The Author of:
A View of the Hebrews...
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Father: SMITH, Elijah (Deacon) (AFN: FM7N-VP) Mother: WORTHINGTON, Sibbil (Sibyl) (AFN: FM7P-J4) SMITH, Ethan (Rev.) (AFN: PRKJ-TK) born: Dec 19, 1762, Belcherton or Hadley, Hampshire, MA married: Feb 4, 1793, Haverhill, Grafton, NH SANFORD, Bathsheba (AFN: PRKJ-VQ) born: 14 Feb 1770 died: 5 Apr 1835 graduation: 1790, Dartmouth College died: Aug 29, 1849, Boylston, Worcester, MA children: 01. SMITH, Myron born: Jan 10, 1794, Haverhill, Grafton, NH died: Apr 26, 1818, Hebron, Washington, NY 02. SMITH, Lyndon Arnold born: Nov 11, 1795, Haverhill, Grafton, NH graduation: 1817, Dartmouth College married: Nov 20, 1823 GRIFFIN, Frances L. died: Dec 15, 1865 , , NJ 03. SMITH, Stephen Sanford born: Apr 14, 1797, Haverhill, Grafton, NH married: Jun 22, 1823 BISHOP, Lucretia died: Oct 28, 1871 [1873?], Worcester, Worcester, MA 04. SMITH, Laura born: Jun 14, 1799, Haverhill, Grafton, NH died: Oct 5, 1800, Hopkinton, Merrimack, NH 05. SMITH, Carlos Smith born: Jul 17, 1801, Hopkinton, Merrimack, NH married: Feb. 20, 1827 SAXTON, Susan graduation: c. 1834 (Divinity School) died: Apr 24, 1877, Akron, Summit, OH children: SMITH, Ethan Sanford born: Sep 10, 1839, Painesville, Lake, OH married: c. 1860, , OH? ADAMS, Eva died: after 1888, , OH? 06. SMITH, Grace Fletcher born: May 23, 1803, Hopkinton, Merrimack, NH died: Jun 18, 1840, Haverhill, Grafton, NH 07. SMITH, Sarah Towne born: Aug 5, 1807, Hopkinton, Merrimack, NH died: Nov 22, 1879, NYC, New York, NY 08. SMITH, Harriet born: Sep 12, 1807, Hopkinton, Merrimack, NH died: May 7, 1899, Worcester, Worcester, MA 09. SMITH, Margaret Baker born: Sep 12, 1807, Hopkinton, Merrimack, NH died: May 7, 1899, Worcester, Worcester, MA 10. SMITH, Ellen Chase born: Dec 3, 1812, Hopkinton, Merrimack, NH died: Jun 23, 1846, Syracuse, Onondaga, NY
A L U M N I
FIRST GRADUATION IN 1771 TO THE PRESENT TIME WITH A BRIEF
HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTION.
REV. GEORGE T. CHAPMAN, D. D.
OF THE CLASS OF 1804.
C A M B R I D G E:
Printed at the Fireside Press.
Entry for Ethan Smith (pp. 57-58)
ETHAN SMITH, the son of Deacon Elijah and Sybil (Worthington) Smith, was born at Belchertown, Ms., Dec. 19, 1762, and died at Boylston, Ms., Aug. 29, 1849, at age 86. He studied divinity with the Rev. Dr. Eden Burroughs of Hanover and the Rev. Dr. Asa Burton, D. C. 1777, of Thetford, Vt.; was ordained pastor of the Congregational Church at Haverhill, Jan. 25, 1792; dismissed June 23, 1799; installed pastor at Hopkinton, Mar. 12, 1800; dismissed Dec. 16, 1817; had pastoral charge of the Presbyterian Church at Hebron, N. Y. in 1818; installed pastor at Poultney, Vt., Nov 21, 1821; dismissed in Dec. 1826; installed pastor at Hanover, Ms., May 16, 1827; dismissed Jan. 12, 1832; was then City Missionary at Boston, Ms., till old age suspended his labours. He published, "A view of the Hebrews;" "A key to the Revelation;" Prophetick Catechism;" "A view of the Trinity;" "A key to the figurative language of the Prophecies;" "Memoirs of Mrs. Abigail Bailey;" "Four lectures on the Subjects and Modes of Baptism," and 10 occasional discourses. He married Bathsheba, dau. of the Rev. David Sanford of Medway, Ms., Feb. 4, 1793. Lyndon Arnold Smith, D. C. was his son.
1866 expansion of the biodata provided above
Sprague, William B.
Annals of the American Pulpit v. II
(NYC: Robert Carter & Bros., 1866)
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year, was absorbed in the vanities and gaieties of life. He had, during this period, learned the trade of a boot, shoe, and leather manufacturer.
In the year 1780, he joined the American army, and was at West Point, at the time of the detection of Arnold's Treason. On leaving the army, he returned to South Hadley, where he had before resided. The state of religion there at that time was deplorably low, and almost every species of wickedness seemed to be in the ascendant. The impressions which parental faithfulness had early made upon him, now revived, and he was shocked at the part which he found himself acting, in connection with his wicked companions. He suddenly withdrew from their society, and gave much of his time to serious meditation and prayer. It was not, however, until after a protracted course of inward conflict, that he was brought, as he believed, to response in the gracious economy of the Gospel. He united with the church in South Hadley in the autumn of 1781.
Shortly after this, he went to a town about twenty miles distant, with a view to set up a business to which he had served an apprenticeship; and there he was met with a cordial welcome by a number of pious people, who very readily co-operated with him in establishing prayer meetings on week-day evenings. A clergyman whom he met about this time, and whom he had heard preach, suggested to him the idea of commencing a course of study with reference to the ministry; and when he urged his poverty as an objection, the clergyman kindly offered to assist him, and expressed his confident conviction that he would succeed. He consulted some of his friends, especially his mother and his pastor, and they both looked upon the project with warm approbation. He then went to his father's minister, the Rev. Justus Forward of Belchertown, who had baptized him in infancy, and he not only cordially consurred with his other friends in their approbation of the measure, but actually offered to superintend his preparation for College, without any compensation. He thankfully availed himself of the generous offer; and while he was presenting his studies, was a main instrument of bringing about an extensive revival of religion in Mr. Forward's parish.
Having gone through his preparatory course, he entered Dartmouth College in 1786. He found but little of the spirit of religion there; but there were still a few, who sere alive to Christian obligation, with whom he was accostumed to take sweet counsel. He passed reputably through College, -- occasionally teaching a school for a few months, and graduated honourably in 1790.
Though much of his reading, for the ten preceeding years, had been upon theological subjects, it was his intention to devote one entire year, after his graduation, to the study of Theology, under some competent teacher; but on referring the case to the Association of ministers in the neighborhood of Hanover, they advised that he should enter at once the duties of the ministry, and actually gave him license to preach within about a month after
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he was graduated. He commenced preaching at Haverhill, N. H., on the 1st of October, being then in his twenty-eighth year. After preaching there seven or eight months, he was ordained as the pastor of that church.
On the 4th of February, 1793, he was married to Bathsheba, daughter of the Rev. David Sanford of Medway, Mass. Another daughter of Mr. Sandford was married, at the same time, to another clergyman; the ceremony being performed in the meeting-house, and a sermon preached on the occasion by the Rev. Dr. Emmons, from the text -- "I will walk within my house with a perfect heart."
Mr. Smith remained at Haverhill, and in great harmony with his people, nine years; when he was immediately called to three different places, but he chose Hopkinton, N. H. , where he was settled in the winter of 1790, and had a ministry of eighteen years. Here again, his salary ultimately proved insufficient for the support of his family, and in the winter of 1818, he took the pastoral charge of the Presbyterian church in Hebron, N. Y. His expectations here not being realized, -- after remaining two or three years, he accepted a call from the Congregational church in Poultney, Vt., where he continued a little less than five years, and was honourably dismissed at his own request. After this, he became the pastor of the Congregational church in Hanover, Mass.; but he found many of the people there holding doctrines so different from his own, that he could have but little satisfaction in his ministry, and after a brief sojourn among them, he resigned his charge, and accepted an appointment as City Missionary in Boston. After this, he was never settled, but laboured incessantly in vacant congregations and in important agencies.
Mr. Smith had a robust constitution and vigorous health, as is sufficiently indicated by the fact that he never lost a Sabbath from bodily indisposition, till he had been preaching nearly thirty years; and only two or three during his whole ministry. He continued to preach until within two weeks of his death. Soon after he reached the age of eighty, his sight, from being overtasked, became very dim, and he was no longer able to read, though he never became totally blind. So familiar was he with the Bible and Watts, that it was his uniform custom to open the book in the pulpit, and give out the chapter and hymn, and seem to read them; and he very rarely made a mistake, to awaken a suspicion that he was repeating from memory. He died after an illness of a few days, at the residence of his son-in-law, the Rev. William H. Sanford of Boylston, Mass., on the 29th of August, 1849, in the eighty-seventh year of his age. His last days and hours were full of peace and joy, and he passed away from all earthly scenes in a manner well becoming "an old disciple." His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Nelson of Leicester.
Mrs. Smith died suddenly at Pompey, New York, on the 5th of April, 1835, at the age of sixty-four. They had ten children, -- four sons and six daughters. Three of the sons received a collegiate education -- two entered the ministry, and one the medical profession.
The following is a list of Mr. Smith's publications: -- A Farewell Sermon at Haverhill, N. H., 1799. A Sermon preached at Hopkinton, N. H., the Sabbath succeeding his installation, 1800. Two Sermons on Jeremiah VII, 8, preached on an exchange in Washington, N. H., 1805. A Thanksgiving
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Sermon at Newburyport, 1809. A Sermon preached to a Ladies' Cent. Institution, Hopkinton, 1814. A Sermon preached at Dunbarton, at the funeral of the wife of the Rev. Dr. Harris, 1815. Two Sermons preached at Hopkinton on Matt. XXVIII, 18-20, 1816. A Sermon at the ordination of the Rev. Stephen Martindale at Tinmouth, Vermont, 1819. A Lecture on Infant Baptism, 1824. A Sermon at the ordination of the Rev. Harvey Smith, at Weybridge, Vermont, 1825.
Besides these single sermons, Mr. Smith published the following larger works: -- A Dissertation on the Prophecies, 1809. A Key to the Figurative language of the Prophecies, 1814. A View of the Trinity, designed as an answer to Noah Webster's Bible News, 1821. A View of the Hebrews, designed to prove among other things that the Aborigines of America are descended from the ten tribes of Israel, 1825. Memoirs of Mrs. Abigail Bailey. Four Lectures on the subjects and mode of Baptism. A Key to the Revelation, 1833. Prophetic Catechism to lead to the study of the prophetic Scriptures, 1839.
FROM THE REV. ABRAHAM BURNHAM, D. D.
Pembroke, N. H., December 18, 1849.Rev. and dear Sir: Had I forseen, forty years ago, that the Rev. Ethan Smith would die before me, and that I should be requested to furnish my recollections of him in aid of a sketch of his character, I might have been able, even at this late period, to contribute something that would be of use to you. But when you remember how evanescent our impressions generally are, where there is nothing special to give them permanence; and when I tell you that I never had but nine years' ministerial intercourse with Mr. Smith, and that that brief period terminated more than thirty years ago, you will not expect from me much that can avail to your purpose. I will, however, cheerfully do what I can in compliance with your wishes.
When Mr. Smith was installed at Hopkinton, in the early part of the year 1800, I was a spectator of the solemnity. From that time I occasionally saw him, and heard him preach at Dunbarton, my native place, a town adjoining Hopkinton; though not very frequently, as I was absent from home, either a student at College, or engaged in teaching. But from the time of my own ordination in this place, (March, 1808,) I had the privilege of uninterrupted fraternal intercourse with him, until he resigned his charge, and left the State about the close of the year 1817. I can truly say that my recollections of him are exceedingly pleasant; and I have no doubt that all the ministers in this region with whom he was associated, would unite with me in the opinion that his name is very worthy of being enrolled with the great and good who have gone before us.
The personal appearance of Mr. Smith was decidedly prepossessing. He was of full middling stature, thick set, and erect in posture, quick in all his motions, and yet graceful in all, of a light, fair complexion, bright, sparkling eyes, and a pleasant countenance that always told of good feelings, peace, and hope within.
In his dispositions he was humane, benevolent, affectionate, -- a true friend of his race. He possessed natural and acquired abilities, which, under the control of a santified heart, qualified him for extensive usefulness. With warm and generous sympathies, with highly cultivated social feelings and much improved
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conversational powers, he was a very agreeable companion, and always contributed to the happiness of every circle into which he happened to be thrown
As a minister of the Gospel, he certainly occupied an elevated position among his brethren. Like Timothy, he had known the Scriptures from his childhood. Few, if any, ministers of his time, had a more familiar acquaintance than he, especially with the common version of the Bible. He was a Bible man, and a Bible preacher. He was well read in Theology and Ecclesiastical History. He delighted much in what he regarded the peculiar doctrines of the Gospel, and was at once apt in illustrating them, and able in defending them. He was a ready extemporaneous speaker, and often uttered himself the most felicitously without much premeditation; but his composition was perhaps a little verbose, and his utterance rather unduly rapid. He was a warm friend of what he accounted pure revivals of religion; though he was careful to distinguish the precious from the vile, in thw whole matter of religious experience. The office work of the Holy Spirit formed a frequent and important topic of his public discourses, and he discussed it skilfully, experimentally, solemnly. As a pastor, he was ever watchful, sympathetic, affectionate, and withal successful. As a writer, he was judicious and useful, rather than polished and ornate. His printed words indicate extensive reading, laborious research, and patient reflection.
Mr. Smith was a warm friend to the various benevolent objects of the day, and a liberal patron also, so far as his limited means would admit. He had a leading part among a few clergymen in establishing the New Hampshire Missionary Society, in 1801, and served as its Secretary for sixteen successive years, -- that is, till he left the State, in 1817.
In fine, Mr. Smith sustained all his relations with dignity and usefulness. Endowed with a vigorous constitution, possessing a sound mind in a healthful body, affable and courteous in his demeanour, and steadily devoted to the best interests of his fellow men, his good influence was extensively felt while he was living, and now that he is dead, I cannot doubt that it survives and operates through innumerable channels.
Your brother in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
Note: Daphne Bartholomew, in a letter of Aug. 20, 1982, says that, according to a History of Poultney, published in 1875, Ethan Smith was dismissed from his Poultney ministry because of a misunderstanding with one of the deacons of the church. No further details are given.
"View of the Hebrews"
United States Literary Gazette 1823.
"REVIEW: View of the Hebrews"
Uttica Christian Repository Vol. 4 Utica, NY, May 1825.
(Palmyra NY Postmaster), "Letters Waiting...,"
Wayne Sentinel January 5, 1827
Zadock Thompson, "Poultney"
History of Vermont 1842, p. 143.
Joshua V. Himes. Views of the Prophecies 1841 (part third)
Zadock Thompson, "Poultney"
History of Vermont 1842, p. 143.
William Sprague, "Ethan Smith,"
Annals of the American Pulpit II 1857
George T. Chapman, "Ethan Smith,"
Sketches of the Alumni of Dartmouth 1867
Joseph Sabin, "View of the Hebrews," (1868?)
Dictionary of Books Relating to America pp. 176-178
Clark Braden, "Braden's Fifth Speech," (see "Josiah Priest")
Public Discuission... 1884, p. 52
Ethan S. Smith, "The Book of Mormon,"
Cleveland Plain Dealer April 24, 1887
Saints' Herald July 30, 1887
Lorenzo Dow Hickey letter
Saints' Herald Aug. 20, 1887
James G. Wilson, ed., "Ethan Smith,"
Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography 1888
I. Woodbridge Riley, "The Sources,"
The Founder of Mormonism 1902, pp. 107-138
Saints' Herald Feb. 19, 1902
George Reynolds, "View of the Hebrews,"
Juvenile Instructor Oct. 1, 1902
Rudolph Etzenhouser, "A Star in the West,"
Saints' Herald August 19, 1903
Brigham H. Roberts, "Chapter XXXIV,"
YMMIA Manual 1904, p. 327.
Brigham H. Roberts,
New Witnesses for God III 1909
Clark Braden, "Plagiarism in Mormonism,"
Robert B. Neal's Sword of Laban Leaflet 5 c. 1909
Charles A. Shook, "Mormon Objections Answered,"
The True Origin of the Book of Mormon. 1914, p. 183
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unpublished (during his lifetime) report c. Sept. 1921
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No man Knows My History 1945, pp. 34-49
Hugh W. Nibley,
No Ma'am That's Not History 1946
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A New Witness For Christ... II 1951 & 1959 pp. 391-392 & pp. 420-21
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Improvement Era March 1954
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Rocky Mountain Mason No. 4 Jan. 1956, pp. 17-18
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Church History, Dec. 1959
Ariel L. Crowley, "Analysis of... 'View of the Hebrews,'"
Ariel L. Crowley, "A Comparison with the Book of Mormon,"
About the Book of Mormon 1961
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A Critical Stidy of B. of M. Sources 1964, pp. 27-42
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unpublished paper 1963 excerpt
S. J. Palmer & W. L. Knecht, "View of the Hebrews"
Brigham Young University Studies No. 5? 1964, pp. 105-113
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William Riley, "A Comparison... View of the Hebrews...,"
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unpublished report dated 1978
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Brigham Young University Studies No. 19 1979 pp. 427-45.
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George D. Smith, Jr., "Book Of Mormon Difficulties"
Sunstone Review vol. 6 May 1981
B. H. Roberts, "A Book of Mormon Study" & "A Parallel,"
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Vol. I.   Boston, October 1, 1824.   No. 12.
View of The Hebrews; exhibiting the Destruction of Jerusalem; the certain Restoration of Judah and Israel; the Present State of Judah and Israel; and an Address of the Prophet Isaiah relative to their Restoration. By Ethan Smith, A. M., Pastor of a Church in Poultney, Vt. Poultney, Vt 1823. 12mo. pp. 187.
The first chapter of this book, extending to the 45th page, is an account of the destruction of Jerusalem. It is introduced here to show that the prophecies which foretold this event, the dispersion of the Jews, and many other judgments which that nation was to suffer, were literally fulfilled. This fact is afterwards made the basis of an important argument The second chapter commences with a concise account of the expulsion of the ten tribes of Israel from the promised land ; and proceeds to prove that the Jews, and also these ten tribes, will be restored to their inheritance. The arguments for their restoration vary so little from those commonly employed on this subject, that it cannot be necessary to state them at length. Mr. Smilh talks in a confident manner, as though IK- was fairly stating' the whole that the Scriptures contain in relation to his subject, — found it all in exact agreement with his opinion, and knew of no plausible arguments in opposition. He, however, deserves the credit of stating his testimonies clearly, and managing them with considerable skill. We can give but a few specimens of his mode of reasoning; and we shall select those arguments which he, in common with others, regards as most important The principal of these is derived from the fact, that the prophecies relating to the dispersion of the Jews were literally fulfilled. The inference is, that those prophecies which foretell their restoration, will also be literally fulfilled.
This is very plausible reasoning, hut not quite so conclusive as it at first appears. The prophecies relating to the advent of the Lord were totally misunderstood by the Jewish Church which received them, and which came to its end at the time of his advent. They were understood to speak of the restoration of Israel ; but the dispersion of the two remaining tribes followed. The existing Christian Church believes that v. Urn the millennium arrives,— the second advent of the Lord, — the children of Israel will be restored to their promised land. We may hence, in the same way, infer that the present Church is also mistaken; and that probably at this period, that people will suffer some additional judgment, and, perhaps, cease to retain their distinct national character. We do not state this as good and convincing logic ; but as an argument somewhat after Mr Smith's style, and quite as conclusive as that above quoted.
No one needs to be informed that the terms Judah, Israel, Ephraim, Canaan, Jerusalem, and others used in the prophecies which relate to this subject, are nearly sy- nonvmous with the Church, They are used in both Testaments, as well when the prophecies relate to the Christian Church as when they relate to the seed of Abraham. In describing those qualities which constitute the Church with man, or, in other words, which constitute men members of the Church, sometimes one of the above terms is used, and sometimes another, — the different names probably referring to qualities somewhat different Agreeably to this figurative language employed in describing the Church, and used, indeed, by Christians of every persuasion at this day, every real Christian is said to be of the seed of Abraham. Those prophecies which had a primary reference to the consummation and devastation of the Jewish dispensation existing at the time they were revealed, were necessarily fulfilled in relation to those who were HternUy denominated Israel and Jodah ; but those which, speaking of Israel and Jndah, relate, in fact, to the establishment, the condition, and progress of another Church, cannot be expected to have their fulfilment with any peculiar reference to that nation, because it has ceased to be Israel in the prophttic sense of the term. These remarks apply generally to the passages in the Old Testament wlu'ch relate to this subject. The New Testament was given at the end of the Jewish dispensation ; and if, in this, we find prophecies referring directly to that nation, those which denounce judgments, and those which promise blessings, will stand on equal ground. Now, in the New Testament, the desolation of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews are distinctly foretold, but, if we mistake not, there is no passage which disimcil;, implies the return of that nation to their promised land. The eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, to which Mr Smith refers, teaches, as we suppose, that if they do not still continue in unbelief, they will, after a considerable period, be grafted into the Christian Church ; but this is quite an thcr thing from being re-established in Palestine, and assuming- the precedency among all the nations who compose the Christian Church. It now becomes highly questionable whether, in the sense of the terms Judah and Israel, commonly used in the prophecies of the Old Testament, that nation did not cease to exist when their city was destroyed : and whether, with respect to the fulfilment of those prophecies which relate to the establishment of a future Church, any are to be reckoned Jews except those who are so in the heart, — and these, it is said, may be from any nation under heaven. There is not wanting evidence that the Jews arc about abandoning their distinctive character ; and we regard the late change which l iir Polish Jews have made, in adopting the day of the Christian Sabbath instead of Saturday, as having a direct tendency to this event This is a mere outline of an objection, which we think deserved Mr. Smith's attention. That the true mode of interpreting the prophecies is certainly little understood at the present day, this gentleman will hardly deny; he tried his hand at it some years ago ; and his system received a quietus in the death of Buonaparte, which might have taught him to modera;e the intensity of his confidence in such opinions. But be still maintains boldly, that these prophecies respecting the restoration of the Jews, aud the millennium, must be fulfilled about this time. We must be permitted to say, that to our ears the trumpet gives an uncertain sound; and before we make any preparation for battle, we must see a more competent chief to lead us on. We have devoted more attention to thi* argument than we intended, and shall have room to notice but one more. It is derived from the fact, that the Hebrews have never really possessed the whole of the promised land. Solomon acquired a sort of supremacy over it, but it was never fully occupied by tliis nation. The inference is, that it is still to be possessed by them. An obvious, but not the only answer to this is, that the divine promises are to be understood as in seme degree conditional. They are a part of a covenant, or compact, between the Lord and man; and the duties which constitute the part of the covenant belonging toman, must be performed, or the corresponding promises cannot be fulfilled. It is fair to say, that all was given or offered to the Hebrews, which was ever promised ; but as they broke the covenant, all of them partially, and some totally, failed of tlie promised inheritance. Havii g proved that the ten tribes of Israel, who were carried away captive by the kings ol Assyria about two thousand five hundred and fifty years ago, are to return to Palestine, Mr 'Smith proceeds in his third chapter to inquire where, and who these ten tribes are. The result is, that they are the American Indians. Many of our readers will recollect that this opinion was advauc- ed by Mr. Adair, an English trader among the JNortb American Indians, about fifty years ago. It was defended by him, and afterwards by Dr. Boudinot, with considerable ingenuity. There are so many remarkable coincidences between the religious and civil institutions and languages of the Indians and those of the Hebrews, as to form a very interesting subject of inquiry. We must notice a few of these, and advise those of our readers who happen to have a taste for such things, to examine the whole. It is, however, first to be remarked, that after the ten tribes were captured, they were settled by Salmanczcr in Media; and that in 2 Esdras, xiii. chapter, there is an account of their leaving Meili.. and journeying for a year and a half, until they came to a country where never man dwelt. Thu account is supposed to imply that they directed their course northeasterly, towardi Bhering's Strait Some of the Indians, also, have a tradition that their forefathers came from a far country — performing a long journey, and crossing a great river towards the north-west of America. They say also, that God once chose their nation to be a peculiar people ; that he gave them a book ; that some of their forefathers could Ibrctell future events. They count time like the Hebrews ; keep a variety of similar feasts, in one of which a bone of an animal must not be broken; and they never eat the hollow of the thigh of any animal. In their temples, — such as they are,— if their holy of holies, into which it is death for a common person to enter. They have an imitation of the ark of the covenant, where are deposited their most sacred things ; and common people may not look into it Their males must all appear at the temple at three noted feasts in a year. They give a pretty correct account of the flood, and of the confusion of languages; and say with regard to the longevity of the ancients, that "they lived till their feet were worn out with walking, and their throats with eating." They have places answering to the cities of refuge in Israel, in which no blood is ever shed by an avenger. Various degrees of crcdi* are due to the authorities on which Mr S. relies to support these assertions; but perhaps seme 181 sort of authority may be found for all of sort of authority may be found for all of them. But these are not half the traditions and customs which Mr Smith adduces in support of his opinion, and many of the others are almost equally remarkable. Another important argument is the supposed similarity of their language to the Hebrew. In the names appropriated to the Deity there is a very striking resemblance ; and also in a great number of other words and phrases. In several examples the agreement is exact; and some gentlemen of considerable learning, have expressed an opinion that the radicals of all the Indian languages were Hebrew. We can state no more of the interesting facts contained in this chapter, but must suggest a few objections to the opinion that the Indians are descendants from the ten tribes of Israel. The two tribes who are denominated Jews, bare not intermarried with other nations, and hence have retained their original characteristics to the present day. Their complexion and features are so similar in all countries, that travellers readily distinguish them wherever they are found. Their moral and intellectual peculiarities are not less striking, and no one needs to be informed what a •• Jewish disposition" is. These mental characteristics agree most perfectly with those of the Hebrew nation, from the earliest periods of its history. We can hardly avoid the inference, that the Jews are now quite similar to what the Hebrew nation was generally, in characteristics both of mind and body. The American Indians, having had no intercourse with other nations, have had every advantage for retaining the characteristics of their ancestors. We find among them a remarkable similarity of features, of complexion, and of general disposition. Climate and local circumstances produce slight varieties; but whoever has seen one American Indian, will distinguish every one that he afterwards sees. Even their languages are said to have a great affinity ; as great, perhaps, as there is between the Saxon and the English. Now, the features of Jews and Indians have almost nothing in common ; their complexions are widely different, and their leading mental characteristics have as little agreement These facts appear to us to furnish a stronger argument against their belonging to the Hebrew nation, than any We have seen in favour of it. Now it is far easier to account for the Indians having ifcany things in common with the Hebrews, Without supposing them to be of the same r^af ion, than it is to explain how such differences as we have mentioned, exist between two branches of the same family, Neither of which has intermarried with other nations.
Vr'e should infer from all the facfs that are stated, that the Indians were of Asiatic origin, and most probably they were from tie western part of Asia. We have no **zzz idence that the customs and institutions of the Hebrews, which were sanctioned by divine authority, were all peculiar to that people, nor that they originated with them. Other nations probably had many that were similar, as, perhaps, every nation has regarded with revereitce moral rules and principles similar to those given on Mount Sinai. Neither does it appear that the Jewish Scriptures were the lirst that God gave to men ; on the contrary, there is strong proof that parts of the lirst books were compiled from earlier Scriptures; and the ancestors of the Indians might have had a "BOOK," without being Hebrews.* It is very important to remark, that the traditions, customs, and similarities in language, which have been mentioned, do not all belong to any one tribe of Indians, but they are selected from the great variety of tribes of North and South America. Perhaps every tribe has some custom, or institution, or expression, in common with the Hebrews ; and some of the tribes have several. This is not so remarkable as it at first appears. Compare the Indians with the Malays, or any other nation on the earth, and you will find many, perhaps as many, points of agreement. The argument derived from the similarity between the languages, does not seem to us of greater weight. Many of the languages of the East were, in many expressions, similar to the Hebrew. It does not appear that the Hebrew names for the Deity were peculiar to that language, or that they primarily belonged to it. We have not had evidence yet, to satisfy us, that more of the radicals of the Indian languages than of the English, arc Hebrew ; and we see no reason why there may not be as many. Besides, one of our best authorities, Molina, says, "As far as we have been able to discover, the radical Chilian words have no analogy with those of any other known idiom. The Chilian, or Araucanian, is, doubtless, by far the most perfect Indian language. In a few respects it agrees with the Hebrew, and also in some respects with several other languages. There are many words in the vocabularies of that language, which were made before they could have derived the words from the Spaniards, which agree exactly with the Greek, and also many agreeing with the Latin. See History of Chili, Vol. 2, p. 287. On the whole, we do not find evidence that any one of the Indian languages affords more examples of coincidence with the Hebrew, than the Chilian — the principal language of South America — affords of coincidence with the Greek or Latin. We will not assert that no such evidence exists, for we have not thought it necessary to examine all the works which might have thrown some light upon this subject. We shall not be surprised, if it be proved that the Indian dialects and the Hebrew have a still greater agreement than has been shown; but we may still inqure, whether they were not all derived from some other language. The fourth chapter of Mr. Smith's book contains an exposition of the eighteenth chapter of Isaiah. He formerly supposed that the people here addressed was the British nation ; but thinking, perhaps from national pride, that so important a part of the world as the United States have become, must surely have been noticed by the seers into futurity, he has become satisfied that we are verily the people referred to by the prophet, who have so much to do by way of assisting the Israelites, — that is, the Indiana,— to return to Palestine. We Inn e not much respect for this fourth chapter; others may read it, and judge of it differently. The Appendix contains the testimonies of many travellers respecting the character and customs of various Indian tribes. It adds little to the value, and but fourteen pages to Hie length of the book. *zzz We suppose it to be conceded by all Biblical critics, as an ascertained fact, thatEichhoro bat adduced the most satisfactory proof in support of Us hypothesis respecting the origin of the Hebrew Scriptures; viz. that Moses copied, OB compiled, or borrowed, the earlier chapters of Genesis, from previous Scriptures, written or traditional. As many of our readers must be aware, he marks the division between these extracts with great distinctness.
Vol. 4.   Utica, New York.   May 1825.
R E V I E W.
The work before us is divided into four chapters. The first contains a brief account of the destruction of Jerusalen by the Romans, compared with the predictions of that event by our Lord in the 24th chapter of Matthew and the corresponding chapters in the other gospels. This the writer considers not only as deeply interesting on its own account, but far more so when viewed as a type of a final destruction of Antichrist in the last
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days, We believe it is not uncommon in the scriptures for the same prophecy to have respect to two events, one as the type, and the other as the anti-type. And this accounts for their being some things said, in such cases, which are more strictly applicable to the one, and some to the other. As instances of this, may be mentioned the prophecy in the Psalms of the peaceful reign of Solomon, having an ultimate reference to the reign of the Messiah, the description of the character and conduct of Antiochus by the prophet Daniel, having an ultimate reference to the Antichrist of the last days, and the prophecy of the destruction of the city and temple found in the 24th chapter of Matthew, having an ultimate reference to the destruction of the enemies of the church immediately before the Millennium. The declaration, that all these things should come to pass during that generation, has been thought to limit the whole to the former event. But there are several things said, which seem scarcely applicable, in their strict sense, to any thing which then took place. See verses 3, 14, 27-31. And the caution, in the 42nd verse and onward, seems to imply that all these things have an ultimate reference to some future time not so particularly marked. All these things were to be fulfilled, in the type, during that generation; but their ultimate and final accomplishment, in the antitype, would be at a future period, and at a time as unexpected as the coming of the flood in the days of Noah. But, on this subject let us hear Mr. Smith: --
"A line of prophecies is found in the sacred oracles, which relate to a signal temporal destruction of the most notorious enemies of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Those were to have a twofold accomplishment; first upon the Jews; and secondly upon the great Antichrist of the last days, typified by the infidel Jews. Accordingly those prophecies in the Old Testament are ever found in close connexion with the Millennium. The predictions of our Savior, in Matt. 24. Mark 13, and Luke 21, are but a new edition of these sacred prophecies. This has been noted as "the destruction of the city and temple foretold." It is so indeed, and more. It is also a denunciation of the destruction of the great Antichrist of the last days. The certainty of this will appear in the following things, New Testament writers decide it. The Thessalonians, having heard what our Lord denounced, that all those things he had predicted should take place on that generation, were trembling with the apprehension, that the coming of Christ predicted would then very soon burst upon the world. Paul writes to them, 2 Thes. 2, and beseeches them by this coming of Christ, not to be shaken in mind, or troubled with such an apprehension; or that day, (that predicted coming of Christ, as it related to others beside the Jews,) was not to take place on that generation. It was not to come till the Antichristian apostacy come first; that man of sin was first to be revealed. This long apostacy was to be accomplished, before the noted coming of Christ in its more important sense be fulfilled. After the Roman government, which hindered the rise of the man of sin, should be taken out of the way, Paul says, "Then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming." Here then is the predicted coming of Christ, in its more interesting sense, in the battle of that great day, which introduces the Millennium. Here is a full decision that these noted denunciations of Christ alluded more especially (though not primarily) to a coming which is still future
"The same is decided by Christ himself, in Rev. 16. After the sixth vial, in the drying up of the Turkish Euphrates, three unclean spirits of devils, like frogs, go forth to the kings of the earth, and of all the world, to gather them to the great battle. The awful account is interrupted by this
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notice from the mouth of Christ; verse 15, "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments; lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." This is as though our Lord should say; now the time is at hand, to which my predictions of coming as a thief, principally alluded. Now is the time when my people on earth shall need to watch, as I directed, when predicting my coming to destroy first the type of Antichrist, and secondly the antitype.
"The predictions in the prophets, which received an incipient fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem, were to receive a more interesting fulfillment in Christ's coming to destroy his antichristian foes. Hence it is, that the seventh vial is called (Rev. 16. 14,) "the battle of that great day of God Almighty;" clearly alluding to that great day noted through the prophets. And of the same event it is said, (Rev. 10. 7,) "the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants, the prophets." Here again the allusion clearly is to the many predictions in the prophets of the destruction of the enemies of Christ's kingdom, which were to receive an incipient fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem, and a far more interesting one, in the sweeping from the earth the last antichristian powers, to introduce the millennial kingdom of Christ. We accordingly find those predictions through the prophets clearly alluding to the last days, and the introduction of the Millennium.
"Viewing the destruction of Jerusalem, then, as but a type of an event now pending upon antichristian nations, we peruse it with new interest; and it must be viewed in the light of a most impressive warning to this age of the world. The factions, madness, and self ruin of the former, give but a lively practice comment upon the various predictions of the latter. Three great and noted factions introduced the destruction of Jerusalem. And of the destruction of Antichrist, we read, (perhaps alluding to that very circumstance) Rev. 16. 19, "And the great city was divided into three parts." Then it follows, "and the cities of the nations fell; and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." In the desolation of Gog and his bands, faction draws the sword of extermination. "I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God; every man's sword shall be against his brother." Ezek. 38. 21.
"The great coalition against the Jews, in the time of Jehoshaphat, was destroyed by the sword of mutiny and faction. 2 Chron. 20. And in allusion to this very battle which God fought for his church, the vast coalition of Antichrist, in the last days, when the Jews are restored, is said to be gathered "to the valley of Jehoshaphat:" See Joel 3. The various circumstances of the destruction of Jerusalem afforded a lively comment on the many denunciations of the battle of that great day of God Almighty, which awaits the antichristian world; while it is fully evident, that they more especially allude to the tremendous scenes of judgement, which shall introduce the Millennium." pp. 42-45.
The second chapter is entitled. "The certain restoration of Judah and Israel." The object of the writer, in this chapter, is to show, that both the Jews and the Ten Tribes will be restored to the promised land. In proof of this, he mentions, 1. The preservation of the Jews, as a distinct people, which shows that God has great things in store for them as Jews. 2. That this people have never yet possessed all the land promised to them, nor any parts of it so long as promised. See Gen. 15. 18. and 17. 8, Ex. 23. 31, Deut. 11. 24. He refers, 3. to the predictions concerning the restoration of both Judah and Israel, in several of the prophets, particularly the following passages: Ezek. chapters 36, 37, 38, and 39; Isa. ch. 11, 16.12, 60, and 66; Amos, ch. 9; Jer. ch 23, and 30; Joel, ch 3; Zeph. ch. 9; Hos.
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ch. 1, 2, and 3; and Deut. ch. 30. He then observes, 4. That, "to give a mystical import to all these prophecies, and say they will be fulfilled only in the conversion of the ancient people of God to Christianity, is to take a most unwarrantable liberty with the word of God;" and especially, as their conversion and return are spoken of, in some of them, as distinct things, both of which are promised. And he argues, 5. That, as the threatenings towards them, of being cast off and dispersed, have a literal fulfilment, it would appear that the promises of their return are to have a literal fulfilment also.
The third chapter is entitled, "The present state of Judah and Israel." The author makes a few observations on the present state of the Jews, and the efforts now making to christianize them, and then says, "My present object is rather to attend to the present state of the Ten Tribes of Isarel. This branch of the Hebrew family have long been "outcasts," out of sight; or unknown as Hebrews. The questions arise, are they in existence, as a distinct people? If so, Who, or where are they? These are queries of great moment, at this period, when the time of their restoration is drawing near." He then remarks, 1. That it has been already ascertained that the Ten Tribes are to be recovered and restored with the Jews. 2. From this it follows, that the Ten Tribes must now have, somewhere on earth, a distinct existence, in an outcasr state. 3. A passage is cited from the writer of the Apochyphal book of Esdras, which says of the Ten Tribes, that after they were carried away by Shalmanezer to Media, "They took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into further country, where never man dwelt, that they might there keep their statutes which they never kept (that is, uniformly as they ought,) in their own land. There was a great way to go, namely of a year and a half;" and further describes them as journeying to the northeast. The author then proceeds as follows:
"4. Let several suppositions now be made. Suppose an extensive continent had lately been discovered, away north-east from Media, and at the distance of "a year and a half's journey;" a place probably destitute of inhabitants, since the flood, till the time of the "casting out" of Israel. Suppose a people to have been lately discovered in that sequestered region, appearing as we should rationally expect the nation of Israel to appear at this period, that 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 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 unseen. 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,
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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 Israel. You find an evening feast among them, in 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 if any 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 that their fathers practiced 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. 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 a spirit to foretel future events, and to work miracles. Suppose they have their imitation of the ark of the covenant, where were deposited their most sacred things; into which it is the greatest crime for any 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 longevity 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 way hither was thus obstructed, till God dried up that water; (probably it froze between the islands in Behring'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 affliction, laying their hand on their mouth, and their mouth in the dust.
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"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 knowledge 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 keep 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 you not say, 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. These 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 inquire, 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 a new light has been, from time to time, shed on the subject, as will appear." pp. 76-81.
The writer states the following heads of argument:
"1. The American natives have one origin.
"2. Their language appears to have been Hebrew.
"3. They have their imitation of the ark of the covenant in ancient Israel.
"4. They have been in practice of circumcision.
"5. They have acknowledged one and only one God.
"6. Their variety of traditions, historical and religious, go to evince that they are the Ten Tribes of Israel.
"7. The celebrated William Penn gives account of the natives of Pennsylvania, which go to corroborate the same point.
"8. Their having a tribe answering in various respects, to the tribe of Levi, sheds farther light on this subject.
"9. Several prophetic traits of character given of the Hebrews, do accurately apply to the Aborigines of America.
"10. The Indians being in tribes, with their heads and names of tribes, affords further light upon this subject.
11. Their having an imitation of the ancient city of refuge, evinces the truth of our subject; and,
"12. Other Indian rites, and various other considerations, go to evince the fact that this people are the Ten Tribes of Israel." pp. 84, 85.
These heads of argument are illustrated and supported, by Mr. Smith. In a very interesting manner, by extracts from a variety of authors, travellers, traders, and others, some of whom had resided among the Indians for a long period, and become intimately acquainted with their customs and traditions. And he refers, for further particulars, to Mr. Boudinot's "Star in the West," in which he says it is ascertained that "Spaniards,
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Portuguese, French, English, Jews, and Christians, men of learning, and the illiterate, and sea-faring men, all have united in the statement of facts, which go to indicate that these Indians are the descendants of Israel!" He then asks, with great force,
"What account can be given of all this, but that here are the very Ten Tribes? These tribes must be somewhere on earth. Where are they? How can they be known> Whence came our native Americans? What other acount can be given of their traditions, their language, Hebrew words and phrases, (the radical language of their tribes,) and the broken fragments of the ancient economy of Israel running through so many of them? It would be far wilder, and more difficu;t to account for these things on any other principle, than to say, we have evidence that is satisfactory, of having found, at last, the very valley of the dry bones of the house of Isawel. The facts stated of them, must, on every other principle, appear most unaccountable, not to say miraculous." pp. 127, 128.
The fourth chapter of this work is entitled, "An address of the prophet Isaiah, relative to the restoration of his people." It is a commentary on the 18th chapter of Isaiah, which the writer supposes is an address to the American nation, calling upon them, in a friendly manner, instead of denouncing a woe, as it is translated in the common bible, "Ho, land shadowed with wings," and exhorting them to go as swift messengers to assist with their ships in gathering the dispersed of Judah and the outcasts of Israel, and bringing them as a present to the Lord of hosts to Mount Zion; and connecting, as is usual in the prophets, the return of the Jews and the introduction of the Millennium. with the cutting down and treading under foot of the vine of the earth, and giving its branches for a prey to the fowls of the mountains and the beasts of the field.
On the whole, we think this little work well worthy the attention of the christian public, and we cardially recommend it to our readers. We do not profess to be entirely convinced that the American Aborigines are the Ten Tribes of Israel. We had regarded the idea as rather fanciful, and supposed that there were but few resemblances between them and the Hebrews, and that these were to be accounted for by their being rather of patriarchal than of Hebrew origin. But we have been surprised to find as many resemblances as this book exhibits, and feel utterly unable to account for them on any other supposition than that here are indeed the long lost Ten Tribes. We think, however, that it would be an improvement in a second edition, which we hope will be called for, if the evidence of that fact were summed up a little more distinctly, and if the Indian customs and traditions which are supposed to be of Hebrew origin were more distinctly compared with the similar customs and institutions of the Hebrews, and at the same time distinguished from those which were patriarchal. Such an improvement would be easy for Mr. Smith to make, and would exhibit the evidence in a clearer and more convincing light.
George Reynolds, "View of the Hebrews"
Juvenile Instructor Oct. 1, 1902
Vol. XXXVII. SALT LAKE CITY, OCTOBER 1, 1902. No. 19.
"VIEW OF THE HEBREWS"
596 THE JUVENILE INSTRUCTOR.
THE JUVENILE INSTRUCTOR. 597
Fawn M. Brodie,
"Red Sons of Israel"
No Man Knows My History
copyright ©1945 ("fair-use" excerpt)
It was a common legend that western New York and Ohio had once been the site of a terrible slaughter and that the mounds were the cemeteries of an entire race. New York's famous governor, De Witt Clinton, fascinated by the antiquities of his state, had stopped by Canandaigua in 1811 to examine three mounds and after counting the rings of the trees growing on their surfaces had estimated their age at more than a thousand years. The Moundbuilders, he said, were unquestionably a lost race, which had once been vast in number and greatly superior in civilization to the Iroquois.
There was universal admiration for the palisaded, geometrical forts, the ruins of which were silhouetted against the sky atop the conelike drumlins that dotted the landscape. Since the pottery and copper ornaments buried in the mounds were frequently beautiful in design and skillfully wrought, few believed they were the handiwork of the despised red man. The Palmyra Register in January 1818 pointed out that the Moundbuilders "had made much greater advances in the arts of civilized life" than any Indians, and the Palmyra Herald in February 1823
* Palmyra Register, January 21, 1818, and Palmyra Herald, February 19, 1823.
De Witt Clinton: "Discourse," New York Historical Society Publications, Vol. II (1811), p. 93. See also E. G. Squier: Antiquities of the State of New York, p. 213.
the ancestral home of the American Indian not only Jerusalem, but also Iceland, Wales, Rome, Phoenicia, Carthage, Egypt, and China. But he was satisfied to know that they were descendants of the Hebrews, for of all the theories then current the most popular among clergymen in Europe as well as America was that the red men were a remnant of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.
America's most distinguished preachers -- William Penn, Roger Williams, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards -- had all espoused the theory. Edwards had even written a tract pointing out what he thought were likenesses between the Muhhekaneew Indian tongue and Hebrew. The historian H. H. Bancroft later wrote: "The theory that the Americans are of Jewish origin has been discussed more minutely and at greater length than any other. Its advocates, or at least those of them who have made original researches, are comparatively few, but the extent of their investigations and the multitude of the parallelisms they; adduce in support of their hypothesis exceed by far anything we have yet encountered." * Josiah Priest wrote in 1833 in his American Antiquities: "The opinion that the American Indians are descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes is now a popular one and generally believed."
Fantastic parallels were drawn between Hebraic and Indian customs, such as feasts of first fruits, sacrifices of the first-born in the flock, cities of refuge, ceremonies of purification, and division into tribes. The Indian "language" (which actually consisted of countless distinct languages derived from numerous linguistic stocks) was said to be chiefly Hebrew. The Indian belief in the Great Spirit (which originally had been implanted by French and Spanish missionaries) was said to be derived in a direct line from Jewish monotheism. One writer even held that syphilis, the Indian's gift to Europe, was an altered form of Biblical leprosy.
* Native Races, Vol. V, pp. 77-8. Among the early books discussing the subject are James Adair: The History of the American Indians (London, 1775); Charles Crawford: Essay upon the Propagation of the Gospel, in which there are facts to prove that many of the Indians in America are descended from the Ten Tribes (Philadelphia, 1799); Elias Boudinot: A Star in the West; or, a Humble Attempt to Discover the Long Lost Tribes of Israel (Trenton, 1816); Ethan Smith: View, of the Hebrews; or the Ten Tribes of Israel in America (Poultney, Vermont, 1813) Josiah Priest: The Wonders of Nature and Providence Displayed (Albany, 1825); Israel Worsley: A View of the American lndians, pointing out their origin (London, 1828).
Joseph Smith had every opportunity to become familiar with such parallelisms. A Jewish rabbi, M. M. Noah, editor of the New York Enquirer, had summarized them in a long speech that had been republished in full in Joseph's home-town paper on October 11, 1825. "If the tribes could be brought together," Noah had concluded, "could be made sensible of their origin, could be civilized, and restored to their long lost brethren, what joy to our people!" Joseph unquestionably had access to the Wayne Sentinel, for on August 11, 1826 his father was listed among the delinquent subscribers as owing $5.60.
Joseph's familiarity with the theory of the Hebraic origin of the Indians seems, however, to have come chiefly from a popular book by Ethan Smith, pastor of a church in Poultney, Vermont. This book, View of the Hebrews, or the Ten Tribes of Israel in America, was published in 1823, a second edition in 1825. Ethan Smith had managed to collect all the items of three generations of specious scholarship and piecemeal observation on this subject, and had added to them Caleb Atwater's accurate descriptions of the Ohio mounds and Alexander von Humboldt's glowing account of the architectural ruins of Central America.
Ethan Smith's theory of the origin of the Indian mounds was exactly the same as that which formed the heart of the Book of Mormon story: "Israel brought into this new continent a considerable degree of civilization; and the better part of them long laboured to maintain it. But others fell into the hunting and consequently savage state; whose barbarous hordes invaded their more civilized brethren, and eventually annihilated most of them, and all in these northern regions!" *
It may, in fact, have been View of the Hebrews that gave Joseph Smith the idea of writing an Indian history in the first place "If the Indians are of the tribes of Israel," Ethan Smith said pointedly, "some decisive evidence of the fact will ere long be exhibited." And he described in great excitement the discovery of an ancient Hebrew phylactery bound in leather, which had allegedly been unearthed in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He reported also a provocative legend, said to have come from an Indian chief, that the red men "had not long since a book which they had for a long time preserved. But having lost the knowledge
* View of the Hebrews (1825), p. 184.
of reading it, they concluded it would be of no further use to them; and they buried it with an Indian chief." *
Joseph Smith knew this legend, for he quoted it in his church newspaper in later years as evidence of the historical accuracy of the Book of Mormon, although he was careful to use as a source Josiah Priest's American Antiquities, which had reprinted Ethan Smith's account in 1833, three years after the Book of Mormon was published. It may never be proved that Joseph saw View of the Hebrews before writing the Book of Mormon, but the striking parallelisms between the two books hardly leave a case for mere coincidence.
Both books opened with frequent references to the destruction of Jerusalem; both told of inspired prophets among the ancient Americans; both quoted copiously and almost exclusively from Isaiah; and both delineated the ancient Americans as a highly civilized people. Both held that it was the mission of the American nation in the last days to gather these remnants of the house of Israel and bring them to Christianity, thereby hastening the day of the glorious millennium. View of the Hebrews made much of the legend that the "stick of Joseph" and the "stick of Ephraim" -- symbolizing the Jews and the lost tribes -- would one day be united; and Joseph Smith's first advertising circulars blazoned the Book of Mormon as "the stick of Joseph taken from the hand of Ephraim."
Ethan Smith had excitedly described copper breastplates, taken from the mounds, which had two white buckhorn buttons fastened to the outside of each plate, "in resemblance of the Urim and Thummim," the ancient magic lots that miraculously blazed on the ephod of the high priest of ancient Israel. And this reference Joseph elaborated into the fabulous magic spectacles with which he translated the golden plates.
* Ibid., p. 223.
Joseph published the story of the long-buried book in the Times and Seasons, Nauvoo, Illinois, Vol. III (June 1, 1842), pp. 813-14. He was then editor. Ethan Smith is listed as the original source, although Priest is listed as the author of the entire article. In the issue of June 15, 1842 Joseph quoted a long extract from Alexander von Humboldt, which had been reprinted in Boudinot's A Star in the West. Such extracts indicate that he was very familiar with the literature supporting the hypothesis of the Hebraic origin of the Indians. The scholarly Mormon historian B. H. Roberts once made a careful and impressive list of parallels between View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon, but for obvious reasons it was never published. After his death copies were made which circulated among a limited circle in Utah.
View of the Hebrews, however, was only a basic source book for the Book of Mormon. The themes that Joseph borrowed he elaborated with a lavish fancy. This can be seen particularly in the story of Quetzalcoatl, whom Ethan Smith described as "the most mysterious being of the whole Mexican mythology," the white, bearded Aztec god who taught his people their prized peaceful arts and for whose return the Aztecs were hoping when Cortes appeared. Ethan Smith described Quetzalcoatl as "a type of Christ," but Joseph saw in the legend evidence that Christ Himself had come to the New World. * The occasional crucifixes found in the mounds gave further weight to this theory, since it was not until years later that scholars proved them to be French and Spanish in origin.
Jesus said: "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice." These other sheep, Joseph said in his Book of Mormon. were the Lamanites and the Nephites, whom Jesus visited in the period between the resurrection and the final ascension. Christ's coming to America, he wrote, had been preceded by cataclysmic destruction which annihilated great portions of the population, and by three days of darkness, which brought the remainder to their knees in anguished repentance. The dramatic appearance of Jesus then made such an impact upon the devastated people that the red and white tribes accepted his gospel and lived together as brothers for several generations, before Satan's wiles began again to split them asunder.
Thus, where View of the Hebrews was just bad scholarship, the Book of Mormon was highly original and imaginative fiction.
Thirty-five years after the Book of Mormon was published, an old antiquarian in Ohio who had spent years in trying to prove that the Indians were descended from the Hebrews pretended to have discovered in a mound several stone plates with the Ten Commandments inscribed in Hebrew. After his death investigators discovered that he had laboriously chipped the stone himself, copying the characters from a Hebrew Bible which he had
* Modern paleographers have fixed the date of Quetzalcoatl's death at A.D. 1208. See The American Aborigines, Their Origin and Antiquity, ed. D. Jenness (Fifth Pacific Science Congress, Toronto, 1933), p. 239.
neglected to destroy. * Between this pathetic petty deception and the Book of Mormon lies the difference between a painfully cramped imagination and an audacious and original mind. Joseph Smith took the whole Western Hemisphere as the setting for his book and a thousand years of history for his plot. Never having written a line of fiction, he laid out for himself a task that would have given the most experienced novelist pause. But possibly because of this very inexperience he plunged into the story.
Sagacious enough to realize that he could not possibly write a history of the Lost Ten Tribes, he chose instead to describe only the peregrinations of two Hebrew families, headed by Lehi and Ishmael, who became the founders of the American race. He began the book by focusing upon a single hero, Nephi, who like himself was peculiarly gifted of the Lord. This device launched him smoothly into his narrative and saved him from having bitten off more than he could chew.
* This story is told by E. O. Randall in "The Mound Builders and the Lost Tribes: the 'Holy Stones of Newark,' " Ohio Archeological and Historical Society Publications. Vol. XVII (April 1908). Modern Mormons have used the discovery of this Decalogue as evidence of the truth of the Book of Mormon, apparently unaware that it was pure fakery. See "Decalogue Uncovered in Ohio Mound," Deseret News, Church Section, Salt Lake City, November 8, 1941, p. 2.
Rocky Mountain Mason
No. 4 Jan. 1956, pp. 17-31
"A P A R A L L E L"
A MATTER OF CHANCE versus COINCIDENCE
BY MERVIN B. HOGAN
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Paul R. Cheesman, |
"View of the Hebrews..."
unpublished paper, 1963
copy in: Dale Broadhurst Papers
University of Utah Marriott Library:
Accession 913: Bx 16
Excerpt: List of Parallels Found in Both
001 Need for the Book of Mormon 002 The Geographical location 003 Author 004 Date 005 Subject matter 006 Destruction of Jerusalem 007 Ezekiel's two sticks of scripture 008 Restoration of Israel 009 The gathering 010 The stem from the root of Jesse 011 A second gathering 012 A miraculous highway to be made 013 Jewish nation to be restored 014 Till the fullness of the Gentiles Comes in 015 To be grafted in, in latter-days 016 And it came to pass 017 The grafted olive tree 018 The resurrection 019 God's ensign for assembling Israel 020 Vast expanse wilderness needed to hide lost tribes 021 Important land across waters 022 One faction went to land great distance across water 023 Belief in one Spirit God 024 Circumcision 025 Is Book of Mormon lost book Indians expected 026 Confounding languages at Babel 027 Great body of water obstructed migration 028 Emigration from Jerusalem around 600 BC 029 Vast population to cover continent; sea to sea 030 American tribes have a common origin 031 Indians' dark skin due to degeneracy 032 More than one people settled America 033 Devil is leader of evil forces 034 Indians believed they were God's chosen people 035 Repeatedly mention high priests 036 They carried with them something sacred 037 Belief in future existence, rewards and punishments 038 The wicked are to burn in hell 039 Belief in heaven and hell 040 God loved the poor better than the rich 041 Polygamy is discredited 042 Jesus Christ declared savior of world 043 Indians are descendants of Abraham 044 some Indians had other gods 045 Worship of the Creator 046 God blesses faithful and rewards them openly 047 Both had altars early 048 Various tribes associated with a variety of animals 049 Cities and places of refuge 050 The Indians account of how they got here 051 The deluge of Noah's time 052 The Twelve Tribes of Israel 053 Tragedy of Abel and Cain 054 Anointing of authorities 055 They built temples 056 The Urim and Thummim and breastplates 057 They measured time by the moon 058 The unknown god 059 Immunity to love of the world and riches 060 Restoration of Lamanites to civilized state 061 They had kings 062 philosophical Syllogisms 063 Two ways to travel 064 Evil, wickedness and war came from the devil 065 Black slavery questioned 066 The origin of man 067 Feasts of harvest and celebration 068 The early American inhabitants originated from one stock 069 Inspired Prophets 070 The beloved people 071 How the natives came here, and from whence 072 Great earthquakes in America 073 The immortal soul 074 The world to be burned with fire 075 God visited afflictions for evil deeds 076 Degeneracy, wickedness and idolatry due to disobedience 077 Faith and confidence in God makes superior warriors 078 Fasts observed 079 Book of Mormon answers Ethan's questions 080 Evidence of a prehistoric civilization 081 Two factions of Indians, good and bad 082 Hunters, beasts and game 083 Tremendous wars between the factions 084 One faction became extinct due to wars 085 Bad faction had some virtues 086 Fruits and benefits from a communal society 087 Manufactured articles 088 Migration from north to south 089 Many cities 090 Egyptian hieroglyphics 091 Gospel preached in America long ago 092 Walled towns 093 watch towers 094 forts 095 Arts and sciences 096 Significant high places 097 Pavements and cement 098 Vast pre-Columbian population 099 Visit by a Christ-like personage 100 Indians believed in revelation 101 Famines in the land 102 Disappearance of religious leaders 103 Teachings of ancient prophets for the Indians 104 Indians were white originally 105 Indians expected a restoration 106 Three-in-one-God 107 Indians came to America across the Pacific 108 Indian Hill vs Hill Cumorah 109 Seed of the blessed of the Lord 110 Quoted from Isaiah 111 The last days 112 Ultimate goal: Zion 113 Preach to the isles of the sea 114 Sending missionaries to Indians 115 American history foreshadowed 116 Isthmus of Panama and the narrow neck of land 117 Fullness of the Gentiles foretold 118 America the promised land 119 A remnant only of the lost tribes to return 120 Wilderness spiritually and literally dark 121 A vast amount of dry bones