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Piercing the heart of his friend had struck his own,

and had sundered Once and forever the bonds that held him bound as a

captive, Wild with excess of sensation, the awful delight of

his freedom, Mingled with pain and regret, unconscious of what he

was doing, Clasped, almost with a groan, the motionless form of Priscilla,

915 Pressing her close to his heart, as forever his own,

and exclaiming : “ Those whom the Lord hath united, let no man put

them asunder!

Even as rivulets twain, from distant and separate

sources, Seeing each other afar, as they leap from the rocks,

and pursuing Each one its devious path, but drawing nearer and

nearer, Rush together at last, at their trysting-place in the

forest; So these lives that had run thus far in separate channels,

911-915 Explain in your own words these sensations of John Alden. 917 Look up Mark x. 6–9.

920

Coming in sight of each other, then swerving and

flowing asunder, Parted by barriers strong, but drawing nearer and

nearer, Rushed together at last, and one was lost in the other.

925

IX

THE WEDDING-DAY

Forth from the curtain of clouds, from the tent of

purple and scarlet, Issued the sun, the great High-Priest, in his garments

resplendent, Holiness unto the Lord, in letters of light, on his fore

head, Round the hem of his robe the golden bells and pome

granates. Blessing the world he came, and the bars of vapor beneath him

930 Gleamed like a grate of brass, and the sea at his feet

was a laver! 924 What were the “barriers strong"?

927–929 For a partial description of the garments of a Jewish High-Priest, look up Exodus xxviii. 31–38.

981 Laver: look up Exodus xxx. 17-19.

This was the wedding morn of Priscilla the Puri..

tan maiden. Friends were assembled together; the Elder and

Magistrate also Graced the scene with their presence, and stood like

the Law and the Gospel, One with the sanction of earth and one with the blessing of heaven.

935 Simple and brief was the wedding as that of Ruth

and of Boaz. Softly the youth and the maiden repeated the words

of betrothal, Taking each other for husband and wife in the Magis

trate's presence, After the Puritan way, and the laudable custom of

Holland. Fervently then and devoutly, the excellent Elder of

Plymouth

940

932 Wedding morn: this was probably the second marriage which took place in the colony.

984 Law and the Gospel : are both represented in a marriage ceremony of to-day? Which is represented by the marriage license ? By the marriage certificate? Why must the law be represented? Why the Gospel? (See reference on line 917.)

986 You will find the story of Ruth in Ruth i. 1-8 and 16-18, ii. 1-2 and 15–16. Boaz, her kinsman, was quickly charmed with Ruth and made her his wife.

Prayed for the hearth and the home, that were founded

that day in affection, Speaking of life and of death, and imploring Divine

benedictions.

Lo! when the service was ended, a form appeared

on the threshold, Clad in armor of steel, a sombre and sorrowful

figure ! Why does the bridegroom start and stare at the strange apparition ?

945 Why does the bride turn pale, and hide her face on

his shoulder ? Is it a phantom of air,-a bodiless, spectral illu

sion ? Is it a ghost from the grave, that has come to forbid

the betrothal ? Long had it stood there unseen, a guest uninvited, un

welcomed; Over its clouded eyes there had passed at times an expression

950

941, 942 It is evident that the magistrate performed what we call the wedding ceremony and the minister offered the prayer afterward. With us today, the magistrate is not usually present, the minister having charge of the whole ceremony. Are marriages ever performed without the minister ?

Softening the gloom and revealing the warm heart

hidden beneath them, As when across the sky the driving rack of the rain

cloud Grows for a moment thin, and betrays the sun by its

brightness. Once it had lifted its hand, and moved its lips, but

was silent, As if an iron will had mastered the fleeting intention

955 But when were ended the troth and the prayer and

the last benediction, Into the room it strode, and the people beheld with

amazement Bodily there in his armor Miles Standish, the Captain

of Plymouth! Grasping the bridegroom's hand, he said with emotion,

“Forgive me ! I have been angry and hurt, — too long have I cher

ished the feeling ; I have been cruel and hard, but now, thank God ! it

is ended. Mine is the same hot blood that leaped in the veins of

Hugh Standish, 955 What was probably the "fleeting intention"? (See line 948 of the text.)

960

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