289. It has also been shown above that by "wife" is meant the church, and in the universal sense the kingdom of the Lord in the heavens and on earth; and from this it follows that the same is meant by "mother." In the Word the church is very frequently called "mother" as in Isaiah:
Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement ? (Isa. 50:1).
Your mother is greatly ashamed: she that bare you was suffused with shame (Jer. 50: 12).
Thou art thy mother's daughter that loathed her man and her sons; your mother was a Hittite, and your father an Amorite (Ezek. 16:45),
where "man [vir]" denotes the Lord and all that is celestial; "sons" the truths of faith; a "Hittite" what is false: and an "Amorite" what is evil. In the same:
Thy mother is like a vine in thy likeness, planted near the waters; she was fruitful and full of leaves because of many waters (Ezek. 19:10).
Here "mother" denotes the Ancient Church. The term "mother" is more especially applicable to the Most Ancient Church, because it was the first church, and the only one that was celestial, and therefore beloved by the Lord more than any other.