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COLLECTED FROM THE
CUSTOMS, MANNERS, RITES, SUPERSTITIONS, TRADITIONS,
DURING A RESIDENCE IN THE EAST OF NEARLY
CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
Memento of Affection
THE REV. JABEZ BUNTING, A.M.
THE REV. JOSEPH TAYLOR,
AND TO THE MEMORY OF THE LAMENTED
REV. RICHARD WATSON,
THE GENERAL SECRETARIES OF THE WESLEYAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY IN 1818,
WHEN THE WRITER OF THESE PAGES WAS
ORDAINED AS A MISSIONARY
TO THE EAST.
PERHAPS Christians in general do not sufficiently consider that the Bible is an Eastern book, and that many of its obscurities do not arise in any intention of the sacred writers, but in the customs, manners, rites, ceremonies, and superstitions which by them are alluded to. Should these collections produce a similar effect on other minds that they have on my own, then will many be led to glorify God in the highest for His revealed system of purity and truth. I am not so weak as to suppose I have succeeded in casting light on all the obscurities I have contended with; but that I have, in many instances, attained that object, few candid minds will deny. For many years I lived in habits of comparative intimacy with the Hindoos, and mixed with them in their joyous and sorrowful scenes; and whatever I heard or saw, which promoted the object of my heart, was immediately noted down, and on my return home written at length, so that, on my arrival in this country, the manuscript had only to be copied in the order and books of the Old and New Testaments. I think it will be conceded, that no man who had not resided many years amongst the people, and who had not a tolerable knowledge of their language and various usages, could have written this book; and therefore I hope my readers will give me that degree of confidence which is necessary for the full enjoyment of the work. Some of my friends, either to excite my caution or my fears, have told me not to expect much mercy from the Reviewers; but my reply has been, there is nothing political or sectarian in