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The favourable reception which the first edition of these Travels, so far as regards Egypt and the Holy Land, received from the public, by its rapid sale, has encouraged the Author to offer a second. This has afforded him an opportunity of not only introducing additional information, but of inserting an account of the whole journey through other countries, from his departure until his return to Great Britain.
The remarkable state of the Jews, who are not collected in a body, or under any proper form of government, but are dispersed throughout the world, retaining all the characteristics of a peculiar people, and yet unmixed with those nations among whom they sojourn, bears most striking testimony to the accomplishment of the truth of prophecy in the New Testament, while the actual existence at the present day of many customs described in the Old may be considered as a species of monumental evidence to the general veracity of the whole of the Sacred Volume. This opinion I am strongly disposed to entertain, since, repeatedly in the course of travelling over the Holy Land, I felt as if I was an actual witness to some of the most impressive incidents recorded in the Book of Inspiration, so distinctly were events brought before me by the living manners and usages of the present inhabitants, with that wonderful accuracy which still renders Biblical descriptions mirrors, as it were, of the scenery and customs of this most interesting portion of the globe.
Although it is not under an apprehension that I shall be able to add any thing of importance to the information contained in the works of those travellers who have visited this distinguished region, that I arrange into the shape of a narrative the notes and memoranda of a long and perilous journey, yet it is in the expectation of contributing something, which may have the effect of disposing sceptics and unbelievers to express surprise that objects of such antiquity as those customs described in this sacred fountain of truth, should have been protected and preserved from the changes produced by the lapse of time and the vicissitudes of human affairs, as if they had been sustained in their original state to confirm to all ages, the authenticity of that record which they are so wonderfully calculated to illustrate.
This leads me to presume that "the true and faithful” may be otherwise affected. This peculiar class of persons, in all probability like myself, instead of expressing emotions of surprise, will, on the contrary, feel the glow of a more exalted sentiment in their souls, accompanied with reverence and delight, when they discover the mute things of those hallowed scenes, and the mountain and cavern, giving testimony to that trust which may be most confidently reposed in the sacred promises of the Eternal Jehovah.
To three descriptions of persons I shall beg leave to address my sentiments, namely, to the believer, the sceptic, and the scientific.
Of the sceptic, I only presume to request a patient and attentive hearing; and although I cannot express a confident hope that he will sympathise in that devotional feeling with which I was impressed, yet since he professes to entertain some degree of respect for truth, he may, perhaps, in the simplicity of my statements, discover circumstances which, if he denies the particular inference which I deduce from them, he must at least be obliged to acknowledge it as remarkable in its nature.
From the former I claim more regard, since I call on him to contemplate and admire the astonishing wisdom which, with such materials as the manners, localities, and customs of countries, which, in general, have undergone such a variety of changes, and passed under the dominion of so many masters, has contributed, as it were, to constitute a durable monument, so as to corroborate that glorious revelation which has been unfolded of its own eternal and unchangeable nature. Lastly, from the scientific, I can only flatter myself with the expectation of obtaining some degree of indulence, having never appeared before the Public as a writer. I trust the reader will do me the justice to believe it never entered into my contemplation, at any time during the journey, to send forth to the world a publication of this nature, otherwise I might have been prompted to prolong my residence, with the view of examining more critically these countries, with their peculiar customs. He will, I trust, credit my assertion, that on returning to my native isle, I was strongly urged by many friends, to commit the Travels to writing, under an idea they might remove, in some degree, the opinions entertained by sceptics, as to any correspondence between the actual situation of the Holy Land and the narrative imparted of it by Scripture. Further, in an age like the present, it might contribute to counteract the poison and blasphemy disseminated in publications, not only with the view of undermining the great and established bulwark of the Christian faith and hope, but to bring the person of my gracious sovereign, his family, and also the government of this country into contempt.
Let it be specifically kept in view, that it forms no part of my pretensions to aspire after literary fame, since that exclusively pertains to genius and talents. I am perfectly aware there exist many inaccuracies; and although I may be found not to have the pen of a ready writer, “be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge,” * I shall wil.