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“ Hold there, I say! Thou canst not sue

Upon this Bond by law !

A sorry legalist were he
Who could not in thy boasted plea

Detect its fatal flaw.

“ The Deed is null, for it was framed

"With fraudulent intent;
A thing unlawful in itself ;

A wicked instrument,
Not to be pleaded in the Courts. . .

Sir Fiend, thy cause is shent !

“ This were enough ; but, more than this,

A maxim, as thou knowest, it is

Whereof all Laws partake,
That no one may of his own wrong

His own advantage make.

“ The man, thou sayest, thy Bondsman is ;

Mark now, how stands the fact!
Thou hast allow'd, . . nay, aided him

As a Freedman to contract
A marriage with this Christian woman here,

And by a public act.

« That act being publicly perform'd

With thy full cognizance,
Claim to him as thy Bondsman thou

Canst never more advance.

“ For when they solemnly were then
United, in sight of Angels and men,

The matrimonial band
Gave to the wife a right in him ;

And we on this might stand.

Thy claim

upon

the man was by
Thy silence then forsaken ;
A marriage thus by thee procured

May not by thee be shaken ;
And thou, O Satan, as thou seest,
In thine own snare art taken!”

So Basil said, and paused awhile ;
The Arch-Fiend answer'd not;

But he heaved in vexation
A sulphurous sigh for the Bishop's vocation,

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,
Which link'd them by the nuptial tie

For both their souls' salvation.

“ Thou sufferedst them before high Heaven

With solemn rights espoused to be,
Then and for evermore, for time

And for eternity.

“ That tie holds good ; those rites
Will reach their whole intent;
And thou of his salvation wert

Thyself the instrument.

“And now, methinks, thou seest in this

A higher power than thine ;
And that thy ways were overruled,

To work the will divine!”

With rising energy he spake,

And more majestic look ;
And with authoritative hand
Held forth the Sacred Book.

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 !

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6 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 his All-mighty name
To this repentant sinner
God's pardon I proclaim !

“In token that against his soul

The sin shall no longer stand, The writing is effaced, which there

Thou holdest in thy hand !

66

Angels that are in bliss above
This triumph of Redeeming Love

Will witness, and rejoice;
And

ye

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 fled as he came, but in anger and shame;

The pardon was complete, And the impious scroll was dropt, a blank,

At Eleëmon's feet.

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