Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/569

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MARRIAGE. 473 love act the chief part. And from these the wife performs her duties, and from those the man performs his. Their duties are therefore in their nature different, — but yet conjunctive, in a successive series. It is believed by many that women can per- form the duties of men, if only they are initiated into them, in the same manner as boys, from their earliest age ; and they can come into the exercise, but not into the judgment of them, on which the right performance of duties inwardly depends. For this reason those women who are initiated into the duties of men are bound in matters of judgment to consult with men ; and then, if they are free to choose, they elect that which is favourable to their love. By some it is also imagined that women are equally capable of elevating the sight of their under- standing, into the sphere of light in which men may be, and of viewing things in the same [intellectual] altitude ; an opinion to which they have been led by the writings of certain learned authoresses. But these being examined in their presence in the spiritual world were found to be products not of judg- ment and wisdom, but of genius and eloquence ; and what comes of these two, from elegance and beauty in the style of composi- tion, appears as if it were sublime and erudite, — but only to those who call cleverness wisdom. The reason why men, on the other hand, cannot enter into the proper duties of women, and rightly perform them, is that they are not in their affections, which are entirely distinct from the affections of men. As the affections and perceptions of the male sex are by creation and hence by nature thus distinguished, therefore among the statutes given to the children of Israel there was also this : — " A woman shall not put on the garment of a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment ; for this is an abomination." (Deut. xxii. 5). The reason of this was, that in the spiritual world all are clothed according to their affections, and the two affections, of woman and of man, cannot be united except [reciprocally] between two, and never in one person, (ib. n. 175.) The Wife should be under the Guidance op the Husband. Since every law and every precept springs from what is celestial and spiritual, as from its beginning, it follows that this law also, which is a law of marriage, does : — That the wife, because she acts from desire, which is of the proprium, and not so much from reason as the man, is subject to the pru- dence of the man. (A. 0. n. 266.) 36