Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Category — Relation of man and woman in the church

Notes on the Teachings of the Word concerning Divorce


It is needful for the Church to consider the interior causes of the laws of divorce given in the Word. By this all may come to a deeper understand­ing and love of the Conjugial, and of the uses of marriage, and hy this the Church may he protected against doubts and false reasonings about those laws. Doubts may arise because the laws of divorce are very strict, and in some cases their severity appears to bring much hardship on men. False reasonings about those laws may arise especially from this, that the laws of divorce in the World of Spirits are altogether different from those given for this world; from this some may suppose that in an interior state of the Church with man, the laws which apply there should take the place of the laws which apply in this world. An understanding of the interior causes of the laws of divorce will protect the Church from such doubts and such reasonings.

First we would draw your attention to the distinction between the Conjugial which must be received from the Lord in every man of the Church and the Corljugial union which may be formed between husband and wife. That there is such a distinction is well known from the teaching that Love Conjugial may be given with one married partner and not at the same time with the other. (C.L. 226, 531.) For the most part, however, this distinction has been over­looked in the past. Whenever the Conjugial, or Love Conjugial, has been men­tioned, the thought with most has been only of the Conjugial union between husband and wife. As a consequence, the importance which the Word places upon the Conjugial which is to be received and formed in each man of the Church has not been noticed; many teachings which apply in the first place to the Conjugial in each man, have been applied only to the Conjugial union between the married partners.

Consider the following teachings of the Word about the Conjugial in each man:

That the Conjugial is the desire of living with one partner, and that every step made from religion and into religion is a step from the Conjugial and into the Conjugial. (C.L, 80.)

That Love truly Conjugial is from the Lord, and is with those who approach Him directly, and who love the trues of the Church and do its goods* (C.L. 70.)

That this Conjugial is inscribed on the minds of those who acknowledge the Lord and His Divine. (C.L. 338.)

That this Conjugial is the precious jewel of human life and the repository of the Christian Religion. (C.L. 457, 458, 466, 531)

That it is chief among the essentials of human life, and that so far as a man is in this love he is spiritual, and so far as he should lose this love he approaches the nature of a beast. (First Index to Angelic Wisdom concerning Marriage, under “Conjugial”, and C.L. 230.)

That this Conjugial is guarded in man, whatsoever the state of marriage he may be in. (C.L, 531.)

Read these numbers carefully and you will see that it is the Conjugial with each man that is described in them. This Conjugial is with all men who acknowledge the Divine Human of the Lord in love and faith, and who live the life of religion. It is with all such men whether they in this life are married or not, and if married, whether or not they have been blessed with a Conjugial union with their partner. This Conjugial is of the utmost importance to the salvation and regeneration of the man of the Church. It is the first thing in the natural produced by man’s acknowledgment of the Divine of the Lord. It is the connecting link and bond between the internal things with man and his natural life. It is the principal and beginning of the descent of the celestial and spiritual with man into his natural, and serves as a plane there for the recep­tion of them. No doubt this is one of the reasons why a whole book of the Word is devoted to Love Conjugial. If this Conjugial should be destroyed in a man, nothing of regeneration would be possible.

The Lord has ordered all things of Christian marriage for the recep­tion and protection of this Conjugial with man, and also for the forming of a Conjugial union of husband and wife. The laws of marriage and the laws of divorce are given for both of these precious things. If a man of the Church should violate the laws of divorce, he is in the danger of harming the Conjugial in himself, as well as doing harm to the Church and to society in general. This is evident from what is said about a Christian who enters into polygamy, (C.L. 339), namely, that he profanes the marriage of the Lord and the Church.

Read that number and you will see that the same danger is present with those who obtain a divorce without just cause.

One with whom there is the Conjugial strives wholeheartedly for union with the married partner. Such a one does not put away the partner, even if that union is clearly absent, nor even if it appears to be impossible, but strives for such a conjunction as may be possible. This is evident from the following teaching:

“That these conjugial simulations, with a spiritual man conjoined to a natural, savor out of justice and judgment. The reason is because a spiritual man does what he does out of justice and judgment, where­fore he does not see these simulations as estranged from his internal affections, but as joined with them. For he acts seriously, and re­gards amendment as the end, and if this does not follow, he regards accommodation, for the sake of order in the house, for the sake of mutual aid, for the sake of the care of infants, for the sake of peace and tranquility. To these things he is led out of justice, and out of judgment he gives them into effect. That a spiritual man so cohabits with a natural man, is because a spiritual man acts spiritually, even with one who is natural.” (C.L. 280.)

A spiritual man, that is, one with whom is the Conjugial, strives for the ammendment of life with a partner who has it not. Although he is not in a union of souls and minds with that partner, he loves the spiritual  welfare of the partner, and strives for it. Such a one would never put the partner away except for the causes given in the laws of divorce. To do such a thing would be to act against the conjugial striving in himself, and thus to act against the Conjugial itself.

It should be noted that the love of the spiritual welfare of one’s married partner must lie at the heart of any marriage, for without it there can be neither the Conjugial in oneself nor a Conjugial union with one’s partner. Even in those marriages in which the husband and wife live happily together, no union of souls and minds can take place unless the spiritual welfare of the married partner is held uppermost in the marriage. Without this, marriage would have in it only a natural conjugial, an apparent conjunction of minds arising out of external harmonies alone.

From these things it can be seen that the Conjugial in each man is not endangered by a marriage in which a Conjugial union has not been effected, but that it is endangered by the putting away of a married partner without a just cause in agreement with the laws of divorce given in the Word. This is an interior reason for the severity of the laws of divorce, and for the law that matrimony is to continue to the end of life in the world even though there be colds in relation to the Conjugial.

A further reason underlying these laws is that, except in the case outlined in the laws of divorce, no final judgment is to be made on a marriage in this world, as to whether something of a Conjugial union has been or may be formed within it. This is because the internal similitudes on which the essential conjunction of marriage rests are not primarily attributes of natural birth and native compatibility, but of the new birth of reformation and regeneration. So far as possible the Lord’s Providence Works for the formation of these internal similitudes, and thus for the new creation of the husband and wife for one another, during the whole course of their life in the world. A spiritual man, even though he may see that a Conjugial union is not yet present in his marriage, still would strive toward that union, and would not make any final judgment against its possibility.

From all these considerations it can be understood why it is said in the “Statement as to the Principle concerning Divorce,” that if the Church or the man of the Church violates the laws of order in respect to marriage, the Conjugial itself, which is the precious jewel of human life and the repository of the Christian Religion, is violated, and that then the Divine Human of the Lord, from which the Conjugial descends, cannot be present in the Church.

Respecting divorce in the World of Spirits, the Word teaches as follows:

That married partners meet after death, consociate, and for some time live together as before in the world; this takes place in their first state in the World of Spirits, while they are in external things as before in the world; that successively, as they put off external things, and enter into their in­ternals, they perceive the quality of the love and inclination which they mutually had for each other, and thence they perceive whether they can live as one or not; that if they can live as one, they remain married partners, but if not, they separate; that there is then given to the man a suitable wife, and to the woman a suitable husband. (C.L. 47b, 48b, 49, 50.) In that world divorce is granted when there is no similarity in their affections. (Memorabilia 6027.)

The separation of unsuitable partners in the World of Spirits is according to the law of the Spiritual World that external things must altogether agree with internal things in angels and spirits. They who differ in love and faith cannot live near each other, much less live in the same house. This general law of the Spiritual World is essential to life in that world, and there can be made no exception to it. But the general law of the natural world is that here external things must remain fixed in order that internal things may be changed and formed in man. Any essential change in the spirit or mind of man must be initiated in this world. This general law for the natural world is ex­pressed in this teaching of the Word: “Mutation of organization is given solely in the material body, and is not at all givable in the spiritual body after the former has been rejected.” (Brief Exposition 110.) This law involves the whole reason for our being bom in the natural world.. If the laws governing the Spiri­tual World were to be applied outwardly to life in this world, if there were no fixed external order, independent, as it were, from the internal states of men, no reformation or regeneration could take place in this life. There would be no freedom of choice possible for man, for there would be nothing by which man could reflect upon his internal things, and by which he could cooperate with the Lord in changing them.

Consider what would take place, for example, if the law that riches in the Spiritual World are in accordance with the wisdom of the angels, were to be applied outwardly in this life. If that law were to be applied here, no man would be free to reject wisdom, and no man would be free to love and receive wisdom for its own sake. If such laws were to be applied outwardly in this life, man would be compelled in the things of religion, which is against the Law of the Divine Providence, All life in this world would in such a case be impossible.

If the laws of divorce in the World of Spirits were to be applied to this world, there would be no fixed order by which the Conjugial in each man could be formed and developed in marriage. And if the Conjugial had already been formed in a man, such an application of those laws to his life in this world would be contrary to his Conjugial longing, and destructive of it. More­over, by the application of the laws of divorce in the World of Spirits to this life, marriages here would be exposed to all kinds of phantasy and cupidity, and a truly Christian society would be made impossible.

The things brought forward in the “Statement of the International Interior Council as to the Principle concerning Divorce” are vital for the Church. May it serve to awaken all of us to the Life that is in the ’Word, and to our need of being fully instructed in that Life. The Life that is in all things of the Word is the Life of the Lord’s Divine Human. All the laws of the Word, and all things of the Church, look to the ordering of human life in order that the Lord’s Life may be present and may be received within it. It is our hope that this Statement may serve this end.

The Rev, Philip N. Odhner

President of the International Council of Priests

October 17th, I960


Conjugial Love (paper by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn)

Rev. Theodore Pitcairn
August, 1965


Concerning the sixth state of the formation of the Church we read:

“The life of Charity, acquired by the conjugial of the true of the natural in the sphere of the Lord’s Divine Human with the affection of the true of the Word and of Doctrine in the human things, and the submission to the good of the natural from the Divine Human, and the conjunction with the rational.”

The second half of the sixth day of creation is described thus.

“And God created man in His own image. Male and female created He them.” (Gen.1:27)

While the sixth day of creation is not identical with the sixth state  of formation, there is a parallelism between them, and both for the first time speak of the Conjugial.

While the Church is far from the sixth state in its fulness, and few come to the sixth state, still there may be a certain image of the sixth state in the Church. Every general state of the Church has in it a week, and in its own series every state of the Church should come to its sixth state.

It is therefore appropriate to speak about the sixth state, although in its fulness we are far removed from it.

The importance of coming to a new natural has been stressed in the Church,, and the danger of skipping over the natural. How the inmost of the natural human, in ultimates, has especially to do with the relation of husband and wife. If there is no longing to come to this conjugial in ultimates, the natural is skipped over; thus the new human, the creation of man in the image of God, as male and female is not looked to. If the marriage of good and truth is alone looked to and not its ultimate in the marriage relation of husband and wife, the natural is skipped over, and man cannot come into a new human from the Lord. It is, I believe, therefore useful at this time to consider the conjugial which should exist between husband and wife.

We read: “That there is love truly Conjugial; which is so rare at the present day that its quality is not known, and scarcely that it exists.”

The above quotation is true in both its spiritual sense, and in its sense of the letter. When it is said, “It is not known at the present day”, do we think this applies only In the world, or do we think it may apply to those in the Church?

Even in the New Church it is commonly felt that if two marry in the Church and are faithful to each other, and do not commit adultery or flirt with others, and get along reasonably well together, that they are in Conjugial love. But, apart from being members of a church, the above statement applies to animals as well as persons; in fact, some animals, particularly some birds, set an example, that few human beings equal. It is evident therefore, if this  is the only idea of Conjugial love, it is not known what conjugial love is, and scarcely that it exists. If a couple has not come to the relation in their marriage where they have shunned the external lusts which destroy Conjugial love, or if they have not striven for an external harmony of life, the most essential thing for them is to strive with all their power to establish such a natural basis for their life.

From the Marriage Service it is known that Conjugial love descends from the marriage of the Divine and the Human in the Lord, from the marriage of the Lord and the Church, and from the marriage of the good and the true; and it might be known that in so far as these are not present in the marriage of a man and woman, they are not in love truly Conjugial. But in this paper we will limit ourselves to considering certain aspects of Conjugial love in relation to its ultimate or natural application, that is, to Conjugial love between a husband and wife.

In so far as the husband and wife remain in the things of their proprium, in which all are before regeneration, love truly Conjugial does not exist.

The male proprium differs from the female proprium. It is only in so far as a man sees the nature of his male proprium, acknowledges it for what it is, and fights against it; and so far as a woman sees the nature of her female proprium, acknowledges it for what it is, and fights against it; that a man and woman can come first to an external order of marriage and, afterwards to love truly Conjugial.

The male proprium consists primarily in the man’s love of his own intelligence, and the female proprium consists primarily in the love of her own natural affections. Unless these propriums with the man and woman are over come, love truly Conjugial is not possible.

We read: “Every man from birth is inclined to love himself, lest from the love of himself and conceit of his own intelligence man should perish, it was provided that this love of man should be transcribed into the wife, and it is implanted from birth in her, that she shall love the intelligence and wisdom of her man and thus the man, by which means the wife continually attracts the man’s pride of his own intelligence to herself, and extinguishes it with him and vivifies it with herself, and so turns it into Conjugial love (C.L. 353)

In order that the wife may have the ability to take away from man the love of his own intelligence, “which would destroy him”, (C.L.88), a perception of the states of a man is given to the woman, as described by angel wives as follows: “You exult over us on account of your wisdom, but we do not exult over you on account of ours; and yet our wisdom excels yours, in that it enters into your inclinations and affections and 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 you are wise. And yet wives know them so well that they see them in their faces, hear them in the tones of the speech of their mouths, yea may feel them in their breasts, arms and cheeks.”(C.L. 206)

It is most important that a husband should not resist the effort of his wife to take away the love of his own intelligence, and her effort to turn this to love of herself; and he does this when he leaves father and mother, that is, the proprium of his will and the proprium of his understanding, and cleaves to the genuine things of his wife.

On the other hand, it is the nature of the proprium of a woman to abuse the gift of the Lord, namely, the perception of the states of her husband, and use it to have her own natural affections rule, – the fruit given by Eve to Adam, which led to the fall.

The true order of coming to Conjugial love is described as follows:

“That the woman is actually formed into a wife, according to the description in the Book of Creation. It is said in this book that the woman was created out of the rib of the man; and when she was brought to him the man said; ‘This is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; and she shall be called Ishah (Woman), because she was taken out of Ish (Man)’ (Gen.2:22,23)

“By a rib, in the Word, nothing else is signified than natural truth,  the breast of a man is signified that essential and peculiar thing wherein it is distinguished from the breast of a woman. That this is wisdom may be seen, in n. 187; for truth supports wisdom as a rib supports the breast. These things are signified because it is the breast wherein all things pertaining to man are, as it were, in their center. From these significations it appears that the woman was created out of the man by transcription of his own wisdom, that is wisdom from natural truth; and that the love of this by the man, was transferred to the woman that it might become conjugial love; also, that this was done to the end that in the man there may be, not love of himself, but love of his wife, who, from the disposition innate within her, cannot but convert love of himself with the man into his love to her. And I have heard that this is effected by the love itself of the wife, unconsciously to the man, and unconsciously to the woman. It results from this that no man can ever love his married partner with love truly conjugial, who from the love of himself is in the pride of his own intelligence” (C.L. 193)

“That the formation is effected in secret ways, and that this is meant by the woman’s being created while the man slept.

“We read in the Book of Creation: –

“’Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, that he should fall asleep; and then He took one of his ribs and built it into a woman’.(Gen.2;21s22) That by the man’s deep sleep and by his falling asleep is signified his entire ignorance that his wife is formed and as it were created from him, appears from what is shown in the preceding chapter, and also in this, respecting the innate prudence and circumspection of wives, lest they divulge anything whatever about their love or about their assumption of the affections of the man’s life, and so of the transcription of his wisdom into themselves.

“In order that this may be rightly done it is enjoined upon the man that he shall leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife. By ‘father and mother’ whom the man is to leave are meant in the spiritual sense his proprium of the will and of the understanding. It is the proprium of man’s will to love himself; and the proprium of the understanding is to love his own wisdom. By ‘cleave’ is signified to devote himself to the love of his wife. That these two propria are evils deadly to man, if they remain with him; and that the love of these two is changed into conjugial love in so far as a man cleaves to his wife, that is, receives her love” (C.L.194) When the above takes place, “The intellectual of the man is the inmost of the woman.”(C.L.195)

While the above  coming to conjugial love  is done by the Lord “unknown to the man and unknown to the woman”, still either the man  or the woman or both, can prevent this formation, and usually do so; the man by refusing and resisting the giving up of the love of his own intelligence; and the woman by refusing to give up the love of the rule of her natural affections, so that the intellectual of the man might become her inmost. While the internal formation of conjugial love is done by the Lord unknown to the man and unknown to the woman, if there were no cooperation in the external on the part of the husband and wife, this would be a matter of immediate mercy apart from means.

We are taught, “that there may be conjugial love with one of the married partners (who is spiritual), and not at the same time with the other” (who is merely natural).”

Such a relation is described in the story of Judah and Tamar, and also in the story of Moses and Zipporah, the wife of Moses, where she says of Moses, “a bridegroom of bloods art thou to me,” (Ex.4:25) Moses in these verses represents the Israelitish nation and Zipporah represents the representative church. Much that is very similar is said in the Arcana Coelestia about these two stories of Moses and Zipporah, and Judah and Tamar, Judah and Moses, in these two stories represent the Jewish and Israelitish Churches which were in the externals of the church, without an internal, and whose internals were evil; while Zipporah and Tamar represent the true representative church.

Concerning Tamar we are told that she represents “the internal truths of the representative Church.” (A.C.4859)

And of the relation of Judah and Tamar we read that: “The conjunction of the internal truth with the external, or with the religiosity of the Jewish nation, is represented by the conjunction of Tamar with Judah as a daughter-in-law with a father-in-law under the pretext of the duty of a husband’s brother; and the conjunction of the religiosity of the Jewish nation with the internal of the church is represented by the conjunction of Judah with Tamar as with a harlot.”

While these stories of Moses and his wife Zipporah, and Judah and Tamar, in their internal sense treat of things which take place in the internal of every man and woman, the Word contains many series, and in one of these series it treats of the relationship of a man who is merely natural, with a wife who is in internal things. In such a relationship the wife looks to interior truths, while the husband is only in the external of the church, the Word, and of worship without an internal; although sometimes through the Lord’s working, while the wife cooperates, the man may later come to an internal. A man before regeneration is always in the external of the Word., of the church and of worship, without an internal. If the wife has come to an internal, and not as yet the husband, she with great patience, waits and longs for her husband to come to an internal; but yet she does not permit herself to be drawn down into the plane of the external without an internal in which her husband is, nor does she permit the man1s love of his own intelligence, which he is not willing to leave, rule over her.

On the other hand the man may be in internals and the wife only in externals,  a state which in one of many series, is represented by the story of Joseph and the wife of Potiphar, Every woman, as to her proprium or before regeneration, has more or less in her of that which is represented by Potiphar’s wife; and if her husband should be in something of the internal (which in the fullest sense is represented by Joseph), while she is in a natural not spiritual, the enticements she uses are directed especially towards her husband.

By Joseph in this chapter is represented spiritual good, while by the wife of Potiphar is represented the truth natural not spiritual, adjoined to natural good.

We read: “Good in man is from a twofold source – from what is hereditary and hence adventitious, and also from the Doctrine of faith and charity… Good from the former origin is natural not   spiritual, while good from the latter origin is good spiritual natural. From  a like origin is truth, because all good has its own truth adjoined to it. Good natural from the former origin has much that is akin to good from the second origin, that is from the Doctrine of faith and charity, but only in the external form, being entirely different in the internal form. Good natural from the former origin may be compared to the good which exists with gentle animals; but good natural from the second origin is proper to the man who acts from reason, and knows how to dispense what is good in various ways according to vises. This dispensing of what is good is taught by the Doctrine of what is just and fair, and in a higher degree by the Doctrine of faith and charity. Every one who has not been re­generated, sees good from its external form, and this for the reason that he does not know what charity is, or what the neighbor is. (A.C.4988)

“To be conjoined with ones wife from lust alone, this is natural not spiritual, but to be conjoined with ones wife from conjugial love, this is spiritual natural, and when the husband is afterwards conjoined from lust alone he believes he has transgressed, and therefore no longer desires that this should be appropriated to him.” When it is said in the above, “conjoined with ones wife from lust alone”, the conjunction of minds should be seen as the primary thing; and “lust” should be regarded primarily as the lust for the conjunction of minds, apart from the conjugial of the good and the true.

To continue the number: “To benefit a friend, no matter what his quality, provided he is a friend, is not spiritual; but to benefit a friend for the sake of the good that is in him, and still more to hold good itself as a friend which is to be benefitted, is spiritual natural; and when any one is in this, he knows that he transgresses if he benefits a friend who is evil. When he is in this state he holds in aversion the appropriation of good natural not spiritual, and so with every thing else.” (A.C.4992)

We read further: “Those within the Church who are in truths natural not spiritual also say that every one is the neighbor, but they do not admit of degrees and distinctions; and. therefore if they are in natural good they do good without’ distinctions, to every one who excites their pity, and oftener to the evil than to the good, because in their knavery the evil know how to excite their pity.” (A.С. 5008)

In relation to the above we should think primarily of the relation to those in the Church, and of the “doing good without distinction.” We should  think primarily of doing spiritual good.

Also in this series of numbers where it speaks of those who make no distinction in giving to the poor, to widows, to the fatherless, etc. The meaning in relation to our duty applies in the first place to “the spiritually poor, the widows and the fatherless, etc.” in the Church, And where it speaks of a judge doing charity in punishing the evil, and thereby protecting society, and, if possible, leading to amendment, we should regard the word judge as having a primary application to those in the Church who have judgment, and of punishment, in relation to those who are in the Church.

Particularly women in the Church in so far as they have not been well instructed and regenerated, tend to resist the practical application of these laws.

A woman in her non-regenerate state can find many apparent truths to support her natural good affections, which are not spiritual, including many things from the literal sense of the Word, represented by the garment of Joseph, which the wife of Potiphar took away; and, with her siren song, can entice her husband who cannot resist the appeal of her natural good affections, not spiritual natural unless like Ulysses, he ties himself fast to the mast of Doctrine.

We read in Conjugial Love: “The Church is formed  by the Lord with man and through the man with the wife.” (C.L. 63)

“The church with them is first implanted in the man, and through the man in the wife; because the man receives its truth in his understanding; and the wife from the man. If the contrary it is not according to order. This however does occur; but with men who are either not lovers of wisdom, and are therefore not of the church; as also with those who depend as slaves on the beck of their wives.” (C.L. 125)

Especially in recent times, a sickness prevails in which men instead of being in love of their own intelligence, as is normal for a man before regeneration, merely love their natural affections above everything and thus become effeminate; while women who are ambitious to become intellectual and vie with men, become masculine imitations; but these are abnormalities, which indeed are becoming rather common.

But returning to the normal state of those before regeneration; it is evident that the proprium of the man will strive mightily against his giving up the love of his own intelligence; and the proprium of the woman will fight even harder against giving up the rule of her merely natural good affections; and that regeneration in relation to these loves is a life-long struggle.

In this struggle a man must discipline himself to cleave to his wife and thus permit his wife to take away from him the love of his own intelligence;, and must not resent it; but must permit her to manifest to him the presence of love of his ото intelligence in himself. The husband must especially love his wife in so far as she has become a form of truth and her womanly affections are out of this; but he must resist her with all his power in so fax as she tries to bring him under the persuasion of the apparent truths of her merely natural good affections.

And on her part, the woman, must permit the rational of her husband, if he has one, to elevate her above her natural good, which is not spiritual natural; but she must resist him in so far as he tries to lead her by a merely natural scientific rational. The road to conjugial love is therefore long and difficult, for both the husband and wife,, and can never be arrived at if both axe not in humility. A husband cannot help his wife, nor a wife her husband, unless they are both struggling; the man to overcome his male proprium and the woman her female proprium.

Here the words of the Lord apply: “Cast out first the beam that is in thine own eye, …then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:42)

Instead of leading men out of the love of their own intelligence, many women flatter the intelligence of their husbands, to gain power and at the same time, dominate their husband’s will by their will. Men then try to defend themselves by their scientific rational faculty, but usually without much success. The woman in such a case, will oppose the man’s ideas and at the same time flatter Ms love of his own intelligence.

In the world, and in the New Church, there are some who are in what is considered happy marriages; yet love truly Conjugial, which comes only by regeneration, is arrived at by such a narrow path, that the quotation with which we commenced this paper still applies:

“That there is a love truly conjugial; which is so rare at the present, that its quality is not known and scarcely that it exists.” (C.L.58)

For its quality can only be known by those who are in it.


“Thou shalt not commit adultery”


To understand this commandment, not to commit adultery, we must understand the origin of adultery, and in order to understand the origin of adultery we must understand the nature of the marriage between husband and wife.

We read: “There is the truth of good and good from truth from that or truth from good and good from truth; and that in those two there is inherent from creation an inclination to conjoin themselves into one. The truth of good or truth from good is masculine, or the good of truth or good from that truth is the feminine. But this can be more distinctly comprehended if for good we say love, and for truth wisdom. Wisdom cannot exist with men except by the love of growing wise. Wisdom from this love is meant by truth from good.” (C.L. 88).

“With the male the inmost is love and the clothing is wisdom, or he is love veiled over with wisdom, in the female the inmost is that wisdom of the male, and its clothing is love therefrom. But this is feminine love and is given to the wife through the wisdom of the husband. That the feminine is from the masculine, or the woman was taken from the man appears in Genesis. Jehovah took one of the ribs of the man.” etc. (C.L. 30). In diagram I we see the order of Conjugial Love. In diagram II the disorder leading to adultery.

When the man does not come into A – the love of growing wise, he still comes into a kind of understanding of the true, but an understanding, which not having in it substance and life turns into the conceit of his own intelligence. Such a man looks to truth or doctrine alone for his salvation, and he looks to his wife for the flattery of his understanding. But the wife perceiving that there is nothing substantial in his understanding does not flatter it, wherefore his love instead of going forth to his wife returns to himself and then he seeks love elsewhere, where he can find the flattery he seeks.

Observe that if the man skips over the love of growing wise for the sake of life, in the first state of marriage there is still apparent love, but it is a love of his wife for the sake of himself and for the sake of the flattery he receives in the first states of marriage.

In the woman her A is formed by the essence of her husband’s wisdom. If the husband is not in the love of growing wise his understanding lacks this essence of wisdom and the inmost of a woman cannot be formed from it. But whether the husband has such wisdom or not, the wife may still skip over her inmost which is wisdom, and seek conjugial love in B but in this case there is no internal in her love of her husband, she then seeks to bind her husband to the things of her love; she loves her husband for the sake of her self and the love and admiration which he shows towards her; and, because the husband feels the lack of the life of truth which is the soul of a woman in her love, he cannot give her the love and admiration which she demands, wherefore her love returns to herself, and then goes elsewhere, where she receives the love and admiration which she craves.

When this internal disjunction takes place, then the woman accuses the man of only caring for intellectual and doctrinal matters and of neglecting the things of life and of love, and of over looking the natural. While the husband accuses the wife of being in merely natural good, natural loves, and of not seeing the importance of the true, and both are often right.

Read the full doctrinal class on “thou shalt not commit adultery” by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn


Conjugial Love and the Love of Uses

“That there is love truly Conjugial which is so rare at this day that it is not known what it is and scarcely that it is?” Does ’’this day” apply to us? There have always been in the world hundreds of thousands of what are called happy marriages. We must therefore make a distinction between what the world calls happy marriages and genuine Conjugial love. This distinction is seldom made even in the Church.

The great importance of knowing what Conjugial love is; We read: ’’Conjugial love is the very plane of the Divine Influx.” (A.C. 370).

Nearly every one thinks he knows what Conjugial love is from first states of marriage.

Is the first state of marriage Conjugial love? No it is a representative of Conjugial love. A state in which Conjugial love is lent by the angels, from without.

Many of our ideas concerning marriage are formed by the literature of the world.

How does Conjugial love differ from what the world calls “being in Love” as to its basis? Love of uses is the basis.
Do the evil fall in love equally with the good?
The evil often fall in love more ardently than the good. Why?

The evil adore and worship each other during the time they are in love, and there is nothing the love of self desires more than to be adored and worshipped.

Falling in love is by itself natural and not spiritual, in fact as a natural love, man has it in common with certain animals. If there is nothing spiritual in it, it is lower with man than with animals, for man is in the love of self more than animals.

Is “being in love” in the natural sense of the word necessary for marriage? Yes as a basis.
What place should the “being in love” in the usual meaning of the words have? The lowest.
What place does it have in nearly all stories, literature and plays? The highest. It is therefore harmful to become overly absorbed in romantic literature.
What is the nature of romantic love? It is the love of person. By itself, it is the friendship of love, which, by itself, is harmful and can never endure.
What is Conjugial love? Love of use and thence love of person.

When the love of use rules, and from this one loves the person, then also the love of person has its genuine delights which are eternal.
In the first state of marriage Conjugial love surrounds man, from heaven, from without, while the love of self, which is quiescent, is within.
If this state is not inverted, love, with its happiness and joy, de¬parts, for the first state is loaned by the angels and has not been appropriated, and therefore can not endure.

In the first state the young man and woman look to each other as to person; and adore each other. While in Conjugial love proper, they are together as uses, and look to uses in the Lord’s Kingdom, the Church and the country and society. In being united as two uses, conjoined as one, for the sake of uses to the Lord’s Kingdom, the Church, the country and society there is a far greater joy and delight, than in loving each other primarily as to person. The former joy and happiness soon passes away, while the latter increases to eternity. This the natural man can never feel, nor internally believe.

Read the full paper on the conjugial love and the love of uses by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn




An Address by the Rev. Theodore Pitcairn, delivered before the Assembly of the Lord’s New Church which is Nova Hierosolyma, June 16th, 1946

(Before delivering this address Mr. Pitcairn read to the Assembly the article “The Nineteenth of June 1935″ by Mr. Groeneveld, printed in the Sixth Fascicle of Do Hemelsche Leer, pps. 33-360)

We read: “But because it is unknown in what the masculine and in what the feminine essentially consist, it shall be stated in a few words. The difference consists in the fact that in the male the inmost is love and its clothing is wisdom, or what is the same, he is love veiled over with wisdom, and that in the female the inmost is that wisdom of the male, and its clothing is the love therefrom. But this love is feminine love and is given by the Lord to the wife through the wisdom of the husband, and the former love is masculine love, and is the love of growing wise, and is given by the Lord to the husband according to the reception of wisdom. It is from this that the male is the wisdom of love, and the female is the love of that wisdom.” (C.L. 32)
“Wisdom cannot exist with man except by the love of growing wise. But when from that love a man has acquired wisdom and loves that wisdom in himself, or loves himself on account of it, then he forms a love which is the love of wisdom; and this is meant by the good of the true, or the good out of that true. There are therefore two loves with man. The one, which is prior, is the love of becoming wise, and the other, which is posterior, is the love of wisdom. But this love, if it remains with the man, is an evil love and is called the pride or love of his own intelligence. It will be established in the following pages that it was provided from creation that this love should be taken from the man lest it destroy him, and was transcribed into the woman, so that it may become conjugial love which restores him to integrity” (C.L. 88.)

Both a man and a woman are born unregenerate, born into the natural and its affections and thoughts, which, if not elevated, remain evil. Conjugial love cannot therefore exist between a man and a woman who remain merely natural. There may indeed be a strong appearance of such a love, but it is without an internal. In the first states of marriage it is indeed a good representative love, but if this representation is not infilled it becomes evil no matter how it may appear as love before other and even before the man and woman themselves.
Into the man there inflows from the Lord the potential love of becoming wise. If the man, by shunning evils as sins against the Lord, receives this love of becoming wise, hе is raised above the natural with its thinking and affections and becomes rational. If the man does not from the love of growing wise permit himself to be elevated by the Lord above the natural and its affections into the rational, conjugial love is not possible.

As the female apart from the male cannot be elevated above her natural affections and thus come into wisdom, so the male apart from the female cannot be elevated above the love of the sex and come into conjugial love. For the special gift of the Lord to the man is the love of becoming wise, while the special gift of the Lord to the woman is conjugial love; wherefore the female cannot be in the interior things of wisdom except through the male, and the male cannot be in the interior things of conjugial love except though the female.

Read the full paper by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn on the way leading to conjugial love


Understanding of the genuine natural sense of the Word

The idea that the teachings of the Latin Word concerning government did not apply to the natural government of the Church and State was first propounded by the Rev. Т.Е. Harris [editor of HL], along with the proposition that what is said of marriage does not apply to the marriage of man and woman. An idea which we all opposed and which Loyal [Loyal D. Odhner, editor of HL] characterised as spiritual sodomy.

When we separated from the General Church the teaching of the Word was emphasized that “In the New Church there will not be an external separated from its internal.” Anything in the natural life of the Church which is separated from its internal and therefore not genuine is merely adjoined to the Church and is not conjoined, and does not pertain to the Lord’s New Church.

In our talks with the leaders of the General church it was pointed out that our concept of the Church organization was totally different from theirs; that they believed in an internal Church, the New Jerusalem, which is the Bride of the Lamb and an external Church which is a human institution; while we believed that the organization of the Church is truly organic and related to the internal of the Church as body and soul, and that otherwise the Lord would not be the God of Heaven and earth, and His Kingdom would not be over both.

You indicated you believe there are sincere men in the priesthood who perform a use. But their uses according to your position would be a separated external even more so than in the idea of the General Church, in which they admit the priesthood is representative, at least in a Jewish sense, for they do not admit of the necessity of the oneness of the external and the internal which characterizes the genuine New Church.

 A complaint is made that the Church has followed the practices of the Catholic and Protestant Church, practices which go back to the primitive Christian Church, in having an ordained and set-apart priesthood. Instead you propose that we follow the practices of certain heretical sects, notably the Quakers, to the teaching of which the Word evidently refers in the statement: There were some who have rejected the priestly office saying that the priesthood is universal, thus with all. Some of these have read the Word quite diligently, but as they have lived evilly, they have seized upon abominable dogmas thence. Of these there are many. These have been cast out of heaven, but at the back because they have preached clandestinely. SE 4904

Doctrine is to be drawn from the Word and confirmed by it. Doctrine not drawn from the Word can still be confirmed by it. Wherefore the Word is called the book of heresies.

The question is, has the idea that there is not to be an instituted priesthood been drawn from the Word or is it merely confirmed by certain passages in a disorderly way.

It can be seen that one who wishes to deny the application of the teaching concerning marriage to the marriage of husband and wife and confine it to the marriage of good and truth does so, not from the Word, but from an aversion to marriage relation of husband and wife; having come to such an idea, he can then confirm it by certain passages in the Word, and also by much apparent experience as for example: that there are few if any in the Church who are in conjugial love such as it is described in the Word. If the teaching concerning marriage is confined to its spiritual sense and denied in application to the relation of husband and wife, the relation of husband and wife becomes merely a concubinage, and the same applies to the priesthood which then becomes a vile institution such as you describe it.

Both you and Dr. Hotson maintain that representatives were abolished with the Coming of the Lord, and you quote a passage which speaks of the Jewish representatives being abolished and that in their place the Holy Supper and Baptism was instituted. It is obvious that what was abolished was merely representative worship and not representatives which are also correspon­dences. It is stated in the Latin Word that nations at this day are equally representative as were those spoken of in the Old Testament. To wish to do away with representatives which are genuine correspondences is to be in a similar state to those in faith alone who would do away with the Ten Commandments on the grounds that the Lord said: For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:17.

That the priesthood is a genuine correspondence and not a mere representative such as animal sacrifice, is evident from the fact that it speaks of priests in Heaven, and indeed of a high priest of a Society, indicating degrees of the priesthood. CL 266

It is clear from your letter and from the paper of Dr. Hotson, that the origin of your position in regard to the priesthood in the New Church did not have its origin in the Word but had its origin in the thinking from person, that is the persons who have been ministers in the New Church and the so-called New Church, and that, having come to a conclusion, there is made an attempt to confirm it by the Word.

Read the full letter of T. Pitcairn on the subject of the genuine natural sense of the letter



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)

Read the 1st  doctrinal class on the Conjugial Love

Read the 2nd doctrinal class on the Conjugial Love

Read the 3rd doctrinal class on the Conjugial Love

Read the 4th doctrinal class on the Conjugial Love

Read the 5th doctrinal class on the Conjugial Love