482. III. THAT DOUBLE ADULTERY IS THAT OF A HUSBAND WITH THE WIFE OF ANOTHER, OR THE REVERSE. It is called double adultery because committed by two, the marriage covenant being violated by both. It is therefore twofold more grievous than the former. It was said above (no. 480), that after the pact and covenant, the conjugial love of one man with one wife unites their souls; that this union is the love itself in its origin; and that by adultery this origin is shut off and stopped up, like the spring and flow of a fountain. That the souls of two unite when love to the sex is restricted to the one woman or the one man of the sex, as is the case when a maiden has pledged herself wholly to a young man, and the young man has pledged himself wholly to the maiden, is clearly evident from the fact that the lives of the two unite, and so also their souls, these being the beginnings of their life. This union of souls is possible only in monogamous marriages, that is, the marriages of one man with one wife. It is not possible in polygamous marriages or marriages of a man with several wives; for in the latter, the love is divided, but in the former it is united. That in this its highest seat, conjugial love is spiritual, holy, and pure, is because, from its origin, every man's soul is celestial and therefore receives influx immediately from the Lord; for it receives from Him the marriage of love and wisdom or of good and truth, and this influx makes him a man and distinguishes him from beasts. From this union of souls, conjugial love, which, in the soul is in its spiritual holiness and purity, flows down into the life of the whole body and, so long as its vein remains open, fills that life with blessed delights. This it does with those who from the Lord become spiritual. That nothing but adultery shuts off and stops up this seat and origin of conjugial love and this fountain and its flow, is evident from the Lord's words that it is not lawful for a man to put away his wife and marry another except for adultery (Matt. 19:4-9); and from these words in the same place:
Whoso marrieth her that is put away committeth adultery. 5:9.
When, therefore, as said above, this pure and holy fountain is shut off, then, like a gem surrounded with excrement, or bread with vomit, it is surrounded with filthy things which are altogether opposite to the purity and holiness of that fountain, namely, conjugial love. From this opposition comes conjugial cold, and in accordance therewith the lascivious pleasure of scortatory love--a love which spontaneously consumes itself. That this is an evil of sin is because what is holy is covered up, and its flow into the body is thus obstructed. In its place then comes what is profane, and the flow thereof into the body is opened. Hence, from being heavenly, the man becomes infernal.