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TRACTS AND ESSAYS
ON TOPICS CONNECTED WITH
BIBLICAL LITERATURE AND THEOLOGY.
EDWARD ROBINSON, D. D.
Author of Biblical Researches in Palestine, etc.
If the reader should demand an apology for the want of variety in this first Number of the BIBLIOTHECA SACRA, and for the great proportion which topics connected with Palestine bear to the whole amount of matter; it may be found perhaps in the following circumstances. The communications from that country had been accumulating for a year; and it seemed important to bring them all out together. Several letters too arrived after the article was first prepared ; these for a like reason were incorporated in it, and served to swell its length greatly beyond the contemplated limits. In respect to the article on the Holy Sepulchre, the advice of judicious friends coincided with my own, that it ought to be given now if ever. I regret that all these objects could not be accomplished, except by deferring two articles already prepared for this Number ; which will of course appear in the next.
It should likewise be remembered, that this work purports to be a collection of Tracts and Essays; and is intended to exhibit a full and thorough discussion of the various topics which may at any time be taken up, so as to be of permanent value as a work of reference. The nature of it is also such, that articles cannot well be divided. It will, however, be a matter of effort with the Editor, to give to the work as great a variety as shall be compatible with these higher objects.
It will be perceived that most of the communications from Palestine are from the Rev. Mr. Wolcott; who has traversed the country and explored Jerusalem with the eye of a keen and intelligent observer; and whose remarks have furnished several important corrections to the Biblical Researches in that country published by the Editor. These corrections are specified in their proper places ; and others, since received, are inserted at the end of the Number. My sole object has ever been the truth; and as in the multitudinous details comprised in that work, I could not hope for perfect ac
curacy without being more than human, so I have rejoiced to make any corrections resulting from a more exact observation and a like love of the truth. In a letter recently received, dated Nov. 8th, 1842, Mr. Wolcott adds a testimony to the general accuracy of the Biblical Researches, which I venture to subjoin here, for two reasons; first, because, as his corrections of that work have been spread before the public, it is no more than right that his testimony in its favour should also be made known; and secondly, because intimations have reached me from various quarters, that some of its statements and positions in respect to the topography of Jerusalem are likely to be assailed, in carrying on a crusade in favour of the reputed site of the Holy Sepulchre. Mr. Wolcott writes as follows:
“In reference to the few slight corrections in the Biblical Re“searches, which I noted, and which I perceive you have publish“ed, it is but fair to say of that portion of the work which I had " the opportunity of collating and verifying, that my constant sur
prise was, that so few mistakes should have occurred in so wide “ and varied an examination; and that with nothing was I more “impressed, than with the minute accuracy of your observations. “ The few additional explorations which I attempted, were obvi“ously suggested by the Researches. I had the advantage of “standing on your platform; and was reminded, at every step, “how comparatively meager would have been my acquisitions in “Palestine, without the aid of your book. And such, I venture to “say, will be the experience of future observers.
“ The above testimony is at your service, if you think it will * be useful. Had I anticipated the publication of the corrections “ which I sent, I should have accompanied them with similar “ remarks."
UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY,
I. COUNTRY AROUND THE SOURCES OF THE Jordan, 11. Form of el-