2. Goodness and Truth

a. Everything in the universe that is in the divine design relates to goodness and truth. Nothing that exists in heaven or on earth does not relate to these two. The Reason is that both goodness and truth emanate from God, the source of all things.

b. Clearly then it is necessary for people to know what goodness is, that truth is, how they relate to each other, and how the one is united to the other. This is especially necessary for the people of the church. As everything in heaven relates to goodness and truth, so does everything in the church, since the goodness and truth of heaven are also the goodness and truth of the church.

c. The divine design in that goodness and truth are to be united, not separated. They are to be one thing, not two. They are united when they emanate from God, and they are united in heaven. Therefore they should be united in the church. In heaven the union of goodness and truth is called “the heavenly marriage.” All who are in heaven have this marriage. This is why heaven is compared to a marriage in the Word, and the Lord is called Bridegroom and husband while heaven is called Bride and Wife, as is the church. Heaven and the church are called this because the people in heaven and in the church receive divine goodness in their truths.

d. All the intelligence and wisdom that angels have comes from this marriage. None of it comes from goodness that is separated from truth or truth that is separate from goodness. The same is true for people of the church as well.

e. Since the union of goodness and truth is like a marriage, goodness clearly loves truth and truth loves goodness in return. Each one desires to be united to the other. People of the church who do not have this love or desire do not have the heavenly marriage. The church is not yet in them, since a union of goodness and truth constitutes the church.

f. There are many kinds of goodness. In general there is goodness that is spiritual and goodness that is earthly. Both types come together in goodness that is genuinely moral. Just as there are different types of goodness, there are different types of truth, since truth belongs to goodness and is the form of goodness.

g. The situation with goodness and truth has an opposite in evil and falsity. As everything in the universe that is in the divine design relates to goodness and truth, so everything that is against the divine design relates to evil and falsity. As goodness loves to be united to truth, so evil loves to be united to falsity and the reverse. As the union of goodness and truth gives birth to all intelligence and wisdom, the union of evil and falsity gives birth to all insanity and foolishness. If you look deeply at the union of evil and falsity, you will see that it is not a marriage but an act of adultery.

h. The fact that evil and falsity are the opposite of goodness and truth makes it clear that truth cannot be joined to evil and that goodness cannot be joined to the falsity that comes from evil. If truth is joined to evil it becomes false and no longer true because it has been falsified. If goodness is joined to the falsity that comes from evil the goodness becomes evil and no longer good because it has been contaminated. Falsity that does not come from evil, however, can be joined to goodness.

i. No people who are focused on evil and falsity as a result of their convictions and their lives are able to know what goodness and truth are, because they believe that their evil is good and their falsity is true. On the other hand, all who are focused on goodness and truth as a result of their convictions and their lives are able to know what evil and falsity are, because all goodness and truth are essentially heavenly, but all evil and falsity are essentially hellish; and everything heavenly is in the light but everything hellish is in the dark.

from True Christianity, Section 398

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