Spiritual Meaning of
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THE MARRIAGE OF THE KING'S SON.
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables, and said, The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain King, who made a marriage for his son, and sent forth, his servants to call them that were invited to the wedding: and they would not come. Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are invited, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fattened cattle are killed, and all things are ready: come to the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the King heard thereof, he was angry: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then says he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they who were invited were not worthy. Go you therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, invite to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he says to him, Friend, how do you deserve to be in here not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the King to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.
By the Kingdom of Heaven is to be understood, the government and guidance of the Divine Love and Wisdom of Jesus Christ; for Heaven is Heaven, by virtue of the reception of Divine Love and Wisdom; and it is called a kingdom, from the government and guidance of that Love and Wisdom.
This Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain King who made a marriage for his Son, because, by the King, who here made a marriage for his Son, is to be understood, the Supreme Divinity, called Jehovah, in the Old Testament, and Father, in the New, uniting Himself with the Humanity which He assumed here on earth in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This union is called a marriage, and, therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven is like this marriage, because the Kingdom of Heaven is formed from an union of similar principles, namely, from heavenly Love and heavenly Wisdom, or, what is the same thing, from heavenly Good and heavenly Truth.
By the servants whom the King sent forth are to be understood, the ministers of God, or the teachers of His Most Holy Word; and since the things which those, ministers teach are the truths of that Word, therefore, by the servants here spoken of, are to be understood those truths themselves, which may be considered as ministering, or subservient to the heavenly good of Love and Charity, to which they point.
It is the intent of the revelation of God, which He has been pleased to make to mankind in His Holy Word, to invite them to an eternal conjunction with Himself, by the reception of His own Love and Wisdom. There is not, therefore, a single truth contained in that revelation but what points to such conjunction, and was intended to conduct man to a participation of its eternal blessedness. This, therefore, is what is signified by the servants calling them that were invited to the marriage.
The expressions rendered in our translation, call and invited, are the same in the original tongue, and, therefore, the passage ought to have been given, to call them that were called to the marriage.
Now, the call to the heavenly marriage is actually two-fold; because it is, first, a call of the understanding, and, secondly, a call of the will.
Man is called to the heavenly marriage in his understanding, when he first receives the knowledge of the eternal Truth, and is thus made acquainted with God and His kingdom, and, at the same time, with that rule of life which conducts to God and His Kingdom. This call, however, is not of itself sufficient to introduce him into Heaven and conjunction with God, because no knowledge is of itself competent to that purpose. It is necessary, therefore, when a sufficient store of knowledge has been implanted, that he be called a second time, to bring such knowledge into practice, by forming his life, accordingly; and when this is effected, then his will, or love, is united with his understanding, and, by this double call, he is introduced to the marriage, because the heavenly marriage is, and means, nothing else but such conjunction.
In the original, instead of they would not come, the expression is, they were not willing to come, to instruct us that it was the abuse of their free will which prevented their coming, and that, consequently, they wanted the inclination, but not the power, to come, for every one is gifted, by his Almighty Creator, with the faculty of choosing for himself either good or evil, which was signified by the two trees planted in the garden of Eden. But all good is of God and of His kingdom, and all evil is of the Devil and his kingdom. Every man, therefore, is gifted with the faculty of choosing God and the things of His kingdom, or the Devil and the things of his kingdom; and he chooses either the one or the other, according to the determination of his love, or, what is the same thing, of his supreme joy or delight. For, if he loves himself only, and the things of this world, in preference to God and the things of His kingdom, he then chooses evil in preference to good, and thus abuses his free-will. But if he loves God and the things of His kingdom, in preference to himself and the things of this world, he then chooses good instead of evil, and, in so doing, he applies his free-will according to the happy purposes for which it was given him by his merciful Creator.
By the other servants, whom the King sent forth, are to be understood, other applications of the Divine Truth, or the Divine Truth expressed in another form. Thus, for instance, it is the same Divine Truth which is expressed in the writings of Moses, and in the writings of the Prophets; but the form of expression is varied in each, and it is this variety of expression, and not of the truth itself, which is alluded to in this account of the other servants here said to be sent forth by the heavenly King.
The term behold, is a term applied to excite attention to the subject which follows, in the present case, therefore, to the dinner which was prepared, to instruct us that this dinner is a subject worthy all attention, and better deserving it than any other, because it is a subject to which the attention called by God Himself, and God never calls man to attend to anything but what is most worthy of his attention.
The term dinner is used to express all consociation of Love and Charity, because all feasts, whether they were dinners or suppers, were originally ordained for the purpose of cherishing such consociation. By the dinner, therefore, being prepared, is to be understood, that the Almighty had provided every thing necessary for the establishment of such consociation of Love and Charity between angels in heaven and men upon earth. Thus, by this part of the invitation, all mankind are called to enter into consociation of Love and Charity with the angelic kingdom, and in so doing, to eat of their bread, and drink of their cup, according as it is written, Man did eat angels food, and he gave them bread to the full (Psalm 78:25).
The oxen and fattened cattle denote different kinds and degrees of heavenly good, which constitute the King's dinner, and in this view, the various animals appointed for sacrifice, under the old law, are to be considered as representative of some heavenly principles of life which were required to be acknowledged as coming from God, and to be offered up to God. In the present case, therefore, oxen and fattened cattle are applied to denote all those heavenly affections, both natural and spiritual, which are implanted in man by his Heavenly Father, and which alone conjoin God with man and man with God.
It is written, all things are ready. By all things are meant, all things on the part of God necessary for man's regeneration, whether they be internal or external; and by their being ready is to be understood, that they are always at hand with man, and waiting to be formed into his life, whenever he is disposed, in his free will, to admit them.
The invitation, come to the marriage, implies a most gracious call of the divine mercy and loving-kindness of the Most High to every individual of the human race, pressing and inviting him to an eternal conjunction of life, of blessing, and of protection, with Himself and His kingdom. It implies, further, a call to every man to conjoin in his own heart and life the eternal principles of heavenly Love and Wisdom, or, what is the same thing, of Charity and Faith, because the former conjunction of man with his God depends entirely upon the accomplishment of this latter conjunction of the above heavenly principles in his own mind and life.
To make light of a thing, is to account it of little value, and to be but little affected by it; and, therefore, to make light of the invitation to come to the marriage, implies, that the persons invited thought the heavenly marriage a thing of little value, and were but little affected by it. For such is the case with the impenitent, the thoughtless, and unconverted. Even Heaven itself appears in their eyes as a trifling and insignificant possession, whilst the things of this world seem to be the only grand objects which deserve their attention. Thus, they mistake entirely the nature of true greatness; calling that great which in itself is little, and that little which in itself is great; and, by a terrible perversion of their faculties, they invert all order, setting themselves above God, earth above heaven, temporal things above eternal, and death above life.
My going away is to be understood, a separation of themselves from that eternal conjunction with God and Heaven which was proffered to their acceptance. And this was a natural and necessary consequence of their making light of it, since no man was ever known to draw near with his affections to any object of which he thinks vilely and contemptibly. Man will, of course, separate himself from Heaven in the degree that his affections are not interested in its important realities; nor will he ever draw near, as he ought, to the blessed kingdom, except in proportion as his understanding is enlightened, and his will purified, to see and to feel that the things of that kingdom merit his regard and esteem infinitely above all other things whatsoever.
In the sense of the letter, one going to his field, and another to his merchandise, expresses the preference which men usually give to worldly concerns and occupations above the concerns and occupations of eternal life; but, in the spiritual sense it means, that they prefer natural good to spiritual good, and natural truth to spiritual truth; for, in a spiritual sense, a man's field (or, as the original has it, his own field) denotes his will, or love; and merchandise denotes his understanding, or truth.
The next words describe the methods by which wicked and unbelieving men destroy, in themselves, the heavenly truths of God's most Holy Word; for, by the servants here spoken of, as was shown above, are meant those truths which are destroyed in men's minds, principally by two methods; first, by vilifying them, or making them appear contemptible in their understandings; and, secondly, by depriving them of the life of love and charity in their wills. The first method is expressed by entreating them spitefully, and the second, by slaying them.
It is said, that when the King heard thereof he was angry. Anger and wrath are frequently attributed to God, in the Sacred Scriptures, not that it is to be supposed that any such qualities, or properties, exist in the Divine Being, who, in Himself, is, and ever must be, the purest and most essential mercy, love, goodness, and compassion. But the contrary qualities of wrath, anger, and vengeance, are attributed to Him in the same way that repentance is attributed to Him, though it is plain that God never repents, as He Himself also declares. The reason, then, why God is said to be angry and wrathful, as well as to repent, is, because the Sacred Scriptures are written according to appearances, and, if they were not so written, they could not have been adapted to the apprehension of the natural man. The appearance, therefore, is, that God is angry and wrathful with the wicked, and that He also repents of His purposes, but the real truth is, that He never repents, neither is He ever angry or wrathful, and that if He appears so, it is owing to the wickedness of man, who always supposes that God is angry with him, and ready to punish his wicked deeds. Every man, therefore, in this respect, makes his own God, according to the idea which he forms of God; and, consequently, a wicked man sees nothing, and can see nothing, but a God of anger and wrath, whilst a good man sees nothing, and can see nothing, but a God of mercy and love. It is accordingly written, with the pure you will show yourself pure, and with the perverse you will show yourself perverse.
The armies of the Lord, or, as they are sometimes called, His host, denote the angelic host, when applied in a good sense, as executing the purposes of salvation; but when applied in a contrary sense, as in the present case, for the purpose of destruction, they denote the powers of darkness; in which sense it is written, in another place, concerning the rebellious Israelites, that the Lord sent evil angels among them. Not that it is to be supposed that the merciful Lord sends evil, or evil angels, among any people, but that the wicked and impenitent, by their wickedness and impenitence, plunge themselves into wretched association with those spirits of darkness.
All wicked people are called murderers, because they kill and murder in themselves the life of heavenly Love and Charity, which is the life of God and of His kingdom; and God is said to destroy such murderers, when, in reality, they destroy themselves, by separating themselves from the mercy, the blessing and protection of Heaven, for whatsoever is so separated must of necessity be destroyed, since spiritual destruction is but another term to express alienation from God, as spiritual salvation is but another term to express conjunction with God in His own life of heavenly love and wisdom.
City is used in a spiritual sense, like all other expressions in the parable, and, according to that sense, denotes the interior principles and persuasions which occupy the minds of men, and in which they dwell. When it is said, therefore, that the King burnt up their city, the word city is used to denote the principles and persuasions of the wicked, which are said to be burned up, when they are consumed and perish by the cravings which give them birth. Mention is accordingly made, in the Sacred Scriptures, of the city of destruction, and also of the city of the Lord of Hosts; the former denoting the principles and persuasions in which the ungodly dwell, as to their spirits; and the latter, denoting the principles and persuasions in which the righteous dwell, as to their spirits.
But it is said, the wedding is ready, but they who were invited were not worthy. Man is said to be worthy when he complies freely and voluntarily with the counsels of the Eternal Truth; in which case he exalts the Eternal Truth above everything belonging to himself, and thus ascribes to the God of Truth all merit, and, consequently, all worth. Man, therefore, is called worthy, in proportion as he takes no worth to himself, but humbly and gratefully acknowledges that no one is worthy but Him of whom it is written, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing (Rev. 5:12). On the other hand, man is said to be not worthy, when he is unwilling to admit into his mind that heavenly wisdom which would teach him that all worthiness, properly so called, belongs to God, and that man is only so far worthy as he willingly makes this acknowledgement.
It is afterwards written, that the King sent his servants into the highways, to invite to the marriage as many as they should find. In the original language, the term which is here rendered highways, is expressed by a word which more properly denotes crossways. It is impossible, however, to discover what is meant by crossways, unless it be first known what is spiritually understood by a way. Now, a spiritual way, is the way, or direction, of every one's will and understanding, in regard to the things of God and another world: and the way of every one's will and understanding is the way or direction of his supreme love, because every one follows, and must, of necessity, follow, wherever his supreme love leads him. According to this view of spiritual ways, they will be found to be as various and as numerous as natural ways, and, therefore they may be distinguished, and are distinguished, in the Sacred Scriptures, into highways, bye ways, and what are here called crossways. Hence, then, may be seen what is spiritually meant by the crossways mentioned in the parable, and that they relate to the states of the minds of those who are walking in ignorance of genuine truth, and who thus do not proceed in a straight path to the kingdom of Heaven. For genuine truth is the highway, and the only highway, to Heaven and eternal blessedness, and, consequently, they who are not in the light of genuine truth do not walk in a highway, but in a crossway. The King's command, therefore, to his servants, to go into the crossways, relates to the calling of the Gentiles to the knowledge of the true God, and thus, into the way of genuine truth, for the Gentiles, being in ignorance, were not walking in the highway to the heavenly kingdom, and, consequently, could not come to the marriage until they were better instructed.
It is next said, that those servants went into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good, and the wedding was furnished with guests. It is agreeable to the order of the Divine Providence, that all mankind should be instructed in the knowledge of God and the things of His kingdom, since, without instruction, no one can be a subject either of happiness or of misery, properly so called; neither can any one, without instruction, be denominated either good or bad: for what constitutes a good man, is his willingness to obey instructions, by forming his life according to it; and what constitutes a bad man, is his unwillingness to obey instruction, and to suffer it to operate upon his life. The difference, therefore, between a good man and a bad man, is, not that the one receives instruction and the other rejects it, but that the one attains to the heavenly good of love and charity, to which instruction points, whilst the other does not attain it: the one, therefore, removes from his heart and life all the evils which instruction makes manifest; whilst the other, notwithstanding instruction, still remains the slave of his corruptions; thus the one admits the truth of instruction into the interiors of his heart and life, where it begets and forms its own image and likeness of heavenly wisdom and purity, whilst the other suffers instruction to enter no further than his memory, where it continues as in an outer court, and never gains admission into the inmost recesses of the heart.
By the King, who came in to see the guests, is to be understood, the Almighty Lord and Sovereign of the Universe, whose name is Jesus Christ; and this heavenly King is said to come in when He comes to His Church, whether in general, or in particular, by the influx, or influence, of His Holy Spirit. For the King of Heaven cannot come into His Church, in general, or to any member of His Church, in particular, in any other way than this. But in this way of influx, or influence, He may be said to be always coming in for inspection, for judgement, and for purification.
By a garment, according to the spiritual idea, is meant, that which invests, or clothes, a man's spirit; and every man's spirit is clothed according to the persuasions which he believes to be true. For every man's spirit is his ruling love, and love always invests, or clothes, itself with persuasions which are in agreement with itself- with the persuasions of truth, therefore, if the love be in agreement with truth, but with the persuasions of error, if it be not in agreement with truth. It is on this account that, when the Lord was transfigured, He was seen in shining garments, as were also the angels who appeared at His sepulchre; because shining garments denote the splendour and brightness of divine and heavenly truth, investing divine and heavenly good.
This being the meaning of a spiritual garment, we may understand a wedding-garment to denote, the persuasion of truth in conjunction with the heavenly love and charity, in which it originates, thus, in conjunction with Jesus Christ, who is the only source and fountain of all heavenly love and charity. When, therefore, it is said, that the man had not on a wedding-garment, it is to denote that his persuasions were not grounded in love and charity, and, consequently, were not in conjunction with those heavenly principles. And this is the unhappy case with all those who imbibe, with their understandings, the doctrines of heavenly truth but do not apply those doctrines to the reformation of their lives, by rejecting those evils which the truth makes manifest, and by cherishing those goods of heaven and eternal life to which it points and conducts. Whosoever, then, maintains that he may be saved by faith alone, without charity and good works, and that he may thus be admitted into Heaven after death, provided that, in the last hour of his life, he believes in the atoning blood and merit of the Redeemer, is seen by the all-piercing eye of the Eternal King, as a man that has not on a wedding-garment. In like manner, whoever separates religion from the common duties and engagements of life, by insisting that religion has nothing to do with those duties and engagements, and that a man may live as he pleases, provided he is only constant and regular in his public and private devotions, he also ranks amongst those deluded ones who come to the wedding without having on a wedding-garment.
In the original tongue, the title is not so honourable as that expressed by the word friend, addressed to the man which had not on a wedding-garment, but one is used which, more properly, signifies companion.
Every one knows the distinction, in a natural sense, between those two terms, because every one knows that, in a natural sense, a companion means one with whom we occasionally associate, but whom we do not admit to any great degree of intimacy, so as to take him to our bosoms, and entrust him with our secrets; whereas, a friend means one with whom we not only associate occasionally, but who is so connected with us in the bonds of love and affection, that we find our highest delight in his society, and are never so happy as in the interchange of mutual regard, confidence and attachment. Exactly similar is the distinction, in a spiritual sense, because, according to this sense, a spiritual companion, in respect to God, is one who, by reading the Word of God, is admitted to some degree of acquaintance with God, by receiving the light of the knowledge of God in his understanding, but whereas he does not receive, at the same time, the love of God in his will, nor suffers it to operate in his life, he never attains to any higher, or nearer, intimacy with his Heavenly Father. A spiritual friend, on the other hand, is one who, with respect to God, not only admits into his understanding the knowledge of God and of His law, but applying that knowledge to the reformation of his life, cherishes devoutly in his heart the love of God and of his neighbour, and thus attains to the high and unspeakable honour of being admitted to the closest intimacy and conjunction with the Father of his being, in all those virtues and graces of love, confidence, and regard, which constitute the endearing relationship of friend.
The question, How do you deserve to be in here, not having a wedding-garment? appears intended to put the man upon a course of self-examination, respecting the motives of his conduct in rejecting the life of charity, and insisting on the sufficiency of faith alone to introduce him into the kingdom of Heaven. It was intended, further, that, by such examination, he should be led to the discovery, that nothing can be so irrational and contrary to the express declarations of the Word of God, as to imagine that man can be saved by a mere act of speculative faith, separate from repentance and the good works which flow from charity and the love of God. And, lastly, it was intended to lead all mankind to reject the idea of solitary faith, and to admit, in its place, the evangelical persuasion, that charity, faith, and good works, are, unitedly, necessary to secure man's salvation, and that to separate any one of these essentials from the other, is to destroy all, and thus to destroy the church, both generally and individually.
By being speechless is meant, in the letter, that the man had nothing to answer; but in the spirit, or spiritual sense, is meant, that no just reason could be assigned for his acting in a manner so altogether unreasonable and opposite to the whole tenor of the counsels of the Eternal. For all speech is merely an expression of the thoughts; and, therefore, where there is no speech, as in the present case, it denotes that there is no thought, that is to say, no just thought. Thus, it denotes, that the separation of charity from faith, and of faith from charity, is the destruction of all just thought, of all sound reason, of all true wisdom, and of all evangelical truth and evangelical religion.
By the injunction, bind him, hand and foot, is implied, the spiritual imprisonment into which all men cast themselves who do not join to their knowledge, obedience, or a life according to knowledge.
This imprisonment of all the faculties of the mind is both internal and external; the former, signified by binding the hand, and the latter, by binding the foot.
It consists in the deprivation of the spiritual powers with which all men are, by birth, invested, namely, the powers of looking upwards towards God and Heaven - of opening thus, and forming the internal, spiritual man - of admitting, through this the divine influences into the external, or natural, man - and of thus attaining eternal conjunction with the Almighty, through the free and voluntary admission of His love, wisdom, and operation, into every part and principle, both of mind and body.
By the second injunction, take him away, is implied, the separation from the heavenly marriage, or from Heaven itself, of all those who are so unwise as not to attain to that marriage, by the conjunction of charity and faith, or of love and wisdom, in their own minds and lives. It appears, in this case, as in the former of spiritual imprisonment, that the effect is produced by the sentence of the Almighty, when, nevertheless, it is the necessary result of carelessness on the part of man. For it is well to be noted, that no one can attain conjunction with the Almighty, but by the conjunction of charity and faith in his own mind and life. When charity and faith, therefore, are not thus conjoined, the man, voluntarily, and of his own accord, separates himself from the kingdom of light and love, because there are no principles in himself congenial with that kingdom and its joys. It is not, therefore, in the power of the Almighty Himself, to introduce any one into Heaven, unless heavenly love and heavenly wisdom be previously combined in his affections and thoughts, for this would be to act contrary to His own order, that is to say, contrary to Himself, which is a thing impossible.
The sentence, cast him into outer darkness, like the foregoing, is a consequence resulting from the state of man's mind, rather than from the judgement, or condemnation, of the Almighty. For when a man admits into his understanding the light of heavenly truth, and neglects to form his life accordingly, he then converts the light into darkness, which, being more dense and grievous than the darkness of mere ignorance, is, on that account, called outer, or extreme, darkness, agreeably to that declaration of Jesus Christ, where He says, If the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness. By outer darkness, is, therefore, here to be understood, the darkness into which the men of the church cast themselves, who enjoy and admit the light of revelation, but who yet are not willing to submit their minds and lives entirely to its heavenly guidance.
The two terms, weeping and gnashing of teeth, denote the extreme opposition to the principles of heavenly love and wisdom in all those who cast themselves into outer darkness; weeping being an act of the body, expressive of opposition to heavenly love; and gnashing of teeth being an act of the body, expressive of opposition to heavenly wisdom, or truth. The reason why weeping denotes opposition to heavenly love, is, because weeping is opposed to heavenly joy, and all heavenly joy is the effect of heavenly love. They, therefore, who cast themselves into outer darkness, must, of necessity, be deprived of heavenly joy, and, of course, oppose the principle from which it proceeds. And the reason why gnashing of teeth denotes opposition to heavenly truth, is, because, in the Sacred Scriptures, frequent mention is made of gnashing of teeth, and, in all cases, it is applied to express a rooted hatred of, and opposition to, the principles of heavenly wisdom and truth in which sense it is applied, Acts 7:54, Ps. 112:10, Ps. 35:16, Sam. 2:16, Job 16:9, and: Mark 9:18. It is added, in conclusion of the parable, many are called, but few are chosen.
The called are all they who receive an invitation to the heavenly marriage, by hearing and reading the Word of God, which is, throughout, an invitation to that marriage. But the chosen are they, who not only hear and read the Word of God, like the called, and thus receive an invitation to the marriage, but who, likewise, accept the invitation, by willing, thinking, and doing, such things as the Word of God enjoins. The called, therefore, are they who receive the instruction of wisdom; but the chosen are they who obey that instruction. The called, again, are they who have the understanding of truth; but the chosen are they who unite to that understanding the love of heavenly good. In short, the called are they who have attained to some communication with the light of Heaven in their intellectual part; but the chosen are they who have attained conjunction with the life of Heaven in their voluntary, or will, part. These latter, therefore, are termed the elect, or chosen, because God always chooses those who love Him, and not those who merely know Him; thus, He chooses those who delight in doing His will, but not those who only understand what His will requires.
We learn, in general, from this parable, that it is the will of the Most High to conjoin Himself, by means of His holy love and wisdom, with all mankind, and that, accordingly, He invites and presses all mankind to come and be partakers of this heavenly marriage, or conjunction. We learn, further, that this divine invitation, which God sends to all His creatures, by and through His Holy Word, is treated differently by men, according to their several passions, prejudices, and ways of life; some making light of it, and others treating it with contempt, neglect, and abhorrence. We learn, still further, that God, by His divine inspection, is ever noting the manner in which His Holy Word is treated by mankind, and how far they are careful to unite love and wisdom, or charity and faith, together in their minds and lives. And, lastly, we learn, that no man can be admitted to the heavenly marriage, or, what is the same thing, to the kingdom of Heaven, only so far as the above principles are conjoined in him; since, if they be separated, he then casts himself into the imprisonment of his best faculties, - separates himself from all communion with his Heavenly Father, - and plunges into that terrible darkness, where he hates and opposes the influence of that heavenly love and heavenly wisdom which would, otherwise have conducted him to salvation and eternal life. Let us, therefore, resolve, now on, to take heed that we never separate in ourselves the principles of love and wisdom, charity and faith; but, that, combining those principles in our minds and lives, and suffering them to have their full operation in our conduct, we may not only rank under those who are called, but also be admitted to the high honour of those who are chosen, and thus enter into an eternal conjunction of life and love with our Heavenly Father, which is the true marriage and marriage-feast to which He has been pleased, in His mercy, to invite us.