AGAIN "the time of the singing of birds is come," and so musical are these little creatures after their long silence, that it is easy to imagine they are singing praises to the Creator for the glad spring-time. As we listen to their praise songs, we feel that it would become us to catch their glad refrain, and swell the chorus until the air should resound with

"thanksgiving and the voice of melody." David says, in Psalm 47, "Sing praises unto our King;" "for God is the King of all the earth." The heart of the Christian who delights in God's word, and feasts upon his promises,

will at times run over with joy, and break forth into singing. We pity melancholy Christians, who seldom, if ever, sing. If they would give vent to praise in song, they would find a cure for their sadness, and would form a closer union with heaven.

"It is good to sing praises to our God." Ps. 147:1. Try it, dear readers, not only when you feel the spirit of song, but when you are tempted and perplexed, and see how quickly the tempter will flee, and how easily you can dispose of trouble-some things. There are some who know the worth of song to lighten the heart and the burdens of life. We have in mind a circumstance in the life of one who esteemed the privilege of singing more than wealth,—a poor, hard-working man, a linen-weaver by trade, who loved and trusted God.

While engaged with his work, his clear, strong voice might be heard, early and late, singing hymns and innocent songs. Indeed, no other alarm was needed in the morning to arouse his neighbors.

But one of them, a wealthy merchant, who was so anxious about his money that he seldom slept before midnight, did not like to be disturbed by the weaver's music so early in the morning, and he decided to put an end to it. He knew he had no right to forbid his singing in his own house, so he thought to hire him to stop. He accordingly sent for the weaver, and asked him what value he placed upon his singing. In reply he said he thought it was worth a day's wages, as it helped him' so much in his work. The merchant was satisfied with his price, and counted out a month's wages in advance, and gave to him if he would sing no more.

The weaver took the money, promising to keep very quiet. It was more money than he had ever possessed, and he was very joyful as he carried it home. He counted it over, and looked at the bright coins for some time; then, for fear it would be stolen from him in the night, he placed it under his pillow. He would frequently awaken, for he was troubled to know what to do with it. In the• morning he was so burdened with it that it seemed to weigh him down like lead. His hands refused to do their usual work, and he dared not sing as he had previously done, so that he had a very dreary day. Before bedtime he found his way back to the merchant, and gave him his money, telling him it was "an evil spirit which would not allow him to sleep quietly." Before the merchant could speak to him, he had gone out, singing in his clear, full voice,

"A fresh and merry heart

Is worth more than money or wealth."

David says, "I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also." "I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being."

Let us learn praise lessons from the birds, or, as Paul exhorts, let us sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord.



M. J. 0.