Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and joyfully by all nations, free from all dangers, exempt froin all difficulties, during the earliest dawnings of the peaceful day of millennian blessedness.

It may probably be asked, How can the ten tribes ever be discovered and restored after the lapse of so many centuries, during which they have been completely lost and mingled among the nations of the east? The Jews indeed tellus many marvellous stories of their yet existing as a distinct body politic in a large and spacious country with fine cities : but no one knows to this day, where it is situated *.

To such a question it would be sufficient simply to answer, I know not. The restoration of the ten tribes is expressly foretold, and is therefore an article of faith. With the manner of their discovery I presume not to concern myself. I know that all things are possible with God: and therefore I know, that he, who at the last day will collect our scattered members and raise our long-dissolved bodies from the dust, can with equal ease collect the scattered members of Israel, and discover them however lost among the nations whither they have been led away captive. Indeed it is worthy of notice, that the resurrection of the body is repeatedly used by the prophets to typify the political revival of Judah and Israel, and by none of them with more minute particularity of circumstance than Ezekiel : insomuch that I know not a bette commentary upon the manner of their discovery and restoration, than the elaborate parable, with which he ushers in a literal prediction of those wonderful events *

ee Bp. Newton's Dissert. viii. 1.

than

But it is a very remarkable circumstance, that, precisely at the present era, an era marked so strongly by the signs of the times, as to give us every reason to believe, that we are living in the predicted last days of Antichristian blasphemy, and that the 1260 years are rapidly drawing near to their termination: it is, I say, a remarkable circumstance that, at this very era, a people should begin to attract our notice in the East Indies, which appear to be a fragment either of the last ten tribes. or of the Jews that never returned from the BabyJonian captivity. In my former inore general work on prophecy, I thought it sufficient barely to mention this people t: in my present, which exclusively treats of the restoration of Israel and the overthrow of Antichrist, a more copious account of them will be strictly in place I.

The

* See. Ezek. xxxvii. + Dissert. on the 1260 years, Vol. 11. p. 350. (28. Edit. p. 387.)

I I have read a work entitled, The History of the American Indians, by James Adair, Esq. a trader with the Indians, and resident in the country for 40 years, which, if it be authentic, is singularly curious and interesting; but I know not, what

degree

The late Mr. Vansittart was the first, I believe, who brought forward to public notice the traditions of the Afghans or Rohillas. Having met

with

degree of credit it bears, or how far his account is confirmed by those of other travellers and residents.

“ From the most exact observation,” says he, “ that I “ could make in the long time I traded among the Indian “ Americans, I was forced to believe them lineally descended from the Israelites, either while they were a maritime power, or soon after the general captivity; the latter how" ever is the most probable Had the nine tribes and a half " of Israel, which were carried off by Shalmaneser king of " Assyria and settled in Media, continued there long; it is...

very probable, by intermarrying with the natives and from " their natural fickleness and proneness to idolatry and the « force of example, that they would have adopted and bowed " before the gods of the Medes and Assyrians, and have car" ried them along with them: but there is not a trace of this " idolatry among the Indians." Hence he argues, that those of the ten tribes, who were the forefathers of the Americans, soon advanced eastward from Assyria, and reached their settlements in the new continent before the destruction

In proof of the Americans being thus descended, he adduces the following arguments. 1. Their division into tribes. 2. Their worship of Jehovah. 3. Their notions of a theocracy. 4. Their belief in the ministration of angels. 5. Their lan. guage and dialects. 6. Their manner of counting time. 7. Their prophets and high-priests. 8. Their festivals, fasts, and religious rites. 9. Their daily sacrifice. 10. Their ablutions, and anointings. il. Their laws of uncleanness. 12. Their abstinence from unclean things. 13. Their marriages, divorces, and punishment of adultery. 14. Their several pu. nishments. 15. Their cities of refuge. 16. Their purifica,

tions,

with a Persian abridgment of the Asrarul Afaghinah, or the secrets of the Afghans, he was induced to translate it, and to transmit it to Sir William

Jones

tions, and ceremonies preparatory. 17. Their ornaments. 18. Their manner of curing the sick. 19. Their burial of their dead. 20. Their mourning for their dead. 21. Their raising seed to a deceased brother. 22. Their choice of names adapted to their circumstances and the times. 23. Their own traditions; the accounts of our English writers ; and the testimonies, which the Spanish and other writers have given concerning the primitive inhabitants of Peru and Mexico.

A few extracts from what is said under these different heads may not be unacceptable.

1. “ As the nation hath its particular syinbol; so each « tribe, the badge from which it is denominated. The « Sachem of each tribe is a necessary party in conveyances " and treaties, to which he affixes the mark of his tribe. If " we go from nation to nation among them, we shall not find" « one, who doth not lineally distinguish himself by bis re6. spective family. The genealogical names, which they “ assume, are derived either from the names of those animals « whereof the Cherubim are said in revelation to be com« pounded, or froin such creatures as are most familiar to " them. The Indians however bear no religious respect to « the animals from whence they derive their name : on the “ contrary, they kill them when opportunity serves. When “ we consider that those savages have been above twenty cen«. turies without the use of letters to carry down their tradi« tions, it cannot reasonably be expected, that they should “ still retain the identical names of their primogenial tribes : * their main customs corresponding with those of the Israelites « sufficiently clears the subject. Besides, as hath been “ hinted, they call some of their tribes by the wames of the

"6 cherus

Jones then president of the Asiatic society. It opens, as he justly observes, with a very wild description of the origin of that tribe, and contains

a nare

*** cherubinical figures that were carried on the four princpal * standards of Israel.

2.“ By a strict permanent divine precept, the Hebrew na. « tion were ordered to worship, at Jerusalem, Jehovah the “ true and living God, who by the Indians is styled Yohewah; “ which the 72 interpreters, either from ignorance or super“ stition, have translated Adonai, the very same as the Greek « Kyrius, signifying Sir, Lord, or Master, which is commonly « applied to earthly potentates without the least signification “ or relation to, that niost great and awful name which de“ scribes the divine essence,

3. “ Agreeably to the theocracy or divine government of “ Israel, the Indians think the Deity to be the immediate “ head of their state-All the nations of Indians are exceed« ingly intoxicated with religious pride, and have an inex. « pressible contempt of the white people-They used to call “ us, in their war orations, the accursed people : but they « flatter themselves with the name of the beloved people; be« cause their supposed ancestors, as they affirm, were under “ the immediate government of the Deity, who was present " with them in a very peculiar manner and directed them by « prophets, while the rest of the world were aliens and out“ laws to the covenant--When the old Archimagus, or any “ one of their Magi, is persuading the people at their religious “ solemnities to a strict observance of the old beloved or dia, “ vine speech, he always calls them the beloved or holy people, “ agreeably to the Hebrew epithet Ammi (my people) during " the theocracy of Israel--It is their opinion of the theocracy, « or that God chose them out of all the rest of mankind as * bis peculiar and beloved people, which alike animates both

"the

« AnteriorContinuar »