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M. M. Noah (1785-1851)
Discourse on the Evidences...
(NYC, 1837)

  • Title Page
  • pp. 03-04
  • pp. 05-08
  • pp. 09-12
  • pp. 13-16
  • pp. 17-20
  • pp. 21-24
  • pp. 25-28
  • pp. 29-40

  • Transcriber's Comments


    M. M. Noah's 1845 pamphlet   |   More Information on M. M. Noah


    T H E   E V I D E N C E S
    OF  THE
    B Y M. M. N O A H,
    NEW-YORK JAMES VAN NORDEN No. 27 Pine-street.


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    Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1837, by James Van Norden, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Northern District of New-York.


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    D I S C O U R S E.

    THOSE who study the Scriptures, either as a matter of duty or pleasure -- who seek in them divine revelation, or search for the records of history, cannot be ignorant of the fact that the Jewish nation, at an early period, was divided into twelve tribes, and occupied their ancient heritage under geographical Israel.

    Their early history -- the rise, progress and downfall of the nation -- the proud distinction of being the chosen people -- their laws, government and wars -- their sovereigns, judges and temples -- their sufferings, dispersions, and the various prophecies concerning this ancient and extraordinary people, cannot be unknown to you all. For their history is the foundation of religion, their vicissitudes the result of prophecy, their restoration the fulfilment of that great promise made to the Patriarch Abraham, almost I may say in the infancy of nature.

    It is also known to you that the Jewish nation was finally overpowered, and nine and a half of the tribes were carried captives to Samaria; two and a half, to wit: Judah, Benjamin and half Menassah, remained in Judea or in the transjordani cities.

    The question before us for consideration is, what has become of the missing or dispersed tribes -- to what quarter of the world


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    did they direct their footsteps, and what are the evidences of their existence at this day?

    An earthquake may shake and overturn the foundations of a city -- the avalanche may overturn the hamlet -- and the crater of a volcano may pour its lava over fertile plains and populous villages, but a whole nation cannot vanish from the sight of the world, without leaving some traces of its existence, some marks of habits and customs.

    It is a singular fact that history is exceedingly confused, or rather I may say dark, respecting the ultimate dispersion of the tribes among the cities of the Medes. The last notice we have of them id from the second Book of Esdras, which runs thus.

    "Whereas thou sawest another peaceable multitude: these are the ten tribes which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea, whom Salmanzar King of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, so they came unto another land."

    "They took this counsel among themselves that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go into a further country wherein never mankind dwelt, that they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land, (Assyria,) and there was a great way to go, namely a year and a half."

    Esdras, however, has been deemed apocryphal. Much has been said concerning the doubtful character of that writer. He wrote in the first century of the Christian church, and Tertulian, St. Ireneus, Clemens Alexandrius, Pico de Mirandola, and many learned and pious men, had great confidence in his writings. Part of them have been adopted by Protestants, and all considered orthodox by Catholics. With all his old Jewish attachments to the prophecies and traditions, Esdras was nevertheless a convert to Christianity. He was not an inspired writer or a prophet, although he assumed to be one, and


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    followed the course as well as the manner of Daniel. The Book of Esdras, however, is of great antiquity, and as an historical record is doubtless entitled to great respect.

    The precise number which left Babylon and other cities, and took to the desert, cannot be accurately known; but they were exceedingly numerous, for the edict of Ahasherus, which decreed their destruction, embraced 127 provinces, and reached from Ethiopia to the Indies. Benjamin Tudela, who travelled in the eleventh century through Persia, mentions that in some of the provinces at the time of that decree, the Jews occupied 40 cities, 200 boroughs, 400 castles, which contained 300,000 people. I incline to the opinion that 300,000 of the tribes left Persia.

    There is no doubt that in the march from the Euphrates to the north-east coast of Asia, many of the tribes hesitated in pursuing the journey: some remained in Tartary, many went into China. Alvarez states in his History of China, that the Jews had been living in that kingdom for more than 600 years. He might with greater probability have said 1600 years. He speaks of their being very numerous in some of the provinces, and having synagogues in many of the great cities, especially in that of Hinan and its metropolis Kai-tong-fu, where he represents them to have a magnificent place of worship, and a repository for the Holy Volume, adorned with richly embroidered curtains, in which they preserve an ancient Hebrew manuscript roll.

    They know but little of the Mosaic law, and only repeat the names of David, Abraham, Isaiah, and Jacob. In a Hebrew letter written by the Jews of Cochin China to their brethren at Amsterdam, they give as the date of their retiring into India, the period when the Romans conquered the Holy Land.

    It is clearly evident, therefore, that the tribes, in their progress to a new and undiscovered country, left many of their numbers


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    in China and Tartary, and finally reached the straits of Behring, where no difficulty prevented their crossing to the north-west coast of America, a distance less than thirty miles, interspersed with the Copper Islands, probably frozen over; and reaching our continent, spread themselves in the course of two thousand years to Cape Horn; the more hardy keeping to the north, to Labrador, Hudson's Bay and Greenland, the more cultivated fixing their residence in the beautiful climate and rich possessions of Central America, Mexico and Peru.

    But it may here be asked, could the scattered remnants of Israel have had the courage to penetrate through unknown regions, and encounter the hardships and privations of that inhospitable country? Could they have had the fortitude, the decision, the power, to venture on a dreary pilgrimage of eighteen months, the time mentioned by Esdras as the period of their journey? Could they not? What obstacles had hitherto impeded their progress, that had broken down their energies, or impaired their constancy and fidelity?

    They knew that their brethren had severed the chains of Egyptian bondage; had crossed in safety the arm of the Red Sea; had sojourned for years in the wilderness; had encamped near Mount Sinai, and had possessed themselves of the Holy Land.

    They remembered the kingdoms of Judah and Israel in all their glory; they had witnessed the erection and destruction of their Temple; they had fought and conquered with the Medes, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans. They had encountered sufferings upon sufferings unmoved; had bowed their necks submissively to the yoke.

    Kings, conquerors, nations, Christians, Mahometans, and Heathens, all had united in the design of destroying the nation; but they never despaired; they knew they were the elect.


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    and chosen of the Lord. The oath that he never would abandon his people had been fulfilled for 3500 years, and therefore, with the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, they abandoned the Heathens aud the Persian territory, passed the confines of Tarlary and China, and, no doubt through great sufferings, reached the north-eastern coast of Asia, and came in sight of that continent, wherein, as they had reason to believe, "mankind never before hath dwelt."

    On the discovery of America by Columbus, and the discoveries subsequent to his time, various tribes of Indians or savages were found to inhabit this our continent, whose origin was unknown.

    It is, perhaps, difficult for the human mind to decide on the character and condition of an extreme savage state. We can readily believe that children abandoned in infancy in a savage country, and surviving this abandonment, to grow up in a state of nature, living on herbs and fruits, and sustaining existence as other wild animals, would be stupid, without language, without intellect, and with no greater instinct than that which governs the brute creation. We can conceive nothing reduced to a more savage condition; with cannibal propensities, an ungovernable ferocity, or a timid apprehension, there can be but a link that separates them from other classes of animal crention. So with herds of men in a savage state, like herds of buffalo or wild horses on our prairies, they are kept together by sounds common amongst themselves, and are utterly unacrquainted with the landmarks of civilization.

    This, however, was not the condition of the American Indians when first discovered. They were a singular race of men, with enlarged views of life, religion, courage, constancy, humanity, policy, eloquence, love of their families; with a proud and gallant bearing, fierce in war, and, like the ancients, relentless


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    in victory. Their hospitality might be quoted as examples among the most liberal of the present day. These were not wild men -- these were a different class from those found on the Sandwich and Feegee Islands: The red men of America, bearing as they do the strongest marks of Asiatic origin, have for more than 2000 years and divided as they are in upwards of 1300 different nations, been remarkable for their intellectual superiority; their bravery in war, their good faith in peace, and all the simplicity and virtues of their patriarchal fathers, until civilization, as it is called, had rendered them familiar with all the vices which distinguish the present era, without being able to enforce any of the virtues which are the boast of our present enlightened times.

    It is, however, in the religious belief and ceremonies of the Indians that I propose showing some of the evidences of their being, as it is believed, the descendants of the dispersed tribes. This opinion is founded --

    1st. In their belief in one God.

    2d. In the computation of time by their ceremonies of the new moon.

    3d; In their divisions of the year in four seasons, answering to the Jewish festivals of the feast of flowers, the day of atonement, the feast of the tabernacle, and other religious holydays.

    4th In the erection of a temple after the manner of our temple, and having an ark of the covenant, and also the erection of altars.

    5th. By the division of the nation into tribes with a chief or grand sachem at their head

    6th. By their laws of sacrifice, ablutions, marriages ceremonies in war and peace, the prohibitions of eating certain things, fully carrying out the Mosaic institutions; -- by their


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    traditions, history, character, appearance, affinity of their language to the Hebrew, and finally, by that everlasting covenant of heirship exhibited in a perpetual transmission of its seal in their flesh.

    If I shall be able to satisfy your doubts and curiosity on these points, you will certainly rejoice with me in discovering that the dispersed of the chosen people are not the lost ones -- that the promises held out to them have been thus far realised, and that all the prophecies relative to their future destination will in due time be strictly fulfilled.

    It has been the general impression, as before mentioned, that great resemblance existed between some of the religious rites of the Jews, and the peculiar ceremonies of the Indians; and the belief in one great spirit has tended to strengthen the impression; yet this mere resemblance only extended so far as to admit of the belief, that they possibly may have descended from the dispersed tribes, or may have been of Tartar or Malay origin.

    It was, however, argued and unsatisfactory suspicion, which, having no tangible evidence, has been rejected, or thrown aside as a mere supposition. All the missionaries and travellers among the Indian tribes since the discovery of America -- Adair, Heckewelder, Charliveux, M'Kenzie, Bartram, Beltrami, Smith, Penn, Mrs. Simon, who has written a very interesting work on this subject, &c., have expressed opinions in favour of their being of Jewish origin -- the difficulty, however, under which they all laboured was simply this; they were familiar with the religious rites, ceremonies, traditions and belief of the Indians, but they were not sufficiently conversant with the Jewish rites and ceremonies, to show the analogy. It is precisely this link in the chain of evidence that I propose to supply.

    It has been said that the Indians believing in one great Spirit and Fountain of Life, like the Jews, does not prove their descent


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    from the missing tribes, because in a savage state their very ignorance and superstition lead them to confide in the works of some divine superior being. But savages are apt to be idolaters, and personate the deity by some carved figure or image to whom they pay their adoration and not like the Indians, having a clear and definite idea of one great Ruler of the universe, one great Spirit, whose attributes are as well known to them as to us. But if the continued unerring worship of one God like the Jews prove nothing, where did they acquire the same Hebrew name and appellation of that deity? If tradition had not handed down to them the ineffable name as also preserved by the Jews, how did they acquire it in a wilderness where the word of the Lord was never known?

    Adair, in whom I repose great confidence, and who resided forty years among them, in his work published in 1775, says, "The ancient heathens worshipped a plurality of gods, but these Indians say their devoir to Lo-ak (Light) Ish-ta-hoola-aba, distinctly Hebrew, which means the great supreme beneficent holy Spirit of Fire who resides above.

    They are, says Adair, utter strangers to all the gestures practised by the pagans in their religious rites -- they kiss no idols, nor would they kiss their hands in tokens of reverence or willing obedience.

    These tribes, says Adair, so far from being Atheists, use the great and dreadful name of God which describes his divine essence, and by which he manifested himself to Moses! and are firmly persuaded that they now live under the immediate government of the Almighty Ruler. Their appellative for God is Isto-hoolo, the Hebrew of Esh-Eshys, from Ishto, Great, but they have another appellative, which with them as with us, is the mysterious essential name of God, which they never mention in common speech, and only when performing their most


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    sacred religious rites, and then they most solemnly divide it in syllables, with intermediate words, so as not to pronounce the ineffable name at once.

    Thus, in their sacred dances at their feast of the first fruits, they sing Aleluyah and Mesheha, from the Hebrew of Masheach, Messiah, the anointed one. Yo mesheha." He meshesha," "Wah meshehah," this making the Aleluyah the Mesheha, the Yehovah."

    Can we, for a moment, believe that these sacred well known Hebrew words found their way by accident to the wilderness? Or can it be doubled that like the fire of the burning bush which never is extinguished, those words of religious adoration are the sacred relics of tradition, handed down to them from generation to generation? In the same manner, says Adair, they sing on certain other religious celebrations, ailyo ailyo, which is the Hebrew el for God by his attribute of omnipotence. They likewise sing hewah, hewah, He chyra, the "immortal soul." Those words sung at their religious rejoicings are never uttered at any other time, which must have occasioned the loss of their divine hymns. They on some occasions sing Shilu yo -- Shilu he --Shilu wah. The three terminations make up in their other the four lettered divine name in Hebrew. Shilu is evidently Shaleach, Shiloth, the messenger; "the peace maker."

    The number of Hebrew words used in their religious services is incredible; thus, in chiding any one for levity during a solemn worship they say, Che hakeet Kana, "you resemble those reproved in Canaan," and to convey the idea of criminality, they say Hackset Canaha, "the sinners of Canaan." They call lightning eloah, and the rumbling of thunder rowah, from the Hebrew ruach, "spirit."

    Like the Israelites they divide the year into four seasons, with the same festivals; they calculate by moons and celebrate


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    as the Jews do the berachah halebana, the blessing for the new moon.

    The Indians have their prophets and high priests, the same as the Jews had; not hastily selected; but chosen with caution from the most wise and discreet, and they ordain their high priests by anointing, and have a most holy place in their sanctuaries, like the Holy of Holies in the Temple. The Archimagus or High Priest, wears, in resemblance to the ancient breastplate, a white conch-shell ornamented so as to resemble the precious stones on the Urim, and instead of the golden plate worn by the Levite on his forehead, bearing the inscription Kodish Ladonaye, the Indian binds his brows with a wreath of swan's feathers, and wears a tuft of white feathers which he calls Yatira.

    The Indians have their ark which they invariably carry with them to battle well guarded. In speaking of the Indian places of refuge, Adair says, "I observed that if a captive taken by the reputed power of the holy things of their ark, should be able to make his escape into one of these towns, or even into the winter house of the Archimagus, he is delivered from the fiery torture, otherwise inevitable. This, when taken in connection with the many other faint images of Mosaic customs, seems to point at the mercy-seat of the sanctuary. It is also worthy of notice, that they never place the ark on the ground. On hilly ground where large stones are plenty, they rest it thereon, but on level prairies, upon short logs, where they also seat themselves. And when we consider, continues Adair, in what a surprising manner the Indians copy after the ceremonial law of the Hebrews, and their strict purity in the war camps; that opae, "the leader" obliges till during the first campaign which they have made with the beloved ark, to stand every day they are not engaged in warfare, from sunrise to sunset, and after a fatiguing day's


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    march and scanty allowance, to drink warm water embittered with rattle-snakeroot very plentifully, in order to purification; that they have also as strong a faith in the power of their ark as ever the Israelites had in theirs, ascribing the success of one party to their stricter adherence to the law, than the other, we have strong reason to conclude them of Hebrew origin. The Indians have an old tradition, that when they left their own native land, they brought with them a sanctified rod by order of an oracle, which they fixed every evening in the ground, and were to remove from place to place on the continent towards the sun rising till it budded in one night's time. I have seen other Indians, says the same writer, who related the same thing. Instead of the miraculous direction to which they limit it, in their western banishment, it appears more likely that they refer to the ancient circumstance of the rod of Aaron, which in order to check the murmur of those who conspired against him, was in his favour made to bud blossoms and yield almonds at one and the same time. It is a well attested fact, and is here corroborated by Adair, that in taking female captives the Indians have often protected them, but never despoiled them of honour.

    The statement of Adair, in relation to the ark, is corroborated by several travellers. Major Long, a more recent traveller, in his expedition to the Rocky Mountains, says, in relation to the ark, "It is placed upon a stand, and is never suffered to touch the earth. No person dare open all the coverings. Tradition informs them that curiosity induced three different persons to examine the mysterious shell, who were immediately punished for their profanation by instant blindness." This is the Jewish punishment pronounced for looking on the holy of holies -- even now for looking on the descendants of the high priest who alone have the privilege of blessing the people.


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    The most sacred feast day uniformly kept by the Jews is the day of Atonement, usually falling in the month of September or early in October. This is deemed in every part of the world a most solemn fast, and great preparations are made for its celebration It is in the nature of expiation of sin, of full confession, penitence and prayer; and is preceded by ablution and preparation of morning prayer for some time.

    It is a very sacred fast, which lasts from sunset on one day until the new moon is seen on the succeeding evening. It is not in the nature of a gloomily desponding penance, but rather a day of solemn rejoicing, of hope and confidence, and is respected by those most indifferent to all other festivals throughout the year.

    Precisely such a fast, with similar motives, and nearly at the same period of the year, is kept by the Indian natives generally

    Adair, after stating the strict manner in which the Indians observe the revolutions of the moon, and describing the feast of the harvest, and the first offerings of the fruits, gives a long account of the preparations in putting their temple in proper order for the great day of atonement, which he fixes at the time when the corn is full eared and ripe, generally in the latter end of September. He then proceeds:

    "Now one of the waiters proclaims with a loud voice, for all the warriors and beloved men whom the purity of their law admits, to come and enter the beloved square, and observe the fast. He also exhorts the women and children, with those who have not been initiated in war, to keep apart, according to the law.

    "Four centinels are now placed one at each corner of the holy square, to keep out every living creature as impure, except the religious order, and the warriors who are not known to have violated the law of the first fruit-offering, and that of marriage,


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    since the last year's expiation. They observe the fast till the rising of the second sun; and be they ever so hungry in the sacred interval, the healthy warriors deem the duty so awful, and disobedience to inexpressibly vicious, that no temptation would induce them to violate it. They at the same time drink plentifully of a decoction of the button snake root, in order to vomit and cleanse their sinful bodies.

    "In the general fast, the children and men of weak constitution, are allowed to eat, as soon as they are certain that the sun has begun to decline from his meridian altitude.

    "Now every thing is hushed. Nothing but silence all around, The great beloved man, and his beloved waiter, rising up with a reverend carriage, steady countenance and composed behaviour, go into the beloved place, or holiest, to bring them out the beloved fire. The former takes a piece of dry popular, willow, or white oak, and having cut a hole, but no so deep as to reach through it, he then sharpens another piece, and placing that in the hole, and both between his knees, he drills it briskly for several minutes, till it begins to smoke -- or by rubbing to pieces together for a quarter of an hour, he collects by friction the hidden fire, which they all consider as proceeding from the holy spirit of fire.

    "The great beloved man, or high priest, addresses the warriors and women; giving all the particular' positive injunctions and negative precepts they yet retain of the ancient law. He uses very sharp language to the women. He then addresses the whole multitude. He enumerates the crimes they have committed, great and small, and bids them look at the Holy fire which has forgiven them. He presses on his audience, by the great motives of temporal good and the fear of temporal evil, the necessity of a careful observance of the ancient law, assuring them that the holy fire will enable their prophets, the rain


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    makers, to procure them plentiful harvests, and give their war leaders victory over their enemies. He then orders some of the fire to be laid down outside of the holy ground, for all the houses of the various associated towns, which sometimes lay several miles apart."

    Mr. Bartram, who visited the southern Indians in 1778, gives an account of the same feast, but in another nation. He says, that the feast of first fruits is the principal festival. This seems to end the old and begin the new ecclesiastical year. It commences when their new crops are arrived to maturity. This is their most solemn celebration."

    With respect to the sacrifices, we have had none since the destruction of the temple, but it was customary among the Jews, in the olden times, to sacrifice daily a part of a lamb. This ceremony is strictly observed by the Indians. The hunter when leaving his wigwam for the chase, puts up a prayer, that the great Spirit will aid his endeavours to procure food for his wife and children, and, when he returns with the red deer, whatever may be the cravings of hunger, he allows none to taste until he has cut part of the flesh, which he throws in the fire as a sacrifice, accompanied with prayer. All travellers speak of this practice among the Indians, so clearly Hebrew in its origin.

    The bathings, anointings, ablutions, in the coldest weather, are never neglected by the Indians, and, like the Jews of old, they anoint themselves with bear's oil.

    The Mosaic prohibition of eating unclean animals, and their enumeration, are known to you all. It would be supposed that, admidst the uncertainty of an Indian life, all kinds of food would be equally acceptable. Not so: for in strict conformity with the Mosaic law, they abstain from eating the blood of any animal, they abominate swine flesh, they do not eat fish without


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    scales, the eel, the turtle or sea cow; and they deem many animals and birds impure. These facts are noticed by all writers, and particularly by Edwards in his History of the West Indies. The latter able historian, in noticing the close analogy between the religious rites of the Jews and Indians, says, "that the striking conformity of the prejudices and customs of the Caribbee Indians, to the practices of the Jews, has not escaped the notice of such historians as Gamella, Du Terte, and others;" and Edwards also states, that the Indians on the Oroonoke, punished their women caught in adultery, by stoning them to death before the assembly of the people.

    Among the Mosaical laws is the obligation of one brother to marry his brother's widow, if he dies without issue. Major Long says, "if the deceased has left a brother, he takes the widow to his lodge after a proper interval and considers her as his wife." This is also confirmed by Charleviux.

    It would occupy a greater space of time than I can afford, to trace a similitude between all the Indian rites and religious ceremonies, and those of the Jewish nation. In their births, in their separation after the births of their children, in their daily prayers and sacrifices, in their festivals, in their burials, in the employment of mourners, and in their general belief, I see a close analogy and intimate connection, with all the ceremonies and laws which are observed by the Jewish people; making a due allowance for what has been lost, and misunderstood, in the course of upwards of 2000 years.

    A general belief exists among most travellers, that the Indians are the descendants of the missing tribes.

    Menassah Ben Israel wrote his celebrated treatise, to prove this fact, on the discovery of America.

    William Penn, who always acted righteously towards the Indians, and had never suspected that they had descended from


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    the missing tribes, says, in a letter to his friends in England, "I found them with like countenances to the, Hebrew race. I consider these people under a dark night, yet they believe in God and immortality, without the aid of metaphysics. They reckon by moons, they offer their first ripe fruits, they have a kind of feast of tabernacles, they are said to lay their altars with twelve stones, they mourn a year, and observe the Mosaic law with regard to separation."

    Emanuel de Moraez, in his history of Brazil, declares that America has been peopled by the Carthagenians and Israelites, and as to the Israelites, he says, nothing is wanting but circumcision, to constitute a perfect resemblance between them and the Brazilians.

    The Rev. Mr. Beatty, a very worthy missionary, says, "I have often before hinted, that I have taken great pains to search into the usages and customs of the Indians, in order to see what ground there was for supposing them to be part of the ten tribes, and I must own, to my no small surprise, that a number of their customs appear so much to resemble those of the Jews, that it is a great question with me, whether we can expect to find among the ten tribes wherever they are at this day, all things considered, more of the footsteps of their ancestors than among the different Indian tribes."

    Monsieur de Guignes, an old French historian, in speaking of the discoveries made in America, before the time of Columbus, says, "These researches, which of themselves, give us great insight into the origin of the Americans, lead to the determination of the route of the colonies sent to the continent;" and he proceeds to give reasons for his belief, that the greater part of them passed thither "by the most eastern extremities of Asia, where the two continents are only separated by a narrow strait, easy to cross"


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    Beltram, in his discovery of the sources of the Mississippi, after a full and interesting account of the Indian, says, "Different authors have brought them hither from all parts of the world. I was at first induced to join with those who derived them from the Hebrews. It seemed impossible for me to doubt, that by so doing, I should be building on an impregnable foundation." He then proceeds to prove their Asiatic origin by many interesting facts.

    The 4th Earl of Crawford and Lindsay, published his travels in America, in 1801" It is curious and pleasing," says he, "in reading the travels of those who have been among these people, to find how their customs comport with the laws of Moses;" and after describing at length their religious rites and ceremonies, his lordship emphatically observes, "It is a sound truth, that the Indians are descended from the ten tribes; and time and investigation will more and more enforce its acknowledgment."

    It is, however, in Mexico and Peru, that we must look for the most enlightened and the most wealthy of the Indian race On the representations of Montesini, who travelled in South America, the learned Rabbi Menassah Ben Israel, as I have said before, wrote his famous work La Esperanza de Israel, which he published in Amsterdam, in 1650, endeavouring with great zeal to prove, that the Indians in North and South America were the descendants of the missing tribes; and Cromwell, to whom the work was dedicated, was greatly interested in the evidences produced on that occasion. Montesini, travelling through the province of Quif, found that his Indian guide was a Jew, and pursuing his inquiries, discovered that immense numbers lived behind the Cordilleras. Francis, the name of his guide, admitted to Montesini, that his God was called Adonai, and that he acknowledged Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as his


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    ancestors, and they claimed to have descended from the tribe of Reuben.

    Acosta contends, that they have a tradition relative to the deluge; that they preserve the rite of circumcision; they offer the first fruits, and in Peru they eat the Paschal Lamb; they believe in the resurrection, and clothe the dead with the richest equipage. Lopez de Gomara says, that some of them, and not all, are circumcised. Acosta continues, "the Mexicans point out, the various stations as their ancestors advanced into their country, and it is precisely the route which they must have held, had they been emigrants from Asia."

    Menassah Ben Israel declares, that the Indians of Mexico had a tradition, that their magnificent place of worship had been built by a people who wore their beards, and were more ancient than their Incas. In the universal history of 1748, it is affirmed that the Mexicans and other American Indians rend their garments, in order the more effectually to express grief -- the Hebrew custom at this day.

    Lopez de Gomara states, that the Mexicans offer sacrifices of the first fruits, and when Cortez approached Mexico, Montezuma shut himself up for the space of eight days in fasting and prayer. Emanuel de Moreas and Acosta say, that the Brazilians marry in their own tribes and families; and Escorbatus affirms, that he frequently heard the southern tribes repeat the sacred notes Ha-le-lu-yah. Malvenda states, that several tombstones were found in St. Michaels, with ancient Hebrew characters.

    When the Spaniards invaded Mexico, the Cholula was considered a holy city by the natives, with magnificent temples, in which the High-Priest Quetzacotl preached peace to man, and would permit no other offerings to the Master of Life, than the first-fruits of the harvest. "We know by our traditions," said


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    the venerable Prince Montezuma, to the Spanish General Cortez. "that we who inhabit this country are not the natives but strangers who come from a great distance."

    Don Alonzo Erecella, in his history of Chili, says, the Araucanians acknowledge one Supreme Being, and believe in the immortality of the soul; and the Abbe Clavigero declares, that they have a tradition of the great deluge. The laws and ceremonies of the Peruvians and Mexicans have, no doubt, been corrupted in the course of many ages, both in their sacrifices and worship.

    Their great and magnificent temple, evidently in imitation of that erected by Solomon, was founded by Mango Capac, or rather by the Inca Yupabque, who endowed it with great wealth. Clavagero and DeVega in their very interesting account of this temple, say, "what we called the altar was on the east side of the temple. There were many doors to the temple, all of which were plated with gold, and four walls the whole way around, were crowned with a rich golden garland, more than an ell in width. Round the temple were five square pavilions, whose tops were in the form of pyramids. The fifth was lined entirely with gold, and was for the use of the Royal High-Priest of sacrifices, and in which all the deliberations concerning the temple were held. Some of the doors led to the schools where the Incas listen to the debates of the philosophers, sometimes themselves explaining the laws and ordinances."

    Mexico and Central America abound in curiosities, exemplifying the fact of the Asiatic origin of the inhabitants, and it is not many years ago, that the ruins of a whole city, with a wall nearly seven miles in circumference, with castles, palaces, and temples, evidently of Hebrew or Phoenician architecture, was found on the river Palenque. The 35th number of the


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    Foreign Quarterly Review contains an interesting account of those antiquities.

    The ruins of this city near Guatemala, in Central America, are described by Del Rio in 1782, when taken in conjunction with the extraordinary, I may say, wonderful antiquities spread over the entire surface of that country, awaken recollections in the specimens of architecture, which carry us back to the early pages of history, and prove beyond the shadow of doubt, that we who imagined ourselves to be the natives of a new world, but recently discovered, inhabit a continent which rivaled the splendor of Egypt and Syria, and was peopled by a powerful and highly cultivated nation from the old world. When we speak of what is called Mexican antiquities, we must not confound the rude labours of modern times, with the splendid perfections which distinguished the efforts of those who reared the Egyptian pyramids, and built the temples of Thebes and Memphis. It is not Mexican antiquities, but the antiquities of Tultecan; and in addition to the ruins of Palenque, on this our continent, there are pyramids larger than those of Sachara in Egypt at Cholula, Otamba, Paxaca, Mitlan, Tlascola, and on the mountains of Tescoca, together with hieroglyphics, planispheres and zodiacs, a symbolic and Phonetic alphabet; papyrus, metopes, triglyphs, and temples and buildings of immense grandeur; military roads, aqueducts, viaducts, posting stations and distances; bridges of great grandeur and massive character, all presenting the most positive evidences of the existence of a powerful enterprising nation, which must have flourished two thousand years before the Spanish Conquest. Take, for example, the description of the temple at Palenque, which Lord Kingsborough, in his travels, not only declares was built by Jews, and is a copy of Solomon's temple, but which, no doubt, is precisely the model of the temple described


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    by Ezekiel. Travellers speak of it in the following terms:

    "It may be appropriately called an ecclesiastical city, rather than a temple. Within its vast precincts, there appear to be contained, (as indeed was, in some measure, the case with the area that embraced the various buildings of Solomon's temple,) a pyramidal tower, various sanctuaries, sepulchres; a small and a large quadrangular court, one surrounded as we have said, by cloisters; subterranean; initiatory galleries beneath; oracles, courts of justice, high places, and cells or dwellings for the various orders of priests. The whole combination of the buildings is encircled by a quadrilateral pilastered portico, embracing a quadrangular area, and resting on a terraced platform. This platform exhibits the same architectural model, which we have described as characterizing the single temples. It is composed of three graduated stuccoed terraces, sloping inwards, at an angle of about seventy degrees, in the form of a truncated pyramid. Four central staircases, (one facing each of the cardinal points,) ascend these terraces in the middle of each lateral facade of the quadrangle; and four gates fronting the same cardinal points, conduct from the top of each staircase into the body of the building, or into the great court. The great entrance, through a pilastered gateway, fronts the east, and descends by a second flight of steps into the cloistered court. On the various pilasters of the upper terrace are the metopes, with singular sculptures. On descending the second staircase into the cloistered court, on one side, appears the triple pyramidal tower, which may be inferred, from the curious distribution of little cells which surround the central room of each story, to have been employed as place of royal or private sepulture. It would be pronounced a striking and tasteful structure, according to any architectural rule. On


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    another side of the same cloistered court, is the detached temple of the chief god, to whom the whole religious building appears to have been devoted, who appears to have been the great and only God of the nations who worshipped in this temple. Beneath the cloisters, entered by staircases from above, are what we believe to be the initiatory galleries. These opened into rooms, one of which has a stone couch in it, and others are distinguished by unintelligible apparatus carved in stone. The only symbol described as found within these sacred haunts is, however, perfectly Asiatic and perfectly intelligible; we mean two contending serpents. The remnant of an altar, or high place, occupies the centre of the cloistered quadrangle. The rest of the edifice is taken up with courts, palaces, detached temples, open divans, baths, and streets of priestly cells, or houses, in a greater or less degree of dilapidation." * * * "It is perfectly clear from the few records of their religious rites, which have come down to us, and which are principally derived from the extraordinary rolls of American papyrus, * on which their beautiful hieroglyphical system is preserved, (there is one of considerable extent in the Dresden museum,) that they were as simple, perhaps we may add with propriety, as innocent. Not only does it appear that they had no human sacrifices, but no animal sacrifices whatever. Flowers and fruits were the only offerings made to the presiding divinity of their temple

    But, who were the Tultequans and Azeteques, the founders of this empire in America; who built the pyramids of Cholula and city of Palenque? Not the Jews.

    Here we have a most singular diversion, from the path on which we originally set out -- another extraordinary discovery

    * Formed of the prepared fibres of the Maguery.


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    marked too, by events no less extraordinary than amazing.

    They were the Canaanites, the scriptural Titans, who, according to the sacred historian; built cities with walls and towers reaching to the heavens. The builders of the tower of Babel, the family of the shepherd kings who conquered Egypt, and built the pyramids, and were driven from Syria by Joshua. The men, who finally founded Tyre and Carthage, navigated round the continent of Africa, and sailed in their small craft across the Atlantic, and landed in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The Phoenicians were the founders of Palenque, Mitlan, Papantla, Quemada, Cholula, Chila and Antiquerra.

    When I studied the history of these people, on the ruins of Carthage, it was said by antiquarians present, that the Carthaginians had a colony at a considerable distance, which they secretly maintained; and when I was at Tangiers, the Mauritania Tangitania of the ancients, I was shown the spot where the pillar was erected, and was standing in the time of Ibnu, the Moorish historian, on which was inscribed, in the Phoenician language -- "We are the Canaanites who fled from Joshua, the son of Nun, that notorious robber." From that spot, then... the pillars of Hercules, now known as the straits of Gibraltar, they crossed to our continent, and founded a great empire of the Ophite worship, with Syrian and Egyptian symbols. Now, mark the issue. Fifteen hundred years after the expulsion of the Canaanites by Joshua, the ten tribes pass over the straits of Behring to the continent of America, and poured down upon these people like the Goths and Vandals. The descendants of Joshua a second time fell on the Canaanites on another continent, knowing them well as such, and burn their temples; and destroy their gigantic towers and cities.

    When Columbus discovered America, he found an innocent


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    people in a demi-savage state, with Jewish traditions, and the only reference to early times was a vague impression, that the ruins they saw were built by giants, and a people called wandering masons.

    I have the most settled conviction of this theory. The magnificent ruins which are to be seen at this day in Mexico and Central America, were the works of the Phoenicians, and the irruption of the wandering tribes from the north-west coast of America, swept that nation away, and have ever since maintained possession of this county, until white men have thinned their ranks, and gradually encroached upon, and usurped a great part of their territory.

    The only opposition made to the general declaration of travellers, that the Indians are of Jewish descent, is, that they are red men, and are beardless. Now, take the olive complexion of the Jews in Syria, pass the nation over the Euphrates into a warmer climate, let them mingle with Tartars and Chinese, and after several generations reach this continent, their complexion would undergo some shades of hue and colour; and as to beards they cannot grow while they are continually plucked, as is the Indian custom. The colour proves nothing against their origin. Take our fellow-citizens on our eastern borders, and compare their florid colour with the sickly hue and sallow complexions of those living on the southern shores, in the palmettoes and everglades, and we shall see a marked distinction, and yet they are members of the same family.

    Du Pratz, speaking of the traditions of the Natches tribe, relates, that in answer to the question, "whence come you?" their reply was, "All that we know is that our fathers, to come hither, followed the sun, and came from the place where he rises. They were long in their journey, they were nearly, perishing, and were brought to this wilderness of the sun setting


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    without seeking it." Souard says of the Indians of Surinam, on the authority of Nasci, a learned Jew residing there, that the dialect of those Indians common in Guiuana is soft, agreeable and regular, and their substantives are Hebrew. Their language, in the roots, idioms, and particular construction, has the genius of the Hebrew language, as their orations have the bold, laconic and figurative style of the Hebrew prophets."

    The Rev. Mr. Chapman says of the Osages, "it is their universal practice to salute the dawn of every morning with their devotion." A custom always prevailing among pious Jews.

    Malvenda and Acosta both affirm, that the natives had a tradition of a jubilee, according to the jubilee of Israel.

    Dr. Beatty, in speaking of the festival of the first-fruits by the nations west of the Ohio, says, "at this ceremony twelve of their old men divide a deer into twelve parts, and these men hold up the venison and fruits with their faces to the east, acknowledging the bounty of God to them. A singular and close imitation of the ceremonies and sacrifices of the temple." The doctor further says, "they have another feast which looks like the Passover."

    Sir Alexander MacKenzie, in his tour to the north-west coast, says, that "the Chepewyan Indians have a tradition among them, that they originally came from another country, inhabited by very wicked people, and had traversed a great lake which was in one place narrow and shallow, and full of islands, where they had suffered great misery; and a further tradition has it that nine parts of their nation out of ten, passed over the river. The Mexicans affirm, that seven tribes or houses passed from the east to the wilderness."

    Beltrami says, that the skeletons of the mammoths found in Kentucky and Missouri, and other parts of America, have been ascertained to resemble precisely those which have been


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    found in Siberia and the eastern part of Asia, showing the facility of communication between the two coasts. And here it may be well to state a fact, which is strongly corroborative of the view we have taken, not only of the possibility of passing from one continent to the other, but of the actual and probably constant communication between them. Charlevoix, says he knew a Catholic priest, called Father Grillon, in Canada, who was recalled to Paris after his mission had been ended, and who was subsequently appointed to a similar mission in China. One day in Tartary, he suddenly encountered a Huron woman with whom he had been well acquainted in Canada, and who informed him that she had been captured, and passed from nation to nation, until she reached the north-west coast, when she crossed into Tartary.

    Since delivering the present lecture, I have received a letter from Mr. Catlin, the celebrated painter, who for the last five years has been residing among the Indians. Mr. Catlin says,

    "The first thing that strikes the traveller in an Indian country as evidence of their being of Jewish origin, (and it is certainly a very forcible one,) is the striking resemblance which they generally bear in contour, and expression of head, to those people. In their modes and customs, there are many striking resemblances, and perhaps as proof, they go much further than mere personal resemblance. Amongst those customs, I shall mention several that have attracted my attention, though probably they have never before been used for the same purpose; and others I may name, which are familiar to you, and which it may not be amiss to mention, as I have seen them practised while in their country.

    "The universal custom among them of burying their dead with feet to the east, I could conceive to have no other meaning,


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    or object than a journey to the east after death -- like the Jews, who expected to travel under ground after death to the land of Canaan. On inquiry, I found that though they were all going towards the 'setting sun,' during their lifetimes, they expected to travel to the east after death.

    "Amongst the tribes, the women are not allowed to enter the medicine lodge. As they were not allowed in Judea to enter the court of Israel. Like the Jewish custom also, they are not allowed to mingle in worship with the men, and at meals, are always separated.

    "In their modes, fastings, feastings, or sacrifices, they have also a most striking resemblance. Amongst all the western tribes, who have not been persuaded from those forms by white men, they are still found scrupulously and religiously adhering to, and practising them to the letter. The very many times and modes of sacrificing, remind us forcibly of the customs of the Israelites; and the one in particular, which has been seen amongst several of the tribes, though I did not witness it myself, wherein, like the manner of the 'peace-offering,' the firstling and that of the male is offered, and 'no bone is to be broken.' Such circumstances afford the strongest kind of proofs. All the tribes have a great feast at the dawn of spring, and at those feasts their various sacrifices are made. At the approach of the season of green corn, a feast of the first ears are sacrificed, with great solemnity, followed by feasting and dancing: so at the ripening of different kinds of fruit. The first and best piece that is cut from a buffalo is always Deo Dante.

    "Over the medicine lodge, and also over the lodges of the most distinguished chiefs, are hung on high poles large quantities of fine cloth, white buffalo robes, or other most costly articles which can be procured, there to decay, in offering to the Great Spirit.


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    "The bunch of willow boughs with which each dancer is supplied, in the Mandan religious ceremonies, the sacrificing and other forms therein observed, certainly render it somewhat analogous to the Israelitish feast of tabernacles.

    "The universal practice of "solus cum sola' of the women, ablution and anointing with bear's grease, is strikingly similar to the Jewish custom. Every family has a small lodge expressly for this purpose, and when any one of the family are ready for it, it is erected within a few rods, and meat is carried to her, where she dwells, and cooks and eats by herself; an object of superstitious dread to every person in the village.

    "The absence of every species of idolatry amongst the North American Indians, affords also a striking proof of the ceremonial law, and stamps them at once, in one respect, at all events, differing from all other savage tribes of which we have any knowledge."

    What are, I may ask, the characters of these people? On the discovery of America by Columbus, nearly 2000 years after the dispersion of the Hebrew tribes, the whole continent is found peopled; not with a race of wild men, of cannibals, of savages, but with a race of intellectual, moral, innocent persons, divided into many hundred nations, and spread over 8000 miles of territory. "I swear to your majesties," said Columbus, writing to Ferdinand and Isabella, "that there is not a better people in the world than these; more affectionate or mild. They love their neighbours as themselves; their language is the sweetest, the softest and the most cheerful, for they always speak smilingly." Major Long says, "they are the genuine sons of nature; they have all the virtues nature can give, without the vices of civilization. They are artless, fearless, and live in constant exercise of moral and christian virtues, though they know it not."

    Charlevoix gives his testimony in their behalf. "They


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    manifest," says he, "much stability in their engagements, patience in affliction, and submissive acquiescence in what they apprehend the will of Providence. In all this, they display a nobleness of soul and constancy of mind, at which we rarely arrive, with all our philosophy and religion."

    Du Pratz contends, that they have a greater degree of prudence, faithfulness and generosity, than those who would be offended with a comparison with them. "No people," says he, "are more hospitable and free."

    Bartram, who lived many years in the Creek nation, says, "Joy, contentment, love and friendship without guile or affectation, seem inherent in them, or predominant in their vital principle, for it leaves them but with their breath. They are," says he, "just, honest, liberal and hospitable to strangers; considerate and affectionate to their wives, children and relations; frugal and persevering, charitable and forbearing."

    Who are they? Men do not grow up like stones or trees or rocks; they are not found in herds like wild animals. God that made man in his own image, gave to the Indians an origin and parentage, like unto the rest of the great family of mankind, the work of his own almighty hand. From whom then did our red brethren, the rightful owners of this continent, descend?

    There seems to be no difference of opinion that they are of Asiatic origin, and not indigenous to our soil. Nearly all writers and historians concur on this point -- they are Asiatic -- they crossed to the continent of America from Asia; but who are they, arid from whom have they descended?

    Eldad, who wrote learnedly of the twelve tribes, in 1300, contends, that the tribe of Dan went into Ethiopia, and pretends that the tribes of Naphtali, Gad and Asher followed. That they had a king of their own, and could muster 120,000 horse and 100,000 foot. In relation to part of these three tribes,


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    there might have been some truth in it, for Tigleth Pelieser did compel them to go into Ethiopia. Issachar, he contends, remained with the Medes and Persians. Zebulon extended from the mountains of Pharan to the Euphrates. Reuben dwelt behind Pharan, and-spoke Arabic. Ephraim and half Manasseh were thrown on the southern coast. Benjamin of Tudela places Dan, Asher, Naphtali and Zebulon on the banks of the river Gozan. In the midst of all these contradictory and vague statements, two opinions prevail among Jews and Christians, in early and in late periods. One is, that the ten tribes went into Tartary, where they remained; the other, that from Tartary they penetrated into America.

    Manasseh Ben Israel, the most learned of the nation, declares that they passed into America. Lescarbot believes, that the Indians are the posterity of Ham, expelled by Joshua, and who passed out of the Mediterranean, and were driven by storms to the American coast; Grotius contends, that the inhabitants of the new world were originally from Greenland; and while Basnage frankly admits, that manifest tracts of Judaism are to be found in America, he contends, that the tribes could not have overcome the warlike Scythians and penetrated to this continent, and that they remained in Halak and Heber, and in the cities of the Medes

    Truth, no doubt, lies between these opinions. Many of the tribes passed into Egypt and Ethiopia, many remained in Persia and Tartary, all did not make for the north-west coast, nor was it necessary that all should do so. There were degrees of piety and condition then as now. Restore Jerusalem to-morrow, and all the Jews will not return there. Rabbi Akiba contends, that all the noble families remained in Persia. A number, a considerable number, no doubt, impressed with the solemn belief, that if they remained in Persia, they would in time become idolaters, and lose all the landmarks of their ancient faith, resolved,


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    like those who went out of Egypt, to remain no longer in bondage, and, as Esdras says; they departed for a country "wherein mankind never before had dwelt" -- and the resolution was perfectly feasible. It was a thickly populated country, and by keeping on the borders of China, they would, within the time prescribed, namely eighteen months, have reached our continent. At this day, there is a constant intercourse between the continents, and a trip to the Rocky mountains, once so terrifying, is now a mere summer's journey.

    If the Indians of America are not the descendants of the missing tribes, again I ask, from whom are they descended? From the Egyptians? Wherein in their belief, is there the least resemblance to the worship of Isis and Osiris, or the hieroglyphics or historical reminiscences of that very ancient people? Are they part of the fierce Scythians? Their warlike propensities would prove them to be so; but where among those barbarians do we discover the belief in one Great Spirit, together with the softer virtues, the purity and talents of the Indians? Are they of the Tartar race? Their complexion, "the shadowed livery of the burning sun," might be offered in evidence; but, they have not the flat head, the angular and twinkling eye, nor the diminutive figure of the Chinese or Tartars.

    The Indians have distinct Jewish features, and neither in mind, manners, nor religion, bear any affinity to the Tartar race. I have endeavoured to show this by their traditions, by their religion, by their ceremonies, which retain so much of the ancient worship. But there is one proof more, which, in my mind, removes all doubt. Sir Alexander MacKenzie, in his journal of a tour to the north-west continent of America, declares from his own observation, that the Chippewa Indians practise circumcision, which fact is corroborated by several other travellers amongst the various tribes.


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    It will scarcely be necessary for me to refer you to the many prophetic warnings relative to the sins, the denunciations; the promises, the dispersion and redemption, of the Jewish people, which we find throughout the Bible. With that good book you all are or should be familiar -- it is a delightful book, view it in any manner you please. Let the unbeliever sneer and the philosopher doubt, it is certain that the most important events predicted by the prophets hare come to pass, giving an assurance which is stripped of all doubt, that what remains to be fulfilled, will be fulfilled. In what direction are we to look for the missing tribes according to the prophets? From Jeremiah we learn that they are to come from a country north and west from Judea. From Isaiah, "it is a country far from Judea," and answering also "from the ends of the earth."

    In Zechariah we are told, it must be in the western regions, or the country of the going down of the sun; and according to the historian Esdras, it must be a land wherein mankind never before had dwelt, and of course, free from the residence of the heathen.

    Our prophet Isaiah has a noble reference to the dispersed tribes and their redemption, which may be here appropriately quoted. I use his language, the Hebrew, which from its peculiar associations should be always interesting to you.


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    "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

    "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth.

    "And there shall be a highway, for the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, like as it was to Israel, in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt."

    May I not with propriety refer, among other evidences, to the cruel persecutions which have uniformly been practised towards the Indians of this continent, not unlike those which the chosen people have suffered for the last eighteen centuries? "What makes you so melancholy?" said General Knox to the chief of an Indian deputation, that he was entertaining in this city, at the close of the revolutionary war. "I'll tell you, brother, said the aged chief; "I have been looking at your beautiful city -- the great water full of ships -- the fine country, and see how prosperous you all are. But then, I could not help thinking, that this fine country was ours. Our ancestors lived here. They enjoyed it as their own in peace. It was the gift of the Great Spirit to them, and their children. At last, white men came in a great canoe. They only asked to let them tie it to a tree, lest the water should carry it away. We consented. They then said some of their people were sick, and they asked permission to land them, and put them under the shade of the trees. The ice then came and they could not go away. They then begged a piece of land to build wigwams for the winter. We granted it to them. They then asked corn to keep them from starving. We furnished it out of our own scanty supply


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    They promised to go away when the ice melted. When this happened, they, instead of going pointed to the big guns round the wigwams and said, 'we shall stay here.' Afterwards came more: they brought intoxicating drinks, of which the Indians became fond. They persuaded them to sell their land, and, finally, have driven us back, from time to time, to the wilderness, far from the water, the fish, and the oysters. They have scared away our game -- my people are wasting away. We live in the want of all things, while you are enjoying abundance in our fine and beautiful country. This makes me sorry, brother, and I cannot help it."

    These persecutions and repeated acts of cruelty and injustice appear to have no termination -- the work of destruction, commenced with the Narragansetts, will extend to the Seminoles, and gradually to the blue waters of the Pacific. Look even now at the contest maintained by a handful of Indians in the everglades of Florida. Do they war against unequal numbers for a crown -- for a part of that immense surplus which overflows from the coffers of a country, which was once their own? No -- they fight for the privilege of dying where the bones of their ancestors lie buried, and yet we, Christians as we call ourselves, deny them that boon, and drive the lords of the soil into the den of the otter.

    In referring to the splendid specimens of Indian oratory, where, I would ask, can you find such wisdom, such lofty and pure eloquence, among the Chinese and Tartars, even at this day?

    The Indians, like the Hebrews, speak in parables. Of their dialects, there is no doubt, that the Algonquin and Huron are the parents of five hundred Indian tongues -- they are copious, rich, regular, forcible and comprehensive; and although here and there strong Hebrew analogies may be found, yet it is reasonable


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    to suppose, that the Indian languages are a compound of all those tongues belonging to the various Asiatic nations, through which they passed during their pilgrimage.

    Firmly as I believe the American Indian to have been descended from the tribes of Israel, and that our continent is full of the most extraordinary vestiges of antiquity, there is one point, a religious as well as a historical point, in which you may possibly continue to doubt, amidst almost convincing evidences.

    If these are the remnants of the nine and a half tribes which were carried into Assyria, and if we are to believe in all the promises of the restoration, and the fulfillment of the prophecies, respecting the final advent of the Jewish nation, what is to become of these our red brethren, whom we are driving before us so rapidly, that a century more will find them lingering on the borders of the Pacific ocean?

    Possibly, the restoration may be near enough to include even a portion of these interesting people. Our learned Rabbis have always deemed it sinful to compute the period of the restoration; they believe that when the sins of the nation were atoned for, the miracle of their redemption would be manifested. My faith does not rest wholly in miracles -- Providence disposes of events, human agency must carry them out. That benign and supreme power which the children of Israel had never forsaken, has protected the chosen people amidst the most appalling dangers, has saved them from the uplifted sword of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Medes, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans, and while the most powerful nations of antiquity have crumbled to pieces, we have been preserved, united and unbroken, the same now as we were in the days of the patriarchs -- brought from darkness to light, from the early and rude periods of learning to the bright reality of civilization, of arts, of education and of science.


    - 38 -

    The Jewish people must now do something for themselves; they must move onward to the accomplishment of that great event long foretold -- long promised -- long expected; and when they DO that mighty power which has for thousands of years rebuked the proscription and intolerance shown to the Jews, by a benign protection of the whole nation, will still cover them with his invincible standard.

    My belief is, that Syria will revert to the Jewish nation by purchase, and that the facility exhibited in the accumulation of wealth, has been a providential and peculiar gift to enable them, at a proper time, to re-occupy their ancient possessions by the purse-string instead of the sword.

    We live in a remarkable age, and political events are producing extraordinary changes among the nations of the earth.

    Russia with its gigantic power continues to press hard on Turkey. The Pacha of Egypt, taking advantage of the improvements and inventions of men of genius, is extending his territory and influence to the straits of Babelmandel on the Red sea, and to the borders of the Russian empire; and the combined force of Russia, Turkey, Persia and Egypt, seriously threaten the safety of British possessions in the East Indies. An intermediate and balancing power is required to check this thirst of conquest and territorial possession, and to keep in check the advances of Russia in Turkey and Persia, and the ambition and love of conquest of Egypt. This can be done by restoring Syria to its rightful owners, not by revolution or blood, but as I have said, by the purchase of that territory from the Pacha of Egypt, for a sum of money too tempting in its amount for him to refuse, in the present reduced state of his coffers. Twelve or thirteen millions of dollars have been spoken of in reference to the cession of that interesting territory, a sum of no consideration to the Jews, for the good will and peaceable possession


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    of a land, which to them is above all price. Under the cooperation and protection of England and France, this re-occupation of Syria within its old territorial limits, is at once reasonable and practicable.

    By opening the ports of Damascus, Tripoli, Joppa, Acre, &c., the whole of the commerce of Turkey, Egypt, and the Mediterranean will be in the hands of those, who even now in part, control the commerce of Europe. From the Danube, the Dneister, the Ukraine, Wallachia and Moldavia, the best of agriculturalists would revive the former fertility of Palestine. Manufacturers from Germany and Holland; an army of experience and bravery from France and Italy; ingenuity, intelligence, activity, energy and enterprise from all parts of the world, would, under a just, a tolerant and a liberal government, present a formidable barrier to the encroachments of surrounding powers, and be a bulwark to the interests of England and France, as well as the rising liberties of Greece.

    Once again unfurl the standard of Judah on Mount Zion, the four corners of the earth will give up the chosen people as the sea will give up its dead, at the sound of the last trumpet. Let the cry be Jerusalem, as it was in the days of the Saracen and the lion-hearted Richard of England, and the rags and wretchedness which have for eighteen centuries enveloped the persons of the Jews, crushed as they were by persecution and injustice, will fall to the earth; and they will stand forth, the richest, the most. powerful, the most intelligent nation on the face of the globe, with incalculable wealth, and holding in pledge the crowns and sceptres of kings. Placed in possession of their ancient heritage by and with the consent and co-operation of their Christian brethren establishing a government of peace and good will on earth, it may then be said, behold the fulfillment of prediction and prophecy: behold the chosen and


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    favoured people of Almighty God, who, in defence of his unity and omnipotence, have been the outcast and proscribed of all nations, and who for thousands of years have patiently endured the severest of human sufferings, in the hope of that great advent of which they never have despaired: -- and then when taking their rank once more among the nations of the earth, with the good wishes and affectionate regards of the great family of mankind, they may by their tolerance, their good faith, their charity and enlarged liberal views, merit what has been said in their behalf by inspired writers, Blessed are they who bless Israel."

    27 PINE ST.


    M. M. Noah (1785-1851)
    Restoration of the Jews
    (NYC, 1845)

  • Title Page

  • Preface

  • Discourse

  • Transcriber's Comments


    review in Mar. 8, 1845 Occident   |   Noah's letter in April 1845 Occident


    ON  THE


    DELIVERED AT THE TABERNACLE, Oct. 28 AND Dec. 2, 1844.

    BY  M. M. NOAH,

    With a Map of the Land of Israel.




    Within a few years the attention of the Christian world has been directed, in a peculiar manner, to the character, condition, and future prospects of the Jewish people. Ministers of the gospel, in more closely examining the predictions of the prophets, and the miraculous preservation of the chosen people, have been struck with the injustice and oppression they have met with for the last 1800 years; and how directly in opposition to the mild principles of the gospel has this spirit of intolerance been carried out. The responsibility in being agents in this persecution, or even by passive acquiescence giving countenance to it, has at length awakened a just and apostolic feeling towards Israel, which has of late been manifested in a more enlarged and liberal consideration, both in the pulpit and in the domestic circle. True, the efforts to evangelize them, contrary, as I think, to the manifest predictions of the prophets, continue to be unceasing, yet even in this there is charity and good feelings which cannot fail to be reciprocally beneficial. In the political, as well as the religious world, there are singular commotions which point to the East as the theatre of approaching revolutions of great and absorbing interests, and it has struck me forcibly that a movement from this free country in favour of restoring the Jews to their ancient heritage would have the good effect of directing the attention of the Christian powers generally to an effort of this character, which might gradually lead to important results; but, at all events, would create a better and kinder feeling for the Jews, and secure to them protection and privileges which at present they do not all enjoy. If, in our generation this movement does nothing more, it will accomplish much good, and would cement the ties which ought to unite the Jews and Christian in kind offices and brotherly love. There are also religious movements of great interest among the Jews in Europe -- propositions of reform, which, if they do not strike at the religion itself, will do much good in wearing away ancient prejudices, and approximating to the enlightened spirit of the age. We require a Sanhendrin to examine many points and customs in our religion, and to compare the written with the oral law, and prune many excresences in Rabbinical writings, some of which strike at the pure principles contained in the bible, which, under all circumstances, is our safest guide. In the observations which I have made, and the facts detailed in relation to the great work of restoration, let it not be understood that I speak in the name and in behalf of the Jewish people throughout the world. Early religious dogmas cannot be changed; strong prejudices of education require time and perseverance to remove; the liberal mind alone will comprehend my views, and the objects I desire to attain. I seek to commit no one who differs with me; we are a sect, not a nation; there is no council, no government, as yet, through which opinions may be concentrated, consequently we are left to form our own opinions on disputed points. I confidently believe in the restoration of the Jews, and in the coming of the Messiah; and believing that political events are daily assuming a shape which may finally lead to that great advent, I considered it a duty to call upon the free people of this country to aid us in any efforts which, in our present position, it may be deemed prudent to adopt, and I have the most abiding confidence in their good-will and friendly feelings in aiding to restore us to liberty and independence.

    In a letter which I received from Mr. Jefferson as far back as 1818, he observes, "Your sect, by its sufferings, has furnished a remarkable proof of the universal spirit of religious intolerance inherent in every sect, disclaimed by all while feeble, and practised by all when in power; our laws have applied the only antidote to this vice, protecting our religious as they do our civil rights, by putting all on an equal footing: but more remains to be done, for although we are free by the law, we are not so in practice; public opinion erects itself into an inquisition, and exercises its office with as much fanaticism as fans the flames of an auto-da-fe. The prejudice still scowling on your section of our religion, although the elder one, cannot be unfelt by yourselves. It is to be hoped that individual dispositions will at length mould themselves to the model of the law, and consider the moral basis on which all our religion rests as the rallying-point which unites them in a common interest, while the peculiar dogmas branching from it are the exclusive concern of the respective sects embracing them, and no rightful subject of notice to any other.

    "Public opinion needs reformation on this point, which would have the farther happy effect of doing away the hypocritical maxim of 'intus ut lubet foris ut moris.' Nothing, I think, would be so likely to effect this as to your sect particularly, as the more careful attention to education which you recommend, and which, placing its members on the equal and commanding benches of science, will exhibit them as equal objects of respect and favour."

    In addition to the foregoing observations from the illustrious author of the Declaration of American Independence, I find similar and stronger sentiments in a letter from President John Adams, written to me when nearly in his ninetieth year, with all the fervour, sincerity, and zeal he exhibited in the early scenes of our Revolution. "You have not," says this venerable patriot, "extended your ideas of the right of private judgment and the liberty of conscience, both in religion and philosophy, farther than I do. Mine are limited only by morals and propriety. I have had occasion to be acquainted with several gentlemen of your nation, and to transact business with some of them, whom I found to be men of as liberal minds, as much honour, probity, generosity, and good breeding as any I have known in any sect of religion or philosophy.

    "I wish your nation may be admitted to all the privileges of citizens in every part of the world. This country has done much; I wish it may do more, and annul every narrow idea in religion, government, and commerce. Let the wits joke, the philosophers sneer! What then? It has pleased the Providence of the 'first cause,' the universal cause, that Abraham should give religion not only to the Hebrews, but to Christians and Mohammedans, the greatest part of the modern civilized world."

    In another letter Mr. Adams says, "I really wish the Jews again in Judea, an independent nation, for, as I believe, the most enlightened men of it have participated in the amelioration of the philosophy of the age; once restored to an independent government, and no longer persecuted, they would soon wear away some of the asperities and peculiarities of their character, possibly in time become liberal Unitarian Christians, for your Jehovah is our Jehovah, and your God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is our God."

    I cannot mistake the liberality of my countrymen in making to them the appeal I have made in the following pages. Their agency involves no responsibility, no outlay of money, no painful efforts: the project itself is pacific throughout; it places the Jews in the Holy Land as mere proprietors, protected in their possessions as other citizens and subjects -- and this is the basis of the restoration. Other events will follow in their proper course.

    This discourse was addressed to Christians, and I cannot express my gratification at the deep attention and liberal feelings manifested by some thousands of the most distinguished of our citizens and the highest dignitaries of the Church who heard me: it was a practical illustration of the real freedom of our institutions, and satisfied me that, where Church and State are not united, there is no barrier that separates religious sects, and all are alike free, liberal, and tolerant.

    Discourse &c.

    I have long desired, my friends and countrymen, for an opportunity to appear before you in behalf of a venerable people, whose history, whose sufferings, and whose extraordinary destiny have, for a period of 4000 years, filled the world with awe and astonishment: a people at once the most favoured and the most neglected, the most beloved, and yet the most persecuted; a people under whose salutary laws all the civilized nations of the earth now repose; a people whose origin may date from the cradle of creation, and who are likely to be preserved to the last moment of recorded time.

    I have been anxious to appeal to you, citizens and Christians, in behalf of the chosen and beloved people of Almighty God, to ask you to do justice to their character, to their motives, to their constancy, and to their triumphant faith; to feel for their sufferings and woes; to extend to them your powerful protection and undivided support in accomplishing the fulfillment of their destiny, and aiding to restore them to the land of their forefathers and the possession of their ancient heritage. It is, I acknowledge, a novel, though a natural appeal, made, I may say, for the first time to Christians since the advent of Christianity; but the period, I believe, has arrived for this appeal: extraordinary events shadow forth results long expected, long prophesied, long ordained; commotions in the state and division in the Church; new theories put forth, new hopes excited, new promises made; and the political events in Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and Russia, indicate the approach of great and important revolutions, which may facilitate the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, and the organization of a powerful government in Judea, and lead to that millennium which we all look for, all hope for, all pray for.

    Where, I ask, can we commence this great work of regeneration with a better prospect of success than in a free country and a liberal government? Where can we plead the cause of independence for the children of Israel with greater confidence than in the cradle of American liberty? Where ask for toleration and kindness for the seed of Abraham, if we find it not among the descendants of the Pilgrims? Here we can unfurl the standard, and seventeen millions of people will say, "God is with you; we are with you: in his name, and in the name of civil and religious liberty, go forth and repossess the land of your fathers. We have advocated the independence of the South American republics, we have given a home to our red brethren beyond the Mississippi, we have combated for the independence of Greece, we have restored the African to his native land. If these nations were entitled to our sympathies, how much more powerful and irrepressible are the claims of the beloved people, before whom the Almighty walked like a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night; who spoke to them words of comfort and salvation, of promise, of hope, of consolation, and protection; who swore they should be his people, and he would be their God; who, for their special protection and final restoration, dispersed them among the nations of the earth, without confounding them with any!"

    This, my countrymen, will be your judgment -- your opinion -- when asked to co-operate in giving freedom to the Jews. I am not required, on this occasion, to go over the history of the chosen people; you know it all; it is all recorded in that good Book which we have preserved for your comfort and consolation; that book which our fathers pressed to their hearts in traversing burning sands and the wide waste of waters, which famine, pestilence, and the sword could not wrest from them; which was the last cherished relic at night, and the first precious gift in the morning. You will find their history in the Bible.

    We are the only people who can trace our pedigree to the infancy of nature, the only nation to whom a code of just and righteous laws were confided. Compare our situation with that of the various nations among whom we have lived, and we at once trace the cause of all our unhappiness. Our father Abraham was the first to proclaim the unity of God, Sovereign Architect of the world, Ruler of heaven and earth. Joseph, fourth descendant of Abraham, carried the same doctrines and religion with him among the Egyptians; honoured by Pharaoh, but hated by the people, who revenged themselves by violence and persecutions on his posterity. Moses, our great lawgiver, delivered them from the yoke of their oppressors, and conveyed them to the frontier of the promised land. Joshua, commanding the armies of Israel, entered the land of Canaan, planted his standard there, and the world beheld for the first time a regular code of civil, political, and religious laws, which exist even at this day in all their primitive force. Solomon, the third king of Israel, by his wisdom and glory advanced the people and country to the highest degree of splendour in arts, in arms, and in science; in wealth, in commerce, and letters; and created those jealousies among the neighbouring nations which led to wars, intestine commotions, and, finally, to the loss of the holy city, which fell into the hands of the Romans, and from that period Israel ceased to be a nation, and became scattered over the face of the earth.

    The deep-rooted hatred of the ancient nations of the Israelites is therefore traceable to one great cause. Egypt, the worshippers of an ox or a crocodile, could not love a people who acknowledged only the true God. The Greeks, who murdered Socrates because he taught the existence of that God, equally detested the Jews, who openly proclaimed his unity and omnipotence. The idolatrous Canaanites, the conquered and defeated race, abhorred the Jews for their religious opinions. The Romans, who believed in oracles, soothsayers, and auguries, were always their fierce and irreconcilable enemies. We account, therefore, for the hatred of those nations who, attached to their idols, were the persecution of the Jews; but how are we to account for the oppression we have met with from our Christian brethren, having the same origin with us, our fellow-sufferers under Nero, Vespasian, Titus, and others? Let me probe the causes to their very foundation, by showing the errors of the first era of the Christian Church, and the departure from the injunctions, morality, charity, and good-will of the primitive founders of that faith.

    I approach the subject, my countrymen, I trust, in a becoming spirit of respect for the attachment and devotion to the Christian faith of those who now hear me. Born and educated among Christians -- having, through their confidence and liberality, held various stations of the public trust -- I bring to the consideration of this deeply absorbing subject the most kind and apostolic feeling. Tinctured by no prejudice, governed by no ill will, controlled by no bigoted impulse, but with an enlarged and upright zeal, and a desire to promote human happiness equally among all faiths, I will endeavour to explain, for the first time in many centuries, how the chosen people understand and interpret the advent of Christianity, its application to them as a nation, the influence it has had on their destiny, and their views of its obligations.

    We have the authority of early writers, of eminent Christian divines, of illustrious scholars and historians, for the declaration so often preached, until it is generally believed, that all the calamities of the Jews, their persecutions and sufferings, their degradation as a nation, their outcast and despised condition in many countries even at this day, are the results of the agency our fathers had in compassing the death of Jesus of Nazareth. We are, it has been said by them, crushed beneath the cross, and our only salvation is in believing in the divinity of him whom our forefathers had rejected. Hence the great, and eager, and natural desire to evangelize the Jews, and thus atone for what is deemed among pious Christians that great sin.

    Let us calmly examine this subject. Let us look at the peculiar position of the Jewish nation when those important events occurred, and ascertain by what agencies and motives they were governed and influenced.

    The sins of the chosen people, principally idolatry, for which they were denounced by the prophets, and punished by the Almighty, occurred before the Babylonish captivity, since that time those peculiar sins have not been repeated, and their constancy and fidelity as a nation, to their faith and principles, remain unquestioned at this day. The immense power and glory of the Jewish nation under David and Solomon long excited, as I have already said, the envy of surrounding nations. The return of the Jews to Palestine under the decree of Cyrus, at which epoch the history of the Old Testament closes, found them in a feeble condition under the Persian kings, and the entire people at one period were in danger of being destroyed by the cruel edict of Ahasuerus; and their unsettled position, together with the decay of their influence, gave rise to several divisions and sects, which greatly impaired their harmony and unity as a nation. The Persian Empire was at length subdued by Alexander the Great, 208 years after its conquest by Cyrus. The Jews attached themselves, with their usual fidelity, to Darius, and Alexander, exasperated at their decision in favour of his rival, marched upon Jerusalem; but, struck with the imposing character of their venerable faith, became their friend and protector, gave them many privileges, and selected several of the most distinguished as first settlers in his new city of Alexandria. On the death of Alexander, and the division of the empire among four of his generals, Judea became the theatre of war and intestine commotion, division and troubles of all kinds, cruelty, carnage, and oppression, until the Asmonean family, lamenting with deep anguish the wretched condition of their country and brethren, resolved to strike a blow for liberty, and for many years Judas Maccabees and brothers triumphed over their enemies, restored peace to Jerusalem, beautified the sanctuary, and enforced obedience to the Divine Law.

    At length, after many trials and reverses, the Romans, under Pompey, laid siege to and captured Jerusalem, and the Jews passed under the Roman yoke, and all that was left to the chosen people was the privilege to pursue their religion unmolested; and, after unparalleled sufferings, Herod the Idumenean ascended the throne of Judea, persecuted and oppressed the people, and rendered himself so odious, that, to retrieve something of his former standing, he rebuilt the Temple with great splendour, but, as an acknowledgment of his tributary position, set up a golden eagle over the gates of the sanctuary. It was at this period, when the Jews had lost all power as a nation; when, broken down and dispirited, and but a shadow of their former liberty and glory remained to them; when it needed no prophetic warning to denote the final overthrow of the nation, that Jesus of Nazareth was born. They had expected some one at that period who was destined to act as their Messiah and temporal deliverer; some one who could break the Roman yoke, and change the aspect of human affairs; they sighed for liberty and vengeance, and prayed devoutly for a deliverer. Jesus of Nazareth was not the one they expected. His mission of peace and spirit of reform held forth no temporal hope to the afflicted. He had no sword or helmet to indicate the warrior or conqueror; he unfurled no banner, sounded no trumpet, prophesied no victory over the pagans, and the Jews gave themselves up to despair.

    To comprehend and fully understand the peculiar situation in which the Jewish people were placed at that important crisis, we must endeavour, if possible, to place ourselves in their position. A nation once powerful, rich, and happy, prosperous and independent, the conquerors of every neighbouring power, living in the midst of luxury and civilization, enjoying a happy and equitable code of laws, with wise kings, gallant warriors, a pious priesthood, and great national prosperity, suddenly assailed by powerful pagan nations, allured by a love of gold, and tempted by the hope of plunder, contending year after year against fearful odds, their enemy strengthened by fresh levies, while their own resources were exhausted, finding themselves at length gradually sinking, a weak, decayed, defeated power, the once glorious and favoured people abandoned by hope and almost deserted by Providence, their Temple, their pride and glory, wrested from them, and the beams of the setting sun falling on the brazen helmet of the Roman centurion keeping guard near the Holy of Holies. In this distracted position, and at this period of unexampled calamity, Jesus of Nazareth found the Jews at the commencement of his ministry.

    Corruptions, the natural consequence of great misfortune, had crept in among them: a portion of the priesthood forgot the obligations due to their high order; hypocrisy and intrigue had reached the high places, and Jesus appeared among them the most resolute of reformers. Denouncing the priests and Pharisees, preaching against hypocrisy and vice, prophesying the downfall of the nation, and in thus attracting followers and apostles by his extraordinary and gifted powers, he became formidable by his decision of character, his unceremonious expression of opinion, and the withering nature of his rebuke. He preached at all times and at all places, in and out of the Temple, with an eloquence such as no mortal has since possessed, and, to give the most powerful and absorbing interest to his mission, he proclaimed himself Son of God, and declared himself ordained by the Most High to save a benighted and suffering people, as their Saviour and Redeemer. The Jews were amazed, perplexed, and bewildered at all they saw and heard. They knew Jesus from his birth. He was in constant intercourse with his brethren in their domestic relations, and surrounded by their household gods; they remembered him a boy, disputing, as was the custom, most learnedly with the doctors in the Temple; and yet he proclaimed himself the Son of God, and performed, as it is said, most wonderful miracles, was surrounded by a number of disciples of poor but extraordinarily gifted men, who sustained his doctrines, and had an abiding faith in his mission; he gathered strength and followers as he progressed; he denounced the whole nation, and prophesied its destruction, with their altars and temples; he preached against whole cities, and proscribed their leaders with a force which, even at this day, would shake our social systems. The Jews became alarmed at his increasing power and influence, and the Sanhedrin resolved to become his accuser, and bring him to trial under the law, as laid down in the 13th of Deuteronomy.

    In reflecting deeply on all the circumstances of this, the most remarkable trial and judgment in history, I am convinced, from the whole tenour of the proceedings, that the arrest, trial, and condemnation of Jesus of Nazareth was conceived and executed under a decided panic. That he proclaimed himself Son of God; that he declared he had been delegated from the Father to enter upon his mediatorial character, that he was a prophet, and the promised Messiah, was understood and admitted by all his friends and disciples; but still, it has appeared to me throughout that there was not sufficient testimony to come under the special and distinct provisions of the Law.

    The parables and figures of the Hebrew language, and the Oriental mode of expression, frequently cloud and embarrass the real meaning intended to be conveyed. Jesus uniformly acknowledged the unity and omnipotence of God; to Him he prayed, as our Father in heaven, whose name was hallowed, whose will was to be executed on earth; he disclaimed any intention to alter the Mosaic Law, but confirmed and observed every part of it. Take, for example, one fact, for so it will be considered, which we find in the twelfth chapter of St. Mark, the twenty-ninth verse, in reply to a question put to Him by one of the scribes, as to which is the first commandment of all. "And Jesus answered him, The first of all commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." With these words on his lips, with this belief in his heart, it is impossible to have convicted him of blasphemy. It is our creed, our universal prayer, the basis of our faith; how could such a declaration have been construed into blasphemy? The title of God was a title of power and dominion, and frequently was conferred by the Almighty himself on earthly rulers. "See, I have made thee a God to Pharaoh," as God Supreme said to Moses; "Son of God" was a title frequently conferred on those of distinguished piety and learning, and on those possessing the emanations of the Divinity, and this title the apostles themselves carry out in all their writings.

    "THE SON," "My Son," not the Father; the humanity, not the Divinity, the image of the invisible God, not the invisible God himself; and Paul says, there is one God and one Mediator between God and man. Could the Almighty delegate a mediatorial character to any on earth? who can doubt it? God says to Moses, "Behold, I send an angel before thee to keep thee in the way, provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him -- my spirit is in him."

    It was not, therefore, altogether on the charge of Jesus having called himself Son of God that the Sanhedrin accused and condemned him; political considerations mingled themselves, and in a measure controlled the decision of the council, and this is demonstrable from the declaration of Caiaphas himself, as stated in the Gospel, "Because that one man should die than the nation should be destroyed."

    "It was the sedition, and not altogether the blasphemy -- the terror and apprehension of political overthrow, which led to conviction, and this political and national characteristic was maintained throughout; it was that consideration which induced the Jews to urge upon Pilate a confirmation of the sentence. It was the charge of assuming the prerogatives of Caesar, not the name of the Divinity, which overcame the well-founded objections of the Roman governor, and crucifixion itself was a Roman and not a Jewish punishment. The opprobrious insults heaped upon the Master came from Roman soldiers, and that mixed rabble which even in our days desecrate all that is held sacred.

    I place these most absorbing events before you, my countrymen, as I find them recorded in the New Testament, not to contrast things sacred with those which are profane, but that you should understand the exact position of the Jews at that time, their painful situation, their prostrate condition, their timidity, their agitation, without even a ray of hope; a people so venerable for their antiquity, so beloved and protected for their fidelity, on the very threshold of political destruction.

    It is not my duty to condemn the course of our ancestors, nor yet to justify the measures they adopted in that dire extremity, but if there are mitigating circumstances, I am bound by the highest considerations which a love of truth and justice dictates, to spread them before you, at the same time to protest against entailing upon us the responsibility of acts committed eighteen hundred years ago by our fathers, and thus transmit to untold generations the anger and hatred of a faith erroneously taught to believe us the aggressors. True, it may be said that the Jews declared their willingness to let the blood of Jesus be on their heads and the heads of their children. I do maintain that the assumption of responsibility in that case extended only to them and to their children. In the Commandments, God visits the iniquities of the father on the children to the third and fourth generation, and then only to those who hate him: who can have the power to go beyond the limits for the punishment of sin, real or imaginary, express or implied, which God himself has ordained? All the persecutions which the Jews have suffered at the hands of Christians have arose from the injustice of making one generation answerable for the acts of another.

    The Jews, my friends, were but the instruments of a higher power, and in rejecting Jesus of Nazareth we have a great and overwhelming evidence of the infinite wisdom of the Almighty. Had they acknowledged him as their Messiah at that fearful crisis, the whole nation would have gradually sunk under the Roman yoke, and we should have had at this day paganism and idolatry, with all their train of terrible evils, and darkness and desolation would have been spread over the face of the earth. But the death of Jesus was the birth of Christianity, the Gentile Church sprang from the ruins which surrounded its primitive existence; its march was onward, beset with darkness and difficulties, with oppression and persecution, until the sun of the Reformation rose upon it, dissipating the clouds of darkness which had obscured its beauties, and it shone forth with a liberal and tolerant brightness, such as the Great Master had originally designed it.

    Had not that event occurred, how would you have been saved from your sins? The Jews, in this, did nothing but what God himself ordained, for you will find it written in the Acts of your Apostles, "And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers."

    It has been said, and with some commendations on what was called my liberality, that I did not in this discourse, on its first delivery, term Jesus of Nazareth an impostor -- I have never considered him such. The impostor generally aims at temporal power, attempts to subsidize the rich and weak believer, and draws around him followers of influence whom he can control. Jesus was free from fanaticism; his was a quiet, subdued, retiring faith; he mingled with the poor, communed with the wretched, avoided the rich, and rebuked the vainglorious. In the calm of the evening he sought shelter in the secluded groves of Olivet, or wandered pensively on the shores of Galilee. He sincerely believed in his mission; he courted no one, flattered no one; in his political denunciations he was pointed and severe, in his religion calm and subdued. These are not characteristics of an impostor; but, admitting that we give a different interpretation to his mission, when 150 millions believe in his Divinity, and we see around us abundant evidences of the happiness, good faith, mild government, and liberal feelings which spring from his religion, what right has any one to call him an impostor? That religion which is calculated to make mankind great and happy cannot be a false one.

    While the Almighty raised up, enlarged, and extended the Gentile Church, gave to it power and dominion, he threw the mantle of his Divine protection over his chosen people, and has preserved them amid unheard-of dangers to this very day, numerous as they have been, but still distinct as a nation, preserving the Abrahmaic covenant, walking in his statutes, and obeying his commandments; the same people whom he had brought out of Egyptian bondage, and to whom he had given the land of Israel as an inheritance for ever, and who is now leading us back in peace and happiness to repossess our ancient and promised heritage. Can the human mind imagine a miracle such as this which we have before us? Do you now perceive, Christians and brethren, why it was not designed by the Almighty that the Jews at that crisis should have acknowledged the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth? "The secret things are for the Lord."

    Fully appreciating, therefore, as I do, the pious and benevolent objects of the Society for Evangelizing the Jews throughout the world, and desirous that those societies should continue to feel an interest both in the temporal and eternal welfare of Israel, I do not think -- pardon me for saying -- that their success has been commensurate with the great efforts they have made, and the means expended in the advancement of the objects in view. My desire now is, that, feeling the same interest, and directed by the same zeal, those societies should unite in efforts to promote the restoration of the Jews in their unconverted state, relying on the fulfillment of the prophesies and the will of God for attaining the objects they have in view after that great advent shall have arrived.

    A change of religious faith, even among the least faithful, is a plant of slow progress; but among a people specially chosen and signally preserved amid the ruins of the world and the downfall of every other nation of antiquity, is an effort of insurmountable difficulty. It is impolitic to send converted Jews to preach Christianity to Israel. However sincere they may be, they never inspire confidence among their brethren. A distrust in their sincerity precedes every effort they may make. Equally impolitic -- I say it respectfully -- was the appointment of a converted Jew as Bishop of Jerusalem, to commence his labours of conversion on a spot so dear to the Jews, to which they are so faithfully, so devotedly, so sincerely attached; a place to which they journey in their last pilgrimage to die as Jews, and be buried near their kings, prophets, and judges in the valley of Jehoshaphat. If your efforts are still to be devoted to evangelizing as well as restoring, send pious and sincere Christians to them, who entertain a kind and benevolent feeling for the Jews; and if they should not succeed in accomplishing all they desire, the messengers, at least, will be well, and kindly, and courteously received, and their mission treated with confidence and regard.

    But a difficulty presents itself in the work of evangelizing which probably has not heretofore occurred to you. Let us suppose it to be as successful as the labourers in the vineyard would desire, what church is to receive us? If we join the Protestant, the Catholic will say, "We are the elder brother of the Christian Church; we spring from your fathers; the first fifteen bishops of our Church were Jews; we separated under the walls of Jerusalem, and, after a painful pilgrimage of 1800 years, if you are satisfied to believe in what we believe, come to us, to the communion of saints, to the remission of sins." The Protestants will say, in their usual mild and tolerant spirit, "We keep pace with the enlightened spirit of the age: here is the Bible, which was intrusted to your safe keeping, and we restore it to you unchanged; with us you will find that liberality and charity go hand in hand, free from idolatry, from the remnants of paganism, free from the control of temporal power." The Unitarian will say, "'In medio tutissimus.' Come to our Church, thou pillar which standest alone amid the destruction of empires; we believe with you in the unity and omnipotence of God; we do not ask you to abandon the laws of Moses, should you ever adopt the Gospel of Jesus. Come with us." The Methodist, the Presbyterian, the Universalist, the Baptist, the Socinian, the Quaker, and other churches, each have peculiar doctrines. I complain not of this: in the multitude of sects there is safety, but how are we to choose? In the divisions of the Christian Church, how are we to find the true one? I stood recently in front of a noble church in a neighbouring city, adorned with all the splendour of architecture, and all the embellishments of pious taste. It was surrounded by a frightful mob, which had set fire to it. They brandished their incendiary torches, and threw them flashing in the middle of the aisles; they covered the altar with straw, and heaped it with missals and hymn-books. The flames spread rapidly in every direction, until they reached and curled round a magnificent altar-piece -- a triumph of the art. The whole church was one bright sheet of fire: the devouring element stormed, and rushed, and roared, until it encompassed the broad and stately dome. I saw the golden cross by which it was surmounted encircled with myriads of bright sparks, while the flames played round its base -- that cross, In hoc signo vincit, melting before the consuming heat. At length the whole dome fell, and cinders, murky clouds, and flames ascended high in the air: then the ruffians sent up a shout which gave alarm to the host of heaven -- a shout of exultation that a Christian church, in a land of religious freedom, had been destroyed by men calling themselves Christians. This is one of the stumbling blocks to the Jews which we cannot overleap, though in our way it lies. When did the chosen people ever fire any structure raised to the honour of God?

    But, my friends, why not ask yourselves the great and cardinal question whether it is not your duty to aid in restoring the chosen people as Jews to their promised land? Are we not the only witnesses of the unity and omnipotence of God? Are we not the only witnesses of the truth of the Bible, preserved as such by the great Sovereign Architect of the world? The predictions of the restoration of Israel, distinctly intimated by prophesy, are as full as were the predictions of our overthrow and desolation. Has not God threatened and punished, and will not his promises of favour be fulfilled? Has he cast off his people, or has he merely visited their transgressions with punishment? "Behold," saith the Lord, "I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land, and I will make them one nation, in the land upon the mountains of Israel. Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them in their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them, for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord. Thus the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing into Zion; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. Then shall Jerusalem be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord; she shall no more be termed forsaken, nor her land be termed desolate.'

    In almost every page of the Bible we have, directly and indirectly, in positive language and in parables the literal assurance and guarantee for the restoration of the Jews to Judea. We have gone through the fiery ordeal according to prediction; we have suffered the curses, and now await the period of the blessings. The past has been dark and dreary, the future is full of hope and splendour. God himself has been our ruler, our lawgiver, our leader, and to this hour our true friend. In the midst of appalling dangers his eye has been upon us, his protecting shield has been before us. To us he committed the lamp which has illumined the world, and we have held it with a steady hand for a light to the Gentiles.

    No, no, my friends; what would be to us our blessings, our redemption, our salvation, without our restoration? Our land is blighted with the curse, shall it not enjoy the blessing? It long hath mourned, shall it not rejoice?

    Innumerable are the promises which present themselves wherever the eye is turned. "The remnant of Jacob," saith the prophet, "shall be in the midst of many people, as a dew from the Lord, as showers upon the grass." And Isaiah, rapt in the contemplation of the glorious future reserved for his brethren of the Jewish Church, says, "Lift up thine eyes round about and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side."

    We find the current strong and impulsive in every chapter of that illustrious prophet. "And the Lord shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Cry out and shout, inhabitants of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee."

    Again: listen to the prophet relative to the restoration and the rebuilding of Zion. "Behold, I will gather them out of all countries whither I have driven them in my anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath, and I will bring them again to this place and I will cause them to dwell safely, and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, and I will make with them an everlasting covenant, and I will not turn away from them to do them good, and I will plant them in thy land, assuredly with my whole heart, and with my whole soul: for thus saith the Lord, Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring them all the good that I have promised them. I, the Lord, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles: I am the Lord. That is my name, and my glory I will not give to another." "Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. Behold, all that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded. Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee, and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." "Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders, but thou shalt call thy walls salvation, and thy gates praise. Thy people, also, shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever. The branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; for in my wrath I smote thee but in my favour I had mercy upon thee. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish, and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee."

    On these unfulfilled predictions, my friends, rest the happiness of the human race; and you are heirs to this new covenant, partners in the compact, sharers in the glory. Understand these prophesies distinctly: they relate to the literal, and not to the spiritual restoration of the Jews, as many believe. Some think that these prophesies were fulfilled at the restoration of Babylon; but you will find in the eleventh of Isaiah, beginning at the eleventh verse, these words: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which will be left (not in Babylon, but) from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shina[r], and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea" -- the whole world.

    Above all, you that believe in the predictions of your apostles -- you who believe in the second coming of the Son of Man -- where is he to come to? By your own showing, to Jerusalem, to Zion, to the beloved city of hope and promise; He is, according to your own evangelists, to your own belief, to come to the Jews, and yet you would convert them here; you strive to evangelize them, in the face of all that is sacred in the promises of God and the predictions of his prophets, that they shall occupy their own land as Jews. In your zeal you forget the solemn, emphatic, brief declaration of your Redeemer, which you should remember as the shades of darkness draw around you, and the light of morning breaks upon your sight, "Salvation is of the Jews."

    Within the last twenty-five years great revolutions have occurred in the East, affecting in a peculiar manner the future destiny of the followers of Mohammed, and distinctly marking the gradual advancement of the Christian power. Turkey has been deprived of Greece, after a fearful and sanguinary struggle, and the land of warriors and sages has become sovereign and independent. Egypt conquered and occupied Syria, and her fierce pacha had thrown off allegiance to the sultan. Menaced, however, by the superior power of the Ottoman Porte, Mehemet Ali was compelled to submit to the commander of the faithful, reconveying Syria to Turkey, and was content to accept the hereditary possession of Egypt.

    Russia has assailed the wandering hordes of the Caucasses. England has had various contests with the native princes of India, and has waged war with China. The issue of these contests in Asia has been marked with singular success, and evidently indicate the progressive power of the Christian governments in that interesting quarter of the globe. France has carried its victorious arms through the north of Africa. Russia, with a steady glance and firm step, approaches Turkey in Europe, and when her railroads are completed to the Black Sea, will pour in her Cossacks from the Don and the Vistula, and Constantinople will be occupied by the descendants of the Tartar dynasty, and all Turkey in Europe, united to Greece, will constitute either an independent empire, or be occupied by Russia, who, with one arm on the Mediterranean, and the other on the North Sea, will nearly embrace all Europe. The counterbalance of this gigantic power will be a firm and liberal union of Austria with all Italy and the Roman States, down to the borders of Gaul: but the revolution will not end here. England must possess Egypt, as affording the only secure route to her possessions in India through the Red Sea; then Palestine, thus placed between the Russian possessions and Egypt, reverts to its legitimate proprietors, and for the safety of the surrounding nations, a powerful, wealthy, independent, and enterprising people are placed there by and with the consent of the Christian powers, and with their aid and agency the land of Israel passes once more into the possession of the descendants of Abraham. The ports of the Mediterranean will be again opened to the busy hum of commerce; the fields will again bear the fruitful harvest, and Christian and Jew will together, on Mount Zion, raise their voices in praise of Him whose covenant with Abraham was to endure forever, and in whose seed all the nations of the earth are to be blessed. This is our destiny. Every attempt to colonize the Jews in other countries has failed: their eye has steadily rested on their own beloved Jerusalem, and they have said, "The time will come, the promise will be fulfilled."

    The Jews are in a most favourable position to repossess themselves of the promised land, and organize a free and liberal government; they are at this time zealously and strenuously engaged in advancing the cause of education. In Poland, Moldavia, Wallachia, on the Rhine and Danube, and wherever the liberality of the governments have not interposed obstacles, they are practical farmers. Agriculture was once their only natural employment; the land is now desolate, according to the prediction of the prophets, but it is full of hope and promise. The soil is rich, loamy, and everywhere indicates fruitfulness, and the magnificent cedars of Lebanon, show the strength of the soil on the highest elevations; the climate is mild and salubrious, and double crops in the low lands may be annually anticipated. Everything is produced in the greatest variety. Wheat, barley, rye, corn, oats, and the cotton plant in great abundance. The sugarcane is cultivated with success; tobacco grows plentifully on the mountains; indigo is produced in abundance on the banks of the Jordan; olives and olive oil are everywhere found; the mulberry almost grows wild, out of which the most beautiful silk is made grapes of the largest kind flourish everywhere; cochineal is procured in abundance on the coast, and can be most profitably cultivated. The coffee-tree grows almost spontaneously; and oranges, figs, dates, pomegranates, peaches, apples, plums, nectarines, pineapples, and all the tropical fruits known to us, flourish everywhere throughout Syria. The several ports in the Mediterranean which formerly carried on a most valuable commerce can be advantageously reoccupied. Manufactures of wool, cotton, and silk could furnish all the Levant and the islands of the Mediterranean with useful fabrics. In a circumference within twenty days' travel of the Holy City, two millions of Jews reside. Of the two and a half tribes which removed east of the trans-Jordanic cities, Judah and Benjamin, and half Manasseh, I compute the number in every part of the world as exceeding six millions. Of the missing nine and a half tribes, part of which are in Turkey, China, Hindostan, Persia, and on this Continent, it is impossible to ascertain their numerical force. Many retain only the strict observance of the Mosaic laws, rejecting the Talmud and Commentaries. Others, in Syria, Egypt, and Turkey, are rigid observers of all the ceremonies. Reforms are in progress which correspond with the enlightened character of the age, without invading any of the cardinal principles of the religion. The whole sect are therefore in a position, as far as intelligence, education, industry, undivided enterprise, variety of pursuits, science, a love of the arts, political economy, and wealth could desire, to adopt the initiatory steps for the organization of a free government in Syria, as I have before said, by, and with the consent, and under the protection of the Christian powers. I propose, therefore, for all the Christian societies who take an interest in the fate of Israel, to assist in their restoration by aiding to colonize the Jews in Judea; the progress may be slow, but the result will be certain. The tree must be planted, and it will not want liberal and pious hands to water it, and in time it may flourish and produce fruit of hope and blessing.

    The first step is to solicit from the Sultan of Turkey permission for the Jews to purchase and hold land; to build houses, and to follow any occupation they may desire, without molestation and in perfect security. There is no difficulty in securing this privilege for them. The moment the Christian powers feel an interest in behalf of the Jewish people, the Turkish government will secure and carry out their views, for it must always be remembered that the one hundred and twenty millions of Mussulmen are also the descendants of Abraham. There is but a single link that divides us, and they also are partners in the great compact. The Jews are, at this day, the most influential persons connected with the commerce and monetary affairs of Turkey, and enjoy important privileges, but hitherto they have had no protecting influence, no friendly hand stretched forth to aid them. The moment the sultan issues his Hatti Scherif; allowing the Jews to purchase and hold land in Syria, subject to the same laws and limitations which govern Mussulmen, the whole territory surrounding Jerusalem, including the villages Hebron, Safat, Tyre, also Beyroot, Jaffa, and other ports of the Mediterranean, will be occupied by enterprising Jews. The valleys of the Jordan will be filled by agriculturists from the north of Germany, Poland, and Russia. Merchants will occupy the seaports, and the commanding positions within the walls of Jerusalem will be purchased by the wealthy and pious of our brethren. Those who desire to reside in the Holy Land, and have not the means, may be aided by these societies to reach their desired haven of repose. Christians can thus give impetus to this important movement; and emigration flowing in, and actively engaged in every laudable pursuit, will soon become consolidated, and lay the foundation for the elements of government and the triumph of restoration. This, my friends, may be the glorious result of any liberal movement you may be disposed to make in promoting the final destiny of the chosen people.

    The discovery and application of steam will be found to be a great auxiliary in the promotion of this interesting experiment. Steam packets to Alexandria leave England every fortnight; a line of packets are established between Marseilles and Constantinople, stopping at the Italian ports, and at Athens and Smyrna, thus bringing the Jewish people within a few days' travel of Jerusalem. Our Mediterranean and Levant trade, hitherto much neglected, will be revived, affording facilities to reach Palestine from this country direct.

    While many who are now present may suppose that we shall not live to hear of the triumphant success of this project, yet, my friends, it may be nearer than we imagine. Let us unfurl the standard, leaving the result to Him whose protecting influence overshadows us all -- who is infinite in wisdom, unbounded and unrestricted in power. The Jews suppose that the period of the restoration, which they so ardently desire and pray for, must be determined by the will of God alone, and that their agency in bringing about this great advent is not required, and consequently, they wait patiently, without making those preliminary efforts so essential to the consummation of that great object. We never yet have been fully sensible of our duties and obligations as agents of a higher Power. Providence has endowed us with mind, with reason, with energy; blessed us with ample means to carry out his expressed wishes, laws, and ordinances. If we do not move when he disposes events to correspond with the fulfillment of his promises and the prediction of his prophets, we leave undone that which he entails upon us as a duty to perform, and the work is not accomplished, the day of deliverance has not arrived. He has spoken -- he has promised. It is our duty, if the fulfillment of that Divine promise can be secured by mortal means and human agency, to see it executed. Will the dews of heaven produce a harvest without the labour of the husbandman?

    But we cannot move alone in the great work of the restoration. The power and influence of our Christian brethren, which now control the destinies of the world, must be invoked in carrying out this most interesting project.

    I am persuaded that the great events connected with the millennium so confidently predicted in the Scriptures, so anxiously desired by liberal and pious Christians, so intimately blended with the latter days -- that consummation of a great and providential design in the union of the Jews and Gentiles, and the fulfillment of the prophecies -- can alone be looked for after the restoration of the Jews to the land which the Lord gave to them for an everlasting possession. It is your duty, men and Christians, to aid us peaceably, tranquilly, and triumphantly to repossess the land of our fathers, to which we have a legal, equitable, perpetual right, by a covenant which the whole civilized world acknowledges. That power and glory which were once our own, you now possess; the banner of the Crescent floats where the standard of Judah was once displayed: it is for you to unfurl it again on Mount Zion. It will redound to your honour -- it will perpetuate your glory. You believe in the second coming of Jesus of Nazareth. That second advent, Christians, depends upon you. It cannot come to pass, by your own admission, until the Jews are restored, and restored in their unconverted state. If he is again to appear, it must be to his own people, and in the land of his birth and his affections -- on the spot where he preached, and prophesied, and died.

    From the days of Constantine, when Church and State were first united, when the Christian religion was used as an instrument to carry out political objects, all has been confusion -- the admixture of pagan worship, in which the mildness, charity, simplicity, and beauty of primitive Christianity were wholly lost. The sun of that faith, as I have already said, only rose at the period of the reformation, and has gone on gradually shedding its mild rays over the whole world. It only rose for us, for since that period we have enjoyed comparative tranquillity. But free by law, we are not so by public opinion. Prejudice still scowls upon us, denying us that estimation, that influence, that portion of worldly honours and rights which should appertain to the good citizen of every faith. We are not yet fully incorporated in the family of mankind. Christians by profession are not all Christians in practice; they have assumed to themselves the right to proscribe, the right to denounce, the right to punish, the right to hate, the right to judge, the right to condemn: and the afflictions under which the chosen people have suffered, from an assumption of these rights, have entailed an awful responsibility upon Christians. "Vengeance belongeth to me," saith the Lord; but it has been wrested from him by man. Where is the warrant for this persecution of the Jews -- this innate feeling of hostility and prejudice against them -- on the part of Christians? Not in the gentle spirit and forgiving kindness of their great Master. His example was more benign, his practice more charitable. He forgave the Jews with all his heart for any wrongs done to him; he prayed for them, loved them, and declared that he died for them; and yet those who profess to walk in his meek and lowly steps refuse to feel as he felt, to forgive as he forgave, and to love the children for the Father's sake. We have lost all -- country, government, kingdom, and power. You have it all -- it is yours. It was once ours -- it is again to be restored to us. Dismiss, therefore, from your hearts all prejudice which still lurks there against the favoured people of God, and consider their miraculous preservation as a light and beacon for the great events which are to follow. They are worthy of your love, your confidence, and respect. Is it nothing to have had such fathers and founders of their faith as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; such mothers as Sarah and Rebecca, Leah and Rachel; such illustrious women as Miriam and Deborah, Ruth and Esther? Is it nothing to have been deemed worthy by the Almighty to have had a path made for them through the waste of waters; to have been led to Sinai, and there received the precious and Divine gift of that law which we all revere and hold sacred at this day? Is it nothing to have erected the Temple of Jerusalem, where the priesthood and Levites presented their votive and expiatory offerings to the Most High? Is it nothing, my friends, to have outlived all the nations of the earth, and to have survived all who sought to ruin and destroy us? Where are those who fought at Marathon, Salamis, and Platea? Where are the generals of Alexander -- the mighty myriads of Xerxes? Where are the bones of those which once whitened the plains of Troy? We only hear of them in the pages of history. But if you ask, Where are the descendants of the million of brave souls who fell under the triple walls of Jerusalem? where are the subjects of David, and Solomon, and the brethren of Jesus? I answer, Here! Here we are -- miraculously preserved -- the pure and unmixed blood of the Hebrews, having the Law for our light, and God for our Redeemer.

    How we have suffered, my friends, for steadily adhering to a belief in his unity, I need not pain you by recapitulating. Even to this day persecution has not sheathed its bloody sword. But if the Jews -- for eighteen hundred years have been assailed by the sword, by the rack, and the Inquisition, their great, and abiding, and absorbing faith has sustained them in the midst of those trials. When bound to the stake by men who claimed to be Christians, and the flames hissed and cracked around them; when, exhausted and dying, they called upon God to sustain them in their extremity, a still, small voice, pure and angelic, whispered in their ear, "Fear not, Jacob, for I am with thee."

    Countrymen and citizens, thank God, your hands and hearts are free from the stains of such iniquity. If you have wronged Israel, it has arisen only from the prejudices of early education. Dismiss such feelings; be better acquainted with the Jew, and learn to estimate his virtues. See him in the bosom of his family, the best of fathers, and the truest of friends. See children dutiful, affectionate, and devotedly attached, supporting their parents with pride and exultation. See wives the most faithful, mothers the most devoted. Go with me into the haunts of misery, where the daughters of misfortune walk the streets of this great city, and see if among them all you find one Jewess. Come with me to the prisons, where crime riots and vice abounds, and examine whether a Jew is the tenant of a dungeon. Go into your almshouses, and ascertain how many Jews are recipients of your bounty. See them all, the friends of virtue and of temperance, obedient to the laws, and devoted to the country that protects them. Are we not, then, worthy of your confidence and esteem, discharging, as we do, every moral obligation imposed upon us? Vice and misfortune belong exclusively to no sect. Human nature is frail and fallible, and we should temper all our prejudices with mercy and charity.

    Call to mind, therefore, whenever a feeling of prejudice is found lurking about your hearts against the chosen people, how much the world is indebted to the Jews. When you read the sublime Mosaic records, and see in them the wisdom and providence, the power and forgiving kindness, the confidence and affection of the Almighty, call to mind that Moses was a Jew. Whenever you pour out your hearts in devotion with the inspired Psalmist, and your whole soul is rapt in delight and devotion in dwelling upon his divine muse, remember also that David was a Jew. Whenever that mighty prophet, whose poetic soul was warmed by an ethereal fire, and who bears you on the wings of hope and exultation, of joy and rapture, remember that Isaiah was a Jew. But do not confine yourselves to the great army of kings and prophets of the Bible. Go to your own New Testament, and -- ask whether the Gentiles have ever had such evangelists as Judah furnished; and yet Paul, the mighty man of mind, of faith, and fervour, was a Jew -- "A Hebrew of Hebrews."

    And John, too, the gentle, the loving, and beloved, was likewise a Jew; but there is yet another, on whom all your affections are centered, to whom all your hopes and aspirations are directed, to whom you look for grace, and mercy, and salvation -- Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, and told you, in language which should sink deep into your hearts, as a commanding, imperative, and unrepealed precept and admonition, "Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done those charities unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

    I have referred to this country as the most suitable spot, from its character and institutions, from which a project of this kind might with security and success be undertaken, but has it ever occurred to you, my friends, that the eighteenth chapter of Isaiah might possibly have reference to America in connexion with the restoration of the Jews? Indulge me a moment in examining that short but singular chapter.

    "Ho to the land" (it is translated wo, but evidently erroneously: it is Ho, or Hail) -- "Hail to the land, shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia."

    The prophet, in this vision, was in Palestine, having Europe on his right, Africa on his left, and in front the Mediterranean Sea, and on looking down on the northern coast of Africa, speaks of a land "which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia." That land is America; there is no other land which lies beyond the rivers of Cush known as Africa. But all lands spoken of in the Bible have a distinctive name; how is it that the Prophet Isaiah only speaks of it as "a land?" It was not discovered at the period of the prophecy, and, consequently, could have no name: it is our western world, and can mean no other. "Hail to the land, shadowing with wings." The arms of no country are so emphatically "wings" as those of the United States. It is an eagle in the act of flying with outspread wings, peculiarly conspicuous as an armorial ensign and living description of our land, which, under the shadow of her wings, offers a shelter for the persecuted of all nations. "That sendeth ambassadors by sea." This country cannot send ambassadors but by sea. On all the other continents they can be sent by land, "even in vessels of bulrushes." Here "vessels," not ships, is the term used by the prophet. The true translation is, in vessels "impressing on the face of the water," answering to our steamboats; for the Hebrew word gomey is translated bulrushes: it is so, but it has two other meanings: one is, a rush of waters; the second is, impresseth, which is translated yegomey, meaning an impetus, a forcible propelling power; the third meaning is, the weed bulrush, which grows in the water; and, by-the-way, it may also be mentioned that our live oak is cut by men in water and among the bulrushes. These swift messengers, therefore, to carry ambassadors, may be construed into steam vessels. Here, then, we have the explanation of that verse. The land Iying beyond the rivers of Ethiopia is America; the shadowing with wings is the American ensign, the emblem of its protective influence; "which sendeth ambassadors by sea," denotes the only country that must send those messengers on the ocean; and the vessels of bulrushes either applies to the light, fast-sailing vessels peculiar to our country, or our steam vessels. Thus far, I think, our country is fully indicated and shadowed forth in the vision of the prophet: "Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled." This nation, it cannot be doubted, is the Jewish nation; "to a nation" means evidently "from a nation terrible from their beginning." It will be asked, In what respect have the Americans been "terrible from the beginning?" The most remarkably so of all the nations of the earth.

    The Americans were not known for several hundred years, and their population, character, and resources, gradually developed, as other nations have been known, they sprang into immediate political existence from a state of vassalage to a condition of freemen; they were terrible to the foes of liberty, terrible to the kings and potentates of the world, terrible to the enemies of a republican form of government, terrible to their foes in war, terrible by their example to the despots of the earth, terrible, therefore, "from the beginning," because we may say we are but yet in the beginning, being only in the 68th year of American Independence. I ought, however, to say, that the word terrible means also "wonderful," which is equally applicable. The prophet, after saying that the Lord would take his rest, meaning that he would wait the issue of things in relation to the chosen people, abide his time, but still keep them as a dew in harvest, then comes to the concluding verse of this remarkable vision: "In that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts, a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the Mount Zion." For an explanation of what is meant by "whose land the rivers have spoiled," if you refer to the 8th chapter of Isaiah, the 7th and 8th verses, you will discover that rivers means conquerors rushing over and despoiling their land -- a frequent occurrence in Judea.

    I am right in this interpretation, and that this is the land which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, what a glorious privilege is reserved for the free people of the United States: the only country which has given civil and religious rights to the Jews equal with all other sects; the only country which has not persecuted them, selected and pointedly distinguished in prophecy as the nation which, at a proper time, shall present to the Lord his chosen and trodden-down people, and pave the way for their restoration to Zion. But will they go, I am asked, when the day of redemption arrives? All will go who feel the oppressor's yoke. We may repose where we are free and happy, but those who, bowed to the earth by oppression, would gladly exchange a condition of vassalage for the hope of freedom: that hope the Jews never can surrender; they cannot stand up against the prediction of our prophets, against the promises of God; they cease to be a nation, a people, a sect, when they do so. Either the Messiah of the Jews has come, or he is yet to come. If he has come, we must cease praying for him to come; if he has not come, we are bound to seek him, not here, but in our own land, which has been given to us as a perpetual inheritance, and which we dare not surrender without at once surrendering our faith. We must not stop to ask whether the Jews will consent to occupy the land of Israel as freemen. Restoration is not for us alone, but for millions unborn. There is no fanaticism in it; it is easy, tranquil, natural, and gradual. Let the people go: point out the path for them in safety, and they will go, not all, but sufficient to constitute the elements of a powerful government; and those who are happy here may cast their eyes towards the sun as it rises, and know that it rises on a free and happy people beyond the mountains of Judea, and feel doubly happy in the conviction that God has redeemed all his promises to Jacob. Who can be an infidel when he looks on the Jews, and sees in them, and the Bible yet firmly in their grasp, the consummation of all the Divine promises made to them as a nation? I should think that the very idea, the hope, the prospect, and, above all, the certainty of restoring Israel to his own and promised land, would arouse the whole civilized world to a cordial and happy cooperation. Mankind would spring from the couch of ease and slumber to see the ensign displayed, and would exclaim, "The day has come! the promise is fulfilled!"

    Let me therefore impress upon your minds the important fact, that the liberty and independence of the Jewish nation may grow out of a single effort which this country may make in their behalf. That effort is to procure for them a permission to purchase and hold land in security and peace; their titles and possessions confirmed; their fields and flocks undisturbed. They want only PROTECTION, and the work is accomplished. The Turkish governments cannot be insensible to the fact that clouds are gathering around them, and destiny, in which they wholly confide, teaches them to await the day of trouble and dismemberment. It is their interest to draw around them the friendly aid and co-operation of the Jewish people throughout the world, by conferring these reasonable and just privileges upon them, and when Christianity exerts its powerful agency, and stretches forth its friendly hand, the rights solicited will be cheerfully conferred. When the Jewish people can return to Palestine, and feel that in their persons and property they are as safe from danger as they are under Christian governments, they will make their purchases of select positions, and occupy them peaceably and prosperously; confidence will then take the place of distrust and, by degrees, the population in every part of Syria being greatly increased, will become consolidated, and ready to unfold the standard when political events shall demonstrate to them that the time has arrived.

    Let it, however, be kept in mind, that the restoration will be at first limited and partial; the government which they may form will be transitory and contingent; the great war prophesied in Ezekiel against Gog, prince of Rush, Meshech, and Tubal, the power which now controls Archanez, Refath, and Togartnah of the Scriptures, that is to say, the Germans, Sclavonians, Sarmatians, and Turks of our day, is Russia; the descendants of the joint colony of Meshech and Tubal, and the little horn of Daniel. Russia, in its attempt to wrest India from England and Turkey from the Ottomites, will make the Holy Land the theatre of a terrible conflict. TARSHISH, "with the young lions thereof" -- evidently Great Britain, with her allies -- will come to the rescue. Then will ensue the battle so sublimely described by the prophet: the fire and hailstones; the purification and victory; the advent of the Messiah, and the thousand years of happiness and peace which are to ensue. Worldly as we may seem, and recurring to events which will grow out of the political destinies of Europe, we must still remember the overruling hand of Providence in the direction of these great results. What he has predicted has literally come to pass; what remains to be fulfilled will assuredly as literally be fulfilled. Skepticism and infidelity fade before the pure light of prophecy, prediction, and Divine assurance contained in the good Book, that book of life, and love, and hope, and promise, which some are weak enough to reject and repudiate. Remember, therefore, my countrymen, you whose aid is invoked to assist in the restoration, that we are to return as we went forth; to bring back to Zion the faith we carried away with us. The temple under Solomon, which we built as Jews, we must again erect as the chosen people. You believe that the Messiah has come; you are right in believing so; you have the evidences in the power and dominion, the wealth, the happiness, the glory that surrounds you. He has come for you, but how for us? We are still the peeled, banished, scattered, and oppressed people; the oil on the surface of the ocean, which mingles not with the heaving billows. For us he is yet to come, and will come. For two thousand years we have been pursued and persecuted, and we are yet here; assemblages of men have formed communities, built cities, established governments, rose, prospered, decayed, and fell, and yet we are here. Rome conquered Greece, and she was no longer Greece. Rome, in turn, became conquered, and there are but few traces now of the once mistress of the world; yet we are still here, like the fabled Phoenix, ever springing from its ashes, or, more beautifully typical, like the bush of Moses, which ever burns, yet never consumes. You believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, and you are Christians; were we to believe the same, we should still be Jews.

    With this difference only, what is it that separates the Jew and the Gentile? Our law is your law, our prophets are your prophets, our hope is your hope, our salvation is your salvation, our God is your God. Why should we change? Why surrender that staff of Jacob which has guided our steps through so many difficulties? We can never be separated from our Shepherd; we believe in all that he had promised, and patiently await their fulfillment. Come, therefore, to our aid, and take the lead in this great work of restoration. Let the first movement for the emancipation of the Jewish nation come from this free and liberal country. Call to mind that Moses was the first founder of a republican form of government, and that the first settlers on this continent adopted the Mosaic laws as their code, and strictly enforced them.

    In the appeal I have made to my fellow-citizens this evening, let it not be supposed that I mean to exclude from a participation in the great and good work, the beloved friend and companion of man; second in creation, but first in zeal and true religion. Their agency is ever of the highest importance in good works. When surrounded by the excitements of the busy world, intent on gain, and eager in the pursuit of fortunes, when the mind is wholly engrossed in temporal objects, then, in, the watches of the night and the stillness of the morn, the wife awakens the husband to a sense of religious delinquency, and calm admonition gradually but imperceptibly leads him into the path of duty and high moral obligations. Like the woman in the evangelists, who freely and happily used her box of precious ointment, all that she says and urges is the fulfillment of the most sacred duties drops like oily balsam upon the heart, soothes while it influences, and subdues while it controls. Jew or Gentile, women are ever the pillars of the Church.

    And now, with the most grateful acknowledgments for the liberal attention you have honoured me with this evening, I do commend you all to the gracious protection of that Divine Providence in whom we all hope, who is all love, all mercy, and all mighty.


    Transcriber's  Comments

    Mordecai M. Noah's 1837 & 1845 Pamphlets

    Major M. M. Noah, Journalist & Politician

    (under construction)


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