« السابقةمتابعة »
MISSION TO THE EAST.
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
LETTER TO HIS MOTHER.
LANDING AT LIVERPOOL.
wave, our thoughts ever turn toward home, and those we love in that far-off land. Indeed, the ties that bind us there seem to grow at once stronger and more tender as time and distance intervene the more between us."
Landing at Liverpool on the eleventh day, he proceeded the next morning to London. Here he called upon the officers of the British and Foreign Bible Society, who received him with great cordiality, promising to cooperate with the American Society in giving the Bible to the Eastern nations. He found that the British institution was printing an edition of five thousand copies for circulation at Constantinople and in the vicinity, and that it had a number already on deposit there, which could be brought into immediate use. The cordial reception which he met with from the friends of the Bible in London was very animating to his spirits, which were always buoyant and hopeful.
Here he spent one or two days in company with his friends, Rev. E. D. G. Prime, and Mr D. E. Hawley, of New York, who had left home with him, and who were to be his travelling companions until they should reach Rome, where they were to separate. At Havre they were joined by Mr Richard C. M'Cormick, jun., corresponding secretary of the New York Young Men's Christian Association, who went with him to the Crimea, and subsequently left him at Constantinople. The time that they spent in the Isle of Wight was passed delightfully among the scenes of beauty and of interest with which that charming spot of earth abounds, the most interesting of which are the sacred places that have become familiar to the whole Christian world, through the sweet pages of
Legh Richmond's "Annals of the Poor," the cottage and the graves of the "Dairyman and his Daughter," and the home and burial-place of "Little Jane." In a letter to his brother he says:
ON THE CONTINENT.
"We made an excursion to the Isle of Wight, which we saw in the full perfection of autumnal beauty. Here we visited the grave and cottage of the 'Dairyman's Daughter;' saw the room in which she died, and the old Bible she used to read, with her name inscribed by her own hand; and then we went and stood beside the grave of 'Little Jane,' the young cottager, and felt our piety quickened and strengthened as we called to mind the life and death of these lambs of Christ's flock, who are now clothed with all the purity and holiness of heaven.”
At Paris, Mr Righter, keeping the objects of his mission constantly in view, called upon several brethren interested in the Bible cause, from whom he learned many encouraging facts, not only relating to the circulation of the Scriptures in France, but especially in reference to the supply of the army going into the Crimea. The government had placed no obstacles in the way of furnishing the soldiers with the Bible, and the opportunity had been readily embraced as far as the funds in the hands of the Paris committee would allow. Dr Grand Pierre, M. Presence, and Dr Frederic Monod were especially interested in the objects he had in view.
At Geneva, in Switzerland, where he paused for two or three days, he called upon Dr Cesar Malan, whom he had met on a previous visit; upon Dr Merle D'Aubigné, and Col. Tronchin, who gave him much interesting informa
tion in reference to the efforts making for the spread of the Bible in Sardinia, in which the friends of the cause in Geneva were aided by funds from the American Bible Society. Here he also found the Rev. Mr Whiting and his wife, missionaries to Syria, who had been spending the summer in Switzerland for the improvement of their health, and whom he had once met, and expected again to meet, on missionary ground. The Madiai family, who had well-nigh proved martyrs to the reading of the Bible in Tuscany, were also sojourning in Geneva at the same time. Having been acquainted with them on his former visit to Europe, Mr Righter renewed the acquaintance with heartfelt pleasure, sympathising with them in the persecutions which they were called to endure; and as a representative of the friends of the Bible in this country, tendering to them the sympathy of Christians in America. This is perhaps the most appropriate place in which to insert a letter addressed to him by these exiled and suffering servants of Christ, in reply to one he had written from Constantinople about two months after this visit.
"RUE ST ANTOINE, MAIS BOERI,
"MY DEAR SIR,-I feel most grateful to you for your kind remembrance of us, and very much obliged to your dear mother for the beautiful specimen of the silver-weed, as well as for the very appropriate verses which accompanied it. I shall preserve it carefully in my English Bible as a memento of Christian kindness and sympathy from the New World. It touches me much that Mrs Righter should have given such an honourable place to such an unworthy gift.