-- GENESIS xxxv.1-7.
It is a blessed thing to revisit our early altars. It is good to return to the haunts of early vision. Places and things have their sanctifying influences, and can recall us to lost experiences. I know a man to whom the scent of a white, wild rose is always a call to prayer. I know another to whom Grasmere is always the window of holy vision. Sometimes a particular pew in a particular church can throw the heavens open, and we see the Son of God. The old Sunday-school has sometimes taken an old man back to his childhood and back to his God. So I do not wonder that God led Jacob back to Bethel, and that in the old place of blessing he reconsecrated himself to the Lord.
It is a revelation of the loving-kindness of God that we have all these helps to the recovery of past experiences. Let us use them with reverence. And in our early days let us make them. Let us build altars of communion which in later life we shall love to revisit. Let us make our early home "the house of God and the gate of heaven." Let us multiply deeds of service which will make countless places fragrant for all our after years.