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Sabbath in a vale of Switzerland. The whole scenery around seems in harmony with the day; the sky is more pure, and the clouds float more gently on the Sabbath, and I read my Bible with more spirit and unction than since I left the shores of America. Service is held in French, in the saloon of the hotel. It is evangelical and devotional, and much we enjoy it. The singing is touching to the Christian heart.
After service we sang several of our American hymns. After dinner I walk out alone, and enjoy the beauty of the scene, and hold communion with God. It is a most lovely Sabbath to me; the clouds, resting far down the mountain sides, and clinging round the summits, or floating high above all, are beautiful indeed.
In the evening we have service in the private parlour of Mons. Deprezenski, and afterwards have an American service by ourselves, apart, and much enjoy the Sabbath in spiritual devotion. In the afternoon I walk up to a little summer house, and there hold fellowship with nature and God in His sublimest goings forth.
TRAVELS THROUGH ITALY AND GREECE-INTO TURKEYSYRIA AND EGYPT-RETURNS HOME AND IS SENT BACK AS AGENT OF THE AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY.
It would be more than pleasant to me to follow him, or rather to go again with my friend through the remainder of this year's journey, revisiting the scenes that had such a charm for him, and are now to me invested with a sacred interest, associated as they are with the memory of one who has "passed into the skies." Hand in hand we visited Genoa, and Turin, and Milan, whose cathedral, Righter admired more than any building he saw in Europe; and he climbed to its roof before sunrise to see the first glory of the morning break on the distant mountain tops; and Venice, where he was in a dream of delight in the silent streets and decaying palaces of that mysterious city; and Florence, in whose galleries of art we studied day after day, and at night enjoyed the society of friends from our own land; and Rome, once called the Eternal city, now the city of the Past; and Naples and its environsthe sepulchres of cities. And here we took ship again and touched at Malta, and then passed into Greece and climbed the Acropolis at Athens, and sojourned with Drs King and Hill, and their families; and the Buels and the Arnolds, devoted Baptist missionaries there; and then we passed
across the Archipelago and touched at Smyrna, and then went up the Hellespont into the Sea of Marmora, and visited the great city of the Orient, on the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. What impressions this visit made upon him I would give in his own words; but his journals, during this tour, were never written up, and although voluminous, they are not complete. The sentences are imperfect and mere catchwords, often used, that were sufficiently suggestive to himself, but quite unintelligible to others. His visits among the families of the American missionaries in and around the city were delightful. He rejoiced in their work, and his heart was burning to be engaged in the same blessed labour.
One morning, during our stay in Constantinople, we were visiting the Bible House, where the Holy Scriptures, in fifteen or twenty different languages, are kept for sale. Righter and Hill were the companions of my walk this morning. While we were in the store, two Armenians, native preachers, came in and made a formal appeal to my two young friends, to remain in Constantinople, and devote themselves to the missionary cause. Or, if they could not now remain, they were implored to take the subject into serious consideration, and if possible to revisit the East and spend their lives in this work. They received this appeal with much emotion. It was an unexpected and extraordinary call. It was not easy to respond to it at once, but they thought of it long and earnestly, and often recurred to it as one of the most interesting incidents in the East. It was not long after this, before Righter, obedient to clear manifestations of his duty, was on his way back again from his native country, to distribute the Word of God among the Armenians and Mos
lems of the Levant.
The coincidence is striking, that
the call was first given to him in the BIBLE House, and in the specific work of BIBLE distribution he returned to Constantinople, and laid down his life in Asia Minor.
We shall be with him here again, and will not linger now. He passed on by steamer to Beyrut, and thence by land to Sidon, Tyre, Nazareth, and down to Jaffa. The unsettled state of the country rendering it unsafe to travel in the interior, we sailed from Jaffa to Alexandria, visited Cairo and the Pyramids, and then came home by way of Malta, Marseilles, Paris, London, and Liverpool.
Just one year had been spent in this journey. The great benefit to his eyes, and decided mental improvement he had received from the year of travel, gave zest and interest to the labours on which he was determined to enter. He would at once seek a pastoral settlement, and give himself wholly to the work.
The American Bible Society had for some time past been looking out for the man to take the place that had been filled with so much efficiency and ability by the Rev. Simeon H. Calhoun, its agent in the Levant. Attention was drawn to the two young gentlemen who had just returned from the East, and had made themselves well acquainted with the field. There was work for both of them, and the subject was laid before them. Mr Hill had already made up his mind to enter a field of labour at home, and he is now the faithful and able pastor of a church in Sheffield, Massachusetts.
Mr Righter was urged to take the office and return at once to the Levant. There was but one objection that seemed to him insuperable—and that was his filial desire to remain and comfort his parents, now far advanced in
life. He visited me in the country, and laid the whole case in my hands, begging me to tell him what was his duty in the premises, and declaring himself perfectly willing to go or stay, if he could be assured of the mind and will of his Father in heaven. That was more than I could shew him; but I was strongly impressed with the conviction that his duty lay in the foreign field. piety was above doubt. His energy with perseverance, and his zeal with prudence, were well tried and known. His heroic fortitude and his high enterprise would make him ready for bold and noble deeds of moral daring in the great work of giving the Bible to the Orient, and I confess I had strong desires that he should undertake the service.
He accepted the appointment, and was ordained, by the Presbytery of Newark, in the city of Newark, N. J., to the work of the ministry.