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At the invitation of the Society to which this work is dedicated, I went to the Mediterranean particularly with the view of investigating the condition of the Jews. Being diverted from my original purpose of first visiting Jerusalem, I sat down at Constantinople where they are more numerous than in any other city on the globe. I had not forgotten the axiom that 66 Till a man is capable of conversing with ease among the natives of a country, he can never be able to form an adequate idea of their policy and manners.” Accordingly my first attention was chiefly directed to acquiring the spoken languages of the people among whom I dwelt. I did not even learn so much of the state of society as was in the power of an eye witness merely, but was waiting to carry on my investigations without the aid of an interpreter. The public eye being however directed towards Constantinople and the East by those events which occasioned my withdrawal from Turkey, I have hoped that a work of no higher pretensions than this, might interest the general reader. More especially, have I had in view that class of persons who are seeking to fulfil the farewell command of the Saviour, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” If the following pages shall prove the means of quickening their sympathies, calling forth their prayers and giving a wise direction
to their exertions, the highest desires of the author will be gratified.
The original form of letters to friends and patrons is preserved, with such additions and corrections as seemed important. A desire to present as complete a view as possible of the condition of the Jews, has led to a free use of the works of others in the chapters on Jewish subjects. The same reason, and the necessity of hastening my return to the Mediterranean, have prevented so full an exhibition of Turkish institutions as was originally intended. The whole is commended to the blessing of Him whose Providence will yet fulfil his promise that “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb; and the leopard shall lie down with the kid ; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together."