« PreviousContinue »
and (adhering to him notwithstanding the Samaritan schisin) were afterwards scattered with him by th. Romans, will be brought back with their brethren the Jews. So far, but no further, the otherwise distinct restorations of Judah and Joseph will in some measure be mingled together. This circumstance is very accurately noted by Ezekiel, even when predicting the two-fold restoration of Judah and Joseph, and their subsequent union under one king. He speaks neither of Judah nor Joseph simply ; but styles the one division Judah and the children of Israel his companions, and the other division Joseph and all the house of Israel his companions * : thus plainly intimating, that some of the children of Israel shall return with Judah; but that members of all the tribes, not of the kingdom of the ten tribes only, but of all the tribes, shall return with Joseph.
And here we cannot but observe the strict justice of God in arranging the manner of this two-fold restoration. Judah, with many more advantages than Israel, sinned nevertheless yet deeper than he did. They were both equally guilty of idolatry: but Judah, that is to say, that part of Judah which returned from Babylon, added to all his former iniquities the deep guilt of rejecting and crucifying the Lord of life. Hence we find, that, while he is restored, partly in a converted and partly in an unconverted state, through many wars, perils and afflictions, and during a time of unexampled trouble : Israel, and his companions of Judah, to whom the Saviour had never been offered, return after the destruction of Antichrist, wholly in a converted state f, escorted honourably and joyfully by all nations, free from all dangers, exempt from 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 tell us 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 *.
* Ezek. xxxvii. 16.
+ This is manifest from Isaiah's declaration, that they should be brought an offering to the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. See Chap. Ixvi. 18, 19, 20. The Phraseology is perfectly parallel to that of the two passages, wherein the restoration of the converted division of Fudah, by the great maritime power, is predicted. See Isaiah xviii. 7. and Zephan. iii. 9, 10.
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 longdissolved 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 better 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 t.
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 lost ten tribes, or of the Jews that never returned from the Babylonian captivity. In my former more general work on prophecy, I thought it sufficient barely to mention this people 1: 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 *.
* See Bp. Newton's Dissert. vi. 1. + See Ezek. xxxvii.
Dissert, on the 1260 years, Vol. 11. p. 350. (2d. Edit. p. 387.)
The late Mr. Vansittart was the first, I believe, who brought forward to public notice the traditions of the
* I have read a work entitled, The History of the American Indians, by Fames Adair, Esq. a trader with the Indians, and resident in the country for 40 years, which, it it be authentic, is singularly curious and interesting ; but I know not what 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 however 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 Assyri. ans, and have carried 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 of the first temple.
In proof of the Americans being thus descended, he adduces the following arguments. 1. Their division into tribes. 2. Their worship of Jehovala 3. Their notions of a theocracy. 4. Their belief in the ministration of angels. 5. Their language 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. 11. Their laws of uncleanness. 12. Their abstinence from unclean things. 13. Their marriages, divorces, and punishment of adultery. 14. Their several punishments. 15. Their cities of refuge. 16. Their purifications, 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 symbol ; 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 his respective 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 compounded, or from such creatures as are most fimiliar 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 these savages have been above twenty centuries without the use of letters to carry down their traditions, 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 names of
Afghans or Rohillas. Having met 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 then president of the Asiatic sothe cherubinical figures that were carried on the four principal standards of Israel
2. “By a strict permanent divine precept, the Hebrew nation 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 superstition, 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 most great and awful name which describes the divine essence.
3. “ Agreeably to the theocracy or divine government of Israel, the Indians think the Diety to be the immediate head of their state- All the nations of Indians are exceedingly intoxicated with religious pride, and have an inexpressible 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 ; because 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 outlaws 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 divine speech, he always calls them the beloved or holy people, agreeably to the Hebrew epithet Ammz (my people) during the theocracy of Israel--- It is their opinion of the theo. cracy, or that God chose them out of all the rest of mankind as his peculiar and beloved people, which alike animates both 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 subdivide these, and count the year by lunar months, like the Israelites who counted hy 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 others of a religious order. As the Jews had a sanctum sanctorum, so have all the Indian nations. There they deposit their consecrated vessels ;-none of the laity daring to approach that sacred place—The Indian tradition says, that their forefathers were possess
ciety. It opens, as he justly observes, with a very wild description of the origin of that tribe, and contains a narrative which can by no means be offered upon the whole as a serious and probable history: yet the knowledge of
ed of an extraordinary divine spirit, by which they foretold things future, and controlled the common course of nature : and this they transmitted to their offspring, provided they obeyed the sacred laws annexed 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 chief. ly 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 ephod, which is a waistcoat without sleeves.-In resemblance of the Urim and Thummim, 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 precious stones of the Urim.” Upon this statement I may observe, that Ishtoallo may perhaps be a corruption of Ish-da-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.)
8. “ The ceremonies of the Indians in their religious worship are more after the Mosaic institution, than of pagan 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 common 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 sacred regard the Jews had to the four-lettered divine name, so as scarcely ever to mention it, but once a year .when the HighPriest 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 hymn with that reverential deportment, and spending a full breath on each of the two first syllables of the awful divine name, bath 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 na. tions ; except when they are making, or renewing, peace with strangers, who come in the name of rah." After speaking of their sacred adjuration by the great and awful name of God, he says: “When we consider, 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 tetragrammaton Yo-He-Wah, and adjured their witnesses to give true evidence on certain occasions according to the Indian 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 conduct of the Hebrew witnesses even now, on the like religious occasions.” According to Mr. 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