(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 21

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21. After this, the angel guide told the guests about his ten companions, saying that he had introduced them [into the society] by command, and had shown them the magnificent things of the prince's palace and the wonders there; that they had eaten with the prince at his table; and that afterwards they had conversed with our wise men. He then asked, "May they be allowed to have some conversation with you also?" And they came and spoke with them.
One of the wedding guests, a wise man, then asked them, "Do you understand what the things you have seen signify?" They answered, "A little." They then asked him why the bride-groom, now the husband, was arrayed in such apparel.
He answered: "The bridegroom, now the husband, represented the Lord, and the bride, now the wife, represented the Church, because in heaven a wedding represents the marriage of the Lord and the Church. That is why he wore a miter on his head and was arrayed in a robe, a tunic, and an ephod, like Aaron; and why the bride, now the wife, wore upon her head a crown and was attired in a mantle, like a queen. But tomorrow they will be clothed differently, for this representation lasts only today."
[2] They asked further: "Since he represented the Lord, and she the Church, why did she sit at his right hand?" The wise man replied: "Because there are two things which make the marriage of the Lord and the Church, love and wisdom. The Lord is love and the Church is wisdom, and wisdom is at the right hand of love; for the man of the Church becomes wise as if of himself; and as he becomes wise, he receives love from the Lord. Moreover, the right hand signifies power, and love has power by wisdom. But, as I said before, after the wedding the representation is changed; for then the husband represents wisdom, and the wife the love of his wisdom. This, however, is not a prior but a secondary love which the wife has from the Lord through the wisdom of her husband. With the husband, the love of the Lord, which is the prior love, is the love of growing wise. Therefore, after the nuptials, both together, the husband and his wife, represent the Church."
[3] Again they asked, "why did you men not stand beside the bridegroom, now the husband, as the six virgins stood beside the bride, now the wife?" The wise man replied: "The reason is because today we are numbered among virgins, and the number six signifies all, and what is complete." They asked, "what does that mean?" He answered: "Virgins signify the Church, and the Church consists of both sexes. Wherefore, as respects the Church we also are virgins. That this is so, is seen from these words in the Apocalypse:
These are they who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins; and they follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. 14:4.
And because virgins signify the Church, therefore the Lord likened it to ten virgins who were invited to the wedding (Matt. 25:1-seq.). It is because the Church is signified by Israel, Zion, and Jerusalem, that the virgin and daughter of Israel, of Zion, and of Jerusalem is so often spoken of in the word. The Lord also describes His marriage with the Church by these words in David:
Upon thy right hand the queen in fine gold of Ophir. Her clothing is of wrought gold; she shall be brought unto the King in garments of needlework; the virgins, her companions that follow her, shall come into the King's palace." Ps. 45:9, 13-15.
[4] After this, they asked, "Is it not fitting that in a wedding a priest should be present and perform the ceremony?" The wise man answered: "It is fitting on earth but not in the heavens, and this on account of the representation of the Lord and the Church. This is not known on earth. Yet with us a priest does minister at betrothals, and hears, receives, confirms, and consecrates the consent. Consent is the essential of marriage, all that follows being its formalities."


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