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concerned, all is darkness. I trust, however, that heaven is becoming more bright and more attractive. God by removing my treasures to his own abode, is drawing my thoughts thither also. Nothing now remains to occupy my attention and enlist my efforts but his kingdom and cause. Renewedly do I now consecrate myself and my all to him, praying that he will send me wherever he desires me to serve him, though it be to the ends of the earth.
"I set out this morning for Cincinnati, to attend the meeting of the Board. I intend to confer with the Secretaries in regard to my duty to become a missionary. The Lord guide me to a right decision."
A letter received from Mr. Aitchison immediately after his return from this meeting, (Oct. 20,) has these sentences, showing how impossible it was for him, even amid the shifting scenes of travel, to forget his griefs. "When we meet, I shall be happy to give you a particular narrative of all my adventures and experience since I saw you last. This much I will say, however; pleasure and happiness have been for the most part strangers to my bosom. Alas! change of place
MEETING OF BOARD OF MISSIONS.
and of scene cannot mitigate our sorrow for the loved ones who have left us. Never has my grief been more pungent, my desolation more complete than during the present week. How sad, sad were my feelings as I traveled from New Haven to-day. One short year ago this very week, I came here a husband and a father; now I am a widower and childless. The meaning of those words I pray God you may never know. Pray for me."
Still sad, therefore, and yet determined, and in obedience to the manifest will of the great Head of the church, Mr. Aitchison now wrote to the Secretaries of the Board at Boston, formally offering himself for the missionary work. After briefly mentioning the peculiar circumstances which had brought him to this decision, he says, "The path leading to heathendom lies before me clear as sunlight. I long to preach Christ among the Gentiles. Only in a pagan land can the cherished desire of my life have its fulfillment.
"As to my motives in thus seeking the missionary work, I trust I am actuated first by the love of Christ, and next by the love of souls. Other
minor considerations, of course, have their weight with me; but these it is unnecessary to mention.
"As to my field of labor abroad, I at first thought of Western Asia, but circumstances with which some of the Secretaries are acquainted lead me now to prefer China. The numbers of the heathen in that vast empire, and the difficulties attending its evangelization render it additionally attractive.
"As to my health, it is excellent. I have hardly lost a month from sickness during twenty years. Though not apparently robust, my powers of endurance are, I think, more than ordinary."
The offer which he thus made of himself was readily accepted, and with equal alacrity he set about the needful preparation to go far hence to the Gentiles. Mr. Fitch and all that little flock to whom he ministered so acceptably and to whom he was tenderly attached, greatly desired him to remain with them. They used argument and entreaty; but all in vain. "I should not now dare," he said to the writer, "to remain in this country; I should not dare to make any arrangement, or lay any plan, which should prevent my being a missionary." "In obedience to
God's reiterated call," he said in another letter to the Secretaries of the Board, "I go to China."
It was still hard to part with surviving kindred and friends. "Keenly," he says, in a letter to his own parents, "shall I feel the sorrow of separation from all those I love; but still I rejoice in every self-denial to which duty calls. In this short life, what matters it where or how we spend the time, if only we are duly prepared for that endless eternity, upon whose scenes we shall soon enter?"
His Ordination-Embarks for China-Storm and Peril-First Sabbath Service at Sea-Lines to New Haven-Efforts for the Sailors-Lines to a Certain Cottage in New Haven-Employment of Time.
MR. AITCHISON was ordained to the missionary work in the Second Congregational Church of Norwich, on the 4th day of January, 1854, which was his birthday, he then being twenty-eight years of age. The sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. Hawes, of Hartford; a solemn, appropriate, and peculiarly touching charge to the candidate was given by his beloved father-in-law; and it was the happy privilege of the writer, as a particular friend, to give him the right hand of fellowship, and in behalf of the Ordaining Council, to bid him a hearty God-speed in his glorious work. And it was but giving voice to the sincerest thoughts and wishes of all present, to assure him of their true respect, their entire confidence; and that their highest hopes and most