263. [verse 4] 'And I was weeping much because no one [worthy] was found to open and read the book, nor to look into it' signifies grief of heart, because if there should not be any one able [to do this] all would perish. That 'to weep much' is to grieve at heart is plain. The reason why he was grieving at heart was because otherwise all would be about to perish; for if all things in the heavens and on earth (in terris) were not brought back into order, it could not [happen] otherwise; for in the Apocalypse it treats of the last state of the Church, when its end occurs, the nature of which is described by the Lord in these words:-
There shall be such a great affliction as has not been from the beginning of the world nip till now, nor shall be; wherefore except those days should be shortened, no flesh would be preserved Matt. xxiv 21, 22.
These things are concerned with the last time of the Church when the judgment occurs.  That such is the state of the Church at this day can be recognised on account of these considerations only; that in the greatest part of Christendom are persons who have transferred the Lord's Divine power to themselves and want to be worshipped as gods, and who invoke dead men and scarcely anyone there invokes the Lord; and that the rest belonging to the Church make God three, and the Lord two, and place salvation not in amendment of life but in certain words uttered with a devout tone of voice; thus not in repentance but in the confidence that they are justified and sanctified if they only fold their hands and look upwards and pray in the established mode.