Heavenly Marriages Induce Forms on the Souls and Minds of their Partner

Selection from Conjugial Love ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

In the natural world it is not so apparent that marriages induce other forms on souls and minds, for here souls and minds are enclosed in a material body, through which the mind rarely shines. Today, moreover, far more than of old, men learn from infancy onward to induce expressions on the face by which they profoundly conceal the mind’s affections. For this reason forms of the mind before and after marriage are not known apart. In the spiritual world, however, it is manifest (even in such men) that the forms of soul and mind after marriage differ from what they were before marriage. For spirits and angels, who are nothing but minds and souls in human form, are then stripped of the coverings which were composed of elements from water and earth and of exhalations thence spread on the air. With these removed, the forms of the minds, such as they were within the body, are seen, and it is clearly observable then that the married have certain forms, and the unmarried other forms.

In general, married partners have an inner beauty of countenance, the man receiving from the wife the agreeable glow of her love, and the wife from the man the shining brightness of his wisdom. For the two partners are united in soul. In each appears also a human fullness. This is in heaven, for there are no marriages anywhere else; below heaven [not from heavenly order] there are only matings, which are formed and severed.

(Conjugial Love 192)
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Love and Charity

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

The Divine with those who have faith in the Lord is love and charity. By Love is meant love to the Lord; by Charity,” love toward the neighbor. Love to the Lord cannot possibly be separated from love toward the neighbor; for the Lord’s love is toward the universal human race, which He wills to save eternally and to adjoin wholly to Himself, so that not one of them may perish. He therefore who has love to the Lord, has the Lord’s love, and thereby can do no otherwise than love his neighbor.

(from Arcana Cœlestia 2023)
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How to React with God

Selection from Divine Love and Wisdom ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

In everything created by God there is reaction.

In Life alone there is action; reaction is caused by the action of Life.

Because reaction takes place when any created thing is acted upon, it appears as if it belonged to what is created. Thus in man it appears as if the reaction were his, because he has no other feeling than that life is his, when yet man is only a recipient of life.

From this cause it is that man, by reason of his hereditary evil, reacts against God. But so far as man believes that all his life is from God, and that all good of life is from the action of God, and all evil of life from the reaction of man, so far his reaction comes to be from [God’s] action, and man acts with God as if from himself.

The equilibrium of all things is from action and simultaneous reaction, and in equilibrium everything must be.

These things have been said lest man should believe that he himself ascends toward God from himself, and not from the Lord.

(Divine Love and Wisdom 68)
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Neighbor Toward Whom ‘Works of Charity’ are To Be Performed

From Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Jesus said, When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind; then thou shalt be blessed (Luke 14:13-14).

The master of the house said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the lame, and the blind (Luke 14:21).

The Ancient Church distinguished into classes the neighbor or neighbors toward whom they were to perform the works of charity; and some they called “maimed,” some “lame,” some “blind,” and some “deaf,” meaning those who were spiritually so. Some also they called the “hungry,” the “thirsty,” “strangers,” the “naked,” the “sick,” the “captives” (Matt. 25:33-36); and some “widows,” “orphans,” the “needy,” the “poor,” and the “miserable;” by whom they meant no other than –

those who were such as to truth and good, and who were to be suitably instructed, led on their way, and thus provided for as to their souls.

But as at this day charity does not make the church, but faith, what is meant in the Word by these persons is altogether unknown; and yet it is manifest to everyone that it is not meant that the maimed, the lame, and the blind are to be called to a feast, and that it was not commanded by the master of the house that such should be brought in, but that those are meant who are spiritually such; also that in every thing spoken by the Lord there is what is Divine, consequently a celestial and spiritual sense.

Similar is the meaning of the Lord’s words in Mark:
If thy foot cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is good for thee to enter into life lame, rather than having two feet to be cast into the gehenna of fire, into fire unquenchable (Mark 9:45; Matt. 18:8); by the “foot which must be cut off” –

if it caused stumbling, is meant the natural, which is constantly opposing itself to the spiritual – that it must be destroyed if it attempt to impair truths; and thus that on account of the disagreement and dissuasion of the natural man, it is better to be in simple good, although in the denial of truth.

This is signified by “entering into life lame.”

(from Arcana Cœlestia 4302:5-6)
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There is No Charity Apart from Works of Charity

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Those who are in charity, that is, in love to the neighbor (from which is the delight in pleasures that is alive), pay no regard to the enjoyment of pleasures except on account of the use.

For there is no charity apart from works of charity; it is in its practice or use that charity consists.

He who loves the neighbor as himself perceives no delight in charity except in its exercise, or in use; and therefore a life of charity is a life of uses. Such is the life of the whole heaven;

for the kingdom of the Lord, because it is a kingdom of mutual love, is a kingdom of uses.

Every pleasure therefore which is from charity, has its delight from use. The more noble the use, the greater the delight. Consequently the angels have happiness from the Lord according to the essence and quality of their use.

And so it is with every pleasure – the more noble its use, the greater its delight. For example, the delight of conjugial love: because this love is the seminary of human society, and thereby of the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens, which is the greatest of all uses, it has in it so much delight that it is the very happiness of heaven. It is the same with all other pleasures, but with a difference according to the excellence of the uses, which are so manifold that they can scarcely be classed in genera and species, some having regard more nearly and directly, and some more remotely and indirectly, to the kingdom of the Lord, or to the Lord.

From these things it is further evident that all pleasures are granted to man, but only for the sake of use; and that they thus, with a difference from the use in which they are, partake of heavenly happiness and live from it.

(from Arcana Cœlestia 997)
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The Performance of Uses is Chiefly The Exercises of Charity

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

“to serve the Lord” denotes to perform uses, is because true worship consists in the performance of uses, thus in the exercises of charity. He who believes that serving the Lord consists solely in frequenting a place of worship, in hearing preaching there, and in praying, and that this is sufficient, is much mistaken.

The very worship of the Lord consists in performing uses; and during man’s life in the world uses consist in everyone’s discharging aright his duty in his station, thus from the heart being of service to his country, to societies, and to the neighbor, in dealing sincerely with his fellow, and in performing kind offices with prudence in accordance with each person’s character. These uses are chiefly the works of charity, and are those whereby the Lord is chiefly worshiped.

Frequenting a place of worship, hearing sermons, and saying prayers, are also necessary; but without the above uses they avail nothing, because they are not of the life, but teach what the life must be. The angels in heaven have all happiness from uses, and according to uses, so that to them uses are heaven.

(from Arcana Cœlestia 7038)
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External Worship Being Merely The Effect

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

And Abram pitched his tent, and came and dwelt in the oak-groves of Mamre that are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to Jehovah. (Genesis 13:18)

And there he built an altar to Jehovah. That this signifies worship from that state, is evident from the signification of “an altar,” as being a representative of all worship in general…. By worship, in the internal sense, is meant all conjunction through love and charity.

When a man is in love and charity he is continually in worship, external worship being merely the effect. The angels are in such worship; with them, therefore, there is a perpetual Sabbath; and from this the Sabbath, in the internal sense, signifies the Lord’s kingdom. But man, while in the world, ought not to be otherwise than in external worship also; for by external worship internal things are excited, and by means of external worship external things are kept in holiness, so that internal things can flow in. And besides, man is thus imbued with knowledges, and is prepared for receiving celestial things, and is also gifted with states of holiness, although he is unaware of this; which states of holiness are preserved to him by the Lord for the use of eternal life, for in the other life all the states of his life return.

(Arcana Cœlestia 1618)
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