3773. And they put the stone in its place again upon the well's mouth. That this signifies that meanwhile it was closed, is evident from what has been said (n. 3769, 3771) concerning the stone upon the well's mouth. As regards the Word being opened to the churches, and being afterwards closed, the case is this: in the beginning of the setting up of any church, the Word is at first closed to the men of it, and is afterwards opened, the Lord so providing; and thus they learn that all doctrine is founded on the two commandments-that the Lord is to be loved above all things, and the neighbor as themselves. When these two commandments are regarded as the end, the Word is opened; for all the Law and the Prophets, that is, the whole Word, so depend on these commandments that all things are derived from them and therefore all have reference to them. And whereas the men of the church are then in the principles of truth and good, they are enlightened in everything they see in the Word; for the Lord is then present with them by means of angels, and teaches them (although they are unaware of this), and also leads them into the life of truth and good.
 This may be seen also from the case of all churches, in that they were such in their infancy, and worshiped the Lord from love, and loved the neighbor from the heart. But in process of time churches withdraw from these two commandments, and turn aside from the good of love and charity to the so-called things of faith, thus from life to doctrine; and insofar as they do this, so far the Word is closed. This is what is signified in the internal sense by the words: "Behold a well in the field, and behold there three-droves of the flock lying by it; for out of that well they watered the droves; and a great stone was upon the well's mouth. And all the droves were gathered together thither; and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock, and they put the stone in its place again upon the well's mouth."