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in that sequestered region, appearing as we should rationally expect the nation of Israel to appear at this period, had the account given by the writer in Esdras been a fact. Suppose them to be found in tribes, with heads of tribes ; but destitute of letters, and in a savage state. Suppose among their different tribes the following traditionary fragments are by credible witnesses picked up; some particulars among one region of them, and some among another; while all appear evidently to be of the same family. Suppose them to have escaped the polytheism of the pagan world, and to acknowledge one, and only one God; the Great Spirit, who created all things seen and un
Suppose the name retained by many of them for this Great Spirit, to be Ale, the old Hebrew name of God; and Yohewah, whereas the Hebrew name for Lord was Jehovah ; also they call the Great First Cause, Yah; the Hebrew name being Jah. Suppose you find most of them professing great reverence for this great Yohewah ; calling him the great beneficent supreme holy spirit," and the only object of worship.Suppose the most intelligent of them to be elated with the idea that this God has ever been the head of their community; that their fathers were once in covenant with him ; and the rest of the world were “the accursed people," as out of covenant with God. Suppose you find them, on certain occasions, singing in religious dance,
Hallelujah,” or praise to Jah; also singing Yohewah, Shilu Yohewah, and making use of many names and phrases evidently Hebrew.You find them counting their time as did ancient Israel, and in a manner different from all other nations. They keep a variety of religious feasts, which much resemble those kept in ancient Is
rael. You find an evening feast among them, ia which a bone of the animal must not be broken; if the provision be more than one family can eat, a neighbour must be called in to help eat it, and
of it be still left, it must be burned before the next rising sun. You find them eating bitter vegetables, to cleanse themselves from sin. You find they never eat the hollow of the thigh of any animal. They inform thai their fathers practised circumcision.
Some of them have been in the habit of keeping a Jubilee. They have their places answering to the cities of refuge, in ancient Israel. In these no blood is ever shed by any avenger. You find them with their temples, (such as they be,) their holy of holies in their temple, into which it is death for a common person to enter. They have their high priests, who officiate in their temples, and make their yearly atonement there in a singular pontifical dress, which they fancy to be in the likeness of one worn by their predecessors in ancient times; with their breast-plate, and various holy ornaments. The high priest, when addressing to his people what they call “the old divine speech,” calls them “ the beloved and holy people," and urges them to imitate their virtuous ancestors; and tells them of their “beloved land flowing with milk and honey." They tell you that Yohewah once chose their nation from all the rest of mankind, to be his peculiar people. That a book which God gave, was once theirs ; and then things went well with them. But other people got it from them, and then they fell under the displeasure of the Great Spirit; but that they shall, at some time, regain it." They inform you, some of their fathers once had the spirit to foretel future events, and to work miracles. Sappose they have their imitation of the ark of the covenant, where are deposited their most sacred things; into which it is death for a!y common people to look. All their males must appear at the temple at three noted feasts in a year. They inform you of the ancient flood; of the preservation of one family in a vessel; of this man in the ark sending out first a great bird, and then a little one, to see if the waters were gone. That the great one returned no more; but the little one returned with a branch. They tell you of the confusion of languages, once when people were building a great high place; and of the Jongevity of the ancients; that they “ lived till their feet were worn out with walking, and their throats with eating."
You find them with their traditional history that their ancient fathers once lived where people were dreadfully wicked, and that nine tenths of their fathers took counsel and left that wicked place, being led by the Great Spirit into this country; that they came through a region where it was always winter, snow and frozen. That they came to a great water, and their
hither was thus obstructed, till God dried up that water; (probably it froze between the islands in Beering's Straits.) You find them keeping an annual feast, at the time their ears of corn become fit for use; and none of their corn is eaten, till a part of it is brought to this feast, and certain religious ceremonies performed. You find them keeping an annual feast, in which twelve men must cut twelve saplin poles, to make a booth. Here (on an altar made of twelve stones, on which no tool may pass,) they must sacrifice. You find them with the custom of washing and anointing their dead. And when
in deep afiliction, laying their hand on their mouth, and their mouth in the dust.
Suppose you should find things like these among such a people, without books or letters, but wholly in a savage state, in a region of the world lately discovered away in the direction, stated by the aforenoted writer in the Apocrypha; and having been ever secluded from the knowl. edge of the civilized world; would you hesitate to say you had found the ten tribes of Israel ? and that God sent them to that sequestered region of the earth, to kecp them there a distinct people, during an “outcast" state of at least 2500 years? Would you not say, we have just such kind of evidence, as must at last bring that people to light among the nations ? And would
here is much more evidence of this kind, of their being the people of Israel, than could rationally have been expected, after the lapse of 2500 years in a savage state? Methinks I hear every person whisper his full assent, that upon the suppositions made, we have found the most essential pile of the prophet Ezekiel's valley of dry bones!
5. Those things are more than mere supposition. It is believed they are capable of being ascertained as facts, with substantial evidence. Good authorities from men, who have been eye and ear witnesses, assure us that these things are facts. But you enquire, where or who are the people thus described ? They are the aborigines of our own continent ! Their place, their language, their traditions, amount to all that has been hinted. These evidences are not all found among any one tribe of Indians. Nor may all the Indians in any tribe, where various of these evidences are found, be able to exhibit them. It
is enough, if what they call their beloved aged men, in one tribe, have clearly exhibited some of them; and others exhibited others of them; and if among their various tribes, the whole have been, by various of their beloved or wise men, exhibited. This, it is stated, has been the fact. Men have been gradually perceiving this evidence for more than half a century ;
and light has been, from time to time, shed on the sub ect, as will appear.
The North American Reviewers, in reviewing a sermon of Doct. Jarvis, on this sub ect, dolivered before the New York Historical Society, (in which he attempts to adduce much evidence to show that the natives of this continent are the tribes of Israel) remark thus; "The bi-tory and character of the Indian tribes of North America, which have for some time been a subiect of no inconsiderable curiosity and interest with the learned in Europe, have pot till lately attracted much notice among ourselves. But as the Indian nations are now fast vanishing, and the individuals of them come less frequently under our observation ; we also, as well as our European brethren, are beginning to take a more lively interest than ever, in the study of their character and history.”
In the course of their remarks they add ; “To the testimonies here adduced by Doctor Jarvis, (i. e. that the Indians are the ten tribes of Israel) might have been added several of our New-England historians, from the first settlement of the country.” Some they proceed to mention; and then add, that the Rev. Messrs. Samuel Sewall, fellow of Harvard College, and Samuel Willard, vice president of the same, were of opinion, that 6 the ladians are the descendants of Israel.”