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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
ALTHOUGH the whole of the First Edition of The Watches was disposed of in a very short time, yet, as had been anticipated, the cost of production exceeded by forty pounds the proceeds of the sale.
Some charitable friends kindly made good this deficit.
The expense of printing this Second Edition will be somewhat reduced. But as efforts have been made to secure better paper and binding at a lower price, and as the number of the Plates is increased and an Index added, it is still doubtful whether the income will equal the outlay. It seems better, however, for the honour of our Lord and His Holy Mother, and for the good of souls, to secure a wider circulation by keeping the price as low as may be.
Some surprise has been expressed that more use has not been made in these volumes of the discoveries of Sir Charles Wilson, Sir Charles Warren, Captain Conder, and other distinguished Explorers.
One answer to this objection is found in an article published by Captain Conder in the Scottish Review for January of the present year. He there tells us that in that portion of Jerusalem with which these volumes are chiefly concerned, the ground is covered
with houses; and that, consequently, the Explorers have ? not been able there to make any excavations. He adds
that much further excavation will be necessary before it can be possible to induce all parties to accept the conjectures put forward by the Explorers with regard to the site of Calvary and the Sepulchre.
May we not then delay to adopt these novel theories ,
till the Explorers have been able to make such excavations as shall justify their most revolutionary views ?
From Captain Conder's showing, the Explorers have made absolutely no excavations whatsoever in the quarter of the city where the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre now stands; and, consequently, have nothing to offer us but conjectures and theories utterly subversive of all the old Catholic traditions. Would it not then be, at present, quite premature to give up these Sacred Traditions, and take in exchange rash conjectures, which are not as yet in any way supported by what Captain Conder calls “the logic of the spade”?
Monuments unearthed by the spade are no doubt witnesses whose testimony might upset many traditions till now accepted. And so long as the Explorers are content faithfully to record all that the pick-axe and the spade discover, they render excellent service. But if the Explorers begin to publish, confidently, theories and assumptions which run far ahead of their spades, they may easily be changed from most valuable friends into enemies peculiarly dangerous. For the authority which deservedly belongs to them as Explorers is extended by the unwary to theories exceedingly reckless.
I venture to use the word “reckless," because the Explorers, before they have been able to make any excavations whatever on the ground so hallowed in our eyes, call upon us to believe (1) that St. Helen and Constantine knew nothing about the true site of Calvary ; (2) that the faithful ever since have been in gross error on this point; and (3) that the honour paid to the true Cross by Holy Church and to the sacred Nails is all based on imposture; since they never could have been found on this site.
Again, is it not quite premature and reckless, before the necessary excavations have been made, to publish maps in which Calvary is placed close to Gethsemani, on the eastern side of the city ? These maps may not be published by the Explorers themselves, but they are