The woman clothed with the sun
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Image of God Church Acquisition of Holy Spirit

Church. Home Church
Marriage
In the works of Vladimir Solovyov

Thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. Zec 8:15.
5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. Luk 1:31-32.
6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. Isa 62:4.

Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 1Co 11:3. Eph 1:22.
24
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Gal 1:4. Col 3:19.

The holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Isa 52:1. Isa 54:5. 2Co 11:2. Gal 4:26. Heb 12:22. Rev 3:12.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Lev 26:12. Eze 43:7.

Marriage is a great mystery

[Marriage] is called “a great mystery,” and is recognised as the abiding symbol, sanctified by the word of God, of the union of the God of Israel with His people, of Christ crucified with the earthly church, and of Christ the King of Glory with the New Jerusalem. Reverence for the forefathers and religious interaction with them connects man with the perfect good through the past; true marriage has the same significance for the present, for the central period of life. It is the realisation of the absolute moral norm in the vital centre of human existence. The opposition of the sexes, which in the world of pre-human organisms expresses simply a general interaction between life as giving, and as receiving, form, between the active and the passive principles, acquires a more definite and profound meaning in the case of man. Woman, unlike the female of animals, is not merely the embodiment of the passively receptive aspect of the material reality. She is the concentrated substance of nature as a whole, the final expression of the material world in its inward passivity, as ready to pass into a new and higher kingdom and be morally spiritualised. And man in his relation to woman does not merely represent the active principle as such, but is the bearer of the purely human activity, determined by the absolute meaning of life, in which woman comes to participate through him. And he in his turn owes to her the possibility of realising that meaning or the absolute good in a direct and immediate way.

The highest morality, proceeding from the absolute principle and determined by it (that which in theology is called grace), does not annihilate nature but imparts true perfection to it. …

In true marriage the natural bond between the sexes does not disappear but is transmuted. Until, however, this transmutation becomes a fact, it is a moral problem, for which the elements of the natural sexual relation are the data. The chief significance belongs to the intermediate element — the exaltation or the ecstasy of love. In virtue of it man sees his natural complement, his material other the woman, not as she appears to external observation, not as others see her, but gains insight into her true essence or idea. He sees her as she was from the first destined to be, as God saw her from all eternity, and as she shall be in the end. Material nature in its highest individual expression — the woman — is here truly recognised as possessed of absolute worth; she is affirmed as an end in herself, an entity capable of spiritualisation and “deification.” From such recognition follows the moral duty so to act as to realise in this actual woman and in her life that which she ought to be. The highest form of love in woman has a corresponding character. The man whom she has chosen appears to her as her true saviour, destined to reveal to her and to realise for her the meaning of her life.

Marriage remains the satisfaction of the sexual want, which, however, no longer refers to the external nature of the animal organism, but to the nature that is human and is awaiting to become divine. A tremendous problem arises which can only be solved by constant renunciation. To be victorious in the struggle with the hostile reality the soul has to pass through martyrdom.[*] From this point of view the complete and real satisfaction which includes bodily sensibility is connected not with desire that precedes it, but with the subsequent joy of realised perfection.


[*] D. P. Yurkevitch, Professor of Philosophy, now deceased, told me that a young scholar, son of an evangelical pastor in Moscow, was present once at the marriage ceremony in the Russian Church, and was very much struck by the fact that in the service the bridal crowns are compared to crowns of the martyrs. This profound idea affected him so deeply that it caused a complete revolution in his mind. As a result of it, the young philologist gave up worldly learning and the university chair he was going to occupy, and, to the distress of his relatives, went into a monastery. He was the well-known Father Clement Sederholm, of whose life and character the late K. N. Leontyev wrote so excellent an account.

Vladimir Solovyov
The Justification of The Good
XIX. The moral organization of humanity as a whole

Perfect marriage

The perfect marriage is the beginning of a new pro cess which does not reproduce life in time but re-creates it for eternity.

The perfect marriage is not necessarily the original condition of, but only the final means for, the moral union of man and woman.

It is obvious, of course, that in a perfect marriage in which the inner completeness of the human being is finally attained through a perfect union with the spiritualised material essence, reproduction becomes both unnecessary and impossible. It becomes unnecessary because the supreme purpose has been achieved, the final goal attained. It becomes impossible, just as it is impossible that when two equal geometrical figures are placed one upon the other there should be a remainder that does not coincide. The perfect marriage is the beginning of a new pro cess which does not reproduce life in time but re-creates it for eternity. But we must not forget that perfect marriage is not necessarily the original condition of, but only the final means for, the moral union of man and woman. One cannot assume this higher stage from the first, just as one cannot begin to build a house by making a roof, or call the roof a real house. The true human marriage is one which consciously aims at the perfect union of man and woman, at the creation of the complete human being. So long, however, as it merely aims at this and has not yet actually realised the idea, so long as there still is a duality between the idea and the empirical material reality opposed to it, so long external, physical reproduction is both the natural conse quence of the perfection not yet attained and the necessary means for its future attainment. It is clear that so long as the union of man and woman is not wholly spiritualised, so long as it is complete in idea and subjective feeling only, and in objective reality continues to be superficial and external like that of animals, it can have no other result. But it is equally clear that in the present imperfect condition this result is of supreme importance, for the children will do what the parents failed to accomplish. The external, temporal succession of generations exists because marriage has not yet attained perfection, because the union of individual man and woman is not sufficiently spiritual and inwardly complete to re-create in them the perfect human being in the image and likeness of God. But this “because” also proves to be “ln order that” — namely, in order that the task which has been too great for the strength of this individual being (man and woman) should be realised by him indirectly, through a series of future generations taking their start from him. Thus the inward completeness and the unconditional meaning of family is re-established; man even in his imperfect state retains his absolute significance, and the living bond between the temporal members of the series, extending to eternity, remains unbroken.

Vladimir Solovyov
The Justification of The Good
XIX. The moral organization of humanity as a whole

Moral significance of marriage

Woman is recognised as a being possessed of absolute worth, as a complement necessary to make the individual man truly whole.

The moral significance of marriage consists in the fact that woman ceases to be the instrument of natural desires but is recognised as a being possessed of absolute worth, as a complement necessary to make the individual man truly whole. When the marriage fails or does not completely succeed in realising this absolute significance of human individuality, the task acquires a different object and is transferred to the children as bearers of the future.

Vladimir Solovyov
The Justification of The Good
XIX. The moral organization of humanity as a whole

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