« السابقةمتابعة »
sons. It was against his wishes that his son, Chester, began to turn his thoughts toward the ministry. It would be far more to the father's taste if the son would enter into business with him. It was easy for Mr. Righter to set before his son inducements of a worldly nature, that would compel him to pause, and think twice and long, before he threw them aside, as unworthy of his pursuit and love. Righter has told me that this was a temptation and trial. While he justly regarded the gospel ministry as the wide field for usefulness that he burned to .enter, he was not ignorant that he must sacrifice the prospect of wealth and future ease. But the trial was greater when he saw his father advancing in years, and earnestly anxious to secure him in such pursuits as would make his son the companion and comfort of his old age. To become a minister he must leave houses and lands, father and mother, for Christ's sake. This was the alternative. He has assured me that he was able without much of a struggle to forego the attractions of the world, but he desired greatly to please his father, and his mind was long in the balances of doubt as to what was duty in these circumstances. But the Lord was calling him, and the call proved to be irresistible. To his young and buoyant spirit no pleasure on earth was more alluring than the joy of publishing glad
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."
HINDRANCES — FAILURE 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