Category — Series on Conjugial Love
Series of 5 doctrinal classes on the Conjugial Love and the relation of man and woman in the church T. Pitcairn
We read concerning the Most Ancient Church, “The highest happiness and deliciousness were their marriages, and whatever admitted of the comparison they likened to marriage, in order that in this way they might perceive its felicity. Being also internal men, they were delighted only with internal things. External things they merely saw with the eyes, but thought of the things represented. So that outward things were nothing to them save from these they could in some measure reflect on internal things and from these to celestial things, and thus to the Lord Who was their all, and consequently to the celestial marriage, from which they perceived the happiness of marriage to come. And therefore they called the understanding in the spiritual man the male, and the will the female, and when these acted as one, they called it a marriage.” (A.C. 54).
In the above number the essence and quality of true marriage is given. But such marriage and its happiness can only exist with regenerate men and women. Let us ever keep this marriage as our goal and believe the Lord’s promise, given in “Conjugial Love”, that such conjugial love will be given to the New Church; for the whole future of the Church with us depends upon this one thing.
To begin with, we are not regenerated men and women, but are to be regenerated. We must see the order of the relation of man and woman before regeneration, in order that we may be led, in an orderly way, into a marriage as it exists after regeneration.
The true order of marriage was destroyed by the fall; the fall took place by the proprium, represented by the woman, from her own love, being unwilling to believe what was revealed, unless they saw it confirmed by sensual and scientific things, and that the rational represented by the man consented. That is they departed from the true marriage in which as we read above: “They were delighted only with internal things. External things they merely saw with their eyes, but thought of the things represented. So that external things were nothing to thorn save as from these they could in some measure reflect on internal things and from those to celestial things, and thus to the Lord Who was their all.”
As a result of the fall, that is as a result of turning away from internal things to external things, the command was given that her “obedience shall be to thy man and he shall rule over thee,” concerning which we read: “By man is meant one who is wise and intelligent. Here however man denotes the rational, because in consequence of the destruction of wisdom and intelligence by eating of the tree of science, nothing else was loft, for the rational is imitative of intelligence, being as it were its semblance. As every law and precept comes forth from what is celestial and spiritual, as from its true beginnings, it follows that this law of marriage does so, which requires that the wife, who acts from desire, which is of her proprium, rather than from reason, like the man, should be subject to his prudence.” (A.C.265,6)
And further: “The reason why daughters signify the things of the will, and, where there is no will of good, cupidities; and why sons signify the things of the understanding, and where there is no understanding of the true, phantasies, is that the female sex is such, end so formed , that the will or cupidity reigns in them more than the understanding. Such is the entire disposition of their fibers, and such their nature. Hence the marriage of the two is like that of the will and understanding in every man, and since, at this day, there is no will of good, but only cupidity, and still something intellectual, or rational can be given, this is why so many laws were enacted in the Jewish Church concerning the prerogative of the man and the obedience of the wife.” (A.C.568)
In Conjugial Love number 56 we read: “I know that you are a wise man, and what has a wise man or wisdom to do with a woman? At this our host- with a certain indignation changed countenance. And ha put forth his hand, and lo! immediately other wise men wore present from neighboring houses, to whom he said jestingly: Our neighbor here asked the question, What has a wise man or wisdom to do with woman? At this they all laughed and said, What is a wise man or wisdom without a woman, or without love. The wife is the love of a wise man’s wisdom.”
In the Church there must be the wise and the simple, or internal and external man and women. Where there are not both internal men and internal women, who are both in wisdom the Church in time perishes.
Concerning wisdom we read: “In heaven those are called wise who are in good, and those are in good who apply the Divine Trues at once to life; for as soon as the Divine true comes to be of life it becomes good.” (348).
“All who have acquired intelligence and wisdom are in heaven Whatever a. man acquires in the world abides… .and it is further increased and filled out, but within and not beyond the degree of his desire for the true and its good, those with little affection and desire receiving but little and yet as much us they are capable of receiving within that degree, while these with much affection and desire receive much.” (348)