“These things I have spoken to you in parables, but the hour is coming when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will announce to you plainly concerning the Father.” - John 16:25
Kempton New Church

Week 2
Day 6


The Most Excellent Use

The use of conjugial love is the most excellent of all uses, because therefrom comes the procreation of the human race, and from the human race the angelic heaven. —Conjugial Love 183

Spiritual Offspring and the Most Excellent of All Uses

AE 622. As the “belly” signifies the interiors of the thought or of the understanding, so “the fruit of the belly” signifies in the spiritual sense the goods of the understanding, and “sons” its truths. Thus in David: “Lo, sons are the heritage of Jehovah, and the fruit of the belly is His reward….” (Ps. 127:3)

In Moses: “He will bless the fruit of the belly and the fruit of the ground” (Deut. 7:13).

In Hosea: “Even when they have brought forth I will slay the desires of their belly” (9:11, 16).

“The fruit of the belly” and “the desires of the belly” signify in the sense of the letter, natural offspring, but in the spiritual sense spiritual offspring, which is knowledge [scientia], intelligence, and wisdom, for man is reborn into these when he is regenerated. This is why “births,” “sons,” “daughters,” and other terms pertaining to nativity signify such things as pertain to spiritual nativity, that is, regeneration; for angels, who perceive the Word spiritually, know of no other births or “fruits of the belly.”

CL 44. Then the newcomers asked whether from the ultimate delights of this love offspring are born there, and if there are not offspring, of what use are they?

The angelic spirits replied, “There are no natural offspring, but spiritual offspring.”

And they asked, “What are spiritual offspring?” They answered:

“Through ultimate delights married partners are the more united in the marriage of good and truth, and the marriage of good and truth is the marriage of love and wisdom; and love and wisdom are the offspring which are born of that marriage. And as the husband in heaven is wisdom, and the wife is the love of it, and as both of these are spiritual, therefore no other than spiritual offspring can be conceived and born there.”

CL 52. The reason why marriages in the heavens are without prolification, but that instead of it there is spiritual prolification, which is of love and wisdom, is that the third degree, which is the natural, is wanting to those who are in the spiritual world, and this degree is the containant of things spiritual, and spiritual things without their containant do not remain stable after the manner of those that are procreated in the natural world, and regarded in themselves spiritual things relate to love and wisdom; these therefore are what are born of their marriages. It is said that these are born, because conjugial love perfects an angel, for it unites him with his consort, whereby he becomes more and more man [homo] .

CL 211. For a man is wise in proportion as the interiors of his mind are opened; because by this opening the thoughts of the understanding are elevated into superior light and the affections of the will into superior heat, and superior light is wisdom, and superior heat is the love of it. The spiritual delights conjoined with the natural delights, that they have who are in love truly conjugial, cause amiability, and thence the faculty of growing wise. Hence it is that with angels conjugial love is according to their wisdom; and the increments of that love and at the same time of its delights are according to the increments of wisdom; and that the spiritual offspring that are born of their marriages are such things as are of wisdom from the father, and such things as are of love from the mother, which they love from spiritual parental affection—a love which adds itself to their conjugial love, and continually elevates it and conjoins them.

Questions and Comments
  1. What is spiritual offspring? What is an example of spiritual offspring?
  2. Can a husband and a wife have spiritual offspring on earth? If so, what is an example of spiritual offspring on earth?
  3. How does spiritual offspring relate to use?
  4. Does it help to understand what spiritual offspring might be when it says in CL 211 that “the spiritual offspring that are born of marriages [in heaven] are such things as are of wisdom from the father, and such things as are of love from the mother, which they love from spiritual parental affection”?
  5. Why do you think the Lord teaches us about spiritual offspring?
previous next