In Everything in the Word is the Marriage of the Lord and the Church, and thence the marriage of good and Truth (S. S. 70-90)
This teaching has sometimes been understood as meaning that in the Word there are dual expressions or dual words, one signifying good and the other truth; and doubtless the thought has occurred to many that since this ultimate representation of the marriage of good and truth is characteristic of the Word, therefore the Writings cannot be the Word, seeing that they are in no way characterized by the use of such dual expressions. This, however, is mistaking an effect for the cause. It is as though I should say that the marriage of good and truth does not exist in the human internal, since that human internal does not have two eyes, or two ears, etc.
The dual expressions in the Old Testament, and to a much less extent in the New, are not themselves the marriage of good and truth, they are merely the most ultimate representation of that marriage. The marriage itself is present everywhere in the Word, but it is represented by dual expressions only here and there. Therefore we read: " Because this marriage is in everything of the Word, therefore there are very often two expressions in the Word which appear like repetitions of the same thing " (S. S. 81). In the Old and New Testaments the spiritual marriage is also, and perhaps more frequently, represented by the marriages of men and women. But these also are merely the occasional representations of that heavenly marriage which exists everywhere in all Divine Revelation.
What that marriage itself is, is thus described in the Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture: " When the man of the church is in truths, then the Lord flows into his truths with good, and vivifies them; or what is the same thing, when the man of the church is in intelligence by means of truth, the Lord then flows into his intelligence by means of the good of love and charity, and thus infuses life into it " (S. S. 82).
In all Divine Revelation, what is revealed, is the Divine Wisdom from Divine Love, or Divine Truth from Divine Good. Hence all revelation is a revelation of truth that it may prepare man for the reception of good to the end that he may bring forth the fruits of heaven. In the deeply veiled portions of the Old Testament and the Apocalypse, this marriage is represented sometimes by a duality of expressions which has been noticed by Biblical critics, and been imitated by poets; and sometimes by stories of human marriages and their offspring. But in those portions of the Old and New Testaments where the spiritual sense is set forth in the sense of the letter, these representations are less in evidence, and what necessarily predominates is the note of exhortation to a life of obedience to the Divine precepts. This is a more open and living manifestation of the marriage of good and truth which exists everywhere in the Divine Word; consequently it is a manifestation more potent for the actual establishment of that marriage with men, and so for the formation of a genuine church.
This difference in the external characteristics of different parts of the Old and New Testaments as regards the marriage of good and truth or of the Lord and the Church is plainly indicated in the implications of a passage in the Writings which I have already quoted, but from which I shall again quote a few lines as follows: " There are many things in the sense of the letter of the Word which cannot serve for any doctrine of the church at this day; . . . but still there are intermingled many things from which doctrine can be collected and formed, especially the doctrine of life" (A. E. 356), that is to say, the doctrine which exhorts man to the good of life, or to the marriage of good and truth.
Now this exhortation which so manifestly characterizes certain portions of the Old Testament, and which is seen in the Gospels to a far greater degree; this divine exhortation to men in the sense of the letter of the Word, to the end that a church may be established which shall be the Bride of the Lord; this, I say, is pre-eminently the characteristic of the Lord's Revelation to the New Church in the very sense of its letter; not its characteristic here and there as in the Old Testament; not even its predominant characteristic as in the New Testament; but its all pervading characteristic. On every page, in every word, the Writings breathe nothing but the marriage of good and truth. They exhort to this marriage not in the obscure though poetic imagery of dualism; not in the deliverance of spiritual truths dimly perceived; but in rational language whereby the Divine Truth of the Divine Good openly instructs man, gives him strength to fight against the forces of hell if he will, and is ever urgent for the establishment of a church which shall be a genuine spiritual church, the Bride of the Lord.
It is no fanciful picture that I am describing. Every one who has read the Writings with any desire to learn the Lord's will for the guidance of his life will recognize its truth, knowing that when the Writings are thus read they are at once perceived as a perpetual exhortation to genuine repentance and to the living of that spiritual life which is the fruit of the marriage of good and truth.
We have also the literal testimony of the Writings themselves. In a passage in the Arcana, the theme of which is the showing that there would be no doctrine of faith if the rational were consulted, we read: " And, what is an arcanum, every doctrinal is from the Divine Good and the Divine Truth, and has in itself the heavenly marriage. The doctrinal which does not have within it this marriage, is not a genuine doctrinal of faith. Hence it is, that in the single things of the Word which is the source of doctrine, there is an image of marriage " (A. C. 2516).