No harbinger of spring is more welcome or more reliable than the return of the robins, for we know how surely and how soon they will entice the cherry and apple buds from their cozy hidings and select a site for their home nests in the heart of their bloom. They are nature's high priests, the prophets and reminders of the unnumbered things that make sweet the remembrances of childhood, the sense of freshness and freedom the frolic and fun that were ours once, in the old home, and that we have ever hoped we might sometime and somewhere find again. As one gets his first morning glimpse of one of these familiar friends, he is prompted to say, "Welcome, brother, welcome!" and to wonder from what far-away glades he has flown, through the dark, back to the unforgotten friends and nesting-place of other days.

In the late autumn time these feathered folk vanished at the word of winter, and now at the summer's dawn how pleasant it is to find them suddenly appearing again, one by one, to entertain us with their warbling talk and gentle ways, and to rebuke us with their unanxious trust for the morrow and their untiring devotion to the accomplishment of the highest end they know. And yet they bring to the thought of many a yet more gladdening "home-coming," namely, the return of the hopes of other years,—the forelooking to noble achievement, to real freedom, to genuine joy,—the assurances of ability and of success, that filled their lives with song ere yet they had come to know the desolating experiences of self-distrust and doubt of God which ushered in the winter of their discontent.

In the first spring days of their apprehension of Christian Science, glad messengers which were "loved long since, but lost awhile," have come again to many hearts and brought them indeed "good tidings of good." It was the day, perchance, when mother was seen to be improving, when baby was healed, when our own long-time pain passed away, or when the realization of the allness of good, the unreality of evil, the soverreignty of man, first illumined our thought, that the birds we used to know were heard again in the gardens of the heart. Then we began to believe, as never before, in the justness and love of God, in the lawfulness of His rule, in the possibility of our overcoming; began to believe that our ideals might yet be realized, our aspirations fulfilled, our inheritance regained, our goings established, our living made worth the while, our summer of song return.

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April 4, 1908

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