Ancient Churches Lexicon Entry:
Back to: Lexicon Index | Lexicon Home
Because the people of the Most Ancient Church were celestial and were in the Lord’s kingdom together with the angels, every man of that church had one wife with whom he lived in genuine conjugial love (AC 2730, AC 2740). An angel told Swedenborg that the most ancient people were in a state of genuine conjugial love, and they experienced the strength and power of that love more than any other people in the world (CL 77).
The ancients based a number of rituals and customs on their knowledge of conjugial love. For example, when making a pledge to carry out something connected with the good of conjugial love, one would place his hand, representing power, under the other’s thigh, which represented the good of conjugial love (AC 3021). There was also a ritual of betrothal in ancient times, representing the first joining together of the two, that is, the internal man apart from the external (AC 9182). The exchanging of gifts after consenting to marriage was also an established custom among the ancients; after accepting the gifts, the two were declared to be bridegroom and bride (CL 300).
Conjugial love was the greatest of loves among the people of the Most Ancient and Ancient Churches (CL 73). But that love gradually moved away from its holiness and purity, until it eventually became licentious (CL 74). The men of the Most Ancient Church loved their wives better than their children, but their descendants loved their children in preference to their wives (SEm 4628). This was because evil people are able to love their children, but only good people are able to love their married partner (AC 2730).
Love, Marriage, Posterities, Representatives, Rituals
Passages relating to Conjugial Love and the Ancient Churches:
AC 162; AC 995; AC 2730; AC 2732; AC 2739; AC 2740; AC 3021; AC 3103; AC 3942; AC 4280; AC 9182; AE 988; CL 73; CL 74; CL 75; CL 76; CL 77; CL 78; CL 205; CL 300; CL 433; Coro 36; De Conj 114; De Conj 116; De Conj 119; SEm 4628
Help with References and Abbreviations