448. IV. FORNICATION IS LUST, BUT NOT THE LUST OF ADULTERY. The reasons why fornication is lust are, 1. Because it proceeds from the natural man, and in everything which proceeds from the natural man, there is concupiscence and lust; for the natural man is nothing but an abode and receptacle of concupiscences and lust, since all the criminal propensities inherited from the parents reside therein. 2. Because the fornicator has a vague and promiscuous regard to the sex, and does not as yet confine his attention to one of the sex; and so long as he is in this state, he is prompted by lust to do what he does; but in proportion as he confines his attention to one of the sex, and loves to conjoin his life with hers, concupiscence becomes a chaste affection, and lust becomes human love.
449. That the lust of fornication is not the lust of adultery, every one sees clearly from common perception. What law and what judge imputes a like criminality to the fornicator as to the adulterer? The reason why this is seen from common perception is, because fornication is not opposed to conjugial love as adultery is. In fornication conjugial love may lie stored up within, as what is spiritual may lie stored up in what is natural; yea, what is spiritual is also actually disengaged from what is natural; and when the spiritual is disengaged, then the natural encompasses it, as bark does its wood, and a scabbard its sword, and also serves the spiritual as a defence against violence. From these considerations it is evident, that natural love, which is love to the sex, precedes spiritual love which is love to one of the sex; but if fornication comes into effect from the natural love of the sex, it may also be wiped away, provided conjugial love be regarded, desired, and sought, as the chief good. It is altogether otherwise with the libidinous and obscene love of adultery, which we have shewn to be opposite to conjugial love, and destructive thereof, in the foregoing chapter concerning the opposition of adulterous and conjugial love: wherefore if a confirmed and determined adulterer for various reasons enters into a conjugial engagement, the above case is inverted, since a natural principle lies concealed within its lascivious and obscene things, and a spiritual appearance covers it externally. From these considerations reason may see, that the lust of limited fornication is, in respect to the lust of adultery, as the first warmth is to the cold of mid-winter in northern countries.
450. V. WITH SOME MEN THE LOVE OF THE SEX CANNOT WITHOUT HURT BE TOTALLY CHECKED FROM GOING FORTH INTO FORNICATION. It is needless to recount the mischiefs which may be caused and produced by too great a check of the love of the sex, with such persons as labor under a superabundant venereal heat; from this source are to be traced the origins of certain diseases of the body and distempers of the mind, not to mention unknown evils, which are not to be named; it is otherwise with those whose love of the sex is so scanty that they can resist the sallies of its lust; also with those who are at liberty to introduce themselves into a legitimate partnership of the bed while they are young, without doing injury to their worldly fortunes, thus under the first favorable impressions. As this is the case in heaven with infants, when they have grown up to conjugial age, therefore it is unknown there what fornication is: but the case is different in the world where matrimonial engagements cannot be contracted till the season of youth is past, and where, during that season, the generality live within forms of government, where a length of time is required to perform duties, and to acquire the property necessary to support a house and family, and then first a suitable wife is to be courted.
[Footnote: This, like some other of the author's remarks, is not so applicable to English laws and customs as to those of several of the continental states, especially Germany, where men are not allowed to marry till they have attained a certain age, or can show that they possess the means of supporting a wife and family.]
451. VI. THEREFORE IN POPULOUS CITIES PUBLIC STEWS ARE TOLERATED. This is adduced as a confirmation of the preceding article. It is well known that they are tolerated by kings, magistrates, and thence by judges, inquisitors, and the people, at London, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Venice, Naples, and even at Rome, besides many other places: among the reasons of this toleration are those also above mentioned.
452. VII. FORNICATION IS (COMPARATIVELY) LIGHT SO FAR AS IT LOOKS TO CONJUGIAL LOVE AND GIVES THIS LOVE THE PREFERENCE. There are degrees of the qualities of evil, as there are degrees of the qualities of good; wherefore every evil is lighter and more grievous, as every good is better and more excellent. The case is the same with fornication; which, as being a lust, and a lust of the natural man not yet purified, is an evil; but as every man (homo) is capable of being purified, therefore so far as it approaches a purified state, so far that evil becomes lighter, for so far it is wiped away; thus so far as fornication approaches conjugial love, which is a purified state of the love of the sex, (so far it becomes a lighter evil): that the evil of fornication is more grievous, so far as it approaches the love of adultery, will be seen in the following article. The reason why fornication is light so far as it looks to conjugial love, is, because it then looks from the unchaste state wherein it is, to a chaste state; and so far as it gives a preference to the latter, so far also it is in it as to the understanding; and so far as it not only prefers it, but also pre-loves it, so far also it is in it as to the will, thus as to the internal man; and in this case fornication, if the man nevertheless persists in it, is to him a necessity, the causes whereof he well examines in himself. There are two reasons which render fornication light with those who prefer and pre-love the conjugial state; the first is, that conjugial life is their purpose, intention, or end, the other is, that they separate good from evil with themselves. In regard to the FIRST,—that conjugial life is their purpose, intention, or end, it has the above effect, inasmuch as every man is such as he is in his purpose, intention, or end, and is also such before the Lord and the angels; yea, he is likewise regarded as such by the wise in the world; for intention is the soul of all actions, and causes innocence and guilt in the world, and after death imputation. In regard to the OTHER reason,—that those who prefer conjugial love to the lust of fornication, separate evil from good, thus what is unchaste from what is chaste, it has the above effect, inasmuch as those who separate those two principles by perception and intention, before they are in good or the chaste principle, are also separated and purified from the evil of that lust, when they come into the conjugial state. That this is not the case with those who in fornication look to adultery, will be seen in the next article.
453. VIII. THE LUST OF FORNICATION IS GRIEVOUS, SO FAR AS IT LOOKS TO ADULTERY. In the lust of fornication all those look to adultery who do not believe adulteries to be sins, and who think similarly of marriage and of adulteries, only with the distinction of what is allowed and what is not; these also make one evil out of all evils, and mix them together, like dirt with eatable food in one dish, and like things vile and refuse with wine in one cup, and thus eat and drink: in this manner they act with the love of the sex, fornication and keeping a mistress, with adultery of a milder sort, of a grievous sort, and of a more grievous sort, yea with ravishing or defloration: moreover, they not only mingle all those things, but also mix them in marriages, and defile the latter with a like notion; but where it is the case, that the latter are not distinguished from the former, such persons, after their vague commerce with the sex, are overtaken by colds, loathings, and nauseousness, at first in regard to a married partner, next in regard to women in other characters, and lastly in regard to the sex. It is self-evident that with such persons there is no purpose, intention, or end, of what is good or chaste, that they may be exculpated, and no separation of evil from good, or of what is unchaste from what is chaste, that they may be purified, as in the case of those who from fornication look to conjugial love, and give the latter the preference, (concerning whom, see the foregoing article, n. 452). The above observations I am allowed to confirm by this new information from heaven: I have met with several, who in the world had lived outwardly like others, wearing rich apparel, feasting daintily, trading like others with money, borrowed upon interest, frequenting stage exhibitions, conversing jocosely on love affairs as from wantonness, besides other similar things: and yet the angels charged those things upon some as evils of sin, and upon others as not evils, and declared the latter guiltless, but the former guilty; and on being questioned why they did so, when the deeds were alike, they replied, that they regard all from purpose, intention, or end, and distinguish accordingly; and that on this account they excuse and condemn those whom the end excuses and condemns, since all in heaven are influenced by a good end, and all in hell by an evil end; and that this, and nothing else, is meant by the Lord's words, Judge not, that ye be not judged, Matt. vii. I.
454. IX. THE LUST OF FORNICATION IS MORE GRIEVOUS AS IT VERGES TO THE DESIRE OF VARIETIES AND OF DEFLORATION. The reason of this is, because these two desires are accessories of adulteries, and thus aggravations of it: for there are mild adulteries, grievous adulteries, and most grievous; and each kind is estimated according to its opposition to, and consequent destruction of, conjugial love. That the desire of varieties and the desire of defloration, strengthened by being brought into act, destroy conjugial love, and drown it as it were in the bottom of the sea, will be seen presently, when those subjects come to be treated of.
455. X. THE SPHERE OF THE LUST OF FORNICATION, SUCH AS IT IS IN THE BEGINNING, IS A MIDDLE SPHERE BETWEEN THE SPHERE OF ADULTEROUS LOVE AND THE SPHERE OF CONJUGIAL LOVE, AND MAKES AN EQUILIBRIUM. The two spheres, of adulterous love and conjugial love, were treated of in the foregoing chapter, where it was shewn that the sphere of adulterous love ascends from hell, and the sphere of conjugial love descends from heaven, n. 435; that those two spheres meet each other in each world, but do not unite, n. 436; that between those two spheres there is an equilibrium, and that man is in it, n. 437; that a man can turn himself to whichever sphere he pleases; but that so far as he turns himself to the one, so far he turns himself from the other, n. 438: for the meaning of spheres, see n. 434, and the passages there cited. The reason why the sphere of the lust of fornication is a middle sphere between those two spheres, and makes an equilibrium, is, because while any one is in it, he can turn himself to the sphere of conjugial love, that is, to this love, and also to the sphere of the love of adultery, that is, to the love of adultery; but if he turns himself to conjugial love, he turns himself to heaven; if to the love of adultery, he turns himself to hell: each is in the man's free determination, good pleasure, and will, to the intent that he may act freely according to reason, and not from instinct: consequently that he may be a man, and appropriate to himself influx, and not a beast, which appropriates nothing thereof to itself. It is said the lust of fornication such as it is in the beginning, because at that time it is in a middle state. Who does not know that whatever a man does in the beginning, is from concupiscence, because from the natural man? And who does not know that that concupiscence is not imputed, while from natural he is becoming spiritual? The case is similar in regard to the lust of fornication, while a man's love is becoming conjugial.
456. XI. CARE IS TO BE TAKEN LEST, BY IMMODERATE AND INORDINATE FORNICATIONS, CONJUGIAL LOVE BE DESTROYED. By immoderate and inordinate fornications, whereby conjugial love is destroyed, we mean fornications by which not only the strength is enervated, but also all the delicacies of conjugial love are taken away; for from unbridled indulgence in such fornications, not only weakness and consequent wants, but also impurities and immodesties are occasioned, by reason of which conjugial love cannot be perceived and felt in its purity and chastity, and thus neither in its sweetness and the delights of its prime; not to mention the mischiefs occasioned to both the body and the mind, and also the disavowed allurements, which not only deprive conjugial love of its blessed delights, but also take it away, and change it into cold, and thereby into loathing. Such fornications are the violent excesses whereby conjugial sports are changed into tragic scenes: for immoderate and inordinate fornications are like burning flames which, arising out of ultimates, consume the body, parch the fibres, defile the blood, and vitiate the rational principles of the mind; for they burst forth like a fire from the foundation into the house, which consumes the whole. To prevent these mischiefs is the duty of parents; for a grown up youth, inflamed with lust, cannot as yet from reason impose restraint upon himself.
457. XII. INASMUCH AS THE CONJUGIAL PRINCIPLE OF ONE MAN WITH ONE WIFE IS THE JEWEL OF HUMAN LIFE AND THE RESERVOIR OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. These two points have been demonstrated universally and singularly in the whole preceding part of CONJUGIAL LOVE AND ITS CHASTE DELIGHTS. The reason why it is the jewel of human life is, because the quality of a man's life is according to the quality of that love with him; since that love constitutes the inmost of his life; for it is the life of wisdom dwelling with its love, and of love dwelling with its wisdom, and hence it is the life of the delights of each; in a word, a man is a soul living by means of that love: hence, the conjugial tie of one man with one wife is called the jewel of human life. This is confirmed from the following articles adduced above: only with one wife there exists truly conjugial friendship, confidence, and potency, because there is a union of minds, n. 333, 334: in and from a union with one wife there exist celestial blessednesses, spiritual satisfactions, and thence natural delights, which from the beginning have been provided for those who are in love truly conjugial, n. 335. That it is the fundamental love of all celestial, spiritual, and derivative natural loves, and that into that love are collected all joys and delights from first to last, n. 65-69: and that viewed in its origin, it is the sport of wisdom and love, has been fully demonstrated in the CONJUGIAL LOVE AND ITS CHASTE DELIGHTS, which constitutes the first part of this work.
458. The reason why that love is the reservoir of the Christian religion is, because this religion unites and dwells with that love; for it was shewn, that none come into that love, and can be in it, but those who approach the Lord, and do the truths of his church and its goods; n. 70, 71: that that love is from the only Lord, and that hence it exists with those who are of the Christian religion; n. 131, 335, 336: that that love is according to the state of the church, because it is according to the state of wisdom with man; n. 130. That these things are so, was fully confirmed in the chapter on the correspondence of that love with the marriage of the Lord and the church; n. 116, 131; and in the chapter on the origin of that love from the marriage of good and truth; n. 83-102.
459. XIII. WITH THOSE WHO, FROM VARIOUS REASONS, CANNOT AS YET ENTER INTO MARRIAGE, AND FROM THEIR PASSION FOR THE SEX, CANNOT MODERATE THEIR LUSTS, THIS CONJUGIAL PRINCIPLE MAY BE PRESERVED, IF THE VAGUE LOVE OF THE SEX BE CONFINED TO ONE MISTRESS. That immoderate and inordinate lust cannot be entirely checked by those who have a strong passion for the sex, is what reason sees and experience proves: with a view therefore that such lust may be restrained, in the case of one whose passions are thus violent, and who for several reasons cannot precipitately enter into marriage, and that it may be rendered somewhat moderate and ordinate, there seems to be no other refuge, and as it were asylum, than the keeping of a woman, who in French is called maitresse. It is well known that in kingdoms, where certain forms and orders are to be observed, matrimonial engagements cannot be contracted by many till the season of youth is past; for duties are first to be performed, and property to be acquired for the support of a house and family, and then first a suitable wife is to be courted; and yet in the previous season of youth few are able to keep the springing fountain of manliness closed, and reserved for a wife: it is better indeed that it should be reserved; but if this cannot be done on account of the unbridled power of lust, a question occurs, whether there may not be an intermediate means, by which conjugial love may be prevented from perishing in the mean time. That keeping a mistress is such a means appears reasonable from the following considerations: I. That by this means promiscuous inordinate fornications are restrained and limited, and thus a less disorderly state is induced, which more resembles conjugial life. II. That the ardor of venereal propensities, which in the beginning is boiling hot, and as it were burning, is appeased and mitigated; and thereby the lascivious passion for the sex, which is filthy, is tempered by somewhat analogous to marriage. III. By this means too the strength is not cast away, neither are weaknesses contracted, as by vague and unlimited amours. IV. By this means also disease of the body and insanity of mind are avoided. V. In like manner by this means adulteries, which are whoredoms with wives, and debaucheries, which are violations of maidens, are guarded against; to say nothing of such criminal acts as are not to be named; for a stripling does not think that adulteries and debaucheries are different from fornications; thus he conceives that the one is the same with the other; nor is he able from reason to resist the enticements of some of the sex, who are proficients in meretricious arts: but in keeping a mistress, which is a more ordinate and safer fornication, he can learn and see the above distinctions. VI. By keeping a mistress, also no entrance is afforded to the four kinds of lusts, which are in the highest degree destructive of conjugial love,—the lust of defloration, the lust of varieties, the lust of violation, and the lust of seducing innocences, which are treated of in the following pages. These observations, however, are not intended for those who can check the tide of lust; nor for those who can enter into marriage during the season of youth, and offer and impart to their wives the first fruits of their manliness.
460. XIV. KEEPING A MISTRESS IS PREFERABLE TO VAGUE AMOURS, PROVIDED ONLY ONE IS KEPT AND SHE BE NEITHER A MAIDEN NOR A MARRIED WOMAN, AND THE LOVE OF THE MISTRESS BE KEPT SEPARATE FROM CONJUGIAL LOVE. At what time and with what persons keeping a mistress is preferable to vague amours, has been pointed out just above. I. The reason why only one mistress is to be kept, is, because if more than one be kept, a polygamical principle gains influence, which induces in a man a merely natural state, and thrusts him down into a sensual state, so much so that he cannot be elevated into a spiritual state, in which conjugial love must be; see n. 338, 339. II. The reason why this mistress must not be a maiden, is because conjugial love with women acts in unity with their virginity, and hence constitutes the chastity, purity, and sanctity of that love; wherefore when a woman makes an engagement and allotment of her virginity to any man, it is the same thing as giving him a certificate that she will love him to eternity: on this account a maiden cannot, from any rational consent, barter away her virginity, unless when entering into the conjugial covenant: it is also the crown of her honor: wherefore to seize it without a covenant of marriage, and afterwards to discard her, is to make a courtezan of a maiden, who might have been a bride or a chaste wife, or to defraud some man; and each of these is hurtful. Therefore whoever takes a maiden and unites her to himself as a mistress, may indeed dwell with her, and thereby initiate her into the friendship of love, but still with a constant intention, if he does not play the whoremaster, that she shall be or become his wife. III. That the kept mistress must not be a married woman, because this is adultery, is evident. IV. The reason why the love of a mistress is to be kept separate from conjugial love, is because those loves are distinct, and therefore ought not to be mixed together: for the love of a mistress is an unchaste, natural, and external love; whereas the love of marriage is chaste, spiritual, and internal. The love of a mistress keeps the souls of two persons distinct, and unites only the sensual principles of the body; but the love of marriage unites souls, and from their union conjoins also the sensual principles of the body, until from two they become as one, which is one flesh. V. The love of a mistress enters only into the understanding and the things which depend on it; but the love of marriage enters also into the will and the things which depend on it, consequently into every thing appertaining to man (homo); wherefore if the love of a mistress becomes the love of marriage, a man cannot retract from any principle of right, and without violating the conjugial union; and if he retracts and marries another woman, conjugial love perishes in consequence of the breach thereof. It is to be observed, that the love of a mistress is kept separate from conjugial love by this condition, that no engagement of marriage be made with the mistress, and that she be not induced to form any such expectation. Nevertheless it is far better that the torch of the love of the sex be first lighted with a wife.
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461. To the above I shall add the following MEMORABLE RELATION. I was once conversing with a novitiate spirit who, during his abode in the world, had meditated much about heaven and hell. (Novitiate spirits are men newly deceased, who are called spirits, because they are then spiritual men.) As soon as he entered into the spiritual world he began to meditate in like manner about heaven and hell, and seemed to himself, when meditating about heaven, to be in joy, and when about hell, in sorrow. When he observed that he was in the spiritual world, he immediately asked where heaven and hell were, and also their nature and quality? And he was answered, "Heaven is above your head, and hell beneath your feet; for you are now in the world of spirits, which is immediate between heaven and hell; but what are their nature and quality we cannot describe in a few words." At that instant, as he was very desirous of knowing, he fell upon his knees, and prayed devoutly to God that he might be instructed; and lo! an angel appeared at his right hand, and having raised him, said, "You have prayed to be instructed concerning heaven and hell; INQUIRE AND LEARN WHAT DELIGHT IS, AND YOU WILL KNOW;" and having said this, the angel was taken up. Then the novitiate spirit said within himself, "What does this mean, Inquire and learn what delight is, and you will know the nature and quality of heaven and hell?" And leaving that place, he wandered about, and accosting those he met, said, "Tell me, if you please, what delight is?" Some said, "What a strange question! Who does not know what delight is? Is it not joy and gladness? Wherefore delight is delight; one delight is like another; we know no distinction." Others said, that delight was the laughter of the mind; for when the mind laughs, the countenance is cheerful, the discourse is jocular, the behaviour sportive, and the whole man is in delight. But some said, "Delight consists in nothing but feasting, and delicate eating and drinking, and in getting intoxicated with generous wine, and then in conversing on various subjects, especially on the sports of Venus and Cupid." On hearing these relations, the novitiate spirit being indignant, said to himself; "These are the answers of clowns, and not of well-bred men: these delights are neither heaven nor hell; I wish I could meet with the wise." He then took his leave of them, and inquired where he might find the wise? At that instant he was seen by a certain angelic spirit, who said, "I perceive that you have a strong desire to know what is the universal of heaven and of hell; and since this is DELIGHT, I will conduct you up a hill, where there is every day an assembly of those who scrutinize effects, of those who investigate causes, and of those who explore ends. There are three companies; those who scrutinize effects are called spirits of knowledges, and abstractedly knowledges; those who investigate causes are called spirits of intelligence, and abstractedly intelligences; and those who explore ends are called spirits of wisdom, and abstractedly wisdoms. Directly above them in heaven are angels, who from ends see causes, and from causes effects; from these angels those three companies are enlightened." The angelic spirit then taking the novitiate spirit by the hand, led him up the hill to the company which consisted of those who explore ends, and are called wisdoms. To these the novitiate spirit said, "Pardon me for having ascended to you: the reason is, because from my childhood I have meditated about heaven and hell, and lately came into this world, where I was told by some who accompanied me, that here heaven was above my head, and hell beneath my feet; but they did not tell me the nature and quality of either; wherefore, becoming anxious from my thoughts being constantly employed on the subject, I prayed to God; and instantly an angel presented itself, and said, 'Inquire and learn what delight is, and you will know.' I have inquired, but hitherto in vain: I request therefore that you will teach me, if you please, what delight is." To this the wisdoms replied, "Delight is the all of life to all in heaven and all in hell: those in delight have the delight of good and truth, but those in hell have the delight of what is evil and false; for all delight is of love, and love is the esse of a man's life; therefore as a man is a man according to the quality of his love, so also is he according to the quality of his delight. The activity of love makes the sense of delight; its activity in heaven is with wisdom, and in hell with insanity; each in its objects presents delight: but the heavens and the hells are in opposite delights, because in opposite loves; the heavens in the love and thence in the delight of doing good, but the hells in the love and thence in the delight of doing evil; if therefore you know what delight is, you will know the nature and quality of heaven and hell. But inquire and learn further what delight is from those who investigate causes, and are called intelligences: they are to the right from hence." He departed, and came to them, and told them the reason of his coming, and requested that they would teach him what delight is? And they, rejoicing at the question, said, "It is true that he that knows what delight is, knows the nature and quality of heaven and hell. The will-principle, by virtue whereof a man is a man, cannot be moved at all but by delight; for the will-principle, considered in itself, is nothing but an affect and effect of some love, thus of some delight; for it is somewhat pleasing, engaging, and pleasurable, which constitutes the principle of willing; and since the will moves the understanding to think, there does not exist the least idea of thought but from the influent delight of the will. The reason of this is, because the Lord by influx from himself actuates all things of the soul and the mind with angels, spirits, and men; which he does by an influx of love and wisdom; and this influx is the essential activity from which comes all delight, which in its origin is called blessed, satisfactory, and happy, and in its derivation is called delightful, pleasant, and pleasurable, and in a universal sense, GOOD. But the spirits of hell invert all things with themselves; thus they turn good into evil, and the true into the false, their delights continually remaining: for without the continuance of delight, they would have neither will nor sensation, thus no life. From these considerations may be seen the nature and origin of the delight of hell, and also the nature and origin of the delight of heaven." Having heard this, he was conducted to the third company, consisting of those who scrutinize effects, and are called knowledges. These said, "Descend to the inferior earth, and ascend to the superior earth: in the latter you will perceive and be made sensible of the delights of the angels of heaven, and in the former of the delights of the spirits of hell." But lo! at that instant, at a distance from them, the ground cleft asunder, and through the cleft there ascended three devils, who appeared on fire from the delight of their love; and as those who accompanied the novitiate spirit perceived that the three ascended out of hell by proviso, they said to them, "Do not come nearer; but from the place where you are, give some account of your delights." Whereupon they said, "Know, then, that every one, whether he be good or evil, is in his own delight; the good in the delight of his good, and the evil in the delight of his evil." They were then asked, "What is your delight?" They said. "The delight of whoring, stealing, defrauding, and blaspheming." Again they were asked, "What is the quality of those delights?" They said, "To the senses of others they are like the stinks arising from dunghills, the stenches from dead bodies, and the scents from stale urine." And it was asked them, "Are those things delightful to you?" They said, "Most delightful." And reply was made, "Then you are like unclean beasts which wallow in such things." To which they answered, "If we are, we are: but such things are the delights of our nostrils." And on being asked, "What further account can you give?" they said, "Every one is allowed to be in his delight, even the most unclean, as it is called, provided he does not infest good spirits and angels; but since, from our delight, we cannot do otherwise than infest them, therefore we are cast together into workhouses, where we suffer direfully. The witholding and keeping back our delights in those houses is what is called hell-torments: it is also interior pain." It was then asked them, "Why have you infested the good?" They replied, that they could not do otherwise: "It is," said they, "as if we were seized with rage when we see any angel, and are made sensible of the divine sphere about him." It was then said to them, "Herein also you are like wild beasts." And presently, when they saw the novitiate spirit with the angel, they were overpowered with rage, which appeared like the fire of hatred; wherefore, in order to prevent their doing mischief, they were sent back to hell. After these things, appeared the angels who from ends see causes, and by causes effects, who were in the heaven above those three companies. They were seen in a bright cloud, which rolling itself downwards by spiral flexures, brought with it a circular garland of flowers, and placed it on the head of the novitiate spirit; and instantly a voice said to him from thence, "This wreath is given you because from your childhood you have meditated on heaven and hell."
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462. In the preceding chapter, in treating on fornication, we treated also on keeping a mistress; by which was understood the connection of an unmarried man with a woman under stipulated conditions: but by concubinage we here mean the connection of a married man with a woman in like manner under stipulated conditions. Those who do not distinguish genera, use the two terms promiscuously, as if they had one meaning, and thence one signification: but as they are two genera, and the term keeping a mistress is suitable to the former, because a kept mistress is a courtezan, and the term concubinage to the latter, because a concubine is a substituted partner of the bed, therefore for the sake of distinction, ante-nuptial stipulation with a woman is signified by keeping a mistress, and post-nuptial by concubinage. Concubinage is here treated of for the sake of order; for from order it is discovered what is the quality of marriage on the one part, and of adultery on the other. That marriage and adultery are opposites has already been shewn in the chapter concerning their opposition; and the quantity and quality of their opposition cannot be learnt but from their intermediates, of which concubinage is one; but as there are two kinds of concubinage, which are to be carefully distinguished, therefore this section, like the foregoing, shall be arranged into its distinct parts as follows; I. There are two kinds of concubinage, which differ exceedingly from each other, the one conjointly with a wife, the other apart from a wife. II. Concubinage conjointly with a wife, is altogether unlawful for Christians, and detestable. III. That it is polygamy which has been condemned, and is to be condemned, by the Christian world. IV. It is an adultery whereby the conjugial principle, which is the most precious jewel of the Christian life, is destroyed. V. Concubinage apart from a wife, when it is engaged in from causes legitimate, just, and truly excusatory, is not unlawful. VI. The legitimate causes of this concubinage are the legitimate causes of divorce, while the wife is nevertheless retained at home. VII. The just causes of this concubinage are the just causes of reparation from the bed. VIII. Of the excusatory causes of this concubinage some are real and some not. IX. The really excusatory causes are such as are grounded in what is just. X. The excusatory causes which are not real are such as are not grounded in what is just, although in the appearance of what is just. XI. Those who from causes legitimate, just, and really excusatory, are engaged in this concubinage, may at the same time be principled in conjugial love. XII. While this concubinage continues, actual connection with a wife is not allowable. We proceed to an explanation of each article.
463. I. THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF CONCUBINAGE, WHICH DIFFER EXCEEDINGLY FROM EACH OTHER, THE ONE CONJOINTLY WITH A WIFE, THE OTHER APART FROM A WIFE. That there are two kinds of concubinage, which differ exceedingly from each other, and that the one kind consists in taking a substituted partner to the bed and living conjointly and at the same time with her and with a wife; and that the other kind is when, after a legitimate and just separation from a wife, a man engages a woman in her stead as a bed-fellow; also that these two kinds of concubinage differ as much from each other as dirty linen from clean, may be seen by those who take a clear and distinct view of things, but not by those whose view of things is confused and indistinct: yea, it may be seen by those who are in conjugial love, but not by those who are in the love of adultery. The latter are in obscurity respecting all the derivations of the love of the sex, whereas the former are enlightened respecting them: nevertheless, those who are in adultery, can see those derivations and their distinctions, not indeed in and from themselves, but from others when they hear them: for an adulterer has a similar faculty with a chaste husband of elevating his understanding; but an adulterer, after he has acknowledged the distinctions which he has heard from others, nevertheless forgets them, when he immerses his understanding in his filthy pleasure; for the chaste and the unchaste principles, and the sane and the insane, cannot dwell together; but, when separated, they may be distinguished by the understanding. I once inquired of those in the spiritual world who did not regard adulteries as sins, whether they knew a single distinction between fornication, keeping a mistress, the two kinds of concubinage, and the several degrees of adultery? They said they were all alike. I then asked them whether marriage was distinguishable? Upon this they looked around to see whether any of the clergy were present, and as there were not, they said, that in itself it is like the rest. The case was otherwise with those who in the ideas of their thought regarded adulteries as sins: these said, that in their interior ideas, which are of the perception, they saw distinctions, but had not yet studied to discern and know them asunder. This I can assert as a fact, that those distinctions are perceived by the angels in heaven as to their minutiae. In order therefore that it may be seen, that there are two kinds of concubinage opposite to each other, one whereby conjugial love is destroyed, the other whereby it is not, we will first describe the kind which is condemnatory, and afterwards that which is not.
464. II. CONCUBINAGE CONJOINTLY WITH A WIFE IS ALTOGETHER UNLAWFUL FOR CHRISTIANS, AND DETESTABLE. It is unlawful, because it is contrary to the conjugial covenant; and it is detestable, because it is contrary to religion; and what is contrary to religion, and at the same time to the conjugial covenant, is contrary to the Lord: wherefore, as soon as any one, without a really conscientious cause, adjoins a concubine to a wife, heaven is closed to him; and by the angels he is no longer numbered among Christians. From that time also he despises the things of the church and of religion, and afterwards does not lift his face above nature, but turns himself to her as a deity, who favors his lust, from whose influx his spirit thenceforward receives animation. The interior cause of this apostasy will be explained in what follows. That this concubinage is detestable is not seen by the man himself who is guilty of it; because after the closing of heaven he becomes a spiritual insanity: but a chaste wife has a clear view of it, because she is a conjugial love, and this love nauseates such concubinage; wherefore also many such wives refuse actual connection with their husbands afterwards, as that which would defile their chastity by the contagion of lust adhering to the men from their courtezans.
465. III. IT IS POLYGAMY WHICH HAS BEEN CONDEMNED, AND IS TO BE CONDEMNED, BY THE CHRISTIAN WORLD. That simultaneous concubinage, or concubinage conjoined with a wife, is polygamy, although not acknowledged to be such, because it is not so declared, and thus not so called by any law, must be evident to every person of common discernment; for a woman taken into keeping, and made partaker of the conjugial bed is like a wife. That polygamy has been condemned, and is to be condemned by the Christian world, has been shewn in the chapter on polygamy, especially from these articles therein: A Christian is not allowed to marry more than one wife; n. 338: If a Christian marries several wives, he commits not only natural, but also spiritual adultery; n. 339: The Israelitish nation was permitted to marry several wives, because the Christian church was not with them; n. 349. From these considerations it is evident, that to adjoin a concubine to a wife, and to make each a partner of the bed, is filthy polygamy.
466. IV. IT IS AN ADULTERY WHEREBY THE CONJUGIAL PRINCIPLE, WHICH IS THE MOST PRECIOUS JEWEL OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS DESTROYED. That it is more opposed to conjugial love than simple adultery; and that it is a deprivation of every faculty and inclination to conjugial life, which is implanted in Christians from birth, may be evinced by arguments which will have great weight with the reason of a wise man. In regard to the FIRST POSITION,—that simultaneous concubinage, or concubinage conjoined with a wife, is more opposed to conjugial love than simple adultery, it may be seen from these considerations: that in simple adultery there is not a love analogous to conjugial love; for it is only a heat of the flesh, which presently cools, and sometimes does not leave any trace of love behind it towards its object; wherefore this effervescing lasciviousness, if it is not from a purposed or confirmed principle, and if the person guilty of it repents, detracts but little from conjugial love. It is otherwise in the case of polygamical adultery: herein there is a love analogous to conjugial love; for it does not cool and disperse, or pass off into nothing after being excited, like the foregoing; but it remains, renews and strengthens itself, and so far takes away from love to the wife, and in the place thereof induces cold towards her; for in such case it regards the concubine courtezan as lovely from a freedom of the will, in that it can retract if it pleases; which freedom is begotten in the natural man: and because this freedom is thence grateful, it supports that love; and moreover, with a concubine the unition with allurements is nearer than with a wife; but on the other hand it does not regard a wife as lovely, by reason of the duty of living with her enjoined by the covenant of life, which it then perceives as far more constrained in consequence of the freedom enjoyed with another woman. It is plain that love for a wife grows cold, and she herself grows vile, in the same degree that love for a courtezan grows warm, and she is held in estimation. In regard to the SECOND POSITION—that simultaneous concubinage, or concubinage conjoined with a wife, deprives a man of all faculty and inclination to conjugial life, which is implanted in Christians from birth, it may be seen from the following considerations: that so far as love to a wife is changed into love to a concubine, so far the former love is rent, exhausted, and emptied, as has been shewn just above: that this is effected by a closing of the interiors of the natural mind, and an opening of its inferior principles, may appear from the seat of the inclination with Christians to love one of the sex, as being in the inmost principles, and that this seat may be closed, but cannot be destroyed. The reason why an inclination to love one of the sex, and also a faculty to receive that love, is implanted in Christians from birth, is, because that love is from the Lord alone, and is esteemed religious, and in Christendom the Lord's divine is acknowledged and worshipped, and religion is from his Word; hence there is a grafting, and also a transplanting thereof, from generation to generation. We have said, that the above Christian conjugial principle perishes by polygamical adultery: we thereby mean, that with the Christian polygamist it is closed and intercepted; but still it is capable of being revived in his posterity, as is the case with the likeness of a grandfather or a great-grandfather returning in a grandson or a great-grandson. Hence, that conjugial principle is called the most precious jewel of the Christian life, and (see above, n. 457, 458,) the storehouse of human life, and the reservoir of the Christian religion. That that conjugial principle is destroyed with the Christian who practises polygamical adultery, is manifest from this consideration; that he cannot like a Mahometan polygamist, love a concubine and a wife equally; but so far as he loves a concubine, or is warm towards her, so far he does not love his wife, but is cold towards her; and, what is yet more detestable, so far he also in heart acknowledges the Lord only as a natural man, and the son of Mary, and not at the same time as the Son of God, and likewise so far he makes light of religion. It is, however, well to be noted, that this is the case with those who add a concubine to a wife, and connect themselves actually with each; but it is not at all the case with those, who from legitimate, just, and truly excusatory causes, separate themselves, and keep apart from a wife as to actual love, and have a woman in keeping. We now proceed to treat of this kind of concubinage.
467. V. CONCUBINAGE APART FROM A WIFE, WHEN IT IS ENGAGED IN FROM CAUSES LEGITIMATE, JUST, AND TRULY EXCUSATORY, IS NOT UNLAWFUL. What causes we mean by legitimate, what by just, and what by truly excusatory, shall be shewn in their order: the bare mention of the causes is here premised, that this concubinage, which we are about to treat of, may be distinguished from that which we have previously described. (See note to No. 450, and the Preliminary note.)
468. VI. THE LEGITIMATE CAUSES OF THIS CONCUBINAGE ARE THE LEGITIMATE CAUSES OF DIVORCE, WHILE THE WIFE IS NEVERTHELESS RETAINED AT HOME. By divorce is meant the annulling of the conjugial covenant, and thence an entire separation, and after this a full liberty to marry another wife. The one only cause of this total separation or divorce, is adultery, according to the Lord's precept, Matt. xix. 9. To the same cause are to be referred manifest obscenities, which bid defiance to the restraints of modesty, and fill and infest the house with flagitious practices of lewdness, giving birth to adulterous immodesty, and rendering the whole mind abandoned. To these things may be added malicious desertion, which involves adultery, and causes a wife to commit whoredom, and thereby to be divorced, Matt. v. 32. These three causes, being legitimate causes of divorce,—the first and third before a public judge, and the middle one before the man himself, as judge, are also legitimate causes of concubinage, when the adulterous wife is retained at home. The reason why adultery is the one only cause of divorce is, because it is diametrically opposite to the life of conjugial love, and totally destroys and annihilates it; see above, n. 255.
469. The reasons why, by the generality of men, the adulterous wife is still retained at home, are, 1. Because the man is afraid to produce witnesses in a court of justice against his wife, to accuse her of adultery, and thereby to make the crime public; for unless eye-witnesses, or evidences to the same amount, were produced to convict her, he would be secretly reproached in companies of men, and openly in companies of women. 2. He is afraid also lest his adulteress should have the cunning to clear her conduct, and likewise lest the judges should show favor to her, and thus his name suffer in the public esteem. 3. Moreover, there may be domestic reasons, which may make separation from the house unadvisable: as in case there are children, towards whom also the adulteress has natural love; in case they are bound together by mutual services which cannot be put an end to; in case the wife is connected with and dependent upon her relatives, whether on the father's or mother's side, and there is a hope of receiving an increase of fortune from them; in case he lived with her in the beginning in habits of agreeable intimacy; and in case she, after she became meretricious, has the skill to soothe the man with engaging pleasantry and pretended civility, to prevent blame being imputed to herself; not to mention other cases, which, as in themselves they are legitimate causes of divorce, are also legitimate causes of concubinage; for the causes of retaining the wife at home do not take away the cause of divorce, supposing her guilty of adultery. Who, but a person of vile character, can fulfil the duties of the conjugial bed, and at the same time have commerce with a strumpet? If instances of this sort are occasionally to be met with, no favorable conclusions are to be drawn from them.
470. VII. THE JUST CAUSES OF THIS CONCUBINAGE ARE THE JUST CAUSES OF SEPARATION FROM THE BED. There are legitimate causes of separation, and there are just causes: legitimate causes are enforced by the decisions of judges, and just causes by the decisions come to by the man alone. The causes both legitimate and just of separation from the bed, and also from the house, were briefly enumerated above, n. 252, 253; among which are VITIATED STATES OF THE BODY, including diseases whereby the whole body is so far infected, that the contagion may prove fatal: of this nature are malignant and pestilential fevers, leprosies, the venereal disease, cancers; also diseases whereby the whole body is so far weighed down, as to admit of no sociability, and from which exhale dangerous effluvia and noxious vapors, whether from the surface of the body, or from its inward parts, in particular from the stomach and the lungs: from the surface of the body proceed malignant pocks, warts, pustules, scorbutic pthisis, virulent scab, especially if the face is disfigured by it; from the stomach proceed foul, stinking, and rank eructations; from the lungs, filthy and putrid exhalations arising from imposthumes, ulcers or abscesses, or from vitiated blood or serum. Besides these there are also other various diseases; as lipothamia, which is a total faintness of body, and defect of strength; paralysis, which is a loosening and relaxation of the membranes and ligaments which serve for motion; epilepsy; permanent infirmity arising from apoplexy; certain chronical diseases; the iliac passion; rupture; besides other diseases, which the science of pathology teaches. VITIATED STATES OF THE MIND, which are just causes of separation from the bed and the house, are madness, frenzy, furious wildness, actual foolishness and idiocy, loss of memory, and the like. That these are just causes of concubinage, since they are just causes of separation, reason sees without the help of a judge.
471. VIII. OF THE EXCUSATORY CAUSES OF THIS CONCUBINAGE SOME ARE REAL AND SOME ARE NOT. Since besides the just causes which are just causes of separation, and thence become just causes of concubinage, there are also excusatory causes, which depend on judgement and justice with the man, therefore these also are to be mentioned: but as the judgements of justice may be perverted and be converted by confirmations into the appearances of what is just, therefore these excusatory causes are distinguished into real and not real, and are separately described.
472. IX. THE REALLY EXCUSATORY CAUSES ARE SUCH AS ARE GROUNDED IN WHAT IS JUST. To know these causes, it may be sufficient to mention some of them; such as having no natural affection towards the children, and a consequent rejection of them, intemperance, drunkenness, uncleanliness, immodesty, a desire of divulging family secrets, of disputing, of striking, of taking revenge, of doing evil, of stealing, of deceiving; internal dissimilitude, whence comes antipathy; a froward requirement of the conjugial debt, whence the man becomes as cold as a stone; being addicted to magic and witchcraft; an extreme degree of impiety; and other similar evils.
473. There are also milder causes, which are really excusatory and which separate from the bed, and yet not from the house; as a cessation of prolification on the part of the wife, in consequence of advanced age, and thence a reluctance and opposition to actual love, while the ardor thereof still continues with the man; besides similar cases in which rational judgement sees what is just, and which do not hurt the conscience.
474. X. THE EXCUSATORY CAUSES WHICH ARE NOT REAL ARE SUCH AS ARE NOT GROUNDED IN WHAT IS JUST, ALTHOUGH IN THE APPEARANCE OF WHAT IS JUST. These are known from the really excusatory causes above mentioned, and, if not rightly examined, may appear to be just, and yet are unjust; as that times of abstinence are required after the bringing forth of children, the transitory sicknesses of wives, from these and other causes a check to prolification, polygamy permitted to the Israelites, and other like causes of no weight as grounded in justice. These are fabricated by the men after they have become cold, when unchaste lusts have deprived them of conjugial love, and have infatuated them with the idea of its likeness to adulterous love. When such men engage in concubinage, they, in order to prevent defamation, assign such spurious and fallacious causes as real and genuine,—and very frequently also falsely charge them against their wives, their companions often favorably assenting and applauding them.
475. XI. THOSE WHO FROM CAUSES LEGITIMATE, JUST, AND REALLY EXCUSATORY, ARE ENGAGED IN THIS CONCUBINAGE, MAY AT THE SAME TIME BE PRINCIPLED IN CONJUGIAL LOVE. We say that such may at the same time be principled in conjugial love; and we thereby mean, that they may keep this love stored up in themselves; for this love, in the subject in which it is, does not perish, but is quiescent. The reasons why conjugial love is preserved with those who prefer marriage to concubinage, and enter into the latter from the causes above mentioned, are these; that this concubinage is not repugnant to conjugial love; that it is not a separation from it; that it is only a clothing encompassing it; that this clothing is taken away from them after death. 1. That this concubinage is not repugnant to conjugial love, follows from what was proved above; that such concubinage, when engaged in from causes legitimate, just, and really excusatory, is not unlawful, n. 467-473. 2. That this concubinage is not a separation from conjugial love; for when causes legitimate, or just, or really excusatory, arise, and persuade and compel a man, then, conjugial love with marriage is not separated, but only interrupted; and love interrupted, and not separated, remains in the subject. The case in this respect is like that of a person, who, being engaged in a business which he likes, is detained from it by company, by public sights, or by a journey; still he does not cease to like his business: it is also like that of a person who is fond of generous wine, and who, when he drinks wine of an inferior quality, does not lose his taste and appetite for that which is generous. 3. The reason why the above concubinage is only a clothing of conjugial love encompassing it, is, because the love of concubinage is natural, and the love of marriage spiritual; and natural love is a veil or covering to spiritual, when the latter is interrupted: that this is the case, is unknown to the lover; because spiritual love is not made sensible of itself, but by natural love, and it is made sensible as delight, in which there is blessedness from heaven: but natural love by itself is made sensible only as delight. 4. The reason why this veil is taken away after death, is, because then a man from natural becomes spiritual, and instead of a material body enjoys a substantial one, wherein natural delight grounded in spiritual is made sensible in its perfection. That this is the case, I have heard from communication with some in the spiritual world, even from kings there, who in the natural world had engaged in concubinage from really excusatory causes.
476. XII. WHILE THIS CONCUBINAGE CONTINUES, ACTUAL CONNECTION WITH A WIFE IS NOT ALLOWABLE. The reason of this is, because in such case conjugial love, which in itself is spiritual, chaste, pure, and holy, becomes natural, is defiled and disregarded, and thereby perishes; wherefore in order that this love may be preserved, it is expedient that concubinage grounded in really excusatory causes, n. 472, 473, be engaged in with one only, and not with two at the same time.
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477. To the above I will add the following MEMORABLE RELATION. I heard a certain spirit, a youth, recently deceased, boasting of his libertinism, and eager to establish his reputation as a man of superior masculine powers; and in the insolence of his boasting he thus expressed himself; "What is more dismal than for a man to imprison his love, and to confine himself to one woman? and what is more delightful than to set the love at liberty? Who does not grow tired of one? and who is not revived by several? What is sweeter than promiscuous liberty, variety, deflorations, schemes to deceive husbands, and plans of adulterous hypocrisy? Do not those things which are obtained by cunning, deceit, and theft, delight the inmost principles of the mind!" On hearing these things, the bystanders said, "Speak not in such terms; you know not where and with whom you are; you are but lately come hither. Hell is beneath your feet, and heaven over your head; you are now in the world which is between those two, and is called the world of spirits. All who depart out of the world, come here, and being assembled are examined as to their quality; and here they are prepared, the wicked for hell, and the good for heaven. Possibly you still retain what you have heard from priests in the world, that whoremongers and adulterers are cast down into hell, and that chaste married partners are raised to heaven." At this the novitiate laughed, saying, "What are heaven and hell? Is it not heaven where any one is free; and is not he free who is allowed to love as many as he pleases? and is not it hell where any one is a servant: and is not he a servant who is obliged to keep to one?" But a certain angel, looking down from heaven, heard what he said, and broke off the conversation, lest it should proceed further and profane marriages; and he said to him, "Come up here, and I will clearly shew you what heaven and hell are, and what the quality of the latter is to continued adulterers." He then shewed him the way, and he ascended: after he was admitted he was led first into the paradisiacal garden, where were fruit-trees and flowers, which from their beauty, pleasantness and fragrance, tilled the mind with the delights of life. When he saw these things, he admired them exceedingly; but he was then in external vision, such as he had enjoyed in the world when he saw similar objects, and in this vision he was rational; but in the internal vision, in which adultery was the principal agent, and occupied every point of thought, he was not rational; wherefore the external vision was closed, and the internal opened; and when the latter was opened, he said, "What do I see now? is it not straw and dry wood? and what do I smell now? is it not a stench? What is become of those paradisiacal objects?" The angel said, "They are near at hand and are present; but they do not appear before your internal sight, which is adulterous, for it turns celestial things into infernal, and sees only opposites. Every man has an internal and an external mind, thus an internal and an external sight: with the wicked the internal mind is insane, and the external wise; but with the good the internal mind is wise, and from this also the external; and such as the mind is, so a man in the spiritual world sees objects." After this the angel, from the power which was given him, closed his internal sight, and opened the external, and led him away through gates towards the middle point of the habitations: there he saw magnificent palaces of alabaster, marble, and various precious stones, and near them porticos, and round about pillars overlaid and encompassed with wonderful ornaments and decorations. When he saw these things, he was amazed, and said, "What do I see? I see magnificent objects in their own real magnificence, and architectonic objects in their own real art." At that instant the angel again closed his external sight, and opened the internal, which was evil because filthily adulterous: hereupon he exclaimed, "What do I now see? Where am I? What is become of those palaces and magnificent objects? I see only confused heaps, rubbish, and places full of caverns." But presently he was brought back again to his external sight, and introduced into one of the palaces; and he saw the decorations of the gates, the windows, the walls, and the ceilings, and especially of the utensils, over and round about which were celestial forms of gold and precious stones, which cannot be described by any language, or delineated by any art; for they surpassed the ideas of language and the notions of art. On seeing these things he again exclaimed, "These are the very essence of whatever is wonderful, such as no eye had ever seen." But instantly, as before, his internal sight was opened, the external being closed, and he was asked what he then saw? He replied, "Nothing but decayed piles of bulrushes in this place, of straw in that, and of fire brands in a third." Once again he was brought into an external state of mind, and some maidens were introduced, who were extremely beautiful, being images of celestial affection; and they, with the sweet voice of their affection, addressed him; and instantly, on seeing and hearing them, his countenance changed, and he returned of himself into his internals, which were adulterous; and since such internals cannot endure any thing of celestial love, and neither on the other hand can they be endured by celestial love, therefore both parties vanished,—the maidens out of sight of the man, and the man out of sight of the maidens. After this, the angel informed him concerning the ground and origin of the changes of the state of his sights; saying, "I perceive that in the world, from which you are come, you have been two-fold, in internals having been quite a different man from what you were in externals; in externals you have been a civil, moral, and rational man; whereas in internals, you have been neither civil, moral, nor rational, because a libertine and an adulterer: and such men, when they are allowed to ascend into heaven, and are there kept in their externals, can see the heavenly things contained therein; but when their internals are opened, instead of heavenly things they see infernal. Know, however, that with every one in this world, externals are successively closed, and internals are opened, and thereby they are prepared for heaven or hell; and as the evil of adultery defiles the internals of the mind above every other evil, you must needs be conveyed down to the defiled principles of your love, and these are in the hells, where the caverns are full of stench arising from dunghills. Who cannot know from reason, that an unchaste and lascivious principle in the world of spirits, is impure and unclean, and thus that nothing more pollutes and defiles a man, and induces in him an infernal principle? Wherefore take heed how you boast any longer of your whoredoms, as possessing masculine powers therein above other men. I advertise you before hand, that you will become feeble, so that you will scarce know where your masculine power is. Such is the lot which awaits those who boast of their adulterous ability." On hearing these words he descended, and returned into the world of spirits, to his former companions, and converse with them modestly and chastely, but not for any considerable length of time.
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ON ADULTERIES AND THEIR GENERA AND DEGREES.
478. None can know that there is any evil in adultery, who judge of it only from its externals; for in these it resembles marriage. Such external judges, when they hear of internals, and are told that externals thence derive their good or their evil, say with themselves, "What are internals? Who sees them? Is not this climbing above the sphere of every one's intelligence?" Such persons are like those who accept all pretended good as genuine voluntary good, and who decide upon a man's wisdom from the elegance of his conversation; or who respect the man himself from the richness of his dress and the magnificence of his equipage, and not from his internal habit, which is that of judgement grounded in the affection of good. This also is like judging of the fruit of a tree, and of any other eatable thing, from the sight and touch only, and not of its goodness from a knowledge of its flavor: such is the conduct of all those who are unwilling to perceive any thing respecting man's internal. Hence comes the wild infatuation of many at this day, who see no evil in adulteries, yea, who unite marriages with them in the same chamber, that is, who make them altogether alike; and this only on account of their apparent resemblance in externals. That this is the case, was shewn me by this experimental proof: on a certain time, the angels assembled from Europe some hundreds of those who were distinguished for their genius, their erudition, and their wisdom, and questioned them concerning the distinction between marriage and adultery, and in treated them to consult the rational powers of their understandings: and after consultation, all, except ten, replied, that the judicial law constitutes the only distinction, for the sake of some advantage; which distinction may indeed be known, but still be accommodated by civil prudence. They were next asked, Whether they saw any good in marriage, and any evil in adultery? They returned for answer, that they did not see any rational evil and good. Being questioned whether they saw any sin in it? they said, "Where is the sin? Is not the act alike?" At these answers the angels were amazed, and exclaimed, Oh, the gross stupidity of the age! Who can measure its quality and quantity? On hearing this exclamation, the hundreds of the wise ones turned themselves, and said one among another with loud laughter, "Is this gross stupidity? Is there any wisdom that can bring conviction that to love another person's wife merits eternal damnation?" But that adultery is spiritual evil, and thence moral and civil evil, and diametrically contrary to the wisdom of reason; also that the love of adultery is from hell and returns to hell, and the love of marriage is from heaven and returns to heaven, has been demonstrated in the first chapter of this part, concerning the opposition of adulterous and conjugial love. But since all evils, like all goods, partake of latitude and altitude, and according to latitude have their genera, and according to altitude their degrees, therefore, in order that adulteries may be known as to each dimension, they shall first be arranged into their genera, and afterwards into their degrees; and this shall be done in the following series: I. There are three genera of adulteries,—simple, duplicate, and triplicate. II. Simple adultery is that of an unmarried man with another's wife, or of an unmarried woman with another's husband. III. Duplicate adultery is that of a husband with another's wife, or of a wife with another's husband. IV. Triplicate adultery is with relations by blood. V. There are four degrees of adulteries, according to which they have their predications, their charges of blame, and after death their imputations. VI. Adulteries of the first degree are adulteries of ignorance, which are committed by those who cannot as yet, or cannot at all, consult the understanding, and thence check them. VII. In such cases adulteries are mild. VIII. Adulteries of the second degree are adulteries of lust, which are committed by those who indeed are able to consult the understanding, but from accidental causes at the moment are not able. IX. Adulteries committed by such persons are imputatory, according as the understanding afterwards favors them or not. X. Adulteries of the third degree are adulteries of the reason, which are committed by those who with the understanding confirm themselves in the persuasion that they are not evils of sin. XI. The adulteries committed by such persons are grievous, and are imputed to them according to confirmations. XII. Adulteries of the fourth degree are adulteries of the will, which are committed by those who make them lawful and pleasing, and who do not think them of importance enough, to consult the understanding respecting them. XIII. The adulteries committed by these persons are exceedingly grievous, and are imputed to them as evils of purpose, and remain with them as guilt. XIV. Adulteries of the third and fourth degrees are evils of sin, according to the quantity and quality of understanding and will in them, whether they are actually committed or not. XV. .Adulteries grounded in purpose of the will, and adulteries grounded in confirmation of the understanding render men natural, sensual, and corporeal. XVI. And this to such a degree, that at length they reject from themselves all things of the church and of religion. XVII. Nevertheless they have the powers of human rationality like other men. XVIII. But they use that rationality while they are in externals, but abuse it while in their internals. We proceed to an explanation of each article.
479. I. THERE ARE THREE GENERA OF ADULTERIES,—SIMPLE, DUPLICATE, AND TRIPLICATE. The Creator of the universe has distinguished all the things which he has created into genera, and each genus into species, and has distinguished each species, and each distinction in like manner, and so forth, to the end that an image of what is infinite may exist in a perpetual variety of qualities. Thus the Creator of the universe has distinguished goods and their truths, and in like manner evils and their falses, after they arose. That he has distinguished all things in the spiritual world into genera, species, and differences, and has collected together into heaven all goods and truths, and into hell all evils and falses, and has arranged the latter in an order diametrically opposite to the former, may appear from what is explained in a work concerning HEAVEN AND HELL, published in London in the year 1758. That in the natural world he has also thus distinguished and does distinguish goods and truths, and likewise evils and falses, appertaining to men, and thereby men themselves, may be known from their lot after death, in that the good enter into heaven, and the evil into hell. Now, since all things relating to good, and all things relating to evil, are distinguished into genera, species, and so forth, therefore marriages are distinguished into the same, and so are their opposites, which are adulteries.
480. II. SIMPLE ADULTERY IS THAT OF AN UNMARRIED MAN WITH ANOTHER'S WIFE, OR AN UNMARRIED WOMAN WITH ANOTHER'S HUSBAND. By adultery here and in the following pages we mean the adultery which is opposite to marriage; it is opposite because it violates the covenant of life contracted between married partners: it rends asunder their love, and defiles it, and closes the union which was begun at the time of betrothing, and strengthened in the beginning of marriage: for the conjugial love of one man with one wife, after engagement and covenant, unites their souls. Adultery does not dissolve this union, because it cannot be dissolved; but it closes it, as he that stops up a fountain at its source, and thence obstructs its stream, and fills the cistern with filthy and stinking waters: in like manner conjugial love, the origin of which is a union of souls, is daubed with mud and covered by adultery; and when it is so daubed with mud there arises from beneath the love of adultery; and as this love increases, it becomes fleshly, and rises in insurrection against conjugial love, and destroys it. Hence comes the opposition of adultery and marriage.
481. That it may be further known how gross is the stupidity of this age, in that those who have the reputation of wisdom do not see any sin in adultery, as was discovered by the angels (see just above, n. 478), I will here add the following MEMORABLE RELATION. There were certain spirits who, from a habit they had acquired in the life of the body, infested me with peculiar cunning, and this they did by a sottish and as it were waving influx, such as is usual with well-disposed spirits; but I perceived that they employed craftiness and similar means, to the intent that they might engage attention and deceive. At length I entered into conversation with one of them who, it was told me, had while he lived in the world been the general of an army: and as I perceived that in the ideas of his thought there was a lascivious principle, I conversed with him by representatives in the spiritual language which fully expresses what is intended to be said, and even several things in a moment. He said that, in the life of the body in the former world, he had made no account of adulteries: but it was granted me to tell him, that adulteries are wicked, although from the delight attending them, and from the persuasion thence resulting, they appear to the adulterer as not wicked but allowable; which also he might know from this consideration, that marriages are the seminaries of the human race, and thence also the seminaries of the heavenly kingdom, and therefore that they ought not to be violated, but to be accounted holy; also from this consideration, that he ought know, as being in the spiritual world, and in a state of perception, that conjugial love descends from the Lord through heaven, and that from that love, as a parent, is derived mutual love, which is the main support of heaven; and further from this consideration, that adulterers, whenever they only approach the heavenly societies, are made sensible of their own stench, and throw themselves headlong thence towards hell: at least he might know, that to violate marriages is contrary to the divine laws, to the civil laws of all kingdoms, also to the genuine light of reason, and thereby to the right of nations, because contrary to order both divine and human; not to mention other considerations. But he replied, that he entertained no such thoughts in the former life: he wished to reason whether the case was so or not; but he was told that truth does not admit of reasonings, since they favor the delights of the flesh against those of the spirit, the quality of which latter delights he was ignorant of; and that he ought first to think about the things which I had told him, because they are true; or to think from the well-known maxim, that no one should do to another what he is unwilling another should do to him; and thus, if any one had in such a manner violated his wife, whom he had loved, as is the case in the beginning of every marriage, and he had then been in a state of wrath, and had spoken from that state, whether he himself also would not then have detested adulteries, and being a man of strong parts, would not have confirmed himself against them more than other men, even to condemning them to hell; and being the general of an army, and having brave companions, whether he would not, in order to prevent disgrace, either have put the adulterer to death, or have driven the adulteress from his house.
482. III. DUPLICATE ADULTERY IS THAT OF A HUSBAND WITH ANOTHER'S WIFE, OR OF A WIFE WITH ANOTHER'S HUSBAND. This adultery is called duplicate, because it is committed by two, and on each side the marriage-covenant is violated; wherefore also it is twofold more grievous than the former. It was said above, n. 480, that the conjugial love of one man with one wife, after engagement and covenant, unites their souls, and that such union is that very love in its origin; and that this origin is closed and stopped up by adultery, as the source and stream of a fountain. That the souls of two unite themselves together, when love to the sex is confined to one of the sex, which is the case when a maiden engages herself wholly to a youth, and on the other hand a youth engages himself wholly to a maiden, is clearly manifest from this consideration, that the lives of both unite themselves, consequently their souls, because souls are the first principles of life. This union of souls can only take place in monogamical marriages, or those of one man with one wife, but not in polygamical marriages, or those of one man with several wives; because in the latter case the love is divided, in the former it is united. The reason why conjugial love in its supreme abode is spiritual, holy, and pure, is because the soul of every man from its origin is celestial; wherefore it 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 the beasts. From this union of souls, conjugial love, which is there in its spiritual sanctity and purity, flows down into the life of the whole body, and fills with blessed delights, so long as its channel remains open; which is the case with those who are made spiritual by the Lord. That nothing but adultery closes and stops up this abode of conjugial love, thus its origin or fountain and its channel, is evident from the Lord's words, that it is not lawful to put away a wife and marry another, except on account of adultery: Matt. xix. 3-9; and also from what is said in the same passage, that he that marries her that is put away commits adultery, verse 9. When therefore, as was said above, that pure and holy fountain is stopped up, it is clogged about with filthiness of sundry kinds, as a jewel with ordure, or bread with vomit; which things are altogether opposite to the purity and sanctity of that fountain, or of conjugial love: from which opposition comes conjugial cold, and according to this cold is the lascivious voluptuousness of adulterous love, which consumes itself of its own accord. The reason why this is an evil of sin is because the holy principle is covered and thereby its channel into the body is obstructed, and in the place thereof a profane principle succeeds, and its channel into the body is opened, whence a man from celestial becomes infernal.
483. To the above I will add some particulars from the spiritual world, which are worthy to be recorded. I have been informed in that world, that some married men are inflamed with the lust of committing whoredom with maidens or virgins; some with those who are not maidens but harlots; some with married women or wives; some with women of the above description who are of noble descent; and some with such as are not of noble descent: that this is the case, was confirmed to me by several instances from the various kingdoms in that world. While I was meditating concerning the variety of such lusts, I asked whether there are any who find all their delight with the wives of others, and none with unmarried women? Wherefore to convince me that there are some such spirits, several were brought to me from a certain kingdom, who were obliged to speak according to their libidinous principles. These declared that it was, and still is their sole pleasure and delight to commit whoredom with the wives of others; and that they look out for such as are beautiful, and hire them for themselves at a great price according to their wealth, and in general bargain about the price with the wife alone. I asked, why they do not hire for themselves unmarried women? They said, that they consider this would be cheap and worthless, and therefore undelightful to them. I asked also, whether those wives afterwards return to their husbands and live with them? They replied, that they either do not return, or they return cold, having become courtezans. Afterwards I asked them seriously, whether they ever thought, or now think, that this is twofold adultery, because they commit this at the time they have wives of their own, and that such adultery deprives a man of all spiritual good? But at this several who were present laughed, saying, "What is spiritual good?" Nevertheless I was still urgent, and said, "What is more detestable than for a man to mix his soul with the soul of a husband in his wife? Do you not know, that the soul of a man is in his seed?" Hereupon they turned themselves away and muttered, "What harm can this do her?" At length I said, "Although you do not fear divine laws, do you not fear civil laws?" They replied, "No, we only fear certain of the ecclesiastical order; but we conceal this in their presence; and if we cannot conceal it, we keep upon good terms with them." I afterwards saw the former divided into companies, and some of the latter cast into hell.
484. IV. TRIPLICATE ADULTERY IS WITH RELATIONS BY BLOOD. This adultery is called triplicate, because it is threefold more grievous than the two former. The relations, or remains of the flesh, which are not to be approached, are mentioned in Levit. xviii. 6-18. There are internal and external reasons why these adulteries are threefold more grievous than the two above-mentioned: the internal reasons are grounded in the correspondence of those adulteries with the violation of spiritual marriage, which is that of the Lord and the church, and thence of good and truth; and the external reasons are for the sake of guards, to prevent a man's becoming a beast. We have no leisure, however, to proceed to the further disclosure of these reasons.
485. V. THERE ARE FOUR DEGREES OF ADULTERIES, ACCORDING TO WHICH THEY HAVE THEIR PREDICATIONS, THEIR CHARGES OF BLAME, AND AFTER DEATH THEIR IMPUTATIONS. These degrees are not genera, but enter into each genus, and cause its distinctions between more and less evil or good; in the present case, deciding whether adultery of every genus from the nature of the circumstances and contingencies, is to be considered milder or more grievous. That circumstances and contingencies vary every thing is well known. Nevertheless things are considered in one way by a man from his rational light, in another by a judge from the law, and in another by the Lord from the state of a man's mind: wherefore we mention predications, charges of blame, and after death imputations; for predications are made by a man according to his rational light, charges of blame are made by a judge according to the law, and imputations are made by the Lord according to the state of the man's mind. That these three differ exceedingly from each other, may be seen without explanation: for a man, from rational conviction according to circumstances and contingencies, may acquit a person, whom a judge, when he sits in judgement, cannot acquit from the law: and also a judge may acquit a person, who after death is condemned. The reason of this is, because a judge gives sentence according to the actions done, whereas after death every one is judged according to the intentions of the will and thence of the understanding, and according to the confirmations of the understanding and thence of the will. These intentions and confirmations a judge does not see; nevertheless each judgement is just; the one for the sake of the good of civil society, the other for the sake of the good of heavenly society.
486. VI. ADULTERIES OF THE FIRST DEGREE ARE ADULTERIES OF IGNORANCE, WHICH ARE COMMITTED BY THOSE WHO CANNOT AS YET, OR CANNOT AT ALL, CONSULT THE UNDERSTANDING, AND THENCE CHECK THEM. All evils, and thus also all adulteries, viewed in themselves, are at once of the internal and the external man; the internal intends them, and the external does them; such therefore as the internal man is in the deeds done by the external, such are the deeds viewed in themselves: but since the internal man with his intention, does not appear before man, every one must be judged in a human court from deeds and words according to the law in force and its provisions: the interior sense of the law is also to be regarded by the judge. But to illustrate the case by example: if adultery be committed by a youth, who does not as yet know that adultery is a greater evil than fornication; if the like be committed by a very simple man; if it be committed by a person who is deprived by disease of the full powers of judgement; or by a person, as is sometimes the case, who is delirious by fits, and is at the time in a state of actual delirium; yet further, if it be committed in a fit of insane drunkenness, and so forth, it is evident, that in such cases, the internal man, or mind, is not present in the external, scarcely any otherwise than in an irrational person. Adulteries in these instances are predicated by a rational man according to the above circumstances; nevertheless the perpetrator is charged with blame by the same rational man as a judge, and is punished by the law; but after death those adulteries are imputed according to the presence, quality, and faculty of understanding in the will of the perpetrators.
487. VII. IN SUCH CASES ADULTERIES ARE MILD. This is manifest from what was said just above, n. 486, without further confirmation; for it is well known that the quality of every deed and in general the quality of every thing, depends upon circumstances, and which mitigate or aggravate it; but adulteries of this degree are mild at the first times of their commission; and also remain mild so far as the offending party of either sex, in the future course of life, abstains from them for these reasons;—because they are evils against God, or against the neighbour, or against the goods of the state, and because, in consequence of their being such evils, they are evils against reason; but on the other hand, if they are not abstained from for one of the abovementioned reasons, they are reckoned amongst grievous adulteries; thus it is according to the divine law, Ezek. xviii, 21, 22, 24, and in other places: but they cannot, from the above circumstances, be pronounced either blameless or culpable, or be predicated and judged as mild or grievous, because they do not appear before man, neither are they within the province of his judgement; wherefore it is meant, that after death they are so accounted or imputed.
488. VIII. ADULTERIES OF THE SECOND DEGREE ARE ADULTERIES OF LUST, WHICH ARE COMMITTED BY THOSE WHO INDEED ARE ABLE TO CONSULT THE UNDERSTANDING, BUT FROM ACCIDENTAL CAUSES AT THE MOMENT ARE NOT ABLE. There are two things which, in the beginning, with every man who from natural is made spiritual, are at strife together, which are commonly called the spirit and the flesh; and since the love of marriage is of the spirit, and the love of adultery is of the flesh, in such case there is also a combat between those loves. If the love of marriage conquers, it gains dominion over and subjugates the love of adultery, which is effected by its removal; but if it happens that the lust of the flesh is excited to a heat greater than what the spirit can control from reason, it follows that the state is inverted, and the heat of lust infuses allurements into the spirit, to such a degree, that it is no longer master of its reason, and thence of itself: this is meant by adulteries of the second degree, which are committed by those who indeed are able to consult the understanding, but by reason of accidental causes at the moment are not able. But the matter may be illustrated by particular cases; as in case a meretricious wife by her craftiness captivates a man's mind (animum), enticing him into her chamber, and inflaming his passions to such a degree as to leave him no longer master of his judgement; and especially if, at the same time, she also threatens to expose him if he does not consent: in like manner, in case any meretricious wife is skilled in deceitful allurements, or by powerful stimulants inflames the man to such a degree, that the raging lust of the flesh deprives the understanding of the free use of reason: in like manner, in case a man, by powerful enticements, so far works upon another's wife, as to leave her no longer mistress of herself, by reason of the fire kindled in her will; besides other like cases. That these and similar accidental circumstances lessen the grievousness of adultery, and give a milder turn to the predications of the blame thereof in favor of the party seduced, is agreeable to the dictates and conclusions of reason. The imputation of this degree of adultery comes next to be treated of.
489. IX. ADULTERIES COMMITTED BY SUCH PERSONS ARE IMPUTATORY, ACCORDING AS THE UNDERSTANDING AFTERWARDS FAVORS THEM OR NOT. So far as the understanding favors evils, so far a man appropriates them to himself and makes them his own. Favor implies consent; and consent induces in the mind a state of the love of them: the case is the same with adulteries, which in the beginning were committed without the consent of the understanding, and are favored: the contrary comes to pass if they are not favored. The reason of this is, because evils or adulteries, which are committed in the blindness of the understanding, are committed from the concupiscence of the body; and such evils or adulteries have a near resemblance to the instincts of beasts: with man (homo) indeed the understanding is present, while they are committing, but in a passive or dead potency and not in active and living potency. From these considerations it follows of course, that such things are not imputed, except so far as they are afterwards favored or not. By imputation we here mean accusation after death, and hence judication, which takes place according to the state of a man's spirit: but we do not mean inculpation by a man before a judge; for this does not take place according to the state of a man's spirit, but of his body in the deed; and unless there was a difference herein, those would be acquitted after death who are acquitted in the world, and those would be condemned who are condemned in the world; and thus the latter would be without any hope of salvation.
490. X. ADULTERIES OF THE THIRD DEGREE ARE ADULTERIES OF THE REASON, WHICH ARE COMMITTED BY THOSE WHO WITH THE UNDERSTANDING CONFIRM THEMSELVES IN THE PERSUASION THAT THEY ARE NOT EVILS OF SIN. Every man knows that there exist such principles as the will and the understanding; for in his common speaking he says, "This I will, and this I understand;" but still he does not distinguish them, but makes the one the same as the other; because he only reflects upon the things which belong to the thought grounded in the understanding, and not upon those which belong to the love grounded in the will; for the latter do not appear in light as the former. Nevertheless, he that does not distinguish between the will and the understanding, cannot distinguish between evils and goods, and consequently he must remain in entire ignorance concerning the blame of sin. But who does not know that good and truth are two distinct principles, like love and wisdom? and who cannot hence conclude, while he is in rational illumination, that there are two faculties in man, which distinctly receive and appropriate to themselves those principles, and that the one is the will and the other the understanding, by reason that what the will receives and reproduces is called good, and what the understanding receives is called truth; for what the will loves and does, is called truth, and what the understanding perceives and thinks, is called truth? Now as the marriage of good and truth was treated of in the first part of this work, and in the same place several considerations were adduced concerning the will and the understanding, and the various attributes and predicates of each, which, as I imagine, are also perceived by those who had not thought at all distinctly concerning the understanding and the will, (for human reason is such, that it understands truths from the light thereof, although it has not heretofore distinguished them); therefore, in order that the distinctions of the understanding and the will may be more clearly perceived, I will here mention some particulars on the subject, that it may be known what is the quality of adulteries of the reason and the understanding, and afterwards what is the quality of adulteries of the will. The following points may serve to illustrate the subject: 1. That the will of itself does nothing; but whatever it does, it does by the understanding. 2. On the other hand also, that the understanding alone of itself does nothing; but whatever it does, it does from the will. 3. That the will flows into the understanding but not the understanding into the will; yet that the understanding teaches what is good and evil, and consults with the will, that out of those two principles it may choose and do what is pleasing to it. 4. That after this there is effected a twofold conjunction; one, in which the will acts from within, and the understanding from without; the other in which the understanding acts from within, and the will from without: thus are distinguished the adulteries of the reason, which are here treated of, from the adulteries of the will, which are next to be treated of. They are distinguished, because one is more grievous than the other; for the adultery of the reason is less grievous than that of the will; because in adultery of the reason, the understanding acts from within, and the will from without; whereas in adultery of the will, the will acts from within, and the understanding from without; and the will is the man himself, and the understanding is the man as grounded in the will; and that which acts within has dominion over that which acts without.