Imágenes de páginas

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a narrative which can by no means be offered upon the whole as a serious and probable history: yet the knowledge of what a nation supposes itself to be,


" the white Jew and the red American with that steady “ hatred against all the world except themselves, and renders " them hated or despised by all.

5. “ The Indian language and dialects appear to have the “ very idiom and genius of the Hebrew. Their words and « sentences are expressive, concise, emphatical, sonorous, “ and bold; and often, both in letters and signification, are “ synonymous with the Hebrew language.” Here follows a number of examples.

6. “ They count time after the manner of the Hebrews. “ They divide the year into spring, summer, autumn, and “ winter. They number their year from any of those four " periods, for they have no name for a year; and they sub“ divide these, and count the year by lunar months, like the “ Israelites who counted by moons as their name sufficiently “ testifies-- The number and regular periods of the Indians' “ religious feasts is a good historical proof, that they counted “ time by, and observed, a weekly sabbath long after their " arrival on the American continent- They began the year at “ the first appearance of the first new moon of the vernal “ equinox, according to the ecclesiastical year of Moses " Till the 70 years captivity commenced, the Israelites had " only numeral names for the solar and lunar months, except Abib and Ethanim ; the former signifies a green ear of corn ; " and the latter robust or valiant : and by the first name the Indians, as an explicative, term their passover, which the “ trading people call the green corn dance.He then gives a specimen of the Hebrew manner of counting, in order to prove its similarity to that of the Indians.

7. “ In conformity to, or after the manner of the Jews, the *Indian Americans have their prophets, high-priests, and

6 others

more especially if it trace its descent from the stock of Jacob, cannot fail to be interesting. In fact, although the Afghans are most probably mistaken


“ others of a religions order. As the Jews had a sanctum sanctorum, so have all the Indian nations. There they de“posit their consecrated vessels ;-none of the laity daring to “ approach that sacred place-The Indian tradition says, that " their forefathers were possessed of an extraordinary divine “ spirit, by which they foretold things future, and controuled “ the common course of nature: and this they transmitted to “ their offspring, provided they obeyed the sacred laws an“ nexed to it-Ishtoallo is the name of all their priestly order; * and their pontifical office descends by inheritance to the “ eldest—There are some traces of agreement, though chiefly

lost, in their pontifical dress. Before the Indian Archimagus " officiates in making the supposed holy fire for the yearly " atonement of sin, the Sagan clothes him with a white 6 ephod, which is a waistcoat without sleeves.-In resemblance “ of the Urim and Thumınim, the American Archimagus “ wears a breastplate made of a white conch-shell with two “ holes bored in the middle of it, through which he puts the “ ends of an otter-skin strap, and fastens a buck-horn white " button to the outside of each, as if in imitation of the pre« cious stones of the Urim." Upon this statement I may observe, that Ishtoallo may perhaps be a corruption of Ish-di-Eloah, a man of God (See 2 Kings iv. 21, 22, 25, 27, 40, et alibi); and that Sagan is the very name, by which the Hebrews called the deputy of the High-Priest, who supplied his office, and who performed the functions of it, in the absence of the High-Priest, or when any accident had disabled him from officiating in person. (See Calmet's Dict. Vox Sagan.)

3. “ The ceremonies of the Indians in their religious wor“ ship are more after the Mosaic institntion, than of pagan

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in fixing the period at which they believe themselves to have branched out from the parent tree, for Scripture affords not the least warrant to their


« imitation; which could not be, if the majority of the old “ nation were of heathenish descent—They are utter strangers “ to all the gestures practised by the pagans in their religious “ rites--They have another appellative, which with them is “ the mysterious essential name of God; the tetragrammaton, " or great four-lettered name, which they never name in com“ mon speech : of the time, and place, when, and where, “ they mention it, they are very particular, and always with " a solemn air--It is well known what 'saered regard the Jews “ had to the four-lettered divine name, so as scarcely ever to “ mentiod it, but once a year when the High-Priest went into " the sanctuary at the expiation of sins. Might not the " Indians copy from them this sacred invocation Yo-He-Wah?

Their method of invoking God in a solemn hynin with that “ reverential deportment, and spending a full breath on each “ of the two first syllables of the awful divine name, hath a « surprizing analogy to the Jewish custom, and such as no “ other nation or people, even with the advantage of written " records have retained It may be worthy of notice, that " they never prostrate themselves, nor bow their bodies to “ each other, by way of salute or homage, though usual with “ the eastern nations; except when they are making, or re6 newing, peace with strangers, who come in the name of “ Yah.After speaking of their sacred adjuration by the great and awful name of God, he says: “ When we con“ sider, that the period of the adjurations, according to their “ idiom, only asks a question, and that the religious waiters '“ say Yah with a profound reverence in a bowing posture of « body immediately before they invoke Yo-He-Wah; the one “ reflects so much light upon the other, as to convince me " that the Hebrews both invoked and pronounced the divine

66 tetra

opinion; yet there is certainly nothing very irrational in supposing, that they may have been, at some time or other, and in some manner or other, connected at least with the ancient Israelites.

" The

“ tetragrammaton Yo-He.Wah, and adjured their witnesses to “ give true evidence on certain occasions according to the In" dian usage : otherwise, how could they possibly in a savage " state have a custom so nice and strong pointing a standard of “ religious caution? It seems exactly to coincide with the con " duct of the Hebrew witnesses even now, on the like relia “ gious occasions." According to Nir. Adair, the American Indians have, like the Hebrews, a sacred ark, in which are kept various holy vessels. “ It is highly worthy of notice " that they never place the ark on the ground, nor sit on the le bare earth while they are carrying it against the enemy. “ On hilly ground where stones are plenty, they place it on "them; but, in a level land, upon short logs, always rest“ ing themselves on the like materials. They have also as “ strong a faith of the power and holiness of their ark, as " ever the Israelites retained of theirs. The Indian ark is “ deemed so sacred and dangerous to be touched, either by " their own sanctified warriors, or the spoiling enemy, that " they dare not touch it upon any account. It is not to be " meddled with by any except the chieftain and his waiter, " under penalty of incurring great evil: nor would the most “ inveterate enemy touch it, for the same reason. The “ leader virtually acts the part of a priest of war pro-tempore, " in imitation of the Israelites fighting under the divine mi“ litary bannerm As religion is the touchstone of every nation " of people; and as these Indians cannot be supposed to " have been deluded out of theirs, separated from the rest of “ the world for many long forgotten ages, the traces, wbich " may be discerned among them, will help to corroborate


" The Afghans, according to their owni tradi** tions, are the posterity of Melic Talut, or king Saul; who, in the opinion of some, was a

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" the otsier arguments concerning their origin." Among their other religious rites, they cut out the sinewy part of the thigh. This custom Mr. Adair supposes to be commemorative of the angel wrestling with Jacob. See Gen. xxxii. 32. . · 12.Eagles of every kind they esteem unclean food; ** likewise ravens, crows, bats, buzzards, swallows; and every H species of owl. They believe, that swallowing flies, gnats, " and the like, always breeds sickness. To this that divine e sarcasm alludes, “ swallowing a camel and straining at a * gnat." Their purifications for their priests, and for having touched a dead body or other unclean things, are, according to Mr. Adair, quite Levitical. He acknowledges however, that they have no traces of circumcisión; but thinks that they lost this rite in their wanderings, as it ceased during the 40 years in the wilderness.

15. “ The Israelites had cities of refuge for those who ti killed a person unawares. According to the same parti*cular divine law of mercy, each of these Indian nations i have either a house or town of refuge, which is a sure asy* lum to protect a man-slayer or the unfortunatè captive, if 6. they can' once enter into it. I almyost' every Indian na * tion there are several peaceable towns, called old beloved, * ancient, holy, or white, towns. They seem to have been “ formerly towns of refuge : for- it is not in the memory of “ their oldest people that ever human blood was shed in & thein, although they often force persons from thence and * put them to death elsewhere." .

16. Before the Indians go to war, they have many pres « paratory ceremonies of purification and fasting, like what is recorded of the Israelites,

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21. *** The

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