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COPTS AT THEBES.
any visit from missionaries or Christian friends, and it was indeed encouraging to preach the Gospel to these simple-minded Christian people, and give them the New Testament, far on the borders of Ethiopia. May the Lord bless his Word, that the desert may in truth bud and blossom as the rose, and Ethiopia stretch forth her hands unto God.
"On our return I learned that at ancient Thebes there is a large community of Copts, and a bishop living among them. The American Consul, though a Mussulman, said that his family and the bishop's were like brothers, and he would immediately send for him to meet me at his house. The bishop very soon came, and I was much pleased with his venerable, patriarchal appearance. I spoke to him of the Bible and Gospel, and related to him what I had already done for the Copts. He thanked me sincerely, and said, 'It is very kind in the Americans to remember the Copts; and I am exceedingly glad to have my people receive the Scriptures.' I then made an appointment to visit his church with him on the following day. The next morning I called upon him at his house. He gave me the Christian salutation and a welcome to his home. After the ordinary Oriental entertainment, we visited the two schools for boys which the bishop has instructed in his house, and then set out for the
church. Having crossed the Nile, we rode on horseback for an hour across the sandy plain, quite to the base of the Lybian mountains, and came to the ancient Coptic church that stands alone on the edge of the desert. Here they were driven by Moslem persecution, and here they now toil up every Sabbath to worship God. It is a plain and simple edifice, built of plaster, and supported by old Corinthian columns from the ruins of a Christian church of the age of Constantine. As we sat upon the matting, resting from the heat of the sun, I asked the bishop what was the belief of his church respecting the Bible and Saviour. He answered, 'We believe that the Bible is from God: Christ is the Son of God. Glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen." I said to him that we would be glad to have him come to America, and tell us all about his people. He smiled and replied: "Yes, the Copts are very poor, and I would like much to visit America, and get money to build another church in the village, as it is so far to come across the sandy plain under a burning sun." We then returned, and at his house I found a number of the principal Copts assembled to meet me. I presented them with a copy of the Bible, and told them that we loved this Bible in America, and I had come to give it to those who have it not in the East. They gathered around me, and ex
claimed, 'Mashallah' (God be praised). I asked the bishop if he wished to have American missionaries come and live among his people, to instruct them in the Scriptures and preach the Gospel, as they had done among the Armenians. He replied, 'I would be very happy to welcome American Christians among my people.' He then gave me his parting salutation, as they all did, in the name of God; and I returned on board our steamer for Cairo. I have thus been much interested in exploring the Coptic field, and distributing the Scriptures among this ancient Christian people."
At Constantinople Mr. Righter had become interested in the objects of the Evangelical Alliance, of which he was made the Corresponding Secretary, and he was charged with a special commission to advance the objects of the Alliance, by organizing similar associations in other places. He makes frequent mention in his notes of travel of organizing committees among those who loved the cause of Christ, after having explained to them the purposes aimed at in the Alliance.
VISIT TO PALESTINE.
MR. RIGHTER'S stay in Egypt was short. The principal part of his time was spent in Cairo and the vicinity, and having accomplished all that seemed immediately practicable he returned to Alexandria, and took passage for Jaffa in company with Mr. and Mrs. Wm. C. Prime, whom he met in Egypt, Mr. De Leon, United States Consul to Egypt, and several other friends whom he had met since leaving Constantinople. It was quite a remarkable coincidence that he should be the travelling companion of three brothers in three separate years. When he left home for the first time in 1853, it was in company with Rev. S. Irenæus Prime, who was leaving to spend a year in foreign travel to restore his wasted health. Mr. R. was with him during that whole year of travel. When he set out a second time in 1854, it was in company with Rev. E. D. G. Prime, who was leaving to take charge of the American chapel at Rome, where they parted after being together nearly two months.
On reaching Egypt, in January, 1856, he very unexpectedly met with Mr. William C. Prime, with whom he afterwards travelled through the Holy Land and to Constantinople.
Arrived at Jaffa, Mr. R. says:-"I made a visit to the so-called house of one Simon, a tanner, by the sea side, where Simon Peter lodged, and as he went up on the housetop to pray, saw heaven opened, and a vision of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth, teaching him that what God had cleansed, he should not call common or unclean; but that 'on the Gentiles also would be poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost,' and henceforth he became a preacher of righteousness to the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
"Thence I proceeded directly to Jerusalem, passing across the plain of Sharon and over the mountains of Judea. It was with peculiar emotions that we entered the Holy City, around which cluster so many hallowed associations, whence we received both the law and the Gospel; where our divine Saviour lived, taught, and died, rose from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, where 'he ever liveth to make intercession for us.' From the New World