27. MARRIAGES IN HEAVEN
People cannot accept as a matter of faith that marriages exist in heaven if they believe that a person is a soul or spirit after death, and hold to an idea of the soul or spirit as being like thin air or a puff of breath. Nor can they accept it if they believe that a person does not live again as a person until after the day of the Last Judgment. In general, people cannot accept the existence of marriages in heaven if they know nothing about the spiritual world, the world in which angels and spirits live, consequently where the heavens and hells are. Moreover, because that world has till now remained unknown, and because it has not been known at all that the angels in heaven are people in perfect form, likewise that the spirits in hell are people in imperfect form, therefore nothing could be revealed respecting marriages in that world. Indeed, people would have said, "How can a soul be united with a soul, or a bit of breath with a bit of breath, as husbands and wives are united on earth?" There would have been many other objections, too, which, the moment they were voiced, would have taken away and dispelled belief in the existence of marriages in the other world. Now, however, many things have been revealed about that world, and what that world is like has been described. This I did in the book, Heaven and Hell, and also in The Apocalypse Revealed. Because of this, the existence of marriages there can be defended, even to the sight of reason, by the following arguments:
(1) A person lives as a person after death. (2) A male is then still a male, and a female still a female. (3) Everyone's own love remains in him after death. (4) Especially does a love for the opposite sex remain, and in the case of people coming into heaven, namely, people who become spiritual on earth, conjugial love. (5) All of this has been fully attested by personal observation. (6) Consequently, marriages exist in heaven. (7) Spiritual marriage is meant by the Lord's words, that after the resurrection they are not given in marriage.
Development of these arguments now follows, taking them one by one: