Sir G. A. Smith
Placement of Palestine
could such a people be better framed than by selection out
of that race of mankind which have been most distinguished
for their religious temperament, and by settlement on a land
both near to, and aloof from, the main streams of human
life, where they could be at once spectators of history and
yet not its victims, where they could enjoy personal
communion with God and yet have some idea also of His
providence of the whole world; where they could gather up
the experience of the ancient world, and break with this
into the modern?
There is no land which is at once so much a sanctuary and an
observatory as Palestine: no land which, till its office was
fulfilled, was so swept by the Great forces of history; and
was yet so capable of preserving one tribe in national
continuity and growth: one tribe learning and suffering and
rising superior to the successive problems as these forces
presented to her, till upon the opportunity afforded by the
last of them she launched with her results upon the world.
It is the privilege of the students of the historical
geography of Palestine to follow all this process of
development in detail."
Sir G. A.
Smith, "The Historical Geography of the Holy Land" 25th
Ed. pp. 109, 110