and are practiced without shame. For, as has been said above, the conjunction of evil and falsity is spiritual adultery, from which according to correspondence natural adultery springs. For this reason “adulteries” and “whoredoms” signify in the Word adulterations of good and falsifications of truth; and for this reason Babylon is called in the Apocalypse a “harlot,” and Jerusalem is so called in the Word of the Old Testament; and the Jewish nation was called by the Lord “an adulterous nation,” and “from their father the devil.” (A.E., n. 1008.)
He that abstains from adulteries from any other motive than because they are sins and are against God is still an adulterer; as for instance when anyone abstains from them from fear of the civil law and its penalties, from fear of the loss of reputation and thus of honor, from fear of resulting diseases, from fear of upbraidings at home from his wife and consequent intranquility of life, from fear of chastisement by the servants of the injured husband, from poverty, or from avarice; from infirmity arising from abuse or from age or impotence or disease; in fact, when one abstains because of any natural or moral law, and does not at the same time abstain because of the Divine law, he is interiorly unchaste and an adulterer, since he none the less believes that adulteries are not sins, and therefore declares them lawful in his spirit, and thus commits them in spirit, although not in the body; consequently after death when he becomes a spirit he speaks openly in favor of them, and commits them without shame.
It has been granted me in the spiritual world to see maidens who regarded whoredoms as wicked because they are contrary to the Divine law, and also maidens who did not regard them as wicked and yet abstained from them because the resulting bad name would turn away suitors. These latter I saw encompassed with a dusky cloud in their descent to those below, while the former I saw encompassed with a shining light in their ascent to those above. (A.E., n. 1009.)
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