295. BETROTHALS AND WEDDINGS
In this chapter, betrothals and weddings and the solemn ceremonies connected therewith are treated of chiefly from reason which pertains to the understanding; for what is written in this book has for its end that the reader may see truths from his rational understanding and so may give them his assent. In this way his spirit is convinced, and that of which the spirit is convinced is allotted a higher place in the mind than that which enters from authority and the faith thereof, without any consultation of the reason. What enters from authority alone, enters the head no farther than the memory, and there, is commingled with fallacies and falsities. Thus it has its place below things rational which pertain to the understanding. Any man can talk from the things of his memory as though rationally, but in inverted order; for he then thinks as a crab walks, the sight following the tail. Not so if he thinks from his understanding. When he does this, his rational sight makes suitable selections from the memory, and by these he confirms a truth which is seen in itself.  It is for this reason that in the present chapter many things are adduced which are accepted customs; as, for instance, that choice belongs to the man; that parents are to be consulted; that pledges are to be given; that a conjugial covenant is to be entered into before the wedding; that this covenant is to be consecrated by a priest; also that the wedding should be celebrated [with festivity]; and many other things. These are adduced to the end that, from his rational understanding, man may see that they are inscribed on conjugial love as the requisites thereof, promoting and completing it.  The articles into which this lucubration is divided are, in their order, the following:
I. That choice belongs to the man and not to the woman.
II. That it behooves the man to court the woman and ask her respecting marriage with him, and not the reverse.
III. That before she consents, it behooves the woman to consult her parents or those in the place of parents, and then to deliberate with herself.
IV. That after the declaration of consent, pledges are to be given.
V. That consent is to be strengthened and confirmed by a solemn betrothal.
VI. That by betrothal each is prepared for conjugial love.
VII. That by betrothal the mind of the one is conjoined to the mind of the other in order that a marriage of the spirit may take place before that of the body.
VIII. That this is the case with those who think of marriages chastely; not so with those who think of them unchastely.
IX. That during the time of betrothal it is not lawful to be conjoined corporeally.
X. That when the time of betrothal is completed, the wedding ought to take place.
XI. That before the celebration of the wedding, a conjugial covenant is to be entered into in the presence of witnesses.
XII. That the marriage is to be consecrated by a priest.
XIII. That the wedding is to be celebrated with festivity.
XIV. That after the wedding, the marriage of the spirit becomes also a marriage of the body and thus complete.
XV. That such is the order of conjugial love, with its modes, from its first heat to its first torch.
XVI. That conjugial love, precipitated without order and its modes, burns out the marrows and is consumed.
XVII. That the states of the mind of each, proceeding in successive order, inflow into the state of marriage, yet in one way with the spiritual and in another with the natural.
XVIII. Because there is successive order and simultaneous order, and the latter is from the former and according to it.
Now follows the explanation of the above.