478 MARRIAGE, It is the inmost heaven through which the Lord insinuates true conjugial love. Its beginning or origin is from the inmost heavon ; and then [it passes] through the medium of the lower heavens. From thence also is parental love. For the celestials of the inmost heaven love infants much more than parents, — even than mothers ; yea they are present with infants, and have care of them.^ It was told me, indeed, that they are present and are watchful over them, that they may be nourished, in the maternal womb. They therefore preside over the womb during gestation. (S. D. n. 1201.) Different Quality of the Love of Infants and Children WITH THE Spiritual and the Natural. To appearance the love of infants with married partners who are spiritual is the same as with those that are natural ; but in fact it is more interior and hence more tender, because that love springs from innocence, and from the nearer and so more present perception of it in them. For the spiritual are spiritual in so far as they partake of innocence. And in truth spiritual fathers and mothers, after that they have tasted the sweetness of innocence in their infants, love their children altogether differently from fathers and mothers who are natural The spiritual love their children from their spiritual intelligence and moral life. They therefore love them from the fear of God and from actual piety, or piety of life ; and at the same time from an affection for and devotion to uses beneficial to society, thus from the virtues and good morals in them. From the love of these, principally, they provide for and supply their wants. If therefore they do not see such virtues in them they withdraw their favour from them, and do nothing for them except from duty. The love of infants is indeed from innocence with fathers and mothers also, who are natural ; but this received by them is wrapped about their own love, and they therefore love infants from the one and at the same time from the other, — kissing, embracing, carrying them, pressing them to their bosoms, and caressing them beyond all measure, — and regard them as one heart and one mind with themselves. And then after their state of infancy, up to and beyond early manhood, when innocence is no longer operative, they do not love them from any fear of God and actual piety, or piety of life ; nor from any rational and moral intelligence in them ; and they pay little regard, — scarcely any at all indeed, — to their internal affections, and hence to their virtues and good morals, but only to the outward things towards which they are inclined. To these 1 Matt, xviii. 10.
Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/574
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