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The Author of the first portion of the following volumes was led by Providence to make his first essay in active life as an attaché to the mission under the Right Reverend Dr. Gobat, Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem.
Such a position could not fail to awaken reflection, and kindle an interest in his mind which directed it to those enquiries which form the substance of the present work; and which were perhaps pursued by him under advantageous circumstances, since the earliest of his recollections flow from among people of a neighbouring Oriental country whose language is the same as the one spoken in the land of Palestine.
With reference to the “ Notes on the Dispersed Canaanite Tribes" subjoined, the Author has to explain that he is indebted for them to his Father. It is therefore at his desire the Author of the first portion of the work informs his readers that the mention made therein of some tribes to be found in Palestine, and particularly that of the Ta-Amari (supposed to be descendants from the Amorites), first suggested to his father the idea of supplying him with a few extracts from a collection of his own made during some twenty years or more while residing in official situations at various stations in Africa, on the Atlantic as well as the Mediterranean sides. Enquiry into the past of those countries formed one of the favorite pursuits of his leisure hours, and was aided by a position that afforded him, among other facilities, access to sources of information whereon it was reasonable to place considerable reliance.
The few extracts contemplated in the beginning have been, however, as unexpectedly as unavoidably converted into many, and as now presented to the reader contain most of those reflections and that information of which this portion of his African collection was composed, and which he had originally intended to present to the public together with gleanings of another character and another land.
THE HOLY PLACES.
Jerusalem— The Shadow of 'a Shade-Prouder DaysFirst Impressions-The Ancient Jerusalem-Antiquarian Hopes—The Extent of Ancient Jerusalem— The Mosque of Khalif Omar--Mount Moriah-Mount Zion-Ancient Limits—The Number of the Population-Kidron-A Mystery Explained— The Beauty of Gratitude-GehennahJerusalem as a Fortress.
It has been justly observed that to mention the name of Jerusalem is to awaken the slumbering soul from its profoundest depths. Worldly thoughts and passions in all their com
binations are momentarily suspended by the talismanic power of a name which reaches the source of spiritual life within us, rekindles the ever smouldering embers of past glory, and brings beforeus the bounty as well as the wrath of a justly incensed Deity. This wrath, as iniquity preponderated in the balance, eclipsed His attribute of mercy to generations hardened in their sins, and begat the desolation, we too lament in common with a people once so favoured.—To think of Jerusalem in the days of its renown, and to compare the bright ages of the House of David with ages, which, since that period, have never ceased to indicate unmitigated anger to the present time against the disobedience and ingratitude of a people freed by Almighty power from captivity,to raise no other altars but His own, and break no covenant of a law He gave them in its purity. To think of things both spiritual and material in their association with the name of a fountain from whence flowed light and life to all, is to sigh over the past, and to mourn, as its dispersed children may well do while beholding, in the modern Jerusalem, what scarcely can be con