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The present volume is presented to the world with of his own personal friends, from which the present much diffidence, as it can lay no claim whatever to publication derives its origin. The descriptions depth of thought, and but little to originality of il- and reflections are principally in the exact form in lustration. The writer set sail for the island of which they appear in the notices kept during his Ceylon, as a Wesleyan Missionary, in the early actual wanderings, written many times under most part of the year 1825; and having received per- unfavorable circumstances; and a few historical mission to visit England, from the committee of remarks have since been inserted in different parts the society to which he has the honor to belong, of the work, as it was supposed, from the humility he returned by what is called the overland passage, of its pretensions, that its circulation would be -the extra expense above the sum usually grant- chiefly confined to a class of persons who have few ed to missionaries returning from the East being other means of acquiring information on the subdefrayed from his own resources. It was hoped jects embraced in these pages. that in this route more frequent opportunities of The publication has been delayed some time usefulness would present themselves, and that some since the completion of the MS. from circumstaninformation might be gained that would be inte- ces with which it is unnecessary to trouble the resting to those engaged in the great work of evan- reader. gelizing the world. He endeavored to remember, It is the principal aim of the writer to illustrate in all places, that he was commissioned from on the Bible; and if by this work one doubt of the high to preach the gospel to every creature; and unbeliever be removed, or one ray of light be shed he was therefore desirous to embrace every possi- | upon any passage hitherto thought obscure; if one ble opportunity of making known “the unsearcha- mind be brought to understand the blessed Book ble riches of Christ,” either by the distribution of more perfectly, or one heart be brought to love it tracts, or by familiar conversations with the peo- with greater sincerity, to the living God shall be ple. He kept a journal of his travels for the use all the praise.
Brook House, near Bradford, Yorkshire,
Dec. 19, 1834.
1 their manners and customs; I had lived where
there were no other associates ; labored among In ancient times the pilgrin, from the Holy Land them as the servant of Christ; travelled extenwas regarded with a reverence bordering upon sively over their mountains and plains; and I had superstition. He was welcome alike to the cas- to thank God, that although the years spent among tles of the great, and the cottages of the poor. them were not without some trials, I had never When the aged minstrel, with his harp and voice, spent one melancholy hour, though often in solihad recited the story of some virtuous female or tude, and had been most mercifully preserved from warrior brave, the excitement was continued by serious illness, though often exposed to the burnthe palmer's tale, as the members of the family, ing sun by day, and tainted air by night. We from the highest to the lowest, assembled before touched at several places upon the continent of the blazing fagot, at a greater or less distance India, and upon the Malabar coast had evidence from its cheering influence according to their rank; of the extent to which Roman Catholicism preand bright eyes wept over the history of sufferings vails among the people, as I counted at one time, endured upon spots that had been consecrated by with the help of a small telescope, no fewer than the bodily presence of the Son of God. The vil- fourteen churches, all visible from the deck of the lage green was at another time forsaken by its ship. In Bombay and its neighborhood I remained noisy occupants, when the pilgrim rested for a about a fortnight, and among other places visited moment upon his staff, and was surrounded by a the celebrated cave temples of Kennery and Elerude auditory, who gazed with mute astonishment phanta. On Thursday, Jan. 10, 1833, I embarked upon his mysterious figure, whilst he repeated the for Kosseir in Egypt, in the Hugh Lindsay, a tale of victories won by red-cross knights over pa- steamer belonging to the East India Company, gan usurpers, and solicited the aid of charity, commanded by Captain Wilson, accompanied by afforded with the greatest readiness to the wearied ten other passengers, on their return to England. stranger. The times are now changed, and the The history of India might be considered as simple tale of the traveller, no matter where he connected with that of the Scriptures, inasmuch as may have wandered, fails to excite attention, un- it was in this region the systems of idolatry, which less there be combined with it the discoveries of it was one object of revelation to destroy, assumed science, or the flashes of a vivid imagination, or a power more extensive, more awful, and more mathe recital of dangers and deaths. I shall in these lignant than in any other part of the world: but respects be pronounced one of the most unfortu- as the name of India occurs only once in the Old nate of travellers, having neither discovered a new Testament, and then incidentally, I shall resist the pyramid, nor been wounded, nor robbed, nor made opportunity that so temptingly invites me to encaptive; and if the countries I have visited fail in large, and confine my observations within the prothemselves to create interest, I fear that my read per limits. It was probably at first peopled by ers will soon pass me on from their gate, without the descendants of Ham. The customs of the granting me even an equivalent to the pilgrim's people alter not with the course of time, and many fare, though all he required was a pallet of straw parts of the earlier books of the Bible are greatly on which to repose, and a loaf in his scrip to sa- elucidated by the common practices that are even tisfy the cravings of hunger. I had always, from now every day witnessed among the Hindoos. comparative infancy, a great desire to visit Jeru. The gospel is said to have been introduced into salem, and do not now regret the toils I have en- India by the apostle Thomas, and the pretended dured to accomplish my wishes. I should other place of his burial is still shown near Madras. wise have been for ever a stranger to thoughts The island of Ceylon is supposed by the Perand associations as interesting as they are pure, sians and Arabs to have been the site of Paradise, and if I can succeed in imparting to the minds of and is by them called Serendib. There is a moun. others, even a small portion of the same salutary tain in the interior, rising more than 6000 feet instruction, I shall consider that the greater task above the level of the sea, on the summit of which of telling my toils to the world, will not have been is an indent not unlike the impression of a foot, undertaken entirely in vain.
said by the Buddhists to be that of Buddhu, and I embarked from Colombo, the capital of Cey- by the Mussulmans to be that of Adam. There lon, in a French ship, on the morning of Nov. 28, are others who think that our venerable forefather 1832, with feelings that are not to be described. was brought to this island after his expulsion front The most important period of my life had been Eden, and died upon the mountain that bears his spent upon the shores I was then leaving. I had name.--Bochart has endeavoured to prove that studied the language of the people, examined their Ceylon is the Ophir of Scripture, celebrated for the religion, and become intimately acquainted with fineness of its gold. To this place the ships of
Solomon traded. They sailed from Eziongeber and near it is a small mosque. The bay is well upon the Red Sea, and returned after an absence sheltered during the winter monsoon, and affords of three years, laden with gold, precious stones, good anchorage close to the shore. There are a peacocks, apes, spices, ivory, and ebony. All few native merchants from India resident here, these things are common products of the island, and under a good government it might be made a and at this day articles of export, except the first : place of considerable trade. We found two it has diamonds and pearls, but the more precious American whalers at anchor, that had put in, as metals are never found upon its shores.
we were told, for “vegetation.” The crews of both vessels belonged to temperance societies, and one of them had not had a single drop of spirits on
board since they left their port, yet the men apARABIA.
peared to be in excellent health. Near the town
we saw several encampments of Bedouins, with The name of this country occurs in the Scripture herds of camels, goats, and sheep. The camel is with less frequency than might have been expect the principal beast of burden, and is here fed upon cd from its contiguity to the Holy Land. This fish. We saw one horse, but not a single dog. We arises from its peculiar character, which is alone spent a day at some wells a few miles distant from among the nations of the world. It was never the shore, on which the town is entirely dependent united under one king, and in consequence never for water. It is conveyed in skins, sometimes presented itself to the sacred historians, except in upon the backs of the women, but more commonly single and divided masses. Hence we find that upon asses and camels. The stream of water in this the volume of inspiration is remarkably from which the wells are supplied runs down a consistent with the truth ; as we have individuals ravine, in which a few date-trees are planted, upon and tribes frequently introduced to our notice, patches of earth kept together by a parapet of without being led to form the least idea of conso- stones. The date season is welcomed here with lidated empire. The distinctive form we give to the same feelings that the harvest-home excites Arabia arises, perhaps, principally from its geo- in other parts of the world. We could see some graphical position, as the same language is spoken distance into the interior, but could discover nothing in Egypt and Syria, and in both these countries are more than naked mountains, with a few trees and found nomadic tribes, deriving their origin from small villages in some of the valleys. The disone common source. It extends 1500 miles from trict is governed by an independent sheikh, exnorth to south, and 1200 miles from east to west. tremely infirm, and both blind and deaf from old The population is taken at 12,000,000. Within age, so that the affairs of the state are conducted the limits of Arabia we find Sinai, and the range by others, and the principal minister is a mean of Seir, with the district of Horeb, the land of Mi- and avaricious parasite. The vessels that put in dian, and the countries of Edom, Amalek, Seba, for trade are not unfrequently detained until a and Sheba.
large present has been extorted for permission to The most intense anxiety was manifested by depart. Wherever I went I was saluted with the the passengers in our steamer to gain the first cry of hakkim, doctor, with many imploring signs sight of Arabia. We made the mountains near from the people, that I would enter their houses, Kisseen point, on the south-eastern coast, Jan. and from that time until my last departure from a 20; and as they form part of the region called Mussulman shore, I might have been constantly " the Blessed," we anticipated the sight of a land occupied in listening to details of disease and preof surpassing beauty. In this we were disappoint- scribing remedies, had I known any thing of the ed, as all was sterility, and we could not discover healing art. The men are armed with knives in the least sign of life, either vegetable or animal. their girdles, a sword, a spear, or matchlock, and The next day we anchored in the port of Macul a small round shield of rhinoceros' hide. The heir lah, to take in coals sent previously from England presumptive to the government came on board, by way of Bombay: The town has a pleasing quite a youth, and was as mean in his appearance appearance from the sea, like one vast castle, as the rest. The women are close muftled up, with towers in every direction, from one of the with only two small apertures in their coarse vei. highest of which the red flag of the false prophet The slaves are principally Somaulies, from Africa. was soon hoisted in our honor. The hills, of a red They leave only two tufts of hair on the crown of colour, barren, and broken into large flakes that the head, of a brown shade, perhaps from some seemed to threaten destruction to the inhabitants preparation used in their toilette. Their features beneath, rise immediately behind the houses, and are regular and agreeable, and their countenances are crowned with watch-towers, Those who manifest an elasticity of spirits that all the hardwish to fall in love with an Arabian city, must be ships of slavery are unable to depress. content to admire it from the distance, and leave From Macullah the steamer coasted within the imagination to fill up all its interior charms. sight of land, and entered the Red Sea through The houses, on a near approach, are found to be the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, or Gate of Tears. built of clay, or of bricks burnt in the sun, and Many an Arab mariner has here called to his recarelessly plastered over with a preparation of membrance the fresh water and delicious dates of lime. They are some of them three or four stories his native valley, and has wept when he thought high, with flat roofs and latticed windows. The that he might see them no more ; and the same streets are narrow and irregular, the common re- eyes have again wept, with still more copious keptacles of every nuisance. The slave town is streams, when he has returned from his voyage separated from the other, and is composed of mi- of years, and his bark has, again entered upon the serable huts. The sheikh's house stands alone, sea that washes with its waves the very shore