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For the satisfaction of that friend, on the following morning, the first hints of an inquiry were briefly noted down; and, thenceforward, my reading became directed to the collection of the necessary materials, and my thoughts to their orderly disposal and digestion.

Deeply conscious how much I need Your Lordship's indulgence, and that of readers in general, my conscience at least acquits me of haste or indeliberation, in sending forth the following imperfect pages. It has been my study, throughout, to advance nothing which had not been previously meditated: I have endeavoured still to make reading subsidiary to reflection; and, according to the example of an eminent English worthy, "to find in books, godfathers for my thoughts." It has, further, been my constant aim so to correct erroneous notions of Islamism, as to open or enlarge our practical facilities for the propagation of the Gospel.

The plan of the work may be stated in few words. The principle on which the whole argument rests, is first presented in general terms; and then confirmed and elucidated through a series of inductive proofs. The Introduction contains the announcement of that fundamental principle; the proofs of it will be found in the succeeding sections. With a view to the preservation of order, several topics of importance have been transferred to the Appendix, at the close of the second volume.


In the distribution of the notes, a method has been adopted, differing somewhat from those in ordinary use. Notes of moderate length, and of more immediate value to the argument, have, together with nearly all the references, been placed at the foot of the page. The larger and more discursive annotations have been disposed at the end of the work. It is hoped, that, by this arrangement, the clearness of the general statement may be aided, without any sacrifice of solid information.






As my argument will consist of a series of separate inductions, at the same time corroborative and independent of each other, I would ask, in this respect, similar candour and indulgence to that which Dr. Paley has claimed from the readers of his inimitable HORA PAULINE in his words, I desire, once for all, to intimate," that the instances are independent of one another. I have advanced nothing, which I did not think probable; but the degree of probability, by which different instances are supported, is undoubtedly very different. If the reader, therefore, meets with an instance that appears to him unsatisfactory, or founded in mistake, he will dismiss that instance from the argument, but without prejudice to any other."

In the early progress of this inquiry, the manuscript was communicated but to two individuals; Your Lordship's brother, the Honourable Mr. Justice Jebb, and him to whom these lines are addressed.

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From the judgment of others, I have since derived benefit, which I gratefully feel, and shall not willingly forget. One name, introduced during his life-time, in first my Volume, I may mention; for the friend who bore it, is no more among us. You will anticipate my allusion to the lamented Dr. Alexander Nicoll, formerly Canon of Christ-Church, and Regius Professor of Hebrew, in the University of Oxford. The early loss of that eminent orientalist, irreparable, it may too justly be feared, in his walk of literature, has been felt far beyond the walls of the learned community, which he graced by his extraordinary attainments, and still more by his modest and retiring virtues. His was a genuine love of letters, for their own sake; and in this spirit, he filled his public station to the last; delighting in every opportunity of promoting the interests of literature, within, and without, his appointed sphere. If I failed to profit by his disinterested zeal and kindness, the failure was my own fault. With a melancholy pleasure, I now recall my last visit

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to Oxford, in February, 1826; and the generous warmth with which Dr. Nicoll met my confidential intimation, respecting

the subject on which I was engaged. To his friendship I am indebted for my knowledge of more than one valuable source of information. And he added the free offer of his services, in making extracts from the oriental books and MSS. in the Bodleian library, to any extent required for my object an instance of literary kindness, of which, indeed, I omitted to avail myself, but which I shall remember and honour while I live.

In thus commemorating a departed friend, let me not forget my debt of gratitude to friendship, which, by the Divine blessing, it is still my privilege to enjoy. Parted from my accustomed channels of research, in the ample resources of Your Lordship's library, I was much aided in the final preparation of these Volumes for the Press, by the kindness of our mutual friend, Sir Robert Harry Inglis, Bart. ; who

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