BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM >> Church and the Lord
I. THE LORD IN THE WORD IS CALLED THE BRIDEGROOM AND HUSBAND,
AND THE CHURCH THE BRIDE AND WIFE;
AND THE CONJUNCTION OF THE LORD WITH THE CHURCH,
AND THE RECIPROCAL CONJUNCTION OF THE CHURCH WITH THE LORD,
IS CALLED A MARRIAGE.
That the Lord in the Word is called the Bridegroom and Husband, and the church the bride and wife, may appear from the following passages: "He that hath the BRIDE is the BRIDEGROOM; but the friend of the BRIDEGROOM, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the BRIDEGROOM'S voice," John iii. 29: this was spoken by John the Baptist concerning the Lord. "Jesus said, so long as the BRIDEGROOM is with them, the SONS OF THE NUPTIALS cannot fast: the days will come when the BRIDEGROOM will be taken away from them, and then will they fast," Matt ix. 15; Mark ii. 19, 20; Luke v. 34, 35. "I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, prepared as a BRIDE adorned for HER HUSBAND," Rev. xxi. 2. The New Jerusalem signifies the New Church of the Lord, as may be seen in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 880, 881. "The angel said to John, Come, and I will shew thee the BRIDE, THE LAMB'S WIFE: and he shewed him the holy city, New Jerusalem," Rev. xxi. 9, 10. "The time of the MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB is come, and HIS WIFE hath made herself ready. Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB," Rev. xix. 7, 9. The BRIDEGROOM, whom the five prepared virgins went forth to meet, and with WHOM they entered in to the MARRIAGE, Matt. xxv. 1-10, denotes the Lord; as is evident from verse 13, where it is said, "Watch, therefore; because ye know neither the day nor the hour in which the SON OF MAN will come:" not to mention many passages in the prophets. [CL117]
II. THE LORD IS ALSO CALLED A FATHER, AND THE CHURCH, A MOTHER.
The Lord is called a Father, as appears from the following passages: "Unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, GOD, THE FATHER OF ETERNITY, the Prince of Peace," Isaiah ix. 6. "Thou, JEHOVAH, art OUR FATHER, our REDEEMER; thy name is from an age," Isaiah lxiii. 16. Again, "Jesus said, He that seeth ME, seeth the FATHER that sent ME," John xii. 45. "If ye have known ME, ye have known my FATHER also; and henceforth ye have known him, and have seen him," John xiv. 7. "Philip said, Shew us the FATHER: Jesus said unto him, He that seeth me, seeth the FATHER; how sayest them then, Shew us the FATHER?" John xiv. 8, 9. "Jesus said, The FATHER and I are one," John x. 30. "All things that the FATHER hath are MINE," John xvi. 15; chap. xvii. 10. "The FATHER is in ME, and I IN THE FATHER," John x. 38; chap, xiv 10, 11, 20. That the Lord and his Father are one, as the soul and the body are one, and that God the Father descended from heaven, and assumed the human (nature or principle), to redeem and save men, and that his human nature is what is called the Son, and is said to be sent into the world, has been fully shewn in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED. [CL118]
The church is called a mother, as appears from the following passages: "Jehovah said, Contend with YOUR MOTHER: she is not MY WIFE, and I am not her HUSBAND." Hosea ii. 2, 5. "Thou art thy MOTHER'S daughter, that loatheth her HUSBAND," Ezek. xvi. 45. "Where is the hill of thy MOTHER'S divorcement, whom I have put away?" Isaiah l. 1. "Thy MOTHER was like a vine planted by the waters, bearing fruit," Ezek. xix. 10; speaking of the Jewish church. "Jesus stretching out his hand to the disciples, said, MY MOTHER and my brethren are those who hear the Word of God, and do it," Luke viii. 21; Matt. xii. 49, 50; Mark iii. 33-35: the Lord's disciples means the church. "There was standing at the cross of Jesus his mother: and Jesus seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved, standing by, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son; and he saith to the disciple, Behold thy mother: wherefore from that hour the disciple took her unto his own," John xix. 25-27. This implies, that the Lord did not acknowledge Mary as a mother, but the church; therefore he calls her Woman, and the disciple's mother. The reason why the Lord called her the mother of this disciple, or of John, was, because John represented the church as to the goods of charity, which are the church in real effect; therefore it is said, He took her unto his own. Peter represented truth and faith, James charity, and John the works of charity, as may be seen in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 5, 6, 790, 798, 879; and the twelve disciples together represented the church as to all its constituent principles, as may be seen, Ibid, n. 233, 790, 903, 915. [CL119]
III. THE OFFSPRING DERIVED FROM THE LORD AS A HUSBAND AND FATHER,
AND FROM THE CHURCH AS A WIFE AND MOTHER, ARE ALL SPIRITUAL;
AND IN THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE WORD ARE UNDERSTOOD BY SONS AND DAUGHTERS,
BROTHERS AND SISTERS, SONS-IN-LAW, AND DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW,
AND BY OTHER NAMES OF RELATIONS.
That no other than spiritual offspring are born of the Lord by the church, is a proposition which wants no demonstration, because reason sees it to be self-evident; for it is the Lord from whom every good and truth proceeds, and it is the church which receives them and brings them into effect; and all the spiritual things of heaven and the church relate to good and truth. Hence it is that sons and daughters in the Word, in its spiritual sense, signify truths and goods: sons, truths conceived in the spiritual man, and born in, the natural; and daughters, goods in like manner: therefore those who are regenerated by the Lord, are called in the Word sons of God, sons of the kingdom, born of him; and the Lord called the disciples sons: the male child, that the woman brought forth, and that was caught up to God, Rev. xii. 5, has a similar signification; see APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 543. Since daughters signify goods of the church, therefore in the Word mention is so frequently made of the daughter of Zion, the daughter of Jerusalem, the daughter of Israel, and the daughter of Judah; by whom is signified not any daughter, but the affection of good, which is an affection of the church; see also APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 612. The Lord also calls those who are of his church, brethren and sisters; see Matt. xii. 49, 50; chap. xxv. 40; chap, xxviii. 10; Mark iii. 35; Luke viii. 21.[CL120]
IV. THE SPIRITUAL OFFSPRING, WHICH ARE BORN FROM THE LORD'S MARRIAGE WITH THE CHURCH, ARE TRUTHS AND GOODS;
TRUTHS, FROM WHICH ARE DERIVED UNDERSTANDING, PERCEPTION, AND ALL THOUGHT;
AND GOODS, FROM WHICH ARE DERIVED LOVE, CHARITY, AND ALL AFFECTION.
The reason why truths and goods are the spiritual offspring, which are born of the Lord by the church, is, because the Lord is essential good and essential truth, and these in him are not two but one; also, because nothing can proceed from the Lord but what is in him, and what he is. That the marriage of truth and good proceeds from the Lord, and flows in with men, and is received according to the state of the mind and life of those who are of the church, was shewn in the foregoing section on the MARRIAGE OF GOOD AND TRUTH. The reason why by means of truths a man has understanding, perception, and all thought, and by means of goods has love, charity, and all affection, is, because all things of man relate to truth and good; and there are two constituents of man—the will and the understanding; the will being the receptacle of good, and the understanding of truth. That love, charity and affection, belong to the will, and that perception and thought belong to the understanding, may appear without the aid of light arising from demonstration; for there is a light derived from the understanding itself by which these propositions are seen to be self-evident.[CL121]
V. FROM THE MARRIAGE OF GOOD AND TRUTH,
WHICH PROCEEDS FROM THE LORD IN THE WAY OF INFLUX,
MAN (homo) RECEIVES TRUTH, AND THE LORD CONJOINS GOOD THERETO;
AND THUS THE CHURCH IS FORMED BY THE LORD WITH MAN.
The reason why a man receives truth by virtue of the good and truth which proceed as a one from the Lord, is, because he receives this as his own, and appropriates it to himself as his own; for he thinks what is true as from himself, and in like manner speaks from what is true; and this takes place because truth is in the light of the understanding, and hence he sees it: and whatever he sees in himself, or in his mind, he knows not whence it is; for he does not see the influx, as he sees those objects which strike upon the bodily vision; hence he supposes that it is himself. That it should appear thus, is granted by the Lord to him, in order that he may be a man (homo), and that he may have a reciprocal principle of conjunction: add to this, that every man is born a faculty of knowing, understanding, and growing wise; and this faculty receives truths, whereby it has knowledges, intelligence, and wisdom. And since the female was created through the truth of the male, and is formed into the love thereof more and more after marriage, it follows, that she also receives the husband's truth in herself, and conjoins it with her own good.[CL122]
The Lord adjoins and conjoins good to the truths which a man receives, because he cannot take good as of himself, it being no object of his sight, as it does not relate to light, but to heat, which is felt and not seen; therefore when a man sees truth in his thought, he seldom reflects upon the good which flows into it from the love of the will, and which gives it life: neither does a wife reflect upon the good belonging to her, but upon the husband's inclination towards her, which is according to the assent of his understanding to wisdom: the good which belongs to her from the Lord, she applies, without the husband's knowing any thing respecting such application. From these considerations then it plainly appears, that a man receives truth from the Lord, and that the Lord adjoins good to that truth, according to the application of truth to use; consequently as the man is desirous to think, and thence to live, wisely. [CL123]
The church is thus formed with a man by the Lord, because in such case he is in conjunction with the Lord, in good from Him, and in truth as from himself; thus he is in the Lord, and the Lord in him, according to the Lord's words in John xv. 4:, 5. The case is the same, if instead of good we say charity, and instead of truth faith; because good is of charity, and truth is of faith.[CL124]
That the church is the Lord's, and that from the spiritual marriage, which is that of good and truth, the Lord is called the Bridegroom and Husband, and the church the bride and wife, is well known to Christians from the Word, especially from the following. John said of the Lord:
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth because of the bridegroom's voice (John 3:29).
Jesus said, The children of the bridechamber cannot mourn so long as the bridegroom is with them (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 5:34-35).
I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2).
The angel said to John: Come, I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb, and from a mountain he showed him the holy city Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-10).
The time of the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. Blessed are they that have been called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7, 9).
I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come, and he that willeth, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:16-17).[TCR783]
Author: EMANUEL. SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)