صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني



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.

[blocks in formation]

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

[blocks in formation]


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.



MR RIGHTER left this country, for the last time as it proved, on the 30th of September 1854. He sailed in the steamer Pacific, which was lost in the following year, having never been heard from after leaving port. A large number of his friends were on board to bid him farewell, in the confident hope of greeting him again after an absence of three years. He departed cheerfully, joyfully, to enter upon the great work that had been committed to him-that of disseminating the Word of God throughout that part of the world where it was first published, and where the gospel had its earliest triumphs. The voyage across the Atlantic was pleasant and prosperous. He writes to his mother, on board the

"Steamer Pacific,' Oct. 7, 1854.

"MY DEAR MOTHER,-How well I remember the last look of friends at parting, their farewell adieus on the wharf! How they linger with me still, by night and by day, as I sail upon the ocean, assuring me, in tenderness and love, that I do not go alone; but the Spirit and prayers of friends encompass me round in all my way. Though far on the wide waters, I am not alone or lonely -the same stars gleam nightly in the sky as at home




-the same moon shines out to cheer us on our voyage -the same God, who upholds the pillars of the land, doth likewise plant His footsteps in the mighty deep, and place around and underneath us His everlasting arms. He commands the winds and waves concerning us to bear us safely over the sea, and we thus go on our way rejoicing.

I enjoy much the purity and poetry of the sea, the ideas of grandeur and sublimity it inspires, constantly mirroring to us God in His attributes of infinity and eternity, and lifting the soul away from earth to heaven. 'Whither shall we go from his presence? whither shall we fly from his Spirit? If we ascend into heaven, he is there if we make our bed in hell, behold, he is there; if we take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall his hand lead us, and his right hand uphold us.' Above, beneath, around, all speaks to us of Him, the same ever-living, ever-acting, wonder-working God.


We have had a delightful passage, speeding on through the ocean day after day, calm and tranquil as a May morning. Varying incidents are constantly occurring to interest and entertain. Now, we see a steamer in the distant horizon; now a vessel with all sails spread to the breeze, a splendid sight upon the wide ocean; and now a whale spouting the water high in air; and then an iceberg, an hundred and fifty feet above the water, resplendent as the sunlight falls upon it from afar. Then new and pleasant acquaintances are formed on board; new entertainments invented-games, concerts, and lectures-all to make the time flit quickly by; yet as the sun sinks in liquid, golden glory, behind the western

« السابقةمتابعة »