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SONG BIRDS. A N old legend tells us that when St. / failed. Then he confessed that the little
Francis was passing through the i bird had vanquished him. He called it to Venetian lagoon, vast numbers of birds were him, thanked it for its song, and gave it singing; and he said to his companion, the remainder of his bread; and having • Our sisters, the birds, are. praising their bestowed his blessing upon it, the creature Creator; let us sing with them.' And he flew away. began the sacred service. But the warbling Though only a legend, this tale of St. of the birds interrupted them; therefore Francis points out one lesson we should St. Francis said to them, Be silent till we learn from the sweet song of the birds. also have praised God.' And they ceased It reminds us of the words of the poet :their song, and did not resume it till he had given them permission.
'Sweet birds that breathe the spirit of song,
And surround heaven's gate in melodious throng, On another occasion, as he was sitting
Who rise with the earliest beams of day, with his disciple Leo, he felt himself pene Your morning tribute of thanks to pay; trated with joy and consolation by the song i You remind us that we should likewise raise of the nightingale; and he desired his The voice of devotion, and song of praise : friend Leo to raise his voice, and sing the
There's something about you that points on high,
Ye beautiful tenants of earth and sky.' praises of God in company with the bird. But as Leo objected, because his voice was It is a good thing to give thanks unto the bad, St. Francis began to sing himself. Lord, and to sing praises unto His name; When he stopped, the nightingale took up to shew forth His loving-kindness in the the strain, and thus they sang alternately, | morning, and His faithfulness every night. until the night was far advanced, and St. When the winter is past, and the time of Francis was obliged to stop, for his voice, the singing of birds is come, surely we
The Havspring Bible Class.
should join with all nature in offering the tribute of praise to our great Creator and Redeemer.
Songs of praise are a sacrifice wellpleasing to the Lord. When powerful enemies came against Jehoshaphat, he prayed to the Lord; but as soon as a promise of deliverance was given, the Levites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel. And when Jehoshaphat had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for His mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, which were come against them; and they were smitten. (2 Chron. xx. 21, 22.)
Songs of praise have power to still the enemy. It was when Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God, that the prison doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. It is God who giveth songs in the night.
In the late American war a battle was fought at a place called Shiloh, in Tennesee. A captain, who had been mortally wounded, lay on the battle-field, suffering greatly from his wounds and from thirst. He said, “The stars shone out clear and beautiful above the dark field; and I began to think of that great God who had given His Son to die a death of agony for me; and that He was up there, up above the scene of suffering, and above these glorious stars ; and I felt that I was going home to meet Him, and praise Him there; and I felt that I ought to praise God even wounded, and on the battle-field. I could not help singing that beautiful hymn, When I can read my title clear. And there was a Christian brother in the bush near me. I could not see him, but I could hear him. He took up the strain ; and beyond him, another and another caught it up, all over the terrible battle-field of Shiloh. That night the echo was resounding, and we made the field of battle ring with hymns of praise to God.'
QUESTIONS ON MATTHEW'S GOSPEL.
Chapter IV. 23-25; V. 1-16. What three kinds of work describe Jesus'
labours in Galilee? How far did the fame of His mighty works
spread? What four different kinds of afflictions are
here named ? How did the friends of those afflicted ones
obtain cures for them? From what various districts did multitudes
follow Jesus? Where did Jesus go that all of them might
hear His preaching ? Who sat next Him? With what gracious words did Jesus begin
His sermon on the mount? How many times did He pronounce the word
blessed ? What blessing did He pronounce on the poor
in spirit? Why are those who mourn for sin called
Blessed'? What blessing belongs specially to the meek? Why is it a blessed thing to hunger and thirst
after righteousness? What strong obligation to be merciful is here
pointed out? Mat. 18. 32, 33. Who alone shall see God? Psa. 51. 10. What special blessing does Jesus confer on
the peacemakers ? What class of sufferers does Jesus pronounce
blessed? What striking emblem here describes the utter
worthlessness of mere profession? By what two emblems are true believers
described ? What motive should impel them to let their
light shine? [These are not Prize Questions; but intended solely to encourage the study of the Scriptures at home.]
Prize Scripture Acrostics and Questions.
Competitors will please observe to address their answers now to Reu. JOHN KAY, Edinburgh.
4 Where is the fate of one who acquires wealth unjustly, illustrated by an ornithological fact?
5 Quote a verse to shew that sincerity and conscientiousness are not sufficient to keep us out of fatally dangerous paths ?
6 Where, in the epistles, are we warned in four words; and where, in three, against breaking the first commandment?
FOUR NEW MISSIONARIES FOR AFRICA.
LOVE THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
Thus the Good Shepherd found the little lamb
Out in the night;
And thus, with many a soft caress, began "W HAT if the way be rough for thy
The road to light. small feet? I'll lull thee low,
Far through the foggy fen, and cross the moor, And carry thee where pleasant waters meet And o'er the sea, So tender, slow;
And 0, His arm was strong, His step was sure, Come close, my love, my little one, my sweet, His love was free! Nor tremble so.''
Still deep, the tender touch of that strong hand It was a moorland way, and very long;
A cradle made Two little stars or more
So warm, and safe the child crossed all the land, Had risen, throbbing like a voiceless song
Yet not afraid ;
For when the harshest voices sounded near, And then soft, glad blue eyes
He listened low, Blue, tired eyes, yet with no sorrow taint
And heard the Shepherd whisper in his ear, Closed, faint, against the skies.
'I love, I know.' And 'neath these lids, an almost baby cheek The voice was full of calm, so gentle, strong, Against one warm, kind breast,
The child close leant, Lay dimpled into smiles, which could not speak | And with soft half-shut eyelids breathed a song Their own delicious rest.
Of low content. "O sleep, o sleep, my little folded one; And thus, o'er many a strange and rugged scar, There comes no fear, no harm,
He still was borne, Unto thee, nestling, -storm, nor wind, nor
Until, upon his soul, there broke from far sun,
Heaven's early morn. Thy shield thy mother's arm. *Her face bent softly o’er thy sleeping face;
And opening wide his joyful, wondering eyes,
He heard One say= Its shade of love shall be
'Dear child, behold the gate of Paradise ! Sleep, sleep, my little darling, let me trace
I am the Way.'
'Twas the Good Shepherd that had borne him night,
thus, One drift of snow;
Unguessed, unknown; A broad, dim, pathless waste of ghostly white
() Christ, bend down in love, and carry us Around, below.
As Tlry dear own.
Her child's bright head;
FOUR NEW MISSIONARIES FOR AFRICA.
IV ing, You may bury me in the East,' *Come close, come close to me, thou little lamb,' Steal away to Jesus,' and other sweet The Shepherd said ;
songs, sung by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk "The snowy moorland has no spot of calm University, Nashville, Tennessee. These For thee to tread.
devoted and self-denying singers were then *Come to the sunny pastures, trembling thing;
contributing their musical services, in order Come, drink and rest,
to raise the walls of that noble institution. And I shall carry thee where myrtles fling
One of the aims of Fisk University, in Their shadows best.'
addition to providing the highest education