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“For when they solemnly were then
The matrimonial band
And we on this might stand.
“ Thy claim upon the man was by
Thy silence then forsaken;
May not by thee be shaken ;
So Basil said, and paused awhile ;
But he heaved in vexation
And thus to himself he thought;
“ The Law thy calling ought to have been, With thy wit so ready, and tongue so free! To prove by reason in reason's despite, That right is wrong, and wrong is right, And white is black, and black is white, ..
What a loss have I had in thee !"
" I rest not here," the Saint pursued;
66 Tho' thou in this mayest see, That in the meshes of thine own net
I could entangle thee !
“Fiend, thou thyself didst bring about
The spousal celebration,
For both their souls' salvation.
“ Thou sufferedst them before high Heaven
With solemn rights espoused to be,
And for eternity.
“ That tie holds good ; those rites
Thyself the instrument.
“ And now, methinks, thou seest in this
A higher power than thine ;
To work the will divine!”
With rising energy he spake,
And more majestic look ;
Then with a voice of power he said,
“ The Bond is null and void ! It is nullified, as thou knowest well, By a Covenant whose strength by Hell
Can never be destroy'd !
« The Covenant of
grace, That greatest work of Heaven, Which whoso claims in perfect faith,
His sins shall be forgiven.
“ Were they as scarlet red They should be white as wool ; This is the All-mighty's Covenant,
Who is All-merciful !
“ His Minister am I !
“ In token that against his soul
The sin shall no longer stand, The writing is effaced, which there
Thou holdest in thy hand !
“Angels that are in bliss above
Will witness, and rejoice;
shall now in thunder hear Heaven's ratifying voice!”
A peal of thunder shook the pile;
The Church was fill’d with light, And when the flash was past, the Fiend
Had vanish'd from their sight.
He led as he came, but in anger and shame ;
The pardon was complete, And the impious scroll was dropt, a blank,
At Eleëmon's feet.
FROM THE LIFE OF S. BASIL THE GREAT, BY S. AMPHILOCHIUS,
BISHOP OF ICONIUM.
Rosweyde, Vita Patrum, pp. 156. 158.
“ Helladius autem sanctæ recordationis, qui inspector et minister fuit miraculorum quæ ab eo patrata sunt, quique post obitum ejusdem Apostolicæ memoriæ Basilii sedem illius suscipere meruit, vir miraculis et clarus, atque omni virtute ornatus, retulit mihi, quia cùm senator quidam fidelis, nomine Proterius pergeret ad sancta et percolenda loca, et ibidem filiam suam tondere, et in unum venerabilium monasteriorum mittere, et sacrificium Deo offerre voluisset; Diabolus, qui ab initio homicida est, invidens ejus religioso proposito, commovit unum ex servis ejus, et hunc ad puellæ succendit amorem. Hic itaque cùm tanto voto esset indignus, et non auderet propositum saltem contingere, alloquitur unum ex detestandis maleficis, repromittens illi, ut si fortè arte sua posset illam commovere, multam ei auri tribueret quantitatem. At verò veneficus dixit ad eum : 0 homo, ego ad hoc impos existo : sed si vis, mitto te ad provisorem meum Diabolum, et ille faciet voluntatem tuam, si tu dumtaxat feceris voluntatem ejus. Qui dixit ad eum : Quæcunque dixerit mihi, faciam. Ait ille : Abrenuntias, inquit, Christo in scriptis ? Dicit ei : Etiam. Porrò