4. Things which must shortly come to pass signifies that they will certainly be, lest the church perish. By coming to pass shortly, is not meant that the things which are foretold in Revelation, will happen immediately and speedily, but certainly; and that unless they do happen the church must perish. In the Divine idea, and thence in the spiritual sense, there is no time, but instead of time there is state; and because shortly relates to time, by it is signified certainly, and that it will come to pass before its time, for Revelation was given in the first century, and since that seventeen centuries have now elapsed, from which it is evident, that by shortly is signified that which corresponds to it, and that is, certainly.
 The like is also involved in these words of the Lord:
Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened (Matt. 24:22);
by which also is meant that unless the church should come to an end before its time, it would altogether perish; in that chapter the consummation of the age and the Lord's coming are treated of; and by the consummation of the age is meant the last state of the old church, and by the Lord's coming, the first state of the new church.
 It was said that in the Divine idea there is not time, but the presence of all things past and future; wherefore it is said in David:
A thousand years in Thy sight are as yesterday (Ps. 90:4);
I will declare the decree, Jehovah hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee (Ps. 2:7).
"This day" is the presence of the Lord's advent. Thence also it is, that an entire period is called day in the Word, and its first state the dawning and the morning, and the last evening and night.