Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/548

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heaven; and upon the third expanse were angels who compose the third or highest heaven. At first I wondered what and why this was; but presently a voice was heard from heaven, as of a trumpet, saying, We have perceived, and now see, that you are meditating on conjugial love; and we know that as yet no one on earth knows what love truly conjugial in its origin and in its essence is; and yet it is important that it should be known. It has pleased the Lord therefore to open the heavens to you, that illustrating light, and thence perception, may flow into the interiors of your mind. With us in the heavens, especially in the third heaven, our heavenly delights are chiefly from conjugial love. By permission given us we will therefore send down to you a married pair that you may see them. And lo! a chariot then appeared descending from the highest or third heaven, in which an angel was seen; but as it approached two were seen in it. At a distance the chariot glittered like a diamond before my eyes; and there were harnessed to it young horses, white as snow. And they that sat in the chariot held in their hands two turtle-doves. And they called to me, saying, Would you like us to come nearer? But take heed then that the effulgence which is from our heaven whence we have descended, and is flaming, does not penetrate too interiorly. By the influx of this the higher ideas of your understanding, which in themselves are heavenly, may indeed be illustrated; but in the world in which you are these are ineffable. Receive rationally therefore what you are about to hear, and so address it to the understanding. I answered, I will take heed; come nearer. And they came, and lo! it was a husband and his wife. And they said, We are a married pair. From the earliest age, which is called by you the golden age, we have lived happily in heaven; and perpetually in the same flower of youth in which you see us to-day. I looked at both attentively, for I perceived that they represented conjugial love in its life and in its adornment; in its life in their faces, and in its adornment in their apparel. For all the angels are affections of love in the human form; the governing affection itself shines forth from their faces; and their raiment is derived to them from the affection and in accordance with it. It is therefore said in heaven that his own affection clothes every one. The husband appeared of an age intermediate between manhood and youth. From his eyes shone forth a light, sparkling from the wisdom of love. His face was as if inwardly radiant from this light; and by irradiation therefrom the skin outwardly was as it were refulgent. His whole face was thence one resplendent comeliness. He was clothed in a long robe that reached to the ankles, and under the robe a vestment of blue, and this was girded about with a golden girdle, on which there were three