from his will is from himself. When yet not the least of it is from the man, save the faculty of receiving the things which are of the understanding and will, from God. And as every man from birth inclines to love himself, lest man should perish on account of the love of himself and the pride of his own intelligence, it was provided from creation that this love of the man should be transferred to the wife, and be implanted in her from nativity, so that she may love the intelligence and wisdom of her husband, and thus her husband. The wife therefore continually attracts to herself her husband's pride in his own intelligence; and extinguishes it in him and vivifies it in herself, and so turns it into conjugial love, and fills it with pleasantnesses beyond measure. This was provided of the Lord, that the pride of his own intelligence might not so infatuate the man that he should believe that his understanding and wisdom are of himself, and not from the Lord; and thus be willing to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and therefore believe himself like God, and even God,—as the serpent, which was the love of his own intelligence, said and persuaded. Wherefore, after eating of it man was cast out of paradise, and the way to the tree of life was guarded by a cherub. Spiritually, paradise is intelligence; to eat of the tree of life, spiritually, is to have understanding and wisdom from the Lord; and to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, spiritually, is to have understanding and wisdom from himself. (ib. n. 353.)
Conjugial Love is Fundamental to all Loves, and the Treasury of all Joys and Delights.
That there is such conjugial love as is described in these pages may indeed be acknowledged from the first state of that love, when it insinuates and enters into the heart of a youth and virgin; that is, with those who begin to love one only of the sex, and to desire her to wife; and especially during the period of betrothment, while it is lingering and progressing to the nuptials; and at length at the nuptials, and during the first days which follow them. Who does not then acknowledge and consent to these things? That this is the fundamental love of all loves? And that all joys and all delights from first to last are gathered into it? And who does not know that after this pleasant time these transports gradually decline and pass away, till at length they are scarcely sensible of them? If then it be said to them, as before, that this is the fundamental love of all loves, and that all joys and delights are gathered into it, they do not consent, nor acknowledge; and perhaps say these things are