57. LOVE TRULY CONJUGIAL
Conjugial love is of infinite variety, not being the same with one person as with another. With many it does indeed appear to be the same, but it appears so only before the judgment of the body, and from this judgment, seeing that it is gross and dull, man has little discernment of such things. By the judgment of the body is meant the judgment of the mind from the external senses. Before those who see from the judgment of the spirit, the differences are apparent; and more distinctly apparent before those who can elevate the sight of this judgment still higher, which is done by its withdrawal from the senses and its exaltation into higher light. Such men can then confirm themselves by the understanding and so can see that conjugial love is not the same with one person as with another. Yet no one can see the infinite varieties of that love in any light of the understanding, even though elevated, unless he first know the nature of the love itself in its essence and integrity; thus its nature when together with life it was implanted in man by God. Unless its state then be known, a state which was most perfect, its differences cannot be discovered by any inquiry, there being no stable point from which, as a commencement, those differences can be deduced, and to which, by keeping it in view, they can refer themselves and so be seen truly and not fallaciously. This is the reason why we have set out to describe this love in its genuine essence; and, since it was in this essence when together with life it was infused into man by God, to describe it as it was in its primeval state. In this state it was truly conjugial, and therefore this chapter is entitled LOVE TRULY CONJUGIAL. The description shall be given in the following order:
I. That there is a love truly conjugial, which is so rare at this day that it is not known what it is and scarcely that it is.
II. That the origin of this love is from the marriage of good and truth.
III. That the correspondence of this love is with the marriage of the Lord and the Church.
IV. That, regarded from its origin and correspondence, this love is celestial, spiritual, holy, pure, and clean, above every love which is from the Lord with the angels of heaven and the men of the Church.
V. That it is also the fundamental love of all celestial and spiritual loves, and thence of all natural loves.
VI. And that into this love are gathered all joys and delights from their first to their last.
VII. But that no others come into this love and can be in it save those who approach the Lord, love the truths of the Church and do its goods.
VIII. That this love was the love of loves with the ancients who lived in the Golden, Silver, and Copper Ages, but that afterwards it gradually departed.
The explanation of these points now follows: