Swedenborg Study.com

Online works based on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg


Previous: Chapter VII. Conjugial Love and the Love Of Children Up: The Doctrine of the New Church on Sex and Marriage Next: The Doctrine of the New Church on Sex and Marriage

Chapter VIII. Description of a Married Couple in Heaven

To conclude, let the following description of a married pair in heaven, as seen by Swedenborg, serve to depict conjugial love in its full splendour, such as it will be, though not necessarily in every outward detail, with all who are being more and more interiorly united here upon earth. There appeared a chariot descending out of the highest heaven, in which there appeared one angel; but, as it approached, there appeared two therein. The chariot at a distance glittered before my eyes like a diamond, and to it were harnessed young horses white as snow. Those who sat in the chariot held in their hands two turtledoves, and they called out to me, "Do you wish us to come nearer to you? In that case take care lest the coruscation which flashes out of the heaven from whence we have come, and which is flaming, should penetrate you interiorly." I replied, "I will take care; come nearer." They came nearer, and lo, it was a husband and his wife. And they said, "We are married partners; we have lived in happiness in heaven from the first age which is called by you the golden age, and we have lived perpetually in the same flower of youth in which you see us to-day."

I observed them both closely, for I perceived that they represented conjugial love in its life and in its attire; in its life in their faces, and in its attire in their garments. . . - The husband appeared of an age intermediate between youth and young manhood. From his eyes darted forth sparkling light from the wisdom of love, from which light his face was as it were inmostly radiant; and in consequence of the radiance the surface of his skin shone; hence his whole face was resplendently handsome. He was dressed in a garment reaching down to his feet, and underneath it was a purple garment encircled with a golden girdle upon which were three precious stones, two sapphires at the sides and a fiery stone in the middle. His stockings were of shining linen with threads of silver interwoven, and his shoes were of silk. This was the representative form of conjugial love with the husband. But with the wife it was like this: her face was seen by me, and yet it was not seen. It was seen as beauty itself, and it was not seen because this beauty was inexpressible. For in her face there was a splendour of flaming light, such as the angels in the third heaven have, and this light dimmed my sight; wherefore I was simply lost in astonishment. Observing this, she spoke to me saying, "What do you see ?" I replied, "I see nothing but conjugial love and the form thereof; but I see and do not see." Hereupon she turned herself sideways from her husband, and then I was able to observe her more closely. Her eyes sparkled from the light of her own heaven, which light, as was said, is flaming, and therefore is derived from the love of wisdom. For the wives in that heaven love their husbands from their wisdom and in their wisdom, and the husbands love their wives from that love and in that love towards themselves; and thus they are united. This was the origin of her beauty, which was such that it would be impossible for any painter to reproduce it, for there is no such lustre in his colours, nor is such beauty expressible in his art. Her hair was arranged in beautiful order according to its correspondence with her beauty, and in it were placed diadems of flowers. She had a necklace of fiery gems from which hung a rosary of chrysolites; and she had bracelets of pearls. Her robe was scarlet, and underneath it she had a crimson stomacher fastened in front with clasps of rubies. But what surprised me was that the colours varied according to her aspect towards her husband, being sometimes more glittering, sometimes less. When I had made these observations, they spoke to me again, and when the husband was speaking he spoke at the same time as from his wife, and when the wife spoke she did so at the same time as from her husband. Such was the union of their minds from whence their speech proceeded. Then also I heard the tone of voice of conjugial love, that inwardly it was simultaneous, and also that it proceeded from the delights of a state of peace and innocence. At length they said, "We are recalled, and must depart;" and again they appeared to be carried in a chariot as before. They were conveyed by a paved way between flower beds from which arose orange and olive trees. And when they were near their own heaven, they were met by maidens who welcomed them back with greetings. CL 42

Previous: Chapter VII. Conjugial Love and the Love Of Children Up: The Doctrine of the New Church on Sex and Marriage Next: The Doctrine of the New Church on Sex and Marriage


Webmaster: IJT@swedenborgstudy.com