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I regret to say that the Bible, in question, was taken with many other books by the Tuscan Government, and we have never been enabled to recover them; so that you see it is quite out of my power, unfortunately, to grant your request. I hope you will be so good as to mention this to Monsieur le Docteur Brigham.
“Two months back I took the liberty of writing to Mr Cook, encouraged to do so by his having desired me, should I want anything, to address myself to him. As through the Lord's goodness I had not any personal favour to request, I ventured to ask his aid for an object which I bave very much at heart, namely, the educating of four young girls (children of parents who have suffered for the truth), and who are to be afterwards employed, if the Lord will, as teachers in schools, in order to disseminate the pure light of the glorious gospel in this benighted land. I also asked his help to get some tracts printed in Italian, which have been already translated, and which we would have distributed in the mountains as well as in the towns of my native land. The funds we have are quite insufficient to complete either of these objects; they are more particularly under the direction of the Count Guicciardini, who is a well-known Christian, and extremely generous for everything which tends to promote the glory of his Lord and Master, A letter addressed here, to the Poste-Restante, to him, or to the Doctor Malan, at Geneva, would be sure to find them.
“My husband joins me in every kind wish for you and your mother, Mrs Righter; and he desires me to salute you both in the words of the sixth chapter of Numbers, verses 24, 25, and 26.
"And again, cordially thanking you for your welcome
letter and acceptable present, I remain, your humble ser
Ι vant in the Lord,
“FRANCESCO and “ROSA MADIAI.”
After pausing in Geneva, Mr Righter proceeded on his journey, reaching Turin on the afternoon of Saturday, and left immediately for the Waldensian valley, where he spent the Sabbath, together with two friends who were his travelling companions, Messrs Prime and M'Cormick. This visit was one of deep interest to all who shared in its opportunities of Christian intercourse. The party arrived late in the evening at La Tour; but upon calling in the morning on the professors of the college, they were warmly received, and the Sabbath, spent in communion and in worshipping with the Waldensian Christians, was one never to be forgotten. They were invited in the morning to walk out some two or three miles to one of the mountain churches, where they found the young men of the parish drawn up in martial array, fully equipped, as for an engagement. This had been their practice since the days when their fathers had to worship God in the constant apprehension that their persecutors might the next moment be upon them, to silence the voice of prayer and of praise. It was a touching sight, on entering the little mountain chapel, to see the aged fathers and mothers assembled for the morning worship, waiting in silence for it to commence, and with a devout and humble spirit entering heartily into the service. As one and another entered, they stood for a few moments in silent prayer, and then sat down to unite in the service. Near this chapel, upon the mountain side, was a rock overhanging a precipice, from which, in the days of persecution, many victims of
TURIN AND FLORENCE.
Papal malice, chiefly women and little children, were thrown and cruelly murdered—a spot which awakens memories and emotions thrilling to every Protestant heart. But it was a pleasure to these Protestants from the New World to find the children 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 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 carrying 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, M'Cormick, 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.”
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 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 Crimea.
On the 6th of December a meeting of the Constanti
VISITS THE HOSPITALS.
nople 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 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