True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 748

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748. Afterwards the angel guide spoke with the guests about his ten companions, telling them that he had been ordered to bring them into the community, and how he had shown them the magnificence of the prince's palace and the wonders it contained, and how they had feasted at the prince's table. Afterwards they had talked with their wise men, and he asked the guests to permit the ten to have some conversation with them too. So they went to them and they talked together.

One of the wise men who was at the wedding said: 'Do you understand the meaning of what you saw?' They said they understood only a little, and they asked him why the bridegroom, who was now the husband, was dressed in this way. He replied that the bridegroom, who was now the husband, represented the Lord, and the bride, who was now the wife, represented the church, because weddings in heaven represent the marriage of the Lord with the church. 'That,' he said, 'is why he had a mitre on his head, and he was dressed in a mantle, a tunic and an ephod like Aaron. That too is why the bride, now the wife, had a crown on her head and wore a cloak like a queen. Tomorrow they will be dressed differently, because this representative role lasts only for today.'

[2] They asked a second question: 'Since he represents the Lord and she the church, why did she sit on his right?' 'Because,' said the wise man, 'there are two things which make the marriage of the Lord and the church, love and wisdom; and the Lord is love and the church is wisdom. Wisdom is at the right hand of love, because a member of the church has wisdom as if from himself, and to the extent that he is wise, he receives love from the Lord. The right hand also stands for power, and love gets its power by means of wisdom. But as I said, after the wedding the representation is changed, for then the husband represents wisdom, and the bride the love for his wisdom. Yet this love is not the primary one, but a secondary love, which the wife gets from the Lord by means of the husband's wisdom. The love of the Lord, which is the primary love, is a love of being wise in the husband. So after the wedding, the husband and his wife together represent the church.'

[3] They asked another question: 'Why did you men not stand at the side of the bridegroom, now the husband, as the six maidens stood at the side of the bride, who is now the wife?' 'The reason,' replied the wise man, 'is that to-day we are counted among the maidens, and the number six stands for all and for what is complete.' 'Why is this?' they said. 'Maidens stand for the church, which is composed of people of both sexes. We too, therefore, in respect to the church are maidens. This passage in Revelation proves that this is so:

These are they who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are maidens, and they follow the Lamb wherever he goes. Rev. 14:4.

It was because maidens stand for the church that the Lord likened it to the ten maidens or virgins invited to a wedding (Matt. 25:1ff). It is because Israel, Zion and Jerusalem stand for the church that the Word says so many times 'the virgin or daughter of Israel, Zion and Jerusalem.' The Lord also describes His marriage with the church in these words from the Psalms of David:

The queen is at your right hand in the finest gold of Ophir, her clothing is woven with gold; in embroidered garments she will be brought to the king, and after her the maidens, her friends, will come into the king's palace. Ps. 45:9-15.'

[4] Afterwards they said: 'Surely it is appropriate to have a priest present to conduct a service over them?' 'This is appropriate,' said the wise man, 'on earth, but not in the heavens, because they represent the Lord Himself and the church. This fact is unknown on earth. Yet with us a priest conducts engagement ceremonies, and hears, receives, confirms and consecrates their consent. Consent is the essential feature of marriage, and the other ceremonies which follow are its formal expression.'

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