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Information on:
Ethan Smith
The Author of:
A View of the Hebrews...

  • Ethan Smith Geneology
  • Ethan Smith Biography
  • Ethan Smith Bibliography
  • Ethan Smith Articles, Review, etc.

  • 1825 View of the Hebrews

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    Dissertation on Prophecies (1811)  |  Figurative Language (1814)  |  Pamphlets (1814-7)
    Character of Christ (1814)  |  View of Hebrews (1823)  |  Key to the Revelation (1833)

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    The Family of the Rev. Ethan Smith

    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
      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
        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




    OF  THE

    A L U M N I





    BY THE

    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.

    The rest of this book is not transcribed here.


    1866 expansion of the biodata provided above

    Sprague, William B.
    Annals of the American Pulpit v. II
    (NYC: Robert Carter & Bros., 1866)

    [ p. 296 ]

    *MS. from his son, Dr. L. A. Smith.

    ETHAN SMITH was the son of Deacon Elijah Smith and Sybil (Worthington) Smith, and was born at Belchertown, Mass., on the 19th of December, 1762. His parents were both entirely pious persons; and his mother particularly spared no pains to give the minds of her children a right direction. His father was much engaged in public life, and served his country in the French war, as Captain under Sir William Johnson, in the regiment of Colonel Ephraim Williams. He died when this son was in his eighth year; shortly after which, the son was sent from home to live with some of his relatives. In consequence of being thus withdrawn from the good influence of his mother, and finding nothing in his new situation that could be a substitute for it, he gradually lost, in a measure, the serious impressions of his earlier years, and, until he had reached his eighteenth

    [ p. 297 ]

    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

    [ p. 298 ]

    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

    [ p. 299 ]

    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.


    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

    [ p. 300 ]

    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

    "Spaulding-Smith Story"
    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

    Bridwell-McDowell Debate
    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

    Brigham H. Roberts, "Book Mormon Difficulties,"
    unpublished (during his lifetime) report c. Sept. 1921

    Fawn M. Brodie, "Red Sons of Israel,"
    No man Knows My History 1945, pp. 34-49

    Hugh W. Nibley,
    No Ma'am That's Not History 1946

    Francis W. Kirkham, "New Approaches to B. of M. Study,"
    A New Witness For Christ... II 1951 & 1959 pp. 391-392 & pp. 420-21

    Hugh W. Nibley, "New Approaches to B. of M. Study,"
    Improvement Era March 1954

    Mervin E. Hogan, "A Parallel,"
    Rocky Mountain Mason No. 4 Jan. 1956, pp. 17-18

    Marvin S. Hill, "Historigraphy of Mormonism,"
    Church History, Dec. 1959

    Ariel L. Crowley, "Analysis of... 'View of the Hebrews,'"
    n. d.

    Ariel L. Crowley, "A Comparison with the Book of Mormon,"
    About the Book of Mormon 1961

    Wesley M. Jones, "Notes on 'View of the Hebrews,'"
    A Critical Stidy of B. of M. Sources 1964, pp. 27-42

    Paul R. Cheesman, "View of the Hebrews..."
    unpublished paper 1963  excerpt

    S. J. Palmer & W. L. Knecht, "View of the Hebrews"
    Brigham Young University Studies No. 5? 1964, pp. 105-113

    Robert N. Hullinger, "Lost Tribes of Israel & BoM,"
    LQ (1970)

    William Riley, "A Comparison... View of the Hebrews...,"
    Master's thesis, Brigham Young University, May 1971.

    Bruce D. Blumell, "I Have a Question,"
    The Ensign September 1976, pp. 84-87

    James D. Wardle, "Parallels Between 'View of the Hebrews...'"
    unpublished report dated 1978

    Truman G. Madsen, "B. H. Roberts and the B. of M."
    Brigham Young University Studies No. 19 1979 pp. 427-45.

    Robert N. Hullinger, "Lost: The Indians' Book of God"
    Mormon Answer to Skepticism 1980 pp. 48-61

    George D. Smith, Jr., "Book Of Mormon Difficulties"
    Sunstone Review vol. 6 May 1981

    B. H. Roberts, "A Book of Mormon Study" & "A Parallel,"
    Studies of the Book of Mormon, 1985

    David Persuitte,
    Joseph Smith and Origins of V. of M. 1985, 2000

    Dan Vogel,
    Indian Origins and the B. of M.... 1986

    Robert N. Hullinger,
    Joseph Smith's Response to Skepticism 1992



    Vol. I.                     Boston, October 1, 1824.                       No. 12.

    [p. 179]

    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.

    Uttica  Christian  Repository
    Vol. 4.                     Utica, New York.                       May 1825.

    [p. 143]

    R E V I E W.

    View of the Hebrews; by Ethan Smith,
    Pastor of a church in Poultney, Vermont.
    Poultney: Smith & Shute. 12 mo. pp, 183.

    Every thing relating to the Hebrews demands the attention of the Christian world. The signs of the times, as well as the predictions of the prophets, seem to indicate their speedy restoration. Those branches which have so long been broken off for their unbelief, are about to be grafted into their own olive tree again. The Jews, in all their dispersions, have been preserved a distinct people, that some great and important purpose might be answered by them in the providence of God in these latter days. And what that purpose is, the apostle hints, in the 11th chapter to the Romans. "Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulbess? For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" The Jewish nation were long the only visible people of God. They were as a people cut off from being such, that the door of hope might be opened to the Gentiles. And their recovery is to be the grand means of introducing the latter day glory of the church. It has been a question on which the opinions of christians have been somewhat divided, whether they are to be converted, and united with the churches of believing Gentiles, in the places where they reside, or whether they are to return in a body to the land of their fathers. But it would seem, that a careful comparison of the language in which their dispersion was predicted, must remove every doubt. Events are, indeed, the best interpreters of prophecy. But when it is seen, by the events which have already transpired respecting that nation, how literally the prophecies relative to their past history have been fulfilled, no doubt can remain, that the prophecies which relate to their restoration, not only indicate their conversion to God, but their literal return to the land of their fathers, and their actual possession of it, according to the grant made to Abraham, to the end of the world.

    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

    [ p. 144 ]

    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

    [ p. 145 ]

    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.

    [ p. 146 ]

    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,

    [ p. 147 ]

    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.

    [ p. 148 ]

    "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,

    [ p. 149 ]

    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.

    [p. 995]


    THE above is the title of a remarkable book that has lately fallen into our hands -- remarkable from the fact that it produces such strong evidences in favor of the genuineness of the Book of Mormon. It is written by a reverend gentleman named Ethan Smith, the pastor of a church in Poultney, Vermont, and its second edition, the one in our possession, was issued in April, 1825: that is before the sacred plates containing Mormon's record were placed in the Prophet Joseph's hands by the Angel Moroni for translation; this latter important event having taken place in September, 1827.

    The whole of Mr. Smith's book, (285
    pages) is devoted to proving that the American Indians are a remnant of the House of Israel. This he does by appealing to their manners, and customs, religious observations, languages, traditions, physical appearance, etc. etc., and a wonderful strong showing he makes. But the most remarkable thing is his own conclusions regarding the ancient history of America derived from long study of the material he has gathered. He writes, and it must be remembered that this was written years before the Book of Mormon was published, or indeed translated:

    Some of the people of Israel who came into the western continent maintained some degree

    596                                         THE  JUVENILE  INSTRUCTOR.                                        

    of civilization for a long time; but that the better part of the outcast tribes of Israel here finally became extinct, at least in North America, under the rage of their more numerous savage brethren.

    He then gives an extract from the "Transactiuons and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society." (1820) which describes the discovery of ancient forts, temples, towns, altars, camps, etc. on this continent, and continues:

    These certainly are precisely such remains as naturally might have been expected to be furnished by a better part of Israel placed in their outcast state, in a vast wilderness, with a degree of civilization which they possessed when vanished from Canaan; and were situated in the midst of savage tribes from their race, who had degenerated to the hunting life, and were intent on the destruction of this better part of their brethren. Thus situated and struggling to maintain their existence, and to maintain their religious traditions, they would naturally form the very things above enumerated, walled towns, forts, temples, altars, habitations of chieftains, videttes and watch-towers. These cannot be ascrived to a people of any other origin, with anything like an equal degree of probability.

    Those best acquainted with the contents of the Book of Mormon will most highly appreciate the wonderful similarity between Mr. Smith's deductions and conclusions and the actual facts. He, as a result of his studies, had reached the truth in great minuteness and gives us a condensed history of the rise and fall of the Nephites and Lamanites as they are now revealed to us in the inspired translation of their sacred records.

    Mr. Smith, also, in more than one place, refers to a tradition among the various tribes that in former times they possessed a book of great value, which they had lost, but which would at some time be restored to them. Speaking of these Indians he says:

    They tell you that Johewah (Jehovah) once
    chose their nation from all the rest of mankind, to be his peculiar people. That a book which God gave was once theirs, and then things were 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 that some of their fathers once had a spirit to foretell future events, and to work miracles.

    This is exactly the story, from the Lamanite standpoint, which the Book of Mormon records. In this relation he quotes Dr. Boudinot, at one time President of the American Bible Society:

    Dr. Boudinot gives it as from good authority, that the Indians have a tradition that the book which the white people have was once theirs. That while they had this book, things went well with them; they prospered accordingly; but that other people got it from them; that the Indians lost their credit; offended the Great Spirit, and suffered exceedingly from the neighboring nations; that the Great Spirit then took pity on them, and directed them to this country.

    Here we have an exceedingly clear tradition of the times when the forefathers of the Indians possessed the ancient Hebrew scriptures, which were copied from the plates of brass brought, as Nephi informs us, from Jerusalem by the company of Israelites, of which he was so distinguished a member.

    A book published in London, England, in 1833, by a Mr. C. Colton, on the origin of the American Indians bears testimony to this same tradition. It is therein stated:

    They assert that a book was once in possession of their ancestors, and along with this recognition they have traditions that the Great Spirit used to foretell to their forefathers future events; that he controlled nature in their favor; that angels once talked with them; that all the Indian tribes descended from one man, who had twelve sons; that this man was a notable and renowned prince, having great dominions, and that the Indians, his posterity, will yet recover the same dominion and influence. They believe, by tradition, that the spirit of prophecy and miraculous interposition, once enjoyed by

                                            THE  JUVENILE  INSTRUCTOR.                                         597

    their ancestors, will yet be restored to them, and that they will recover the book, all of which has been so long lost.

    Mr. Smith also quotes the Rev. Dr. West, of Stockbridge, as saying:

    An old Indian informed me that his fathers in this country had not long since had a book which they had for a long time preserved. But having lost the knowledge of reading it, they concluded that it would be of no further use to them; and they buried it with an Indian chief.

    The following interesting account of the discovery of a Jewish phylactery * is abridged from Mr. Smith's work:

    It appears that in 1815, a Mr. Joseph Merrick, of Pittsfield, was plowing on a portion of his property known as Indian Hill, and at a point where the plowing was deepest he found a kind of black strap, about six inches in length and one and a half in breadth, with a loop of some hard substance at each end. He conveyed this strap to his house and threw it into an old tool box. He afterward found it thrown out of doors, and again conveyed it to the box. After a time he attempted to cut it, and found it hard as a bone. Eventually he succeeded, and found it was formed of pieces of thick rawhide, sewed and made water tight. On being opened it was found to contain four folded leaves of old parchment of a dark yellow color, covered with writing. One of these parchment leaves was torn to pieces by some of Mr. Merrick's neighbors, the other three were sent to

    * A phylactory is thus defined in the dictionary: Among the Jews a strip or strips of rawhide parchment inscribed with passages of scripture (Ex. 13: 2-10, 11-17; Deut 6: 4-9; 13-22) and enclosed in a black calf-skin case, having thongs for binding it upon the forehead or around the left arm in memory of the early history of the race and of the duty to observe the law.
    Cambridge (Mass.) for translation. They proved to be written in Hebrew and contained the identical texts of scripture usually placed by the Jews in their phylacteries. This discovery of texts of Hebrew scripture found underground in such a place and under such conditions created considerable comment, and the suggestion was advanced that some Jew had buried them there. But investigation showed that no Jew had ever, in modern times, been in that neighborhood. Besides the workmanship and general appearance proved the antiquity. The texts on the three pieces of parchment were respectively Exodus 13: 11-16; Deut. 6: 4-9; and Deut. 11: 13-21. One only of these we will here insert, the other two were equally appropriate for the purpose.

      Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
      And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
      And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
      And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
      And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
      And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. -- Deut. 6: 4-9.

    The conclusion is inevitable that in the distant past a people resided on this western continent who were acquainted with the Hebrew language and who observed the law of Moses, just as the Book of Mormon declares. No other people would have any use for such an instrument.

                   Geo. Reynolds.


    Fawn M. Brodie,
    "Red Sons of Israel"
    No Man Knows My History
    copyright 1945 ("fair-use" excerpt)

    Red Sons of Israel

    Western New York regarded its Indian mounds with a curiosity that made an amateur antiquarian of almost everyone in the area. What had caused the giant heaps of skeletons nobody seemed to know, but nobody lacked a theory. The Palmyra newspapers showed a continuing interest in the mystery, one editor writing in 1818 that the luckless inhabitants were "doubtless killed in battle and hastily buried," and another saying more humbly in 1823 that "what wonderful catastrophe destroyed the first inhabitants is beyond the researches of the best scholar and greatest antiquarian." *

    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.

    CHAPT. III Red Sons of Israel                                  [45

    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).

    46]                                  No Man Knows My History

    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.

    CHAPT. III Red Sons of Israel                                  [47

    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.

    48]                                  No Man Knows My History

    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.

    CHAPT. III Red Sons of Israel                                  [49

    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.


    Mervin E. Hogan,
    "A Parallel,"
    Rocky Mountain Mason
    No. 4 Jan. 1956, pp. 17-31

    [ 17 ]

    "A   P A R A L L E L"



    Unless an individual has experienced an unusual and an extensive historical education, he little realizes that a speculative relationship of the American Indian to a is Hebraic worn thesis which must have sprung from the imaginations of some of the theologically inclined soon after 1492. Furthermore. unless he has informed himself rather fully regarding the theological and sociological circumstances existing in these United States following the Revolutionary War, he has no concept of the tremendous evangelical religious activity existing throughout the early decades of the nineteenth century. This seething activity resulted in the founding of many religious sects during those years, including Mormonism in 1830. An unusually vivid description of this movement was given by Hervey Allen in his last book, Toward the Morning. 1948.

    Hubert Howe Bancroft in The Native Races of the Pacific States, Vol. V, 1883, pp. 77-102, gave a summary of the problem and its treatment in the past. He introduced this discussion with the observation:

    The theory that the Americans (Indians) are of Jewish descent 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 parallelisms they adduce in support of their hypothesis, exceed by far anything we have yet encountered."

    Fawn McKay Brodie wrote the definitive biography of Joseph Smith: No Man Knows My History, 1946. In this work she treated the present topic comprehensively in Chapter III. "Red Sons of Israel."
    The interested reader will find these two presentations most rewarding.

    Undoubtedly the listing of representative titles will substantiate the above statement as nothing else will. To that end the following titles, authors, and dates of publication are presented:

    1. Origen de los Indies dcl Nuevo Mtindo, e lndias Occidentales (Origin of the New World and Western Indians), by Gregorio Garcia: Pedro Patricio Mey, Valencia. 1607. A second edition of this work was published by Francisco Martinez Abad, Madrid, 1729.

    2. The History of the American Indians; etc., by James Adair; Edward and Charles Dilly, London. 1775.

    3. An Essay upon the propagation of the Gospel, by Charles Crawford: J. Gales. Philadelphia. 1799. A second edition of this treatise was published by James Humphreys, Phladelphia, 1801.

    4. A Star in the West; or, A Humble Attempt to discover the long lost Ten Tribes of Israel, etc., by Elias Boudinot: D. Fenton. S. Hutchinson. and J. Dunham. Trenton. 1816.

    5. View of the Hebrews; etc., by Ethan Smith: Smith and Shute, Poultncy. (Vt.). 1823.
    A second edition of this volume. the most interesting by far in its relationship to the present subject, was issued by the same publishers in 1825. There were two printings of the second edition.

    6. The Wonders of Nature and Providence, Displayed, by Josiah Priest: E. and E. Hosford. Albany. 1825.

    7. A View of the American Indians. etc.. by Israel Worsley. R. Hunter. London, 1828.

    8. Antiquities of Mexico: etc., by Lord Kingsborough (in seven volumes): Augustine Aglio, London, 1830. Eighteen years later Vols. VIII and IX were published

    [ 18 ]

        by Henry G. Bohn. London. 1848.

    The above compilation is by no means complete, simply illustrative. It shows conclusively that books were being written on the subject before a permanent Anglo-Saxon settlement had been founded on this continent. It a so shows that the most monumental work ever undertaken on the subject, namely Lord Kingsborough's, was going through the press simultaneously with the first edition of the Book of Mormon. Kingsborough's devotion to the topic is further attested by his addition of an eighth and ninth volume in 1848 to the seven volumes of 1830.

    Certainly Joseph Smith was no isolated figure dealing with a unique, unusual, or new subject.

    Brigham H. Roberts achieved considerable recognition as the official historian of Mormonism. He devoted his attention at one time to a methodical and thorough study of
    Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews and critically compared it with his intimate knowledge of the Book of Mormon and other Mormon literature. He tabulated his findings as parallels between the two books. After he had died mimeographed copies of his notes were privately distributed among a restricted group of Mormon scholars.

    Benjamin E. Roberts was a son of B. H. Roberts and enjoyed the reputation in the Salt Lake area as a keen and able lawyer. On October 10, 1946, the son addressed the Timpanogos Club at the Hotel Utah, discussing his father's studies. The writer was present at the meeting and examined the original penciled long-hand manuscript by B. H. Roberts who had titled it "A Parallel." Ben E Roberts had a limited number of mimeographed copies of the manuscript which he distributed after his presentation. The following is a faithful copy of that mimeographed material:



    (1) Place: Sharon. Windsor County. Vermont: and Palrnyra, Ontario (now Wayne) County, New York.

    (2) Title: Book of Mormon. by the hand of Mormon ascribing origin if American Indians to certain tribes of the Hebrews. Translated by Joseph Smith (The 1830 First Edition states "By Joseph Smith, Junior, Author and proprietor.")

    (3) RevealedExistence of the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith September 22, 1823.

    Gold plates of Book of Mormon given into custody of Joseph Smith for translation. September 22. 1827.

    Book of Mormon published the latter part of March, 1830. "To the convincing of the Jew and the Gentile that Jesus is the Christ." (Title page.)

    (4) Origin of American Indians: It is often represented by Mormon speakers and writers, that the Book of Mormon was the first to represent the American Indians as the descendants of the Hebrews: holding that the Book of Mormon is unique in this. The claim is sometimes still ignorantly made.

    1823 and 1825

    (1) Place: Poultney, Rutland County, Vermont (adjoining county on the west from Windsor County, Vermont, where Joseph Smith's family lived).

    (2) Title: View of the Hebrews; or The Tribes of Israel in America, written by Ethan Smith, Pastor.

    (3) View of the Hebrews published (First Edition), 1823.

    Second Edition published 1[8]25; considerably enlarged by quotations from Baron Humboldt's New Spain (Black's translation) American Edition. 1811. Copious quotations on ruined cities of America, temples, and the story of Quetzalcoatl -- reminiscent of Moses "as a type of the Christ."

    (4) Origin of American Indians: In his index to the View of the Hebrews (Second Edition) (p. l x) Ethan Smith informs us that from page 114 to page 225 (111 pages) will be devoted to promiscuous testimonies, to the main fact for which his book stands, viz., the Hebrew origin of the American Indians. He brings together avery long list of writers and

    [ 19 ]

      published books to show that the view very generally obtained throughout New England. One hundred and eleven pages devoted to evidence alone of the fact of such Hebrew origin gives space for much proof. Referring to Adam's testimonies on the subject, the View of the Hebrews lists twenty-three arguments to prove such origin. (pp. 147-8).
    (5) The Hidden Book Revealed: On finding the Book of Mormon Joseph Smith states that the Angel Moroni said that there was a book deposited written upon gold plates giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent and source whence they sprang.

    Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario County, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of the hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth.

    Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up. I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplates, as stated by the messenger. The box in which they lay was formed by laying stones together in some kind of cement. In the bottom of the box were laid two stones crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and the other things with them." (Pearl of Great Price; Joseph Smith 2:51-52.)
    (5) The Lost Book: "Dr. West of Stockbridge gave the following information. An old Indian informed him that his fathers in this country had not long since had a book which they had for a long time preserved. But having lost the knowledge of reading it, they concluded it would be of no further use to them; and they buried it with an Indian chief." It was spoken of "as a matter of fact." (View of the Hebrews. Second Edition, p. 223).

    Some readers have said: If the Indians are of the tribes of Israel, some decisive evidence of the fact will ere long be exhibited. This may be the case.... Would evidence like the following be deemed as verging toward what would be satisfactory? Suppose a leading character in Israel -- wherever they are -- should be found to have in his possession some biblical fragment of ancient Hebrew writing. This man dies, and it is buried with him in such a manner as to be long preserved. Some people afterward removing that earth, discovered this fragment, and ascertain what it is, -- an article of ancient Israel. Would such an incident... be esteemed of some weight? Something like this may possibly have occurred in favour of our Indians being of Israel." (p. 217.)

    Finding the Pittsfield Parchment (Hebrew): "Mr. Merrick gave the following account: That in 1815 he was leveling some ground under and near an old wood-shed standing on a place of his, situated on Indian Hill (a place in Pittsfield so called and lying, as the writer was afterward informed, at some distance from the middle of town where Mr. Merrick is now living.) He ploughed and conveyed away old chips and earth... After the work was done, he discovered, near where the earth had been dug the deepest, a kind of black strap, about six inches in length.... He found it was formed of pieces of thick raw hide... and

    [ 20 ]

      in the fold it contained four folded leaves of old parchment. These leaves were of a dark yellow (suggesting gold color?) and contained some kind of writing. (They turned out to be Bible quotations.) They were written in Hebrew with a pert, in plain and intelligible writing. (pp. 219-220.) Query: Could all this have supplied structural work for the Book of Mormon?
    (6) Inspired Seers and Prophets: Ammon to King Limhi of the Jaredite records: I can assuredly tell thee, O King, of a man that can translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called a seer, (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 8:13.)

    And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.

    And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.

    But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light. and things which are not known shall he made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known. (Mosah 8:15-17.)

    And now he (Mosiah) translated them (the records of the Jaredites) by the means of those two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow.

    Now these things were prepared front the beginning, and were handed down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages; (Mosiah 28:13, 14.)

    And whosoever has these things is called seer, after the manner of old times, (Mosiah 28:16.)
    (6) Inspired Prophets-Spirit Gifts: "The Indian tradition says, that their fathers were possessed 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, (Mr. Adair says of those Indians) is the name of all their priestly order: and their pontifical office descends by inheritance to the eldest, (p. 150.)
    7) Urim And Thummim And Breast Plate: "I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate as stated by the messenger (i.e., Moroni), (Pearl of Great Price; Joseph Smith 2:52.) (7) Urim And Thummim And Breast Plate:

    "Before the Indian Archimagus (the high priest) officiates in making the supposed holy fire for the yearly atonement for sin, the sagan (waiter of the high priest) clothes

    [ 21 ]

    "With the records was found a curious instrument, which the ancients called `Urim and Thummim,' which consisted of two transparent stones set in the rim of a bow fastened to a breast plate. Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift and power of God. (Wentworth Letter, History of the Church, Vol. 4, p. 537.) him with a white ephod. which is a waistcoat without sleeves. In resemblance of the Urim and Thummim. the American Archimagus wears a breast plate 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 buckhorn white button to the outside of each, as if in imitation of the precious stones of the Urim." (p. 150.)

    The dress of the high priest of the Osage Indians: "His cap was very high... His robe was a buffalo skin singularly decorated with various coloured feathers . . . And he wore on his breast, suspended from his neck, a dressed beaver skin stretched on sticks, on which were painted various hieroglyphic figures, in different colours.

    The Indians speak of similar characters being among other tribes. Here, as in Mr. Adair's account, is their high priest's robe and breastplate," (p. 166.) "The official dress of their high priests, and his resemblance of the breast-plate; and other things. the View of the Hebrews urges as evidences of Hebrew origin. (p. 167.)

    Describing a buried chieftain in one of the Ohio mounds:

    On the breast lay a piece of copper: also a curious stone five inches in length, two in breadth, with two perforations through it, containing a string of sinews of some animal. On this string were many beads of ivory, or bone. The whole appeared to have been designed to wear upon the neck, as a kind of breast-plate. (P. 195.)
    (8) Characters in Which Book of Mormon was Engraved on Gold Plates:

    These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold... They were filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole.... The characters of the unsealed part were small, and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, and much skill in the art of engraving. (Wentworth Letter, History of the Church. Vol. 4, p. 537.)

    The first Nephi speaking of the record he was making of events of his times says:

    Yea, I make a record in the language
    (8) Evidence of Mexican Indians Anciently in Contact with Egyptian Hieroglyphics (View of the Hebrews, on authority of Humboldt):

    On the northwest coast between Nootka and Cook river, the natives displayed a decided taste for hieroglyphical paintings. "A harp (says Humboldt) represented in the hieroglyphical paintings of the inhabitants of the north west coasts of America, is an object at least as remarkable. as the famous harp on the tombs of the kings of Thebes." (p. 184.)

    Humboldt is cited as giving "it as his opinion that these more improved tribes in New Mexico came from the north-west coast, and left some of their half civilized brethren there. Among the hieroglyphical paintings of the latter, it seems, the harp is

    [ 22 ]

    of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.

    And I know that the record which I make is true: and I make it with mine own hand: and I make it according to my knowledge." (6th Cent. B.C.. I Nephi 1:2, 3.)

    This strange manner of making a record continued through the whole Nephite period: for Mormon in the 4th Century AD. says: "And now. behold, we have written this record (meaning the whole abridgment of the Book of Mormon) according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. (Book of Mormon. Mormon 9:32.)
    Was not this a noted Israelitish musical instrument? How should the American Indians be led to paint the Jewish harp? The Jews in Babylon 'hung their harps upon willows.' And it is as natural an event that their brethren, in the wilds of America, should place them in their silent hieroglyphical paintings. Whence could have been derived the knowledge of the accurate hieroglyphical paintings, which this most learned author (meaning Humboldt) exhibits as found among some of the Indians; unless they had learned them from people to whom the knowledge of hieroglyphics had been transmitted from Egypt, its original source? (p. 185.)

    Was this sufficient to suggest the strange manner of writing the book of Mormon in the learning of the Jews, and the language of the Egyptian, put in an altered Egyptian? (See "Mormon," cited above, left.)
    (9) Accounting for Two Classes of People in America. One Barbarous. the Other Civilized:

    The descendants of Lehi. sometime after his death were divided by the withdrawal of the younger son, I Nephi. and those he persuaded to follow him, from the elder sons of Lehi, Laman, and Lemuel and their sympathizers, and this was the beginning of the establishment of civilized and barbarous peoples in America. Nephi describes both.

    Of those who went with him he said: "And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.

    And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance And we began to raise flocks, and herds and animals of every kind....

    And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.

    And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things: for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the manner of
    (9) Accounting for an Overthrown Civilization in America as Witnessed by the Ruined Monuments of It; and the Existence of Barbarous Peoples Occupying America at the Advent of the Europeans:

    Two classes, barbarous and civilized were found.

    Ethan Smith found opposition to his views growing out of the supposition that if the American Indians were descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, then they would have been a civilized rather than a barbarous people when discovered. Of this he says:

    Some have felt a difficulty arising against the Indians being the ten tribes, from their ignorance of the mechanic arts, of writing, and of navigation. Ancient Israel knew something of these; and some imagine that these arts being once known, could never be lost. But no objection is hence furnished against our scheme, The knowledge of mechanic arts possessed in early times has been lost by many nations... And Israel in an outcast state, might as well have lost it. It seems a fact that Israel have lost it, let them be who or where they may. Otherwise, they must have been known in the civilized world.

    But that the people who first migrated to this western world did possess some knowledge of the mechanic arts (as much doubtless, as was possessed by Israel when they disappeared in the east) appears

    [ 23 ]

    the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine.

    And If came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands. And Nephi became their king (II Nephi 5:10-18.)

    In relation to the other part of the colony from which Nephi and his following

    And he (God) had caused the cursing to come upon them. yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like until a flint: wherefore, as they were white. and exceeding fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them

    "And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto my people. save they shall repent of their iniquities.

    And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey. (II Nephi 5:21-24,)

    This occurred thirty years after the colony of Lehi left Jerusalem.

    The Nephites are again described two hundred years later as follows: And we (Nephites) multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceeding rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood. in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass, and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war -- yea, the sharp-pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war." (Jarom 1:8,)

    Of the Lamanites of this period this same writer (Jarom) says: "And they were scattered upon much of the face of the land, and the Lamanites also. And they were exceeding more numerous than were they of the Nephites: and they loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts.

    And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle, But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the
    from incontestable facts, which are furnished in Baron Humboldt, and in American Archaeology, such as the finding of brick, earthen ware, sculptures, some implements of iron, as well as other metals, and other tokens of considerable improvement which furnish an argument in favour of the Indians having descendent from the ten tribes.

    The probability then is this that the ten tribes arriving in this continent with some knowledge of the arts of civilized life; finding themselves in a vast wilderness filled with the best of game, inviting them to the chase: most of them fell into a wandering idle hunt-life. Different clans parted from each other, lost each other, and formed separate tribes. Most of them formed a habit of this idle mode of living and were pleased with it. More sensible parts of this people associated together, to improve their knowledge of the arts; and probably continued thus for ages. From these the noted relics of civilization discovered in the west and south were furnished. But the savage tribes prevailed; and in process of time their savage jealousies and rage annihilated their more civilized brethren, And thus, as a wholly vindictive Providence would have it, and according to ancient denunciations. all were left in an `outcast savage state. This account for their loss of the knowledge of letters, of the art of navigation, and of the use of iron. And such a loss can no more operate against their being of the ten tribes, than against their being of any other origin....

    It is highly probable that the more civilized part of the tribes of Israel, after they settled in America, became wholly separated from the hunting and savage tribes of their brethren: that the latter lost the knowledge of their having descended from the same family with themselves; that the more civilized part continued for many centuries; that tremendous wars were frequent between them and their savage brethren, till the former became extinct.

    This hypothesis accounts for the ancient works, forts, mounds, and vast enclosures, as well as tokens of a good degree of civil government, which are manifestly very ancient, and from centuries before Columbus discovered America.

    These partially civilized people became extinct. What account can

    [ 24 ]

    faith of the Lord;... wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance." (Jarom l:6-7.)

    Three hundred years later, the following is the description of this savage division of "a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people: a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites's (the civilized branch of America's population), and robbing and plundering them: and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones: yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering. that they might not labor for them with their own hands.

    Thus they were a very indolent people, many of whom did worship idols, and the curse of God had fallen upon them because of the traditions of their fathers:..." (Alma 17:14-15.)

    This parallel between these two peoples continued until finally, about 400 A.D., the Lamanites entirely destroyed the Nephites at Cumorah, where dreadful battles were fought, where no quarter was asked or given between the parties.

    Description of the final battles are given where armies perished in groups of tens of thousands (Mormon, Chapter 6). Mormon was the leader (if the Nephite division, The complete destruction of the Nephites is witnessed by Moroni, son of the above Mormon.

    A few Nephites had escaped from Cumorah and of these Moroni said:

    "And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed." (Mormon 8:2.) He alone was left of his people.

    It will be remembered that the same thing happened in the destruction of the Jaredite nation which preceded the Nephite and Lamanite occupation of the land; annihilation to the very last man.
    be given of this, but that the savages extirpated them, after long and dismal wars? And nothing appears more probable than that they were the better part of the Israelites who came to this continent, who for a long time retained their knowledge of the mechanic and civil arts; while the greater part of their brethren became savage and wild...."

    Then he adds this in conclusion of the theme:

    "But however vindictive the savages must have been;-however cruel and horrid in extirpating their more civilized brethren; yet it is a fact that there are many excellent traits in their original character." (pp. 171-174.)

    Query: Let it be remembered that the work from which this is quoted existed from five to seven years before the publication of the Book of Mormon. and the two editions of the work flooded the New England states and New York.
    (10) Jerusalem: The destruction of Jerusalem, pending and actual, features largely and early in the Book of Mormon.

    Although Lehi and his colony left Jerusalem some years before its destruction, yet by vision to this prophet its destruction was known.

    "For behold, said he, I have seen
    (10) Jerusalem:

    In the View of the Hebrews the whole of Chapter 1, pages 13-46, is devoted to the destruction of Jerusalem; the historical account of it.

    Would this treatise of the destruction of Jerusalem suggest the theme to the Book of Mormon author, is the legitimate query, since the

    [ 25 ]

    a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished. (II Nephi 1:4.)

    The same is repeated in II Nephi 6:8. It is a subject frequently referred to in both the First and Second Books of Nephi.
    View of the Hebrews was published seven to five years before the Book of Mormon.
    (11) Israel:

    The Book of Mormon has many references to both the scattering and the gathering of Israel in the last days. These references occur more abundantly in the forepart of the Book of Mormon, especially in First Nephi. Chapters 19, 20, 21, and Second Nephi. Chapter 25.
    (11) Israel:

    The View of the Hebrews has many references to both the scattering and gathering of Israel "in the last days." The second chapter of the View of the Hebrews is entitled "The Certain Restoration of Judah and Israel," and in this section is quoted nearly all the references to Isaiah that are referred to, but quoted more fully, in the Book of Mormon.
    (12) Isaiah:

    Lehi's colony brought with them from Jerusalem the Old Testament, (the whole Bible) down to the days of Jeremiah-about 600 B.C., yet about the only books extensively quoted before the coming of Christ to America is Isaiah! Jacob, brother of the First Nephi, quotes nearly all of the 49th, 50th. and 51st chapters: and the Second Nephi quotes about thirteen full chapters from Isaiah (see "Synopsis of Chapters" in current editions of the Book of Mormon, pp. 523-530.)

    The Hebrew records possessed by the Nephites on brass plates are spoken of as containing more matter than the Old Testament had among the Gentiles (I Nephi 13, 20-22.)

    Query: Then why are quotations and references to this great and rich Hebrew literature confined practically to Isaiah alone? (See opposite column.)
    (12) Isaiah:

    Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews quotes copiously and chiefly from Isaiah in relation to the scattering and gathering of Israel. In his second chapter on "the certain restoration of Israel he quotes from six different chapters in Isaiah. In his fourth chapter and in the few pages he devotes to a "Conclusion;" he returns to the subject of the "restoration of Israel," and here he quotes from twenty chapters of Isaiah! He quotes Isaiah 18th chapter complete; but verse by verse with comments and makes of it an "Address" of Isaiah to the U.S. to save Israel.

    Query: Did the author of the Book of Mormon follow too closely the course of Ethan Smith in this use of Isaiah, would be a legitimate query. The View of the Hebrews was published seven to five years before the Book of Mormon.
    (13) A Great Gentile Nation to be Raised Up in America, the Promised Land, to Save Israel in America, in the Last Days.

    Following is the vision of Nephi on the founding of a great gentile nation in the land of promise, America; "Thou beholdest that the Gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity, and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations (America)... which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father (Lehi) that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance;... thou seest the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren.

    Neither will he suffer that the
    (13) The American Gentile Nation (U.S.) Appealed to in the View of the Hebrews to Become the Saviour of Israel in America.

    Ethan Smith's chapter four of the View of the Hebrews is devoted to an appeal to the Christian nation of the United States to become the instrument for teaching the gospel to the American Indians and restore them to the favor and blessing of God.

    The title of the fourth chapter is "An Address of the Prophet Isaiah. Relative to the Restoration of His people. The chapter is really an exposition of Isaiah 18, which he interprets to be an appeal of the ancient prophet to this great nation of the west "away over the mouths of the Nile. (p. 228.) It will be remembered

    [ 26 ]

    Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren.

    I will be merciful unto the Gentiles, unto the visiting of the remnant of the house of Israel in great judgment.

    I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb." (I Nephi 13:30-34.)

    In I Nephi 21st chapter, the Prophet Nephi quotes the whole of Isaiah, which relates largely to the building up and establishment of Israel in the last days. And, then in chapter 22, Nephi is questioned by his brethren as to whether the prophecies of the 49th chapter of Isaiah which he has read are to be taken literally, or are they spiritual, or is a spiritual interpretation to be had of them. Nephi replies that they pertain "to things both temporal and spiritual but, in the main, argues for a literal interpretation. In closing, he refers to the mighty nation among the Gentiles whom God will raise up to bless Israel. He says "And it meaneth that the time cometh that after all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded, That the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered.

    And after our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed; wherefore, it is likened unto their being nourished by the Gentiles and their being carried in their arms and upon their shoulders.

    And it shall also be of worth unto the Gentiles; and not only unto the Gentiles but unto all the house of Israel." (I Nephi 22:7-9.)

    Another Book of Mormon prophet, Jacob, brother of Nephi, speaking of the gathering of Israel and their restoration to their lands, is represented as saying:

    "And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.

    "Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them,
    that Isaiah 18 opens with the exclamation "Woe to the land shadowing with wings," which would seem to be a denunciation. This, Ethan Smith changes to "Ho, land shadowing with wings," (p. 237) saying that the best expositors agree on this interpretation and that the salutation is a friendly calling of attention instead of a denunciation, and what follows in the chapter is an invitation to the land shadowing with wings to participate in the bringing as a present "unto the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled." (pp. 229, 239, 244, 247.) The whole chapter must need be read, we can only give a few excerpts. "The duty of sending them (the American Indians) the gospel, and of being at any expense to teach them Christianity and the blessings of civilized life, is great and urgent on every principle of humanity and general benevolence. And this duty peculiarly attaches to the people, who are now in possession of the former inheritance of those natives; and from too many of whom that people have received insufferable injuries." (p. 227.) "An address is found in the eighteenth chapter of the prophet Isaiah, which is apprehended to be of deep interest to America.... The writer... found it to be an address to some Christian people of the last days, just at the time of the final restoration of God's ancient people; an address to such a people beheld in vision away over the mouths of the Nile, or in some region of the west; a call and solemn divine charge to them to awake and aid that final restoration. (p. 228.)

    The call then must be to a people of the last days; a nation now on earth; and a nation to be peculiarly instrumental in the restoration of the Hebrews in the last days. For this is the very object of the address; to go and collect the ancient people of God; because `in that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, (the very people of the ancient covenant in manifest descriptions repeatedly given), to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the Mt. Zion.'" (p. 229.)

    Dealing with the prophecies of Isaiah 49, and other chapters of Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ethan Smith argues as Nephi did on the 48th and 49th chapters of Isaiah that the prophecies are to be literally fulfilled

    [ 27 ]

    and their queens shall become nursing mothers; wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the Gentiles, for he hath spoken it, and who can dispute?

    "But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land...

    "I will soften the hearts of the Gentiles, that they shall be like unto a father to them; wherefore the Gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the house of Israel." (II Nephi 10:8-18.)

    From all of which it would appear that the great American nation, the Gentile nation, is to take an important part in the gathering and establishment of Israel in their promised land, America.

    See Preface on Title Page of the Book of Mormon:

    "Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever -- And also (the Book of Mormon was written and preserved) to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God."

    This is the mission of the United States according to the Book of Mormon; but the View of the Hebrews preceded the Book of Mormon by seven years!
    fand not treated as mystical passages and that the restoration spoken of "is to be in the latter days." (p. 230.) As to the land shadowing with wings, he holds to be America, "The continent of those two great wings shall be found at last most interesting in relation to your Hebrew brethren (addressing the people of those continents). And those two great wings shall prove but an emblem of a great nation then on that continent (i.e., in the last days); far sequestered from the seat of anti-Christ, and of tyranny and blood; and whose asylum for equal rights, liberty, and religion. shall be well represented by such a national coat of arms -- the protecting wings of a great eagle; which nation in yonder setting of the sun, (when in the last days. judgments shall be thundering through the nations of the eastern continent), shall be found a realm of peaceful protection to all who fly from the abodes of despotism to its peaceful retreat; even as an eagle protects her nest from all harm. Yea, a land that, when all other lands shall be found to have trampled on the Jews, shall be found to have protecting wings for them, tree from such cruelty and ready to aid them." (pp. 238-239).

    "Ye friends of God in the land addressed (the land shadowing with wings -- America); can you read this prophetic direction of the ancient prophet Isaiah. without having your hearts burn within you? Surely you cannot, if you can view it as an address of the Most High to you. God here exalts you, in the last days the age of terror and blood, as high as the standard to be raised for the collection of the seed of Abraham; 'on the mountains'... If these views be correct, Christians in our land may well bless God that it is their happy lot to live in this land shadowing with wings; this protecting realm, an asylum of liberty and religion; a land so distant from the seat of anti-Christ and of the judgments to be thundered down on old corrupt establishments in the last days. And their devout gratitude to Heaven ought to rise, for the blessing of having their existence so near the period alluded to in this sublime prediction, when this land of liberty is beginning to feel her distinguishing immunities compared with the establishments of tyranny and corruption

    [ 28 ]

      in the old continent." (p. 245.)

    "Ho thou nation of the last days, shadowing with thy wings of liberty and peace; pity, instruct, and save my ancient people and brethren: especially that outcast branch of them, who were the natives of your soil." (p. 247.) Much more to the same effect -- but this in conclusion -- and still addressing the Gentile nation:

    "Tell them (the Indians) what their ancient fathers the prophets were inspired to predict in their behalf: and the charge here given for their restoration. Assure them this talk of an ancient prophet, is for them, and they must listen to it and obey it. That the Great Spirit above the clouds now calls them by you to come and receive his grace by Christ the true star from Jacob, the Shiloh who has come, and to whom the people must be gathered. Inform them that by embracing this true seed of Abraham, you and multitudes of other Gentiles, have become the children of that ancient patriarch; and now they must come back as your brothers in the Lord... that 'as touching this election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes;' that they were for their sins excluded for this long period, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved.

    "Go thou nation (U.S.) highly distinguished in the last days; save the remnant of my people. -- Bring me a present of them to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the Mount Zion.'" (pp. 249-250.)

    This is the mission of the United States, according to the View of the Hebrews.
    (14) Love of Riches Among Nephites-Pride:

    Jacob, son of Lehi, says of the Nephites: "Yea, and they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride." (Jacob 1:16.)

    And, again, to the Nephites:

    "Many of you have begun to search for gold.... that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in pride of your hearts, do ye suppose that God justifieth you in this thing?... Nay... the one being is as precious in his sight as the other." (Jacob 2:12, 13, 14, 21.)
    (14) Love of Riches -- Pride:

    A chief of the Delaware Indians said he knew it to be wrong if a poor man came to his door hungry and naked, to turn him away empty. He believed God loved the poorest of men better than he did proud rich men. (View of the Hebrews, p. 104).

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    (15) Polygamy:

    The people of Nephi... began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son." (Jacob 1:15.)

    Jacob to the Nephites: "This people begin to wax in iniquity: they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon... David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.... Wherefore, my brethren, hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; for I the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. (Jacob 2:23-28.)
    (15) Polygamy:

    "Longtime ago" the Delaware Chief said, "it was a good custom among his people to take but one wife, and that for life. But now they (the Indians) had become so foolish, and so wicked, that they would take a number of wives at a time; and turn them away at pleasure." (View of the Hebrews, p. 104.)
    (16) Lamanite Virtues:

    Jacob contrasts the Nephites with the Lamanites to the Nephite's disadvantage with respect to chastity and single marriages; and says of the Lamanites: "Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands: and their husbands and their wives love their children." (Jacob 3:7.)
    (16) Indian Virtues:

    "They are just, honest, liberal, hospitable to strangers, considerate, loving and affectionate to their wives and relations, fond of their children, frugal, and preserving: charitable living in love, peace, and friendship. (View of the Hebrew, p. 175.)

    Query: "Were the passages in this column sufficient to suggest what appears in the left hand column?
    (17) Civilization in America:

    Broadly, the Book of Mormon represents the Nephites and Jaredites as being civilized people, with national governments, kingdoms, republics; with trade, and commerce; navigation, education, written culture, religion; settled orders of living, cities, connected with highways; military establishment, etc., etc.

    The idea of all this, however, is best obtained from general and incidental statements in the Book of Mormon, rather than from any formal and elaborate and definite description of what their civilization consisted.

    The first allusion to the civilized status occurs at about thirty years after Lehi's colony left Jerusalem. The first Nephi says: "I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were of great abundance... And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people . . . to labor with their hands, And it came to pass that they would that I should be their king."
    (17) Civilization in America:

    In the View of the Hebrews quite an elaborate account is given of the civilization that must have existed in Mexico and Central America in ancient times. This is summarized largely from Baron Humboldt's New Spain. published first in Germany, 1808-9 and translated into English by John Black in 1811. and quoted copiously by Ethan Smith in his second edition of the View of the Hebrews, 1825.

    In these excerpts from Humboldt are descriptions of pyramids, temples, ruined cities, highways; with some speculations as to the resemblance between the Mexican and the Egyptian pyramids. Ethan Smith quotes extensively from the Archaeologia Americana, published at Worcester, Mass., 1820.

    On these authorities Ethan Smith says:

    "The people, however, who traversed Mexico, left behind them traces of cultivation and civilization... The Taultecs introduced the cultivation of maize and cotton; they built cities, made roads, and constructed those great pyramids, which are yet

    [ 30 ]

    And he reluctantly accepted this office. (II Nephi 5:l-l8.)

    Similar descriptions are given several times in The Book of Mormon.
    admired. and of which the faces are very accurately laid out." (p 183)

    Some twenty pages are devoted to describing civilization traits as seen in temples, pyramids, and ruined cities.
    (18) The Messiah on the Western Continent:

    It may be said that the chief event, the greatest and most important of all events in the Book of Mormon. is the appearance of the Christ -- the Hebrew Messiah -- in the western world. He was anticipated in prophecy, and spoken of in expectation of His coming, and the purpose of that coming. Finally in the Third Nephi, a magnificent description of His appearing to the Nephites is given, and an account of His ministry among the Nephites. His stay was comparatively brief, and when He departed in light and glory. He promised at some future time to return. (See III Nephi ch. 11 et seq.)
    (18) Quetzalcoatl; (So Often Called In Literature "The Mexican Messiah ):

    The legends of Quetzalcoatl are stated in the View of the Hebrews at some length; I greatly abbreviate.

    "On the pyramid of Cholula was an altar dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, or the serpent of green feathers; as the name imports.... This is the most mysterious being of the whole Mexican mythology." He is said to have been 'a white bearded man.' He was high priest of Tula, legislator, chief of a religious sect who inflicted on themselves the most cruel penance.... He appeased by his penance divine wrath (in other words, atonement)... The reign of Quetzalcoatl was a golden age of the people of Anahuac... He dwelt twenty years among them... ordered fasts, and regulated the Taltic year... He preached peace to man... He disappeared, after he had declared to the Cholulans that he would return and govern them again, and renew their happiness." (pp. 204 et seq)

    Ethan Smith speaks of him, saying:

    "His appeasing divine wrath, may have a striking allusion to the system of the Mosaic sacrifices, including also the mediation of Moses as a type of Christ, and God's turning away his fierce wrath from Israel at his intercession, as was repeatedly the case. (p. 207.)

    The legitimate query: Did this character spoken of in the View of the Hebrews, published seven years before the Book of Mormon, furnish the suggestion of the Christ on the western continent?

    At the above mentioned meeting, Ben E. Roberts had his father's well-thumbed and extensively marked copy of the View of the Hebrews as well as the penciled manuscript of "A Parallel." The present writer had ample time to examine the volume and its markings. It was the Second Edition of the book. It is entirely likely that B. H. Roberts never made much use, if any, of the First Edition. The latter volume contains 167 pages of text and an appendix through page 187. while the Second Edition consists of 269 textual pages and the appendix through page 285. The last page of text (p. 167) of the First Edition has the following two paragraphs as Ethan Smith's closing thought:

    The preservation of the Jews, as a distinct people, for eighteen centuries, has been justly viewed as a kind of standing miracle in support of the truth of revelation. But the arguments furnished from the preservation and traditions of the ten

    [ 31 ]

    tribes, in the wilds of America from a much longer period, must be viewed as furnishing, if possible, a more commanding testimony. And it is precisely such evidence as must have been expected in the long outcast tribes of Israel, whenever they should come to light: and just such evidence as must rationally be expected to bring them to the knowledge of the civilized world.

    The evidence discovered among the various tribes of Indians. of the truth of their Hebrew extraction, and of the divinity of the Old Testament. seems almost like finding, in the various regions of the wilds of America, various scraps of an ancient Hebrew Old Testament; -- one in one wild; another in another: inscribed on some durable substance in evident
    Hebrew language and character, though much defaced by the lapse of ages. Surely such an event, when attended with concomitant evidence that it could be no imposition, must silence the unbeliever in ancient revelation: and add a new and powerful item to the evidences already furnished upon so interesting a subject. The evidence, actually furnished in the traditions of the savages of America, suggest the suppositions just made, but are of a more substantial character it is contended that they furnish the very evidence, long desired, of the existence, and present state of the ten tribes of lsrael

    It an enterprising and imaginative writer needed any final provocation. this would seem to be it.


    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
    View of the Hebrews, and the Book of Mormon

    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



    Rev. Ethan Smith (1762-1849)


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