« السابقةمتابعة »
satisfaction and comfort to the friends who loved him so dearly."
The correspondent of the London Christian Times makes the following record of the event in a letter to that paper :
"CONSTANTINOPLE, Jan. 8, 1857.
"News has just reached this city of the sudden death of the Rev. C. N. Righter, at Diarbekir, on the 16th ult. He was the agent of the American Bible Society in Turkey, and the corresponding secretary of the Constantinople branch of the Evangelical Alliance. He left this place in September last, in company with the Rev. Henry Jones, secretary of the Turkish Missions' Aid Society, for a tour in Asia Minor and Armenia, for the purpose of visiting all the missionary stations of the American Board. They proceeded as far as Mosul, and came, on their return, to Diarbekir, where Mr Righter sickened of fever, and died within a very few days. He was, in many respects, a rare man, and his loss will be most deeply felt in this country and in America. He was, emphatically, ‘a burning and a shining light,' labouring with untiring zeal, for the spread of God's Word among all classes of the population of Turkey, and at the same time endeavouring, by all means, to promote throughout this land the great objects of the Evangelical Alliance. And I may mention, for the interest it will excite in Britain, that during the war Mr Righter was unwearied in his endeavours to furnish the soldiers of the allied armies, and also the Russian prisoners, with the Bible in their own vernacular tongue; and with this end in view, he even went to the Crimea, during that first winter of horrors, and was the means of
administering comfort to many a poor sick and dying soldier, thus literally inheriting the blessing of him who was ready to perish.""
The following was furnished to the New York Observer by Wm. C. Prime, Esq., Mr Righter's travelling companion in Syria:—
"RECOLLECTIONS OF RIGHTER.
"MY DEAR BROTHER,-I feel deeply the loss of our friend Righter, and I cannot avoid giving you some of my personal recollections of him, as the companion of my last year's wanderings. He surprised me one evening at Thebes, by entering the cabin of my Nile boat, when I did not dream of an American being within a hundred or many hundred miles. My beard and bronzed face were as strange to him as his to me. We did not recognise
"I saw an American flag, and came over the river, hoping to meet an American,' said he.
"You are right. I am from New York. My name is Prime.'
"Is it possible? and mine is Righter.'
"I need not tell you my delight at this meeting. He passed the evening with me, and we talked over his adventures with you two years before, as we strolled by moonlight through the vast corridor of the temple of Luxor, under the side of which my boat lay.
“I met him again at. Cairo, and he went with me to Jerusalem. It was not till after our arrival in the Holy City that he made up his mind to accept our invitation to
join us for a few months of tent-life on the hills of the Holy Land. He did at length join us, and was one of our little family of four who went wandering in the footsteps of the Lord and the apostles last spring, and whom, as the companion of many thrilling scenes, I shall never forget until I forget Jerusalem.
"We bathed together in the Jordan, and in the Dead Sea; we studied together the page on which Abraham read the number of his children, as brilliant nowhere as it is above the oaks of Mamre; we were together cast away by a gale of wind on the Sea of Galilee; snowed under three days on the side of Mount Hermon; went to Damascus, to Baalbec, Beyrout, Tarsus, Rhodes, Smyrna, and Constantinople together: and during all this time of constant hourly intercourse by day and night, there was not one word of jarring, no difference of plan, nor anything that I can now recall of him, other than the most entire amiability, warm-heartedness (if I may use the word), and earnestness of desire to make all of us happy. You will not think it strange that M- and myself formed a warm attachment to him, and feel this affliction, as you said last week, like the loss of a brother.
"I remember with the utmost pleasure his constant cheerfulness. Nothing overcame it. First up in the morning, he would always make the air around the tents ring with a pleasant morning song, and when, as not unfrequently, our position was perilous or disheartening, he was never discouraged.
"His frank, hearty piety was always before us. He never yielded in a matter of duty one hair's-breadth. I remember especially the day of our approach to Damascus. It was Saturday. We had been under snow three days
on Hermon, but determined this morning to reach the plain and the city if possible. As the sun was setting, my chief muleteer informed me that the mules could not
It was still eight miles to Damascus, of which the minarets and domes were shining in the red sunlight above its groves and gardens. I ordered a halt around the baggage, and soon found that it was probably impossible to reach the city. Righter alone differed from me, but solely on his own account. He had told me in starting with us, that he could not travel on Sunday, and such was my own intention also. I now regarded it as my duty to remain with the baggage, and come on to the city early on Sunday. There was none such on his part, and he hired a guide and a fresh horse, paying a guinea for the two, and set off alone for the city. I remember right well his cheerful face as he rode off that evening across the magnificent plain, waving his hand back to us as long as we could see him, and riding his horse as if he were born on horseback. He was the best horseman, for an American, that I have ever seen, riding always freely and gracefully.
"You have said nothing of your adventure at Nablous, in which he saved you from Bedouin spears. There was nothing in all my journey that pleased me more in Righter than his modesty at that spot. The Bedouins were again in commotion when we were there, and the governor of Jerusalem, with two hundred men, was a close prisoner in the walls of Nablous, not daring to venture out to go to Jerusalem, on account of the state of the Arabs. We were unmolested here, though we had to shew our pistols the next day near Samaria. But his account of your adventure, on the ground precisely where it occurred, modest as it was, gave me a more thrilling idea of your danger,
and of his noble interposition, than any previous descriptions had given. It was characteristic of him. He was impetuous in his feelings and actions, frank, faithful, and noble.
"This journey to Mosul he had in mind when we were at Damascus. M and myself intended to go on from Damascus, across the country, but the state of the interior forbade a lady to attempt this, and we reluctantly abandoned it. Still we talked with him of accompanying him this winter; a plan that was forbidden by our sad call to return to America. When we read his letter last week in the Observer, describing his voyage down the Tigris, we again and again expressed our regret that we were not with him; and the very day that you sent me word of his death, M- had been saying, 'Don't you wish we were with Righter on the Tigris?' I have often before me the pleasures of that journey, yet to be made, but I know no spot in all the East to which I shall direct my steps with so much of interest and grief, as to the grave of our friend. You have already printed much that has been said by those who knew him as a missionary; perhaps it will not be out of place to print these memories of him by one who knew him as a companion and friend.
"W. C. P."