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56

TURIN AND FLORENCE.

of the persecuted, and the children of the Most High, enjoying such peace and prosperity, where their forefathers had suffered the most inhuman cruelties, and where myriads had suffered martyrdom, for no other crime than that of rejecting the idolatries of the Romish Church. In the afternoon these friends attended the

parish church at La Tour, and in the evening met the professors and students of the college, and enjoyed some hours of most delightful Christian intercourse, which was closed by addresses expressive of the mutual interest which this interview had afforded.

After spending the following day in pleasant intercourse with Dr. Revel, then Moderator of the Waldensian Synod, and with other Christian friends, the party returned to Turin. Here Mr. Righter was visited at his hotel by a number of Italians, who, having learned that his visit was in behalf of the Bible, earnestly importuned assistance in circulating it throughout Sardinia and other portions of Italy. Thus, at every step in his journey, he met with encouragement in regard to the great work upon which he had set out. The same, to a limited extent, was true even in Florence, where the imprisonment of the Madiai had suppressed all public efforts to circulate the Word of God. Even at Rome he was not without encouraging evidence that the Word

REACHES CONSTANTINOPLE.

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of God was circulated to some extent, and that it was desired by many more.

Touching at Malta, on his way East, he had conferences with the English residents in regard to the work and its progress. Hearing that the cholera was raging at Athens, and that he could not accomplish anything material toward carry. ing out the object of his mission until the next season, he determined to sail directly to Constantinople. On the voyage, November 26, he makes the following note in his journal :

“It is a lovely morning. We have an hour of communion, and social worship together in our state-room, McCormick, Wortabed, and myself. The Assyrian seems to have a tender and warm Christian heart. We had a pleasant converse together. Read Psalms xci., xcvi. ;. John xiv.; Rev. i."

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Mr. Righter spent a day at Smyrna, where he saw several of the missionary and other brethren, and reached Constantinople December 1st. It appeared as if the time of his coming was not the most auspicious, owing to the existence of the war,

and the disturbed state of the Eastern world in consequence. But he soon found that a spirit of inquiry was beginning to prevail extensively among the people of the country, and that the

58

BIBLE MEETING,

presence of four large armies of itself opened a vast and interesting field for the circulation of the Bible. Mr. Barker, the agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, had already commenced the supply of the soldiers and sailors connected with the British army and shipping, and those in the hospitals, both sick and wounded. Mr. Righter at once entered with him into this work, visiting the hospitals, and having access to those on their way to the Criraea.

On the 6th of December & meeting of the Constantinople Bible Society was held. The American minister, Mr. Spence, presided, and made the opening address, urging the circulation of the Bible as the most effectual means of promoting peace and good will among men. Rev. Mr. Thompson, the Secretary, read the report, from which it appeared that much had been accomplished in the supply of the English and French armies, and even of the Russian prisoners of war. Addresses were also made by American and English clergymen present, and officers of the English army and navy, and by Mr. Righter, as a representative of the American Bible Society, who assured them of the cordial co-operation of that Society in giving the Bible to all the dwellers and sojourners in the East. The meeting was held in the hall of the principal hotel, and was attended by a large assembly of ladies and gentlemen, who

VISITS THE HOSPITALS.

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listened for three hours with unabated interest to the proceedings and addresses. The effect of the meeting was to give still greater encouragement to all engaged or interested in the cause.

On the 12th of December a meeting of the Committee of the Auxiliary Bible Society was held. Mr. Kumberlach presided, and made some very interesting statements in reference to the Russian prisoners. They received the Testaments gladly, and one officer in particular, who had killed a number of English, earnestly besought the gift of a Testament, and others joined in the same request. This led to a motion recommending the publication of the Old Testament in modern Russe.

Mr. Righter describes one of his visits to the English hospital, where the wounded, some having lost arms and others legs, and others wasted with long sickness and suffering, were lying in great numbers, but all at length well provided for. He says, “ The Testament is placed within the reach of all, and I saw many of them attentively reading it as I passed. I called upon the chief surgeon, who gives his sanction and encouragement to the circulation of the Bible, and then upon Miss Nightingale. Was delighted with her benevolent expression and gentle spirit. She received me very kindly, and thanked me for the interest that is felt in America in her benevolent

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FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE.

enterprise, and in the suffering English soldiers. She has distributed many Testaments. The Roman Catholics receive them gladly, but the priests interfered. She requests the Douay version for them. They have 3,000 sick and wounded here, and are expecting 1,000 more from the camp.”

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