Conjugial Love (Rogers) n. 21

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21. Afterwards the angel guide spoke with the guests regarding his ten companions, saying that he had brought them in by command and had shown them the magnificence of the prince's palace with the wonders it contained, and that they had dined at luncheon with the prince. He said, too, that they had subsequently spoken with some of the wise men of the society, and he asked the guests if they would permit the visitors to engage in some conversation with them as well. So they came and spoke with them. And one of the wise among the men at the wedding said, "Do you understand the meanings of the things you have seen?" They said, a little. And then they asked him why the bridegroom - now the husband - was dressed as he was. The wise man replied that the bridegroom - now the husband - represented the Lord, and the bride - now the wife - represented the church, because weddings in heaven represent a marriage of the Lord with the church. "That is why the groom had a turban on his head," the wise man said, "and why he was dressed in a robe, tunic and ephod like Aaron. And that is why the bride - now the wife - wore a crown on her head and was dressed in a mantle like a queen. Tomorrow, however, they will be dressed differently, because this representation lasts only this one day." [2] Again the visitors asked, "If the groom represented the Lord and the bride the church, why did she sit on his right side?" The wise man answered, "It is because a marriage of the Lord and the church is formed by two things, namely, love and wisdom, the Lord being the love and the church being the wisdom, and wisdom sits on the right hand of love. For a person of the church becomes wise as though on his own, and as he becomes wise, he receives love from the Lord. The right hand also symbolizes power, and love has power through wisdom. "But as I said, after the wedding the representation changes, for then the husband represents wisdom and the wife represents love of that wisdom. This love, however, is not the first love referred to before, but a secondary love which the wife has from the Lord through the wisdom of her husband. The Lord's love, which is the first love, is the love in the husband of becoming wise. Consequently, after the wedding the two together, the husband and his wife, represent the church." [3] The visitors further asked, "Why did you men not stand beside the bridegroom - now the husband - as the six bridesmaids stood beside the bride - now the wife?" The wise man answered, "The reason is that on this day we are counted among the maidens, and the number six symbolizes all people and completeness." But they said, "What do you mean?" He replied, "Maidens symbolize the church, and the church is made up of both sexes. Therefore we, too, are maidens in terms of the church. That this is so appears from these words in the book of Revelation:

These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins and follow the Lamb wherever He goes. (Revelation 14:4)

"Moreover, because maidens symbolize the church, therefore the Lord likened the church to ten virgins invited to a wedding (Matthew 25:1ff.). And because the church is symbolized by Israel, Zion and Jerusalem, therefore the Word so often refers to the 'virgin' and 'daughter' of Israel, of Zion and of Jerusalem. The Lord also describes His marriage with the church by these words in the Psalms of David:

At your right hand, the queen in the fine gold of Ophir..., her clothing of inweavings of gold, she shall be brought to the King in garments of needlework, the virgins after her, her companions..., they shall come into the palace of the King. (Psalms 45:9-15)"

[4] Afterwards the visitors asked, "Is it not proper for a priest to be present and officiate in these ceremonies?" The wise man answered, "It is proper on earth, but not in heaven because of the couple's representing the Lord and the church. People on earth do not know this. But among us a priest still performs betrothals and hears, receives, confirms and consecrates the consent. The consent is the essential element in marriage, and the rest of the things that follow are its formalities."

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