« السابقةمتابعة »
tidings of salvation. No wealth was more precious in his sight than the unsearchable riches of Christ, which one who called himself less than the least of all saints was permitted to preach to perishing men. And when he saw in the gospel that, in this very connexion, he was told by his Master to leave father and mother for the sake of the work to which he was called, he resolved in the dew of his youth, to give himself to the ministry of reconciliation.
With this purpose once formed, he went forward steadily to realize the desires of his soul.
In the fall of 1842 he entered Yale College, and after completing his course of study there and graduating with honor, he pursued the study of theology at New Haven and Andover. One of his classmates in College, who was afterwards an intimate friend, and our companion in travel, the Rev. George E. Hill, has given me a few memoranda of his literary career which I here employ.
"He entered college with high resolutions to lead a life of devotion to study, and to such discipline of heart as would prepare him for the profession which he sought. He was regarded by his associates as exceedingly reserved and diffident. His reputation was that of a diligent student, rather than a social companion, and rarely did he mingle in the sports of college life.
MR. HILL'S LETTER.
With his fine talents and this exemplary diligence, it was a matter of course that his standing as a scholar was high. Modest and retiring, but always a gentleman in his bearing and address, he was universally respected and esteemed. Indeed I never knew that he had an enemy.
"We were together again in the closing year of our theological studies, and then for the first time I began really to know the value of our friend. He was still the same diligent student, but his soul was now glowing with a warm ambition to be useful in the service of Christ. His former reserve had melted away. He was ready to speak for his Master, and earnestly engaged in winning souls for him. This strong desire was seen and felt in his labors in a Bible Class connected with the Centre Church, New Haven.
"I well remember too, the ardor with which he entered upon our first preaching enterprise, in the little brick school-house at Hampden, five miles east of the city. Here we held religious service every Sabbath evening, in the winter's cold, but we were warm for our hearts burned within us, as we walked by the way. It was then and there, in speaking for the first time as an ambassador of Christ to his fellow-men, that his tongue was really loosed, and his whole soul glowed in his earnest face as he besought men to
be reconciled to God. How often on the vessel's deck, and in strange lands beyond the sea, as we have sung together those familiar songs of Zion, has he spoken of the meetings in the brick schoolhouse, as among the happiest memories of his student life.
"Of the subsequent character and career of our friend and brother I have no need to write to you, for you knew him afterward, even better than I. But his uniform benevolence, his unselfishness, his tender regard for the interests and the feelings of others; his unaffected modesty, coupled with a manly heroism that despised danger and never felt fear; his fervent and consistent piety; his powers of endurance and his willingness to do and to suffer in the service of his Master, all this and more you know, and will portray, if you put your pen to the delightful work of perpetuating the memory of our beloved Righter."
OF HIS EYES-GOES
ABROAD-CROSSES THE OCEAN-FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLAND-THE CONTINENT.
DURING the latter part of his course of theological study, Righter was afflicted with weakness of his eyes. The usual remedies were resorted to, and temporary repose was tried without benefit. He was advised to spend a year or two in foreign travel, that entire cessation from study for such a length of time might give his eyes a fair opportunity to recuperate. Such a prescription was not disagreeable to the patient. It fell in with his own predilections, and finding in his friend Hill, whose letter has just been given, a congenial companion, he made arrangements at once for a journey into foreign lands.
His journals during this tour were kept with great regularity, and a daily record is made of every event of interest that occurred, every place that he visited, every object that he studied, every notable person that he met. But these records are the briefest possible-often mere catchwords; for the use of his eyes, even to make the entries
in his diary, was a trial to which he was afraid to subject them. He designed, if it were right for him to do so, to correspond with some newspaper while he was abroad, but after a few attempts at writing he was obliged to desist, and confine himself to short notes in his journals, and occasional letters to his friends. These manuscript records of travel, going over the same ground that I traversed with him, are now lying around me, and they awaken a thousand pleasing recollections, as I turn over the pages and find my own name so often among the incidents of that varied year. His parting with his parents at the wharf, with other friends who went with us down the bay, his feelings in view of the separation and hopes of the future are hinted at in terms that are easily intelligible to the eye of affection, and disclose the warmth of his love. The voyage is to him a succession of joyous days and charming nights. In the morning he is getting up athletic sports for exercise in the afternoon he is reading or talking French with the ladies: in the evening some literary exercise is on hand for the entertainment of the passengers. Sabbath comes, and he is holding religious meetings with the seamen. Others are stricken down with sea-sickness, and I find that he mentions me as the first victim, while he flatters himself that he will escape altogether. He does not. A slight attack knocks