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PREFACE

TO THE FIRST EDITION.

THE Holy Scriptures contain many passages full of importance and beauty, but not generally understood, because they contain allusions to manners and customs, familiar indeed to those to whom they were originally addressed, but imperfectly known to us.

In order to obviate this difficulty, this volume is now presented to the public, consisting of extracts from the narratives of travellers who have recorded the customs of the Oriental nations; from whom we learn that some usages are retained among them to this day, such as existed in the times when the

Scriptures were written, and that their manners are, in many instances, little changed since the patriarchal times. Such of the extracts as are taken from HARMER'S Observations, are given in an abridged form, and intermixed with others, selected from more recent publications; and the Compiler of this volume trusts that it may be the means, under God's providence, of leading unlearned readers to a more general acquaintance with Eastern customs; and assisting them to a clearer perception of the propriety and beauty of the illustrations so often drawn from them, in the Bible.

M. F. H.

May, 1841.

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