Goodness and Truth

All things in the universe that are in accord with the divine design go back to goodness and truth. There are no exceptions to this in heaven or in the world, because everything good, like everything true, comes from the Divine, which is the source of everything.

We can see, then, that nothing is more necessary for us than knowing what goodness is and what truth is and how each focuses on the other, as well as how each becomes joined to the other. It is particularly necessary, though, for people of the church, because just as everything in heaven goes back to what is good and what is true, so does everything in the church. This is because the goodness and truth that are in heaven are also the goodness and truth that are in the church. This is why I am starting off with a chapter on goodness and truth.

The divine design calls for goodness and truth to be joined together and not separated—to be one, then, and not two. They are together as they emanate from the Lord and they are together in heaven, so they need to be joined to each other in the church.

In heaven, the joining of what is good and what is true is called “the heavenly marriage” because everyone there participates in this marriage. That is why heaven is compared to a marriage in the Word and why the Lord is called the Bridegroom and the Husband, while heaven is called the bride and the wife, as is the church. The reason heaven and the church are so called is that the people there are receptive to the divine goodness that is present within truths.

All the intelligence and wisdom that angels have comes from that marriage. None comes from anything good separated from what is true or from anything true separated from what is good. The same goes for [the intelligence and wisdom of] people in the church.

Since the joining together of goodness and truth is like a marriage, we can see that anything good loves what is true and that correspondingly anything true loves what is good. Each longs to be joined to the other. People in the church who do not have this love and this longing are not participating in the heavenly marriage. This means that the church is not yet in them, because the joining together of goodness and truth is what makes the church.

from New Jerusalem, Sections 11-15


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