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stricken heart, still heavier. Her neat and humble dwelling was situated at a short distance from the town: it might have been called, and by some, perhaps, was considered, lonely! but it was not really so, for like the highly-favoured family of Bethany, she was frequently indulged with visits, enlivening visits, from Him, in Spirit, who was in the habit of often making cheerful the abode of Lazarus and his sisters, by his bodily presence.
How many years had elapsed since Mrs. Bretange was called to shed the almost first tear of sorrow she had ever shed since she had borne that name,-occasioned by the death of the beloved husband of her youth, I know not, nor shall I presume to conjecture: all I know is, that the painful dispensation had given a check to her natural volatility, and threw a pleasing seriousness over her feelings, which seemed to give grace and dignity to her person. The pleasures in which she once had revelled, and the gay parties in which she had formerly taken the lead, had lost for her, their charms and attractions,- and hence they had been voluntarily abandoned: reflection followed, and evidence, which admitted not a question, was furnished, that in very mercy she had been afflicted. The defencelessness of widowhood was experienced; villains, assuming the address and name of gentlemen, like greedy vultures pouncing on their helpless prey, defrauded her; and from circumstances of ease and respectability, she was reduced, by fraud and rapine, to comparative indigence. Still the elasticity of her mind rose above the depressing influence of her condition. The energy of female character shone out in her conspicuously; and as riches made unto themselves wings and fled, unearthly treasures presented to her awakened mind their inviting, satisfying attractions :-grace gently led her into their possession, and religion's tried and never-failing consolations supported her mind, and cheered her spirit, and hence she struggled on, with heroism such as genuine piety, coupled with female magnanimity, alone could have produced and displayed.
One child, one only child, the offspring of devoted affection, was left,-a lovely boy. In him, all her earthly cares centred. For him, she toiled cheerfully, and laboured incessantly. Over him, she shed the tears of fondness, such as a mother only could feel. If pious example could have influenced, exhortations have prevailed, or prayers have succeeded, the desires of her heart would have been realized ;-Bernard would have walked in the paths of piety, the paths which his affectionate mother trod. But it was not so. For him, prayer had no attraction,-religion no pleasure,holiness no charms. The heart of his poor widowed mother bled with agony, such as description fails to portray, as she beheld her son, her only son, advancing fast toward manhood, having no fear of God before his eyes, and no preparation for heaven in his heart.
Years passed on, and Bernard had attained his twenty-fourth year, without any change being seen in his spirit or practice, except, indeed, from bad to worse.
Still the fond mother fainted not; the yearning affection of her soul, as if gaining fresh energies as the depravity of her offspring was developed, like another Syrophenician matron, she became pressingly importunate, and, with the spirit of the father of the faithful, believed in hope, against hope: with the hand of faith, she put aside the curtain shadows which interpose betwixt the present and the future world, and with a strong mental vision, invigorated and cleared by the book of inspiration, gazed on the scenes and consequences of the last day, “ That day of dread decision and despair;
That day for which all other days were made.”
She heard, by imagination, the decree go forth from the lips of the Judge;—“Let him that is filthy be filthy still,” and seemed to listen to the appalling sentence, “Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire.”
She knew her child-her sonwould be among that number, unless an act of sovereign grace were now passed in his favour. The thought was crushingly oppressive; feeling appeared to have risen to its utmost altitude; and, in an agony bordering on wildness, she implored, -as she besought the father of mercies,—“Save, oh, save my son, through Him who died, the just for the unjust, to bring sinners to God.” Such was the employment, and such were the feelings of the widow and the mother, as the new day broke upon our world, and while yet the gay and the thoughtless caroused in the beautiful city. Among that number was Bernard; who, as the fourth hour of day was proclaimed by the announcer of time's flight, entered the humble abode of his mother, considerably under the influence of inebriety. The worn-out watcher, overcome by anxiety and fatigue, had sunk into a state of partial forgetfulness; and therefore, until late the next morning, Bernard encountered not the pleading eye, and grief-worn countenance of his parent.
To follow the profligate prodigal through all the labyrinthine wilds of folly which he trod, or to exhibit all the scenes of low profanity in which he revelled, would be to unclose a catalogue, at which morality would turn pale, which credulity might call in question, and from which modesty would turn away her face in disgust and horror. Such exhibitions had better never be made; their very disclosure seems to diffuse a polluting influence, almost tainting all who look upon them. They possess no feature of a pleasing character, to the eye of the pious, and their influence can never be otherwise than baneful to the inexperienced youth, or hardening to the dissolute adult. It will be sufficient for all the purposes intended by this sketch, to state, that he ran the lengths and breadths of wickedness, and appeared to have reached the heights, and to have fathomed the depths of depravity. Of him it might have been said, without exaggeration or figure,
Mercy did not soften him,
Justice did not awe ;
He heeded not the law ;
The history of the revival of religion in America, may, without impropriety, be contemplated as the history of a new epoch in the prospects and celebrity of that increasingly interesting and important country. However high America stood before, in a prospective point of view, and with whatever attention other and distant nations surveyed her, in her steady and magnificent march towards fame and honour, surpassing all her compeers, she has now advanced to a point of elevation, which commands the respect of powers, to which, until now, she was comparatively unknown; and she will continue to advance, until the admiration and fear of the other kingdoms of the world shall be offered as a tribute to her excellent greatness. The purifying leaven which is now spreading through all ranks of her vast population, will present, at no very distant period, a renovated people, whose influence shall be as extensive as her resources are mighty. In this revival, the city of New York was favoured to share. The Spirit from