Swedenborg Study.com

Online works based on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg


"A Name of Glory and Honor" (CL 217)

by Rev. Robert S. Jungé


Wives inherently desire to be wives and to be called wives. "It is to them a name of glory and of honor." We are taught that husbands receive the sphere of conjugial love solely through their wives. We are also taught that conjugial love is love to the Lord. Again we are taught that the states of conjugial love are innocence, peace, tranquility, inmost friendship, full confidence, and a mutual desire of mind and heart to do each other every good? Since husbands receive conjugial love solely through their wives, in what sense do the husbands of the Church receive love to the Lord and all these states of conjugial love through their wives? In this study we try to bring these teachings together in the context of the formation of the new will in the belief that it can help us give proper glory and honor to the name "wife."


There is a conjugial sphere which flows in from the Lord through heaven. (CL 222) "This sphere is received by the female sex, and through this is transferred into the male sex." (CL 223) "That where there is love truly conjugial this sphere is received by the wife, and by the husband solely through the wife." (CL 224, see CL 225)


"Every one, whether man or woman, possesses understanding and will; but with the man the understanding predominates, and with the woman the will predominates, and the character is determined by that which predominates. Yet in heavenly marriages there is no predominance; for the will of the wife is also the husband's will, and the understanding of the husband is also the wife's understanding, since each loves to will and to think like the other, that is mutually and reciprocally." (HH 369)

Having both will and understanding is essential to the individual freedom and responsibility of both men and women. Each cultivates their own relation to the Lord. "There is masculine love to the Lord and there is feminine." (1st Index, SEX) But the passage continues, "and the love is not full unless they are together." (1st Index, SEX)

To promote this "fullness" the Lord also provides a special relationship of will and understanding in the conjugial relationship of husband and wife. "Taken together they are a man (homo) in his fullness; but without this conjunction they are two, and each as it were a divided or half man." (CL 37; see HH 368; CL 76; First Index MAN, Homo) We take the truly conjugial relationship as corresponding to the heavenly marriage of the new will and the new understanding. We believe that a wife's function in marriage parallels the establishment of the new will in the regenerating individual.

"The will of the wife conjoins itself with the understanding of the man; and hence the understanding of the man with the will of  the wife." (CL 159) "Matters that are of rational wisdom make man's understanding and those that are of moral wisdom make his will. The wife conjoins herself with those that form man's will." (CL 195)"He who conjoins the will of a man to himself conjoins to him the whole man. Hence it is inherent in the wife's love to unite her husband's will to her own will;... so that the two are one man." (CL 196) "Thought forms, that is presents in form that which the will wills, and the will gives delight to it; and this is why a married pair in heaven are not called two but one angel." (HH 372)

"All this makes clear that through marriage man becomes a form of love, and thus a form of heaven, which is the image and likeness of God. (AE 984) This cannot take place "except by the marriage of good and truth from the Lord, and not fully except by the marriage of two minds and two bodies." (AE 984) So we are taught: "Divine truth and Divine good, which are the source of all intelligence, wisdom and happiness, flow chiefly into conjugial love; consequently conjugial love, since it is also the marriage-of good and truth, is the very plane of Divine influx." (HH 370)

Since conjugial love comes solely through the wife "...(it) depends on the love of the wife, and such is the love of the husband in reciprocation, and the love of the wife does not depend on the love of the husband; the reason is, because like as the will actuates the understanding: good actuates truth, hence it is that it is said that the husband ought to cleave to the wife;" (Conj. 34) Thus conjugial love depends on the wife, but its reception depends on the state of the husband. "The reason is that wives are born loves, and thence it is innate in them to will to be one with the husbands; and from this thought of their will they continually nurture their love. To recede therefore from the endeavor to unite themselves with their husbands would be to recede from their very selves. With husbands it is different because they are not born loves but recipients of that love from their wives; therefore in so far as they receive that, the wives with their love enter in; but in so far as they do not receive, the wives with their love stand without and wait." (CL 216b) .

Husbands then have a profound duty to become worthy states of reception. "...In all conjunction by love there must be action, reception and reaction. The delightful state of (a wife's love is acting or action. The state of wisdom of husbands is receiving or reception, and is also reacting or reaction according to perception, and this reaction is perceived by (wives) with delights in the bosom... (CL 293)

"I then asked them, Do you know anything more about the wisdom of your husbands causing delight in you? they said, We do. There is spiritual wisdom and from this rational and moral wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is to acknowledge the Lord the Savior as God of heaven and earth,, and to acquire from Him the truths of the church -- which is done through the Word and preachings therefrom, -- whence results spiritual rationality, and from Him to live according to them, whence results spiritual morality. Our husbands call these two the wisdom that in general brings about love truly conjugial ....The wisdom of our husbands, spiritual rational and moral, in particular to marriage, has for its end and scope to love the wife only and putting off of every concupiscence for others." (CL 293)

"...The woman was created out of man by transcriptions of his own wisdom ....And the love of this (wisdom) by man was transferred to the woman that it might become conjugial love." (CL 193) This was done that man might not be in love of himself, but in love of his wife. "It results from this that no man can ever love his marriage partner with love truly conjugial, who from love of himself is in the pride of his own intelligence." (ibid) "Rational wisdom looks to the goods and truth that appear interiorly in man, not as his own, but flowing in from the Lord; and moral wisdom flees from evils and falsities as leprosies, especially those of lasciviousness, which contaminate his conjugial love." (CL 102) "...The truth is now manifest, that man receives truth from the Lord, and that the Lord adjoins good to that truth according to his application of the truth to use,, thus as man wills to think wisely and thence to live wisely." (CL 123; see CL 220, et al)

To achieve this marriage of good and truth between them wives are given special abilities. The wives in heaven make clear, "...You exult over us on account of your wisdom, but we do not exult over you on account of ours; and yet ours excels yours, in that it enters into your inclinations and affections and sees, perceives and feels them. You know nothing at all about the inclinations and affections-of your love, although it is from these and according to them that your understanding thinks and from these and according to them therefore, that you are wise. And yet wives know them in their husbands ...We have heard from our husbands that the Lord wills that the male man shall act from freedom according to reason; and that to this end the Lord Himself from within regulates his freedom, which regards the inclinations and affections,, and from without by means of his wife; and that thus He forms the man with his wife into an angel of heaven..." (CL 208) Note the wonderful acceptance of this by angelic husbands. "And as she, my own,, has perception of all my inclinations, she as an intermediate gives direction to my thoughts, and turns away everything discordant and imparts a cold and horror of everything unchaste." (CL 76

The parallel between what takes place in individual regeneration and in the conjugial relation seems to be clear where we read, "Love truly conjugial is at the beginning, like as man being reformed and afterwards regenerated. It inverts itself; and when it has inverted itself, the man's love proceeds from the wife's love, and as is the latter such is the former. In like manner is circumstanced the conjunction of good and truth..." (SD 6110:61) The conjunction of will and understanding with husband and wife is effected more and more inwardly to eternity as the interiors of their minds are opened. (CL 162, 101) "That conjunction is inspired into the man by the wife according to her love; and is received by the man according to his wisdom." (CL 161)

In the conjugial relationship love is constant. "That the inclination to unite the man to herself is constant and perpetual with the wife; but with the man it is inconstant and alternating. The reason is that love cannot do otherwise than love and unite itself, in order that it may be loved in return. Its essence and life are nothing else;..." (CL 160; see CL 221, 169) In seeking a parallel to regeneration we note that remains are a wonderful constant, but they are often a hidden and protected affectional conatus to good. Remains are also the basis for the formation of the new will which is formed in the individual person's understanding. In much the same way we believe the will of the wife finds its place in her husband's understanding. Later when we explore the states of conjugial love which we believe come in a special way through the wife, we will discover many insights regarding remains and how they are implanted not only in states of innocence and peace, but in states of confidence, friendship, mutual uses etc.

We believe that from without a true wife cooperates with the Lord in the formation of the new will which becomes their common will. She can do this through her created nature if she cherishes her husband's freedom and shuns dominion. But she also must have a good and responsive husband who allows the Lord to form his understanding and life according to His Word. He must shun the pride of self intelligence and acknowledge in his very life that all good and truth are from the Lord and not from himself. If they both look to each other alone and do these things, as one angel her will be his, and his understanding will be hers. Their relationship will become a full and complete parallel to the new will and new understanding in the individual regenerate person.

As the new will and new understanding as if from self consent to marriage in the individual, so the shared new will and new understanding of the couple freely consent to perform one use together. Therefore, we also believe that we can learn a great deal concerning the as if from self through the study of courtship and consent between married partners.


As we think of this wonderful female-male relationship of a new will and a new understanding, we remind ourselves that "True conjugial love is from the Lord alone... from this it follows that true conjugial love in its first essence is love to the Lord..." (AE 995) "All who are in love truly conjugial are in love to the Lord,.. Love truly conjugial cannot be given except by the Lord." (Conj 7) "Full conjunction with the Lord is wrought by conjugial love." (2nd Index, LORD) The concept that conjugial love is love to the Lord avoids any contradiction between the teaching that love to the Lord is the highest love and yet that conjugial love is the "head of all loves." (CL 64, 65, 68 et al)

"This love is the fundamental love of all celestial and spiritual loves, since through that love man (homo) becomes love; for from it each of the marriage pair loves the other as good loves truth and truth loves good, thus representatively as the Lord loves heaven and the church. Such love can exist only through a marriage in which the man (vir) is truth and the wife (uxor) is good. When a man (homo) through marriage has become such love he is also in love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, and thus in the love of all good and in the love of all truth. For from man (homine) as love there must proceed loves of every kind; therefore conjugial 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 fundamental love of all the delights and joys of heaven, since every delight and joy is of love. From this is follows that heavenly Toys, in their order and in their degrees have their origins and their causes from conjugial love." (AE 993:2)

Think of some of the things which seem to accompany the gift of conjugial love through the wife. "In conjugial love is the inmost of conscience." (Conj 41) And we know that conscience is the new will. "Conjugial love causes a man to be love... It is from creation that a man is the image and likeness of the Lord (Gen 1:26,27) And this cannot be without genuine conjugial love. From that everything of man can be turned into love, for in marriage it is lawful for each to love even the body from the heart,, and thus to dispose the soul and all things thence to the form of love,, which otherwise is not possible. The inmost and outermost there make one, and induce that form, and that form is a form of heaven." (Conj 71) "Therefore each one has heaven according to his conjugial love." (1st index, SPIRITUAL MARRRIAGE) "How two married partners become one form of love through conjugial love." (SD 6110:3; see also AE 990:2)

"(Conjugial love) is a fire enkindled from the love of good and truth and from the delight in well-doing, thus from love to the Lord and from love towards the neighbor-into such a union heaven breathes..." (1st Index, RELIGION; see CL 239, 70, 130) " ..Through conjugial love man has heaven and the church; ... " (AE 999:2) "According to conjunction by means of that conjugial love increases,, and with it every good of heaven." (AE 1005:3


Assuming that love to the Lord as a shared new will is received in some sense through the wife- and as we have discovered that many things such as conscience, every good of heaven and the Church are also in some sense involved, we turn to the states of conjugial love. We believe that these too in some sense come solely through the wife. We remind ourselves of the familiar "...the states of conjugial love are innocence, peace, tranquility, inmost friendship, full confidence and a mutual desire of mind and heart to do each other every good." (CL 180; see also CL 167; AE 1002:2)


"As true conjugial 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 an infant As that love is innocence, it is the very 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 conjugial love, because he is so far in innocence." (AE 996:2) "...Conjugial love, which descends therefrom as the love of the heavens, is innocence, which is the very esse of every good in the heavens." (AE 985:2; see SD 6110:1; 1st Index DELIGHTS)

"I have been instructed that genuine conjugial love is innocence itself, which dwells in wisdom... With those who live in conjugial love, the interiors of their minds are open through heaven even to the Lord; for this love flows in from the Lord through man's inmost. From this they have the Lord's kingdom in themselves, and from this they have genuine love toward little children for the sake of the Lord's kingdom; and from this they are receptive of heavenly loves above others, and are in mutual love more than-others; for this comes from that source as a stream from its fountain." (AC 2737) Note the inclusion of love for little children which we know comes through the wife. (CL 393) "But unless the parents also receive that influx (of the sphere of innocence) into their souls, and in the inmosts of their minds, they would be affected in vain by the innocence of infants. (CL 396; see CL 399 et al)

But looking at the some of the descriptions of innocence more broadly, we recall that man is in the affection for knowledge, intelligence and wisdom, and woman in the affection for loving these in the man. (see CL 90,91). Look at the possible connection of this feminine role in connection with the following: "Man is first introduced into the innocence of childhood, which is that one knows no truth and can do no good from himself, but only from the Lord, and desires and seeks truth only because it is truth, and good only because it is good. As man afterwards advances in age good and truth are given him by the Lord. At first he is led into knowledge by them, then from knowledge into intelligence, and finally from intelligence into wisdom innocence always accompanying which consists as has been said, in his knowing nothing of truth and being unable to do anything good from himself but only from the Lord." (HH 279; see CL 122) Is the affection for loving knowledge, intelligence and wisdom with wives the innocence which is always accompanying?

"I have been told that truth can be conjoined to good and good to truth only by means of innocence, and therefore an angel is not an angel of heaven unless he has innocence in him; for heaven is not in any one until good is conjoined to truth in him; and this is why the conjunction of truth and good is called the heavenly marriage, and the heavenly marriage is heaven. Again I have been told that true conjugial love derives its existence from innocence, because it derives its existence from the conjunction of good and truth, and the two minds of husband and wife are in that conjunction, and when that conjunction descends it presents the appearance of conjugial love; for consorts are in mutual love, as their minds are..." (HH 281; see HH 367)

"After this the angel spoke of the marriage of good and truth with married partners saying, that if their minds were in that marriage, the husband truth and the wife good, they would both be in the delights of the blessedness of innocence, and thence in the happiness in which the angels of heaven are. In that state the generative power of the husband would be in perpetual spring, and thence in the effort and ability to propagate his truth; and the wife would be in perpetual reception of it from love: The wisdom that is with men from the Lord feels nothing more delightful than to propagate its truths;, and the love of wisdom which is in wives feels nothing more pleasing than to receive them, as in the womb, and so to conceive, carry in the womb, and bring them forth..." (CL 115; see CL 121,127)

"The innocence of wisdom is genuine innocence, because it is internal, for it belongs to the mind itself, that is to the will itself and from that to the understanding. And when there is innocence in these there is also wisdom, for wisdom belongs to the will and understanding. This is why it is said in heaven that innocence has its abode in wisdom, and that an angel has just so much innocence as he has wisdom." (HH 278) As in the individual so in the conjugial between husband and wife?

"Innocence consists in acknowledging that in oneself there is nothing but evil, and that all good is from the Lord; and also in believing that man does not know or Perceive anything from himself, but from the Lord..." (AC 7902:e; see HH 278) (Note how similar the language is here to the definition of rational wisdom in CL 102)

Compare some the following concepts about innocence to what was said about love to the Lord. Using these concepts as in some way defining a wife's role in life certainly gives glory and honor to the name wife. "...Innocence is the human itself, for into it as into a plane flow love and charity from the Lord." ((AC 4797:2) "As the inmost of the heavens is innocence, therefore that which is interior with all the heavens must be innocence." (AC 5608:12) "...Without innocence good is as if without its soul." (AC 7840) "...In innocence all things of heaven can be implanted for it is a receptacle of the truth of faith and of the good of love..." (HH 330:e) "Innocence is the esse of all good,, and that good is therefore so far stood as it has innocence in it, consequently that wisdom is so far wisdom as it partakes of innocence." (HH 281)

Think of the special role of mothers in regard to innocence and remains. Not just remains of childhood, for remains are also instilled throughout life and become active forces as man regenerates. "(Remains are) all the states of love and charity, and consequently all the states of innocence and peace with which a man is gifted. These states are given to man from infancy, but less by degrees as the man advances into adult age. But when a man is being regenerated he then receives new remains also, besides the former, thus new life. For it is from remains or by remains, that a man is a man; for without the state of love and charity, and without the state of innocence -- which states insinuate themselves into the other states of his life -- a man is not a man, but is worse than any wild beast." (AC 1738)

Compare the transfer in the individual to the transfer in the wife. "For when man's will part had become wholly corrupt, the Lord miraculously separated the proprium of his intellectual part from that corrupt proprium of his will part, and in the proprium of his intellectual part He, formed a new will, which is conscience, and into the conscience insinuated charity, and into the charity innocence, and thus conjoined Himself with man..." (AC 1023:2) We believe that the genuine role of a wife is defined by the formation of the new will. We also believe that talk of the separate understanding being elevated as a masculine function to restrain the proprial emotions of the wife has too often been made a false paradigm for the conjugial relationship.

We see our thesis strongly implied in the following concerning the new will and it makes an awesome charge concerning the role of wife. "(It is evident that will and understanding) make the life of man, and that the truth of faith and the good of charity make his new life, and that unless both or these have been implanted in man he has not new life ....When he is a little child, man receives good from the Lord, and this good is the good of innocence, such as little children have. This good makes the beginning of the new will in man, and in the succeeding age it grows in accordance with his life of innocence with his companions and in accordance with his life of goodness and obedience toward his parents and masters, but still more with those who afterward suffer themselves to be regenerated ...This new will, which is from the good of innocence, is the dwelling place through which the Lord enters into man and excites him to will what is good, and from willing to do it. This influx works in the man in proportion as he desists from evils. From this he has the faculty of knowing, of perceiving, reflecting upon, and understanding moral and civil truths and goods in accordance with the delight of use. Afterward the Lord flows in through this good into the truths of doctrine of the church with man, and calls forth from the memory such as are of service to the use of life, and implants these in the good, and so perfects the good. It is from this that the good with a man is wholly in accordance with the use of life ....From this it is evident how truths are implanted in good and form it; and also that when a man is in good he is in heaven with the Lord; for as before said, the new will, in which is the good of charity, is the dwelling place of the Lord, and consequently is heaven in man; and the new understanding thence derived is as it were the tabernacle through which He comes in and goes out." (AC 9296:2-3)

Of those in a state of innocence we read, "Neither are they anxious about the future; anxiety about the future they call care for the morrow which they define as grief on account of losing or not receiving things that are not necessary for the uses of life ...." (HH 278; cp AC 8455, 1726 re peace) If indeed wives have a special role in preserving innocence, it would follow that they also would have a particular challenge not to be anxious about the future and to foster a sphere of peace. (cp AC 2780 et al re innocence and peace together)


"Since conjugial love in its first essence is love to the Lord from the Lord, -and thus is innocence, conjugial love is also peace, such as the angels in the heavens have. For as innocence is the very esse of all good,, so peace is the very esse of all delight from good, consequently is the very esse of all Joy between the marriage pair. As then all joy is of love, and conjugial love is the fundamental love of all the loves of heaven, so peace has its seat chiefly in conjugial love Peace is happiness of heart and soul arising from the conjunction of the Lord with heaven and the church, as well as from the conjunction of good and truth, when all conflict and combat of evil and falsity with good and truth has ceased ...And as conjugial love descends from such conjunction so all the delight of that love descends and derives its essence from heavenly peace. Moreover, this peace ...can be granted only to those who can be joined together inmostly, that is, as to their very hearts." (AE 997:4) "For heaven and the church are the marriage of good and truth, from which is conjugial love ,...And this is why through conjugial love man (homini) 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." (AE 999:2)

The concept of "through the wife" seems clear. "Meanwhile I asked the husbands, "Have you a similar sense of conjugial love? They answered, We have it in general but not in particular. We have a general blessedness, a general delight, and general pleasantness from the particular sensations of our wives; and this general sense which we have from them is as the serenity of peace." (CL 155(2)) What is more, "...the nature of woman's intelligence seems to be matched to this use. "That the intelligence of women is in itself unassuming, refined, peaceful, yielding gentle, and tender." (CL 218) The need with men is also clear. "With men there is no innate love of the sex ...and without that love there is no interior charm of life." (CL 297)

The connection to love to the Lord and to all the goods of heavens also seems clear. "From conjugial love angels have all their beauty; thus each angel has beauty in the measure of that love ...When therefore, they have conjugial love, love to the Lord, mutual love, love of good and love of truth 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 heavens and they are truly human forms." (AE 1001)

"(The state of peace) is so delightful that it surpasses every idea of delight; it is not only a cessation of combat, but is life proceeding from interior peace, and affecting the external man in such a manner as cannot be described; the truths of faith, and the goods of love, which derive their life from the delight of peace, are then born. (AC 92; see AC 5662, 5052, 2780) "Tranquility of mind, content, and gladness from success are relatively nothing; for these affect only his externals; whereas peace affects the inmost things of all..." (AC 8455; see AC 1726) Remember innocence and peace as states of conjugial love are "of the soul." (CL 180)

"All the conjunction of good and truth is effected in this state When a man is in a state of peace, he is then also led of the Lord by means of good: if a man were then to lead himself, even by means of truth, he would dissipate the state of peace, and so there would be no conjunction.'' (AC 8517) "So long as man is in truth, and not yet in good, he is in an untranquil state; but when he is in good, then he is in a tranquil state, thus in peace..." (AC 8722) What role does a peaceful home play in the whole scheme of spiritual life? In fact, should the need for nurturing innocence and peace become greater and more conscious in the later years of life?

Again we connect this to the concept of the new will. "As to act contrary to Conscience is to act contrary to the new will, contrary to charity, and contrary to the truths of faith, consequently contrary to the life which man has from the Lord, it is evident from this that a man is in the tranquility of peace and in internal blessedness, when he acts according to conscience; and that he is in intranquility and also in pain, when he acts contrary to conscience." (AC 9118)


"(Tranquility is) the offspring of peace..." (AC 91) "That from that love comes the blessedness of their souls, the satisfaction of their minds, the delight of their bosoms, and the pleasure of their bodies; and as these abide with them to eternity, the fear is for the eternal happiness of both (CL 371) "When the lower mind is withdrawn from sensuous things, their wise men said that it comes into interior light, and the same time into a tranquil state, and into a kind of heavenly bliss; and from this they also concluded that the mind is immortal." (AC 6313) If a state of peace helps the man accept immortality, does this point to a special way in which a wife can support the thought of the eternity of marriage? Note also that nurturing tranquility enables the mind to come into interior light.

Note how peace and tranquility play a key role in the regenerative process. "...With those who are to be regenerated, who are here treated of in the internal representative sense, the case is that first of all they are in a state of tranquility, or in a state of external peace (for external peace, or peace in externals is called tranquility) and the same is produced from the Divine state of peace that is inmostly within it; and it comes forth into the externals through the removal of cupidities and falsities; for these are what cause all unrest. Moreover at the beginning of his life, that is during his infancy every man is in a state of tranquility; but as he advances in life, that is grows up to manhood, he removes himself from this state, because he gives himself up to worldly cares, and consequently anxieties caused by the cupidities of the love of self and of the world, and the derivative falsities. (2) The case is almost the same with the new life in the man who is being regenerated at first he is in a state of tranquility; but as he passes into a new life; he also passes at the same time into an untranquil state; for the evils and falsities with which he had before become imbues emerge and come forth, and disturb him, and this at last to such a degree that he is in temptations and vexations inflicted by the diabolical crew, who are continually striving to destroy the state of his new life. Yet inmostly the man is in a state of peace, for unless this were with him inmostly, he would not combat, for in his battlings he is continually looking to this state as the end, and unless he had such an end he would in no wise have power and strength to combat. This moreover is the reason why he overcomes; and because this is the end in view, he also comes into this state after the combats or temptations..." (AC 3696:1-2; AE 419)

" The setting in order is effected in tranquility. On this account also temptations are followed by what is pleasant by reason of enlightenment from truth, and by what is delightful by reason of the affection of good." (AC 8370; see AC 6408) "They who are conjoined in respect to good and truth are in tranquility and in peace... (AC 4213)

Men fight for peace. Without peace as their end, they would not have the strength to fight. Men fight to defend their homes which are to them asylums of peace. To me this is a wonderful illustration of the way wives can inspire through states of peace. But what is more, people are restored spiritually by the states of peace which follow temptation.

"This was done in the fourth watch to signify the first state of the church, when it is daybreak and morning is at hand, for then good begins to act through truth, and then the Lord comes; that the sea in the meanwhile was moved by the wind and that the Lord restrained it, signifies the natural state of life that precedes, which is an unpeaceful and as it were tempestuous state; but with the state that is nearest to morning, which is the first state of the church with man, because the Lord is then present in the good of love, there comes tranquility of mind."(AE 514:21) Thus we believe tranquility as a conscious mental state of conjugial love plays its precious role in bringing the Lord into the marriage. (see CL 180)


A special role for wives regarding friendship also seems clear. "Wives have this gift because they are most tender loves and ardent zeals as it were, for the preservation of conjugial friendship and confidence, and so for the happiness of life of both, which they look out for, for their husbands and for themselves..." (CL 155(2))

"Women hide this wisdom of theirs within themselves and do not disclose it at all to the man, for the sake of causes that are necessities; so that conjugial love, friendship and confidence and thus the union of souls and minds, and the consequent bliss of living together and the happiness of the life of both parties may be preserved and strengthened." (1st Index, SEX)

"And the reason why this conjunction increases as friendship conjoins itself to love is, that friendship is as the face of that love, and also as its garment; for not only does it adjoin itself to the love as a garment, but it conjoins itself to it also as a face. The love preceding friendship is similar to the love of the sex, a love which after the marriage vow passes away; but the love conjoined with friendship remains after the vow, and is also strengthened. It also enters interiorly into the breast; friendship introduces it and makes it truly conjugial; and then this love also makes this its friendship conjugial, which differs greatly from the friendship of every other love, for it is plenary." (CL 124) "As husbands from wisdom love conjugial chastity and friendship so they are sensible of the delights of conjugial love communicated to them by their wives." (1st Index, SEX)

The attitudes spoken of regarding courtship point to specific ways of cultivating friendship between partners. "Besides with men there is no innate love of the sex as has been shown above, and without that love there is no interior charm of life; for which reason, to exalt their life by that love it devolves upon men to be complaisant with women, courteously, kindly, and deferentially wooing and soliciting them for this sweet addition by them to their life..." (CL297)

Note again some of the interconnections with the states treated previously. "Of what kind the love of inmost friendship is among them. The inmost friendship is continual, and constitutes the heavenly delight of companionship..." (SD 6110:29) "The internal or spiritual cause of conjugial love and friendship is true religion." (1st Index, FRIENDSHIP; 2nd Index CONJUGIAL LOVE; CL 333) "Love is the image of one in the other, not an image of person but of quality; this is friendship's love." (2nd Index CONJUGIAL LOVE) "The love of infants and children is an external or natural cause of love or friendship between consorts." (1st Index, SEX) And that love of infants comes through the wife.

As an additional thought we remind ourselves of the use of apparent love and friendship in marriage. Since wives have a perception of the states of their partners, I wonder if they do not have a special role in moderating those states through apparent friendship. (See CL 291, 278, 271, 276) In this connection note the difference between conjugial friendship and servile friendship. (CL 248) Moderating and not manipulating on either's part.

"Love that is of the spirit, and of the body from the spirit, is insinuated into the souls and minds of married partners, together with friendship and confidence When these two conjoin themselves with the first love of marriage it becomes conjugial love which opens the hearts, and breathes into them the sweets of love; and this more and more inwardly as the two adjoin themselves to the primitive love and that enters into them; and the reverse." (CL 162) "And respecting marriages, they said, that they only thought from the blessedness of mutual friendship and confidence in a consort man, and not at all from the delight of any flame. But after the nuptials their virgin state was changed into a new state, of which they knew nothing before." (CL 502) "The latter state contains in itself the whole of the earlier, and all its delights ...The prior state is the state of conjugial friendship, which surpasses all friendship." (CL 6110:49)


"Since love truly conjugial conjoins the souls and hearts of two, therefore it is united also with friendship, and through this with confidence, and makes them both conjugial, which are so eminent above other friendship and confidences that, just as this love is the love of loves, so also is this friendship the friendship of friendships, and the confidence likewise." (CL 334; see CL 162,333)

As we have seen, "Wives have this gift because they are most tender loves and ardent zeals as it were, for the preservation of conjugial friendship and confidence,, and so for the happiness of life of both." (see CL 155(2)) "And there is never anything of faith except with those who are in the good of love, therefore neither is there any confidence or trust." (AC 4252:3) "Spiritual confidence or trust has its essence and life from the good of love; but not from truth of faith separate." (AC 7762; see 9241)

Note the connection to peace: "Peace has in it confidence in the Lord that he directs all things, and provides all things and that He leads to a good end. When a man is in this faith he is in peace, for he then fears nothing, and not solicitude about things to come disquiets him." (AC 8455 see under peace)."Without such faith or confidence in the Lord no one can possibly come to the tranquility or peace, thus neither to the bliss in joy, because this bliss dwells in the tranquility of peace." (AC 5963)

Husbands can perhaps learn from the opposite. "...The sensual man, is in self confidence, and in the belief that he is wiser than all others, for he is unable to weigh and explore himself, because he does not think interiorly, and when he has persuaded himself of this, then such confidence and belief are in all things that he speaks..." (AE 556; see also AE 163:4; 355:36) Husbands through conceit seem to have a unique way of attacking confidence in marriage. In struggling for full confidence wives are too often confronted with the non answers of self intelligence. Very often wives are the first to see the loss of real confidence and communication in their relationship.

The following is a tantalizing passage not only as to the roles of both husband and wife, but the impact of confidence in self intelligence on the state of the church. "Rise up, ye women that are at ease, hear my voice; ye confident sons give ear to my speech; the vintage shall be consumed, the ingathering shall not come (Is 32:9,10) Women that are at ease signify the cupidities of those who are wholly unconcerned about the vastation of the church;, the confident sons signify the falsities of those who trust in self intelligence: women and sons signify all in the church who are such, whether men or women. The vintage that shall be consumed and the ingathering that shall not come signify that there shall no longer be any truth of the church, for vintage has a similar signification as wine, namely the truth of the church; and this makes evident what is signified by its ingathering." (AE 555:20)

The following passages seem to bring us back to the suggestion of a special connection to the function of the wife regarding confidence. "Man acquires this faith from the Word by means of his natural light, in which light is knowledge, thought and persuasion; but the Lord causes it, in those who believe in Him, to become conviction, trust, and confidence; thus faith becomes spiritual-natural, and by means of charity becomes living." (TCR 137:5) "..genuine confidence is possible with those only who are in charity, from which is the life of confidence." (AC 6272) "...genuine confidence is impossible except in good." (AC 4683)


"From that marriage (of good and truth) love truly conjugial exists between two partners that are in such conjunction with the Lord ...As this conjunction is reciprocal, it is said by the Lord that: They are in Him and He in them. This conjunction or this marriage was thus established from creation. The man was created to be the understanding of truth, and the woman to be the affection of good; and thus the man to be truth and the woman good. When the understanding of truth which is with the man makes one with the affection of good which is with the woman there is a conjunction of the two minds into one. A married pair who interiorly or as to their minds love each other mutually and reciprocally also love each other mutually and reciprocally as to their bodies. (AE 983:2-3) "For the two partners who are in conjugial 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 as to their bodies, but one as to life ...All this makes clear that through marriage man becomes a form of love, and thus a form of heaven, which is the image and likeness of God... "(AE 984:2-3)

"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 of 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 from creation that all things of the husband, both of his mind and of his body, have their mutual in the mind and 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 conjugial love exists ..When therefore, two act as one their bodies are potentially so united that they are no more two but one flesh. To will to become one flesh is conjugial love; and such as the willing, such is that love." (AE 1004:23)

"The bond must be on this side and on that,, or forward and back; if not there is no conjugial love. The bond on this side and that, is that the wife's affection be in the man's understanding, and the man's understanding be in the wife." (SD 6110:17) "As speech is the form of sound, so man may be described as the form of the wife: they are one flesh; a man shall cleave to his wife; the wife is the man's soul, and life, or is the heart of the man, but neither knows anything else than that the other is his, or hers, and that each is the other's reciprocally and mutually." (SD 6110:14) "Reciprocal union of wisdom and love can be given only with a male and female together. (1st Index, SPIRITUAL MARRIAGE; 2nd Index CONJUGIAL LOVE; CL 157, 61) "In this marriage there is reciprocal action and reaction from which the one becomes the other's; it is mutual. (1st Index, SPIRITUAL MARRIAGE) The wonders of coming together fully with another human being is the way of the Lord's gift of all joy and all delight in heaven. These wonders in turn depend upon the unique roles of both the husband and the wife and upon the clear distinction between them. Only by preserving their created differences can there be what is mutual leading to oneness.

The home is one clear example of the mutual and reciprocal in marriage with each having a unique role. "A man and a woman by this mutual acceptance make a home which is a coherent one (1st Index, SEX) "The duties of the two make up as it were a single form of government." (1st Index, SEX) "Therefore, just as it concerns the magistrates in a composite society to see and provide that order shall exist and be preserved, so does it concern married partners in their particular society. But this order cannot be if the husband and wife disagree in mind, for then mutual consent and mutual aid are, like their minds, distraught and dissevered, and the form of the small society is thus rent asunder. Therefore, for the preservation of order, and thereby to provide at once for themselves and for their household, or for their household and at the same time for themselves, that they do not come to hurt and rush to destruction, necessity requires that the master and mistress of the house agree and make one; that if this cannot be on account of mental difference, still, in order that it may be well, it ought to be done, and it also is becoming that this should be done by representative conjugial friendship." (CL 283) "As woman is beautiful, so she is tender, and as she is tender so she has ability to perceive the delights of conjugial love; and as she is able to perceive these delights, so she is a faithful custodian of the common stood, and the man is wise,, so she looks after the prosperity and happiness of the home. (1st Index, SEX)

"Man (homini) has such and so much of intelligence and wisdom as he has of conjugial love ....That it is so 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 is 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." (AE 998:4)

"That the husband does not represent the Lord and the wife the Church, because both together, the husband and the wife make the Church. It is a common saying in the church that, as the Lord is the head of the church, so is the husband head of the wife; from which it would follow that the husband represents the Lord, and the wife the church. But the Lord is the head of the church, and man (homo) -- man and woman -- are the church; and still more husband and wife together. The church with them is first implanted in the man and through the man in the wife; because the man receives truth in his understanding, and the wife from the man. If the contrary it is not according to order." (CL 125)

"It may be seen as in effigy, that the wife conjoins the man to herself just as good conjoins truth to itself; and that reciprocally the man conjoins himself to the wife according to the reception of her love into himself, just as truth reciprocally conjoins itself to good according to the reception of good into itself; and that the wife's love forms itself by the wisdom of man, as good forms itself by truth, for truth is the form of good. From this it also is plain that conjugial delights with the wife come chiefly from this that she wills to be one with her husband, consequently that she wills to be the love of her husband's wisdom for then she feels the delights of her own heat in the man's light." (CL 198)

In this there is no loss of what is unique and precious to the happiness of either husband or wife. "That in the marriage of one man with one wife, between whom there is love truly conjugial, the wife becomes more and more a wife, and the husband more and more a husband ....And as the wife becomes a wife from conjunction with her husband and according to it, in like manner the husband from conjunction with the wife; and as love truly conjugial endures to eternity, it follows that the wife becomes more and more a wife, and the husband more and more a husband. The very cause is, that in a marriage which is of love truly conjugial each becomes a more and more interior man (homo), and to become more a man on the part of the wife is to become the more a wife, and on the part of the husband to become the more a husband." (CL 200) There is then no loss of individualism. We were tempted to cut off the passage, but it ends with a strong challenge to men. "I have heard from the angels that a wife becomes more and more a wife as her husband becomes more and more a husband but not the reverse. Because it rarely ever fails that a chaste wife loves her husband, but the husband fails to love in return, and fails for the reason that there is no elevation of wisdom which alone receives the wife's love..." (CL 200) So the differences go on, each contributing to the awe.

We have emphasized the role of a wife in the hope of giving it the glory and honor due the name. The challenge for husbands is implicit throughout. Yet it takes a lifetime of spiritual growth for love to find its place in our lives. It takes the long process of regeneration for the new will to take form and prosper in an understanding prepared for it through the Word. The unfolding of what is mutual and reciprocal between married partners is an eternally perfecting process of discovery. Each day brings new usefulness and new happiness forever. There is so much involved that it challenges our thought. Yet the description seems so simple: "The wife wills to think and will as the husband, and the husband as the wife, and because each wills this, each is led by the Lord as one, and the two are one angel; for when the will and the understanding are not one's own, but the others, and this mutually and reciprocally, it cannot be otherwise than that they be led by the Lord as one." (Conj 35).

Back to Pastor's Corner


Pastor's Corner


• Back • Home • Up • Next •

Name of Glory

Webmaster: IJT@swedenborgstudy.com