252. That by the "woman" is meant the church, is evident from what was said above (n. 155) concerning the heavenly marriage. Such is the nature of the heavenly marriage, that heaven, and consequently the church, is united to the Lord by its Own, insomuch that these are in their Own, for without their Own there can be no union. When the Lord in mercy insinuates innocence, peace, and good into this Own, it still retains its identity, but becomes heavenly and most happy (as may be seen at n. 164). The quality of a heavenly and angelic Own from the Lord, and the quality of an Own, which, because from self, is infernal and diabolical, cannot be told. The difference is like that between heaven and hell.