A T T E M P T T O S H E W,
THAT AMERICA MUST BE KNOWN TO THE
A N C I E N T S;
MADE AT THE REQUEST, AND TO GRATIFY THE CURIOSITY, OF
AN INQUISITIVE GENTLEMAN:
TO WHICH IS ADDED
An A P P E N D I X,
CONCERNING THE AMERICAN COLONIES,
MODERN MANAGEMENTS AGAINST
By an AMERICAN ENGLISHMAN.
PASTOR OF A CHURCH IN BOSTON, NEW-ENGLAND.
Nescio quomodo plerique errare malunt; Eamque Sententiam,
quam adamaverunt, pugnacissimè defendere, quam sine Pertinacia,
quid constantissime dicatur, exquirere.
CICERON. Academic. Quaest. lib. 2.
Sed nec preteritis haec res incognita Seclis.
CLAUDIAN. De Bello Getico.
Nihil tam difficile quin quaerendo investigari possit.
TERENT. in Heauton. Act 4. Scene 2.
Printed by J. KNEELAND, in Milk-Street, for T. LEVERETT,
and H. KNOX, in Cornhill.
An Attempt to shew, That the Ancients
must have the Knowledge of
the Western World,
It is well known, that, in the Year of our Lord 1492, Christopher Columbus, of Genoa, discovered the Islands of Hispaniola, Cuba and Jamaica; and that Americus Vesputius of Florence, under the Direction and Encouragement of Emanuel, King of Portugal, in the Year 1497, discovered the Continent of America, which has been so called from that Time after his Name.
Now many have imagined, and even some of the Learned among them, that this Western World was never known before these Discoveries of the Genoese and Florentine Commanders. -- Thus the learned Panciroll in particular sees fit to reckon the New World, or America, among the Things, which were unknown to the Ancients. [[a]]
Americus Vesputius too, in his Epistle to Renatus, King of Jerusalem and Sicily, and Duke of Lorrain and Barre, writes, as follows, We believe, that, as our Ancestors make no mention of the Islands and firm Lands of America; so the Ancients themselves had no knowledge of them. -- And the Publisher of this Epistle, together with a Number of Tracts wrote by ancient
a. Parcirollus, De Novo Orbe. Lib. 2. Tit. 1.
[ 6 ]
Voyagers, Sebastian Munster, observes, that Christopher Columbus and Albericus (for so he writes it) Vesputius were the first of Mortals, who found out America, and other unknown Lands.
However, the learned Keckerman, having well considered, whether America was known to the Ancients or no, and weighed the most probable Arguments on both Sides of this Question, has plainly given his Judgment in Favour of it's being known to them.
But, if this Matter be examined with Judgment, and with proper Care and Accuracy, we shall find Reason to believe, that this large Part of the World was really known to the Ancients; and perhaps we shall see much more Reason to believe it, than most Men imagine, and even many of the Learned themselves can produce in opposition to it.
We shall take Leave to relate here; though we shall not lay any great Stress on the Relation, as it may be called a too modern one; That, in the Reign of Henry the Second, and in the Year 1170, which was 300 Years before Columbus, One Madoc ap Owen Gwineth, not only discovered South America, but settled in some Part of Mexico, and left Monuments there both of the British Language and British Usages: Of which the Spaniards have taken Notice; and several Welsh Writers, and other British Authors besides, have credited and confirmed the Relation. -- How this honest Madoc came to take it into his Head to visit South America, we know not. However we think it not irrational to suppose, that, previously to his going there, he might have had some Account of the Country, and the Way of getting at it.
There is also another still more modern Account, than that of honest Madoc's, concerning the Discovery of America; which, although it be a little more modern,
Note 1: "300 Years before Columbus, One Madoc ap Owen Gwineth, not only discovered South America, but settled in some Part of Mexico" ==> See Robert Southery's 1805 poetic epic, Madoc, for the story of the Welsh prince bringing Christianity to preColumbian America.
[ 7 ]
it may not be amiss to offer. This may be found in Ortelius's Theatre, as follows: The Northem Part of the New World, which is especially extended towards Europe, Groenland, Iseland and Friesland; and is named Estotiland by some Fishermen of the Island of Friesland, who were driven by a Tempest to these Shores: This, being of old viewed and observed, about this Year, that is the Year of our LORD 1340, Nicolas and Antony Zenus, Brethren, noble Venetians, under the Auspices of Zichmi, called King of Friesland, again recognized and brought to Knowledge. And John Skoluo, a Polonian, in 1456, sailed to this Country. If any should ask, what Place this Estotiland is? I can only answer, that some Geographers take it to be New-foundland, or Cape Breton: But others think it to be New Britain, and the Land of Labrador. However it is agreed by all, that it was a Part of America.
But, instead of taking up Time about these or any more modern Relations, we shall go back to more ancient Times and Things, which have Relation to this Western World.
It is remarked by a learned Spanish Writer, Villalpandus, that his Fellow-Citizen of Corduba, L. Annaeus Seneca, who was Nephew to that famous Seneca, the Tutor of the Brute Nero; when the Form of the World did not yet appear to be known, yet foretold, that another World should be found out: [[b]] It is true this L. Annaeus Seneca, in one of his Dramatic Pieces, says, that in late Years Ages shall come, in which Ocean shall loose the Bonds of Things, and the mighty Earth shall be laid open, and Thyphis shall discover new Worlds. [[c]]
b. Villalpand. De Magin Divinatrice, Lib. 1. cap. 4. p. 7.
c. -- Venient Annis Secula seris; quibus Oceanus Vincula rerum laxet, & ingeus Patent Tellus; Thyphisque novos Deteget Orbes --- Senica Medes.
[ 8 ]
But although Seneca's Townsman hence affirms, that he foretold another World should be found out; we need not be so unreasonably credulous as to believe, that, when he wrote in this Manner, he was inspired with the Spirit of Prophecy: No! For nothing of this Sort appears. It is much more likely, that, either from some faint Apprehension of the Structure of the Terraqueous Globe, or from some traditional Accounts of the Greatness of the Earth, and of another World besides their old one, he might write after this seemingly Prophetical Manner. -- But, if any think, that what he has thus written should be taken only for Poetical Fiction, or fanciful Prophecy, we shall be contented: For we do not build much upon it.
But there is an Historical Passage handed to us by Pomponius Mela, who lived in the Emperour Claudius's Time, about the Year of our Lord 93; which, as it is remarkable, is deserving both of a particular Recital and an attentive Consideration: It is as follows; -- When Metellus Celer, who by the Way was called Celer for his Quickness in preparing to celebrate the Funeral Obsequies of his Father, was Proconsul among the Gauls, he received as a Present certain Indians [[d]] from the King of the Suevians; who, being snatched away by the Force of Storms from the Indian Shores, at length came out to the Shores of Germany. -- These are the Words of the Historian: And this History, as Vadianus the Commentator on Pomponius observes, fairly indicates, that there is a Sea which may be navigated in the most distant Tracts. [[e]]
Now, from this Historical Account, it seems probable, that these Indians might be carried away from the Coast of Newfoundland, or Labrador, or some other Place to the Northward, by a violent Gale of Wind of long Continuance with them, until at length they
d. Pompon. Mela. Lib. 3.
e. Vadian. Note in Pompon. p. 13:
Note 1: "he was inspired with the Spirit of Prophecy" ==> The phrase "spirit of prophecy occurs numerous times in the Book of Mormon: for example, the Book of 2 Nephi has: "they that are filled with the spirit of prophecy."
Note 2: "some faint Apprehension of the Structure of the Terraqueous Globe" ==> In the Book of Helaman an ancient American is reported to have said: "sure it is the earth that moveth, and not the sun." While this statement does not call the earth a sphere, it does portray the planet as moving in an orbit around the sun (and thus the spherical shapes of planet and star are to be assumed). --- In chapter 4 of Solomon Spalding's Oberlin manuscript the author has his preColumbian Christian in America say, "if... the earth is a globe & the sun is stationary, then the earth by a moderate velocity [can] perform her revolutions;" (see also note for page 20, mentioning this globe's "teraqueous surface").
[ 9 ]
arrived on the German Coast, and got a Shore there. -- And the coming of these Indians might very well convince and satisfie both the King of the Suevians with his People; and the Roman Proconsul, and from him the whole Roman Empire, that there was another World, besides That inhabited by themselves.
There was also in most ancient Times repeated Mention made of two Islands called Atlantides, which were said to have been about 10,000 Stadia distant from Libya: There were the Elysian Fields and the Dwellings of the Blessed, mentioned by Homer, Horace, and other Poets. These Islands seem to be called by Pliny the Hesperides: For he reckons two in the Atlantic Sea: and these, as he says, beyond the Gorgons in a Navigation for 40 Days beyond the Atlantis. -- Now the learned Geographer Ortelius supposes it probable, that these might be the Islands of Hispaniola and Cuba. -- But Diodorus Siculus tells us, that the Atlantides, or the People of those Islands, as we have received, are inhabiting Places near to the Ocean, and very happy indeed. [[f]] And in Truth, if we suppose, with Ortelius, these Islands to be the same with Hispaniola and Cuba, they must be near the Ocean indeed, as Diodorus says: For they are surrounded with it.
But Plato, who lived about 400 Years before our Saviour's Time, has given us the most particular and full Account of the Atlantic Island, as it is called by him, in one and another of his Compositions: And we shall endeavour, in as clear and concise a Manner as we can, to give his Account from the Edition of his Works published by Serranus. -- In one of his Dialogues, he says, that Neptune had by Lot the Atlantic Island, and placed the Children he had by a mortal Woman in a certain Place of that Island. -- It received, he says, its Name from its first King and
f. Diodor. Sicul. De fabulosis Antiquorum gestis. p. 261.
[ 10 ]
Lord, even from Atlas; and further adds, that the extreme Part of this Island, which he had for his Lot, was at Hercules's Pillars. [[g]] -- And, in another of his Writings, [[g]] the following Passages may be found: In those first Times the Atlantic was a most broad Island; and there were extant most powerful Kings in it; who, with joint Forces, appointed to occupy Asia and Europe: And so a most grievous War was carried on: In which the Athenians, with the common Consent of the Greeks, opposed themselves; and they became the Conquerors. -- But that Atlantic Island by a Flood and Earthquake was indeed suddenly destroyed; and so that Sort of warlike Men was absorped. N. B. These Things seem to be related with Historical Truth. -- And he writes further plainly and expresly, that That Atlantic Island, being in Truth overwhelmed with the Waves of the Sea, altogether disappeared: And hence that Sea is difficult to be passed; inasmuch as copious Clay yet remained from the Reliques of that Island. -- Moreover, he says, that -- an Island, in the Mouth of the Sea, and in the Passage to those Straits called the Pillars of Hercules, did exist; and that Island was greater and larger than Lybia and Asia; from which there was an easy Passage over to other Islands; and from those Islands also to that Continent, which is situated out of that Region, &c.
Now Plato is not singular in this Narration: For both Strabo [[h]] and Pliny [[i]] have mentioned this Atlantic Island; and say, that it was of old in the Atlantic Sea.
But as Plato says, that this greatest Island of the Western Ocean was lost; it is probably conjectured, that it was situated between the Azores and Canaries,
g. Platonis Critias. g. In Timaeo.
h. Strabo. Lib. 2.
i). Plin. Lib. 2. Cap. 32.
[ 11 ]
as they are called: And, that These were form'd, and remain, out of the Reliques of it, Becman thought; and he believed, as he says, that it might be lengthily demonstrated. [[k]]
Hoffman has truly observed, that the Atlantis of Plato is to many America: And the learned Bochart [[l]] appears to have been of the same Mind. And indeed, if this Island was larger than Libya and Asia, as Plato has acquainted us, it looks as if it were really America, or reaching so far as to be closely connected with it.
There seems also Reason to think, that there must have been in ancient Times some Knowlege of the American Regions: Because we have credible Accounts of the Passages of Vessels through the Atlantic Ocean both one Way and the other: -- We shall not insist on Pomponius Mela's Account of one Endoxus; who says, in the Days of our Grandfathers, (and, as we noted before, he lived in the Time of the Emperor Claudius) when he fled from the King of Alexandria, Latyrus, he went forth from the Arabic Gulph thro' this Sea, as Nepos affirms, Gades usque pervectus est, and was carried even to Cales. [[m]] Nor shall we urge the Probability of it, that he might see, if not the American Continent, at least some of the Islands belonging to Western World.
But we ought to take some respectful Notice of Hanno, the famous Cathaginian, who wrote Periplum; in which we have a Relation of the Voyage prosecuted by him around the Coast of Africa, and the Lands found by him in the Atlantic Ocean: This Relation was written by him in the Punic, or Phoenician, Tongue: But it was afterwards translated into Greek, and it is still extant, as Hoffman gives us to understand in his
k. Becman. Hist. Insul. c. 5.
l. Bochart. Geograph. Sacr. p. 716.
m. Pompon. Mela. Lib. 3. p. 191, cum Notis Vadiani.
Note: "Hanno, the famous Cathaginian... of the Voyage prosecuted by him around the Coast of Africa, and the Lands found by him in the Atlantic Ocean" ==> Compare what Mather has to say about Hanno with a note on page 72 of Sarah Hale's 1823 Genius of Oblivion: "there is a tradition, that Hanno, a Carthagenian, came ages ago to America."
[ 12 ]
Lexicon at the Word Annon. -- It has not been the Lot of the present Writer to meet with this Periplum yet; and therefore he can make none of his own Observations upon it. -- But Coelius Rhodiginus has given us this more express and particular Information of the Carthaginian's Voyage; that Hanno, [[n]] departing from Hercules's Pillars, that is, from the Streights of Gibraltar, into the Ocean, leaving Libya to the left, sailed out 30 Days, seeking the Western Parts: But afterwards, turning to the South, he met with many Impediments. -- Now, if Hanno, leaving Libya, or Africa, to the left, sailed seeking for 30 Days the Western Parts; it is most probable, that he found some of the American islands, if not some Part of the Western Continent itself. Columbus, as appears from his own Account, sailed with his Squadron but thirty Days to the West, when he beheld certain Islands: And, coming nearer to them, he found the Number of them to be six, whereof two were larger ones: But Americus, after sailing nineteen Days from the Cape de Verd Islands, found a certain new Land, which he thought to be firm: But it proved an Island. But we may add, to this Account of Hanno, the Testimony of Diodorus Siculus, who lets us know, that certain Phoenicians were cast on a most fertile Island opposite to Africa: -- We may note here, that, if it was opposite to Africa, it must be an American Island. -- And he further tells us, that the Phoenicians left no Stone unturned, that this Region might remain unknown to the Europeans. [[o]] Here therefore we see one Reason, why the Western World was kept secret from the Europeans by the Phoenicians: It was Regard to their own Commerce and Interest, that led them without Doubt to conceal the new Places, at which they traded.
Moreover; we may recite from Aelian, who lived and wrote after the Emperor Adrian's Time, about
n. Cael. Rhodigini Lectiones antiquae.
o. Diodor. Sicul. Lib. 5.
[ 13 ]
the Year of our Lord 136, the Account, which he gives of a Colloquy between Midas of Phrygia and Silenus: In which Colloquy, among other Things, Silenus gave Information to Midas, that Europe, Asia and Libya are Islands, and surrounded with the Ocean; and that one Continent exists without this World; and he affirmed, that its Magnitude was immense and infinite. [[p]] Now if this one Continent existing away from the old World, and of such an immense and infinite Magnitude, was not intended and meant of this Western World; we should be glad, that any one would be so kind as to let us know, what Place or Country is intended and meant by it.
We have thus produced Authorities, and offered Reasons sufficient to render it most highly probable, that this Western World must be known to the Ancients.
But here it may be demanded, if this Continent was known in ancient Times, was it inhabited in those Times; and when was it first inhabited, and by whom? And we shall endeavour to give some suitable Answer to the proper Enquiries.
Now it ought in all Reason to be thought, that, as America, upon the more modern Discoveries of it and Acquaintance with it, was found to be well peopled, and even stocked with Inhabitants, probably as much as Asia, Africa and Europe; surely it must have been inhabited, not merely above five hundred years; but above one, two, three and even four thousand years ago: And indeed it was probably inhabited not long after the Dispersion of those numerous Families, who were separated in Consequence of the unhappy Affair at Babel.
The learned Grotius conceived, that the Americans came out of Europe, passing from Norway into Iceland; thence by Friesland into Greenland; and so into Estotiland,
p. Aelian. Variar. Historiar. Lib. 3. Cap. 8.
[ 14 ]
which is probably a Part of the Western Continent. [[q]] And we most acknowlege, that the passing out of Europe into America by this Routte is possible and not unnatural: However it does not appear so likely, that America was, first of all, settled in this Manner.
But we are rather most inclined to think, that the primary Americans were the Descendants of Magog from Japhet. And, when we say the primary Americans, we mean after the Flood: For there is Reason to believe, that the People, who resided in the Western World, as well as the other Continent, were swept away from the Face of the Earth; because all Flesh had corrupted their Way. Both Joseph Acosta and Antony Herrera acquaint us, that they found the Memory of the Flood preserved among the Indians of Cuba and Mechoachan and Nicaragua: And Coraca tells us, that, among the Peruvians, there was a Tradition, that all their Lands were plunged and laid hid in the Waters. -- And if we mistake not, all the Evidences in the natural World, which are commonly brought on the other Side of the Water to prove the general Inundation over that Continent, may be fairly produced to prove the general Prevalence of it over this Continent.
But, as we are now treating of the primary Inhabitants of America after the Flood; so we say, that These appear to have descended from Japhet. As GOD, or ELOHIM, as it is in the Hebrew Text, i. e. the Covenanting Ones, or the Interposers by Oath, had promised to enlarge Japhet; in which Promise there is a plain Allusion to his Name, as indeed there is a like Allusion to Names very frequently to be found in the Holy Scriptures; so this Promise was most remarkably fulfilled: For there fell to Japhet's Share, not only all Europe, so full of People, and Asia the less and Media
q. Grotius De Origine Gent. Americanar.
[ 15 ]
and Part of Armenia and Iberia and Albania; but also all those vast Northern Regions, inhabited once by the Scythians, who descended from Magog, one of the Sons of Japhet, as he is said to be in Gen. x. 2. And probably this Western World, and that to a considerable Degree, came to his Share: For it is most likely, that This was at first much peopled by the Scythians: These, originally from Magog, were afterwards called Tartars; and so called, as some suppose, from the Name of the River Tartar or Tatar.
As We find that the Earth was divided in the Days of Peleg; so we read, in Gen. ix. 19, that as there were three Sons of Noah; so of or from them the whole Earth was overspread or scattered. Nor is there any Reason to doubt, but that this Scattering was according to the direction of Noah, and from a Divine Warrant given him for this purpose: So then the Posterity of Japhet, by Magog, according to the Will of Heaven, took the primary Possession of this new World: And how greatly, how amazingly, was Japhet enlarged by this vast Acquisition?
But, after this first dispersion to the Western World, we readily grant, that there might be various Removals to it from various Nations: For after the Scythians or Tartars, were settled here; the Norwegians and Icelanders might come; and so might some of the Sinensians from the East.
But some perhaps may say here, And how came they to this separate World? To which we answer, that there was no need at all of any Navigation for it: For it is apprehended by many, that the northern Part of Asia may be joined to America; or if they be divided at all, it must be by a very narrow Channel, which may be passed over easily in Boats or Canoes; or perhaps, as it is frozen over for a great Part of the Year, they might have a Passage across on Foot. Laet judged it
Note: "the northern Part of Asia may be joined to America; or if they be divided at all, it must be by a very narrow Channel, which may be passed over easily in Boats or Canoes" ==> Solomon Spalding said much the same in chapter 4 of his Oberlin manuscript (see note for "Straits of Anian" on page 16, below).
[ 16 ]
most probable, that it was by the Straits of Anian, that the Tartars in ancient Times passed out of Asia into America. But it is beyond all doubt, that, from the northern Parts of Europe, there might be an easy passing to America for at least three Quarters of a Year on a Bridge of substantial Ice.
Thus it looks as if the Northern Parts of America were first of all occupied and improved; and the Inhabitants of These might probably remove both to the Westward [sic] and to the Southward, as Occasion required.
Herrera says, as quoted by Laet, [[r]] that the Inhabitants of the West Indies came hither by Land: Which may be true, if they be supposed to come from the Northern Parts of America. But, if he supposed them to come directly from Europe, it will be difficult to make it out. Nor can we find any Way for This, but by supposing the Atlantic Land, which Plato represents to be bigger than Asia and Libya together, might fill the Atlantic Ocean, even to the American Islands, if not beyond them: And, with this Allowance, Herrera's observation might be true.
Besides what has been already observed about the peopling of the Western World, it may be remarked, for the prevention or removal of Mistakes, that, as Strabo has justly noted, there are many Places which were formerly Sea, that are now dry Land; [[s]] so we may justly note also, that there are now Seas, or Parts of Seas, where were dry Lands in former Times. [[t]] Thus it has been thought by considerate and Judicious Persons, that Great Britain was formerly united to France, and the Island of Sicily to Italy. But all know, that they are not united now: For there are Parts of Seas between
r. [Johannes De] Laet. Descript. Americ.
s. Strabon. Geograph. Lib. 1.
t. Vidi ego quod quondam fuerat solidssima Tellus Esse Fretum: Vidi factas ex arquore Terras.
Ovid. Metamorph. Lib. 15.
Note 1: "most probable, that it was by the Straits of Anian, that the Tartars in ancient Times passed out of Asia into America" ==> See also Vol. 3, Bk. 3, Dis. 1, Sec. 3 of the 1806 edition of Francesco S. Clavigero's History of Mexico, where he says: "in the problem of the population of America... authors are various in opinion. Some of them attribute the population of the new world to certain Phoenician merchants... Others imagine that the same people... passed from the old continent to the isle Atlantida, from thence got easily to Florida... Others believe that they passed there from Asia, by the Straits of Anian; and others, that they were transported there from the northern regions of Europe, over some arm of the frozen sea."
Note 2: In chapter 4 of Solomon Spalding's Oberlin manuscript the author has his Fabius speak of a passage between Alaska and Siberia at what was once called the Straits of Anian: "On what principle can we account for the emigration of the ancestors of... human beings that possess this Continent? Their tradition tells them that they emigrated from the westward... the sea, if any, which intervenes between the two Continents at the westward is not so extensive but that it may be safely navigated." --- It appears that Spalding's godlike character, Lobaska, originated in a far-western locality (perhaps "Fousang," on the Pacfic Northwest coast, near the Straits of Anian).
[ 17 ]
them. -- And it seems not at all improbable, that America might formerly be conjoined with Europe and Asia, if not to India, by vast Tracts of Land; which, from the Prevalence of Earthquakes, have sunk into the mighty Abyss: And thus has this Western World been disunited and separated from them. -- Nor is it at all improbable, but that the great Atlantic Island of Plato; whereof one extreme Part was at Hercules's Pillars, and bordering on Spain; and the other extended near to the American Continent, might in general sink; and the American Islands, if not those on the Coast of Africa, might remain out of the Ruins of it.
We have no Reason to think, that, in ancient Times, there were any Removes from Africa to America: For it is said, according to the ingenious Dr. Grew, that all over America there are no Blacks, but only at Quaveca. -- And, if indeed there are any there; perhaps they are not originally from Africa; but from some Country in China under the Torrid Zone, where the People are of a black Complexion.
Some have thought and suggested, but we think injudiciously, as John Lerius and others, that the Americans were originally Canaanites, descended from Ham, the Son of Noah; and the Descendants of those, whom Joshua drove from their Seats in Canaan; who, being constrained to seek out new Regions, at length came and sat down on this Continent.
Here we shall readily allow, that the Phoenicians, who were originally Canaanites, in the Days not much later than Moses's, did sail into Spain: And as Part of these dispossessed Canaanites fled thither, so a Part of them went into Baeotia, and another Part into Africa: And Procopius informs us of the Pillar to be seen about Tangier, which had inscribed on it, that they were of the Posterity of those, who fled from the Face of Joshua the Son of Nun, the Robber. And it is not
Note 1: "the Phoenicians, who were originally Canaanites... did sail into Spain... these dispossessed Canaanites fled thither... Procopius informs us of the Pillar to be seen about Tangier, which had inscribed on it, that they were of the Posterity of those, who fled from the Face of Joshua the Son of Nun, the Robber" ==> Compare this quote with what Prof. John Smith of Dartmouth College said in a 1779 lecture: "When the Canaanites were expelled their country by the Israelites, under the command of Joshua, they fled... there were two marble pillars at Tangiers... with this inscription in the Phoenician language 'We fly from the face of the robber, Joshua the son of Nun.'" --- Solomon Spalding was a Dartmouth undergraduate student in 1783-5, when Prof. Smith was still a member of that school's small faculty.
Note 2: On page 69 of his 1998 The Sword of Laban, William D. Morain says: "For many years, rumors had circulated that the Book of Mormon had been plagiarized from a lost manuscript of Spaulding's about ancient travelers to America. While such a manuscript was indeed found, it seems to bear more similarity to the above paragraph than to The Book of Mormon. This lecture of Professor John Smith's would have been heard by Spaulding in 1784 and could conceivably have planted the seed out of which Spaulding's fanciful story sprang." --- In 1869 Redick M'Kee (an old neighbor of Spalding's) wrote: "I recollect quite well Mr. Spalding spending much time in writing... what purported to be a veritable history of the nations or tribes who inhabited Canaan when, or before, that country was invaded by the Israelites, under Joshua."
[ 18 ]
at all improbable, that, as these Phoenicians, or Canaanites, might mingle with Japhet's Posterity in Europe; so some of them might in Process of Time come to America by the Way of the Sea and settle here: For they were mightily for Navigation and Trade and Commerce.
But some may ask; Where learned They the Art of Navigation? And how came they to understand the Use and Application of the Magnet? -- Panormitan indeed would have it, that Amalphis first discovered the Use of the Loadstone to Mariners: And there is a Latin Line made to record the Discoverer, Prima dedit Nautis usum Magnetis Amalphis: -- By which we are to understand an Italian City, where one John Goa, it is said, found out the Use of the Mariner's Compass, about the Year of our Lord 1302. -- But the Phoenicians were generally thought to be the Inventers of the Mariner's Art; and, from These, the Greeks received it; and, of these, the Cretans first of all, as Pliny acquaints us. But as the Phoenicians first tried the Seas among the Nations at Hand, and then afar off; so Thucydides tells us, that the Corinthians were the first among the Greeks, who performed -Voyages: --
Lustravere Salum; primum docuere, Carinis
Ferre cavis, orbis Commercia.
Thus it appears with sufficient Probability, that America not very long after the Flood was settled; and that, after the first Settlement of it, there were successive
Note 1: "it is not at all improbable, that, as these Phoenicians, or Canaanites... might in Process of Time come to America" ==> Compare this idea with what Prof. John Smith of Dartmouth College said in a 1779 lecture: "the Carthaginians... Phoenicians... it is not improbable that South America was peopled by them." --- Solomon Spalding was a Dartmouth undergraduate student in 1783-5, when Prof. Smith was still a member of that school's small faculty.
Note 2: "America not very long after the Flood was settled; and that, after the first Settlement of it, there were successive removals to it" ==> Compare Mather's conclusion with the basic story told in the Book of Mormon. The Americas are settled by Jaredites shortly after Noah's flood, and then there are successive removals to it under Lehi, Mulek, and later the European Gentiles.
Note 3: "John Goa, it is said, found out the Use of the Mariner's Compass... But the Phoenicians were generally thought to be the Inventers of the Mariner's Art" ==> Mather leaves the possible antiquity of the compass unexamined, but he credits ancient Semitic sailors with an ability to navigate, sufficient to reach the Americas. In the Book of Mormon Lehi's party is divinely directed to America without the use of a compass (but aided by something like a compass substitute). In Solomon Spalding's Oberlin manuscript the ancient sailors safely reach America after receiving divine revelation.
[ 19 ]
Removals to it, especially from the Northern Parts of Europe and Asia: And then, after some Ages had revolved, the Phoenicians might arrive and trade and settle here. And, by these various Ways, America became very well settled; and vast Numbers of People were found in this Western World, when Columbus, Americus and succeeding Voyagers came to it: And perhaps the Inhabitants here might, for their Numbers, vie with those of the other Continent.
But some may be ready to enquire, Whether we have any Proofs from the sacred Writings, that this Western World was known to the Ancients? And what Evidences can be offered from them, to shew that it was so?
Now we do not presume to declare, that there is a clear, full and express Discovery of this Western Continent in the holy Writings. -- But we may safely venture to affirm, that there are various Passages to be found in them, from which attentive and considerate Minds might form a Judgment, that there were Regions and great ones beyond those, that were known to them in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Not to mention again the ancient Prophecy concerning the Enlargement of Japhet; nor to recite the Prophecy concerning Abraham, that in his Seed, the Messiah, all the Nations of the Earth, and hence the most remote Posterity of Magog, should be blessed; nor the positive and peremptory Engagement to the Messiah Himself, in Psal. xi. 8. that the uttermost Parts; or, as it is in the Hebrew, the Ends of the Earth, should be his Possession; -- It is absolutely promised to the Messiah, that, after his Humiliation, as in Psal. xxii. 27, All the Ends of the World shall remember and turn to the Lord! and all the Kindreds of the Nations shall worship before Thee; or, as we may give the Verse more exactly according to the Hebrew, All the Ends of the Earth shall remember and be converted to Jehovah;
Note: "all the Nations of the Earth" ==> This is a phrase occurring twice in the Book of Mormon, to designate distant lands (including the Americas) to which the "word" of God (or Christian Gospel) was supposedly spread in antiquity.
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and all the Families of the Nations shall incline, or bow down, themselves to thy Face, i. e. to the Messiah, exhibiting the Face of Jehovah. -- Should any one here suggest, that This may mean, that not only the Hebrews, but the Nations around them, should believe and turn to the Lord and worship Him in and by the Messiah: We reply, that, although This may be Part of the Prophetical Meaning; yet the Sense of the Prophecy seems to be much more extensive: -- All the Ends of the World and all the Families of the Nations: -- These Expressions must certainly signifie the human Race wherever dispersed, and even to the remotest Parts of the Terraqueous Globe: And, to These, sensible and devout Minds might well stretched; when this Prophecy was read by them with religious Care, Attention and Consideration. -- And it is engaged, in Psalm lxvii. 2, 5, 7. To know thy Way in the Earth and thy Salvation, or thy Jesus, in all Nations; i. e. not only known, but unknown. -- Let the People, or the People shall, confess to Thee, Elohim; to Thee let, or shall, all the People themselves confess -- And all the Ends of the Earth shall fear Him. -- Surely neither the utmost Extent of Judea, nor the Extremities of the three great Divisions of the old World, and the People thereon will comprehend in them all the People of the World, and all the Ends of the Earth. -- It is foretold, as if it were already accomplished, in Psalm xcviii. 3. All the Ends of the Earth have seen the Salvation, of thy Jesus, our Elobi. -- So it is predicted, in Psalm cxiii. 3. From the Rising of the Sun to the going down of the same the LORD's Name is to be praised. -- Again, there is a Prophetical Call, in Isa. xlii. 10. To sing a new Song to Jehovah; his Praise from the Extremity of the Earth; ye, that go down to to [sic] the Sea and all that is therein; the Isles and the Inhabitants thereof: -- And it is the Call of Prophecy, in Isa. xlv. 22. Look ye to me, and be saved, all the Ends of the Earth, &c. -- So it is foretold, at the forsaking and punishing the Jews for their
Note 1: "human Race... dispersed... to the remotest Parts of the Terraqueous Globe" ==> Mather probably copied this from page 127 of Jedidiah Morse's Geographical and Historical View of the World, which reads: "the human race was diffused over the remotest parts of the terraqueous globe." --- In chapter 4 of Solomon Spalding's Oberlin manuscript, his character Fabius asks, "how extensive is this teraqueous surface." (Morse was one of Spalding's early friends)
Note 2: "All the Ends of the Earth have seen the Salvation of thy Jesus" ==> The Book of Momon writer frequently used the phrase "end(s) of the earth." It refers broadly to the Americas and other lands far away from Palestine, where the Gospel was supposedly carried in ancient times. See a typical LDS application in the Ensign, Vol. 34, No. 1 (quoting from Psalm 98): "He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God."
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Iniquities, in Isa. lix. 19. They shall fear from the West the Name Jehovah, and from the East of the Sun his Glory: -- Which is a Prophecy, that not only from the extremest Part of the East, but from the Western World, Jehovah, or the Messiah, should be acknowleged and glorified in a religious Manner. -- But, that we may not be too tedious; we shall only add further the Prophecy of Malachi; in which, after the GOD of Israel had shewed his Dislike of the Israelitish Nation for their irreligious and profane Conduct, and his Purpose to cast them off for another and larger People; He says, as in Malach. i. 11. For, from the rising of the Sun even to his setting, great shall be my Name among the Nations, &c. Could any of the Jews or jewish Proselytes, who lived, or conversed for a Season, on the Western Borders of Arabia or Africa, and saw the setting Sun, help imagining, from this Prophecy, that there were at the setting Sun, Nations to be brought to right Worship and Religion; Nations, that lived vastly beyond the old World, of which they were the Inhabitants.
Upon the whole; If these Passages, as well as many others amounting to the same Purpose, be duly considered, it will in some Measure appear, that the Nations, People and Families of this Western World are concerned in them. -- But, if any think otherwise, it shall be owned as a Favour, if they will tell us, in what more full and expressive Words the Spirit of Prophecy could well discover the divine Intention and Purpose, that these Western Regions of the Earth, as well as the other Parts of the World, should be brought to the Knowlege, Worship and Service of the true GOD, manifesting Himself in and by the Messiah. -- And we have no Doubt, that the more penetrating and judicious, if not among the Jews, who were of more narrow and contracted Minds, yet among the jewish Proselytes, understood the Meaning of these Prophecies to reach
Note: "from the Western World, Jehovah, or the Messiah, should be acknowleged and glorified" ==> Compare this idea with what is related in Ether: "Behold, this is a choice land [the Americas]... serve the God of the land, which is Jesus Christ" --- In Mormon doctrine the Messiah IS Jehovah (whom the Book of Mormon says was acknowleged and glorified in the preColumbian Western World).
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beyond the old World, which they inhabited, to the World then not generally known, and the Nations and People inhabiting the same.
But at length the great Light of the World came to visit it; to give Light to them, that sit in Darkness and the Shadow of Death, and guide their Feet in the Way of Peace: And, when He had been obedient to Death, even the Death of the Cross; and had not only been delivered for our Offences, but raised again for our Justification; He then declared to his Apostles, that all Power in Heaven and Earth was committed to Him: And hence, in Virtue of his Divine Power and Authority, He commission his Apostles to go into all the World, and preach the Gospel to every human Creature: And, without Question they fulfilled their Commission according to the Intent and Meaning of it.
It is very difficult for us, at this Time, to shew the Progress of the Apostles. But there is Reason to think, that, according to the Mind and Will of their Lord made known to them, they agreed among themselves, to which Parts of the Earth each of them should go; and how they should each of then, employ themselves within the Line, that was laid out for them.
Some have told us, that Philip went away to the upper Asia, and even to Scythia: And Nicephores relates, that the Apostle Andrew is believed by some to have been sent to Cappadocia, Galatia, Bithynia, and the Western Parts. [[u]] But we place but very little Dependance on any such Accounts as these: -- Although we allow, that there are some Evidences, that Thomas carried the Gospel to Eastern-India.
Some of the ancient Fathers appear to be full and strong in Favour of it, that the Gospel was carried throughout the World by the Apostles of our blessed
u. Nicephor. Hist. Lib. 8. Cap. 6.
Note 1: "give Light to them, that sit in Darkness" ==> Compare with 1st Nephi (quoting Isaiah: "O isles of the sea... Go forth to them, that sit in Darkness" --- The idea thus expressed is that distant lands will eventually receive the light of the divine message.
Note 2: "go into all the World, and preach the Gospel to every human Creature" ==>Compare with Mormon (quoting Mark) to Nephite disciples: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature..." --- See also Mather's pages 24-25, where he reviews this great commission, and says: "the Faith of the Americans was published in all the other World."
Note 3: "there are some evidences, that Thomas carried the Gospel to eastern-India" ==> Although Mather does not dwell long on the Thomas tradition, other writers of his time expressed the opinion that the Apostle Thomas was the one who brought the Christian message to the Americas.
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Lord. -- Ignatius, in his Epistle to the Philadelphians, says, that it was so. -- Tertullian observes, that the Places of Brittain, which were inaccessible by the Romans, lay open to CHRIST. -- And we may well ask, why might not other distant Places and even these remote Regions do so too? -- Eusebius shews us his Opinion, that the Doctrine of Salvation was by the divine Power and Co-operation carried into all the World. Julius Firmicus Maturnus, who lived above 1400 Years ago, affirms, that there was no Nation under Heaven, East, West, North or South, unto whom the Sun of the Gospel had not shined. And Gregory Nyssen says, that the Gospel had been spread not only in the whole Continent, but in every Island also. And, in later Times, several Writers have asserted to the same Purpose. Thus Osiander, writing of Vilagagno, and his planting at Brasil, writes positively and confidently, without Doubt these People received the Gospel of CHRIST by the Preaching of the Apostles 1500 Years since.
But, when we have better Proofs than merely human ones, it must certainly be fit and right to give These the Preference.
Now the Evangelist Mark informs us, in Chap. xvi. 20. that They, the Apostles, went forth and preached every where, the LORD working with them, &c. i. e. They went, and performed, according to the Divine Direction. And the Apostle Paul assures us, in Colos. i. 23. The Gospel ye have heard, which was preached to every Creature, which is under Heaven, &c. And as He lets us know, in Rom. i. 8. that the Faith of the Romans was published in all the World; so He tells the Colossians most plainly and expresly, as in Col. i. 6. that the Word of Truth, the Gospel, was come not only to them, but in all the World, and bringeth forth Fruit, &c. And our Apostle tells us, in Rom. x. 18. that, according to the ancient Prophecy of them, i. e. the Apostles, their Sound went into all the Earth, and
Note 1: "the Doctrine of Salvation was... carried into all the World" ==> Compare the descriptional of this international effort with the words of John Taylor in the Millennial Star of May 15, 1850: "Some of the protestants [of France] are so very holy, that after I have made known the doctrine of salvation to them..."
Note 2: "without Doubt these People received the Gospel of Christ by the Preaching of the Apostles 1500 Years since" ==> Mather appears to have copied the above Osiander quotation from Thomas Thorowgood's 1660 Jewes in America. (Mather elsewhere shows some probable dependence upon Thorowgood).
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their Words to the Ends of the World. And indeed, if one Apostle from Jerusalem and round about even to Illyricum, fully preached the Gospel of CHRIST, or filled up the Gospel of CHRIST; so that all the Places between Jerusalem and Illyricum, and round about them, were fully gospelized by Him, as in Rom. xv. 19; we may reasonably think, that the rest of the Apostles with the Seventy Disciples, being alike industrious and faithful in the Work of the Lord, must fully preach the Gospel even throughout the whole World.
But, if we think further with Eusebius, that, besides the Twelve Apostles, and the Seventy Disciples; there were more Apostles and Disciples: Which he gathers from that Passage of the Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinth. xv. 6. After that, he was seen of above five hundred Brethren at once; of whom the greater Part remain unto this present; but some are fallen asleep: [[w]] Then there must be above two hundred and fifty Brethren, besides the twelve Apostles and the Seventy Disciples, who had seen CHRIST, and could attest to the Truth and Certainty of his Resurrection, and so to the Divinity of his Religion: And a considerable Number of these might come to our Western World. And so America must have been filled up with the Gospel, according to our Apostle's Expression.
Some indeed have insisted on it, that the Passages concerning the Gospel's coming in all the World, and going into all the Earth, and the like, only intend and mean the Roman Empire. But if they will wrest these Passages to this Sense; it seems hard to force that Passage in the Epistle to the Colossians, above-cited, to that Meaning that the Gospel was preached to every Creature, that is, to every Man under Heaven.
We do not now therefore concern ourselves so much Who were the bringers of the Gospel to this American
w. Euseb. Eccles. Hist. Lib. 1. Cap. 13.
Note: "there were more Apostles and Disciples... could attest to the Truth and Certainty of his Resurrection" ==> Compare this statement with the Book of Mormon's narrative of extra American Christian "disciples," (as distinguished from "apostles" residing in Judea, etc.) who could testify to having witnessed the resurrected Christ. They could thus provide an additional witness "to the Divinity of his Religion."
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World: But we think, that there is Reason to affirm from Divine Authority, that it was brought here by one or more of the Apostles and Disciples and many Brethren, and produced Fruit. And therefore this Continent must be certainly known to these first Preachers of the Gospel in it: And from them, without Doubt the Faith of the Americans was published in all the other World.
There is then, alas! too much Reason to believe, that this Western World sinned away the Gospel: And why should this be thought strange and incredible with us; when Africa, which for several Hundreds of Years after our Saviour's Time, was enlightned with the Gospel and filled with Christian Societies, is now involved generally in Mahometan Glooms or Pagan Darknesses.
But however we have good Grounds for hoping, that the Gospel and Religion of Jesus will recover their lost Possession, and gain a more wide and extensive Spreading, than has yet been known in the later Ages and Generations: For it is foretold by the Spirit of Prophecy, in Habak. ii. 14. which we thus read according to the Original Hebrew, The Earth shall be filled to know the Glory, JEHOVAH, as the Waters shall cover upon the Sea.
Now the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY grant, that this whole Continent, as well as the Old World, may find the fullest and most perfect Accomplishment of this good Word, on which He causes the Hearts of his People to hope and rest: And may all the People of the World unite in saying, AMEN.
Note: "this Continent must be certainly known to these first Preachers of the Gospel... [but] this Western World sinned away the Gospel... but... the Gospel and Religion of Jesus will recover their lost Possession" ==> Compare this conclusion with the message of the first Mormon preachers: That the Americas became Christianized in the 1st century C. E. but the Gospel was lost due to apostasy. Also, that in the latter days the remnant of Jacob (American Indians) would recover the lost Christian religion of their ancestors.
A N A P P E N D I X;
Concerning THE AMERICAN COLONIES,
LATE MANAGEMENTS AGAINST THEM.
Sunt Exiliis graviora. SENECA, in Theb. Act. 4.
--- Nam ubi mores deteriores increbescunt in dies;
Ubique, Amici qui infideles sint, nequeas pernoscere;
Ubique eripiatur animo tuo, quod placeat maximé;
Ibi quidem, si Regnum detur, non est cupita Civitas.
P LAUTUS in Mercator. Act 5. Scene 1.
It may be proper and adviseable to add a few Things here, by Way of Appendix, which could not be so properly and conveniently introduced in the foregoing Essay. And indeed, as Divine Providence, without my seeking for it, has furnished an Occasion for mentioning some fit and right Things, with regard to these American Colonies, and some late Transactions to their Disadvantage and Wrong; I cannot but think it my Duty to improve it; hoping, that none will be troubled or offended with me for so doing. For why should any one be so, for taking a fair Opportunity to shew my Affection to my Country, as well as my Good Will and Regard to the Rest of the Colonies?
Some have noted, and it is worthy of Observation, That Colonies, from the Beginning of Things, after the Flood, to this Day, have been almost constantly led
Note: "Divine Providence, without my seeking for it, has furnished an occasion for mentioning some fit and right things, with regard to these American Colonies..." ==> Although Rev. Mather sought to downplay the nature of his political complaints to the British Parliament, (by appending them to some historical speculation), it seems likely that he would not have gone to the trouble of publishing his "Appendix," had its contents not been his primary reason for composing the entire pamphlet. A more direct approach would have involved his moving the political material to the front of the text -- but he chose not to risk the possible retaliation which might have resulted from his voicing an overt protest against the exercise of British power in the colonies.
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forth from the East to the West, and not in the contrary Direction. And the mentioning of This brings to Memory a Remark, that was made by the worthy Mr. Jeremy White but a little while before he made his Exit out of the World. When he was asked, What he thought of these American Regions? After a little Pause he asked the Enquirer, Whence the wise Men came, who repaired to Judea, in order to shew their Respect and pay their Homage to the glorious King of the World? To which Question it was answered by the Gentleman, at whose House he then was, Why, Sir, from the East: Whereupon Mr. White remarked, And let me tell You, Sir, They have been travelling Westward ever since: And then he went on and gave it as his Judgment, that this Part of the World seemed to him to be reserved in Providence for the great Seat of Empire and Religion and the Theatre of considerable Events before the End of the World.
In the published Account, concerning the Life of this learned and pious Gentleman, it is related, that, although he lived to be near 80 Years of Age, He neither survived his Reason, his Chearfulness, his Memory, nor his Honour: And we may fitly add here, that the Remark above-mentioned, made by him towards the Close of his Life, shewed not only the Penetration of his Mind, but the Soundness of his Judgment also: And, as Cicero says, Dies -- Naturae Judicia confirmat; which we may render, Time confirms the Judgments of Nature, or the Judgments formed from the Observation of Nature.
And now Things are tending apace towards the Completion of Mr. White's Sentiments and Expectations; and, as we apprehend, to the Fulfilment of sundry Predictions in the more sure Word of Prophecy concerning the Prevalence of the Redeemer's Kingdom in the West and to the Goings down of the Sun, and the filling of the Whole Earth with his Glory.
Note 1: "this Part of the World seemed to him to be reserved in Providence for the great Seat of Empire and Religion and the Theatre of considerable Events before the End of the World." ==> At the conclusion of his 1773 pamphlet Mather calls upon Divine protection and assistance in carrying forth a probable American rebellion against the British Empire, it naturally follows that he would also argue that the New World occupied a special place in the Divine scheme of things.
Note 2: America being the pre-millennial Promised Land was not a new idea, but Mather's coupling of empire and religion presages the probablity of an impending conflict between a latter day theocracy based in the Americas (a "great Seat of Empire and Religion"), and its unrighteous political opponents residing in the Old World. --- Early Mormon teaching and preaching moved these threatening opponents closer to the seat of the New Jerusalem (the "theatre of considerable events before the end of the world), and the American political and ecclestical establishment ("wicked Gentile" masses led by "hireling priests"), became the perceived imminent danger.
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These Parts of the World seem to have been designed of Heaven for an Asylum, a Place of Rest and Refreshment, to those, who have been oppressed and groaning under the Tyranny of Political and Ecclesiastical Power: And as Thousands and Thousands of These, have already escaped out of the Clutches of their merciless and cruel Oppressors; and found Respite, Ease and Comfort in these fertile and wholesome Regions; so it may be reasonably expected, that many Thousands more will voluntarily and chearfully resort here with the same Views and Intentions and to good Effect; notwithstanding all the Lets and Impediments, which may be thrown in their Way by oppressive, and therefore weak and foolish, Politicians and Priests.
But there have been some Methods used, not only of low Art, but of rash Force and Violence in later Times, to abridge the Freedoms, and cramp the Improvements of these Colonies: So that, was the Old Latin Poet Ennius now living, he would write as he did in his own Day,
Things now are manag'd by ungrateful Force.
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to be so much Malevolence and Enmity manifested towards the natural and constitutional Rights and Liberties of the Americans, as cannot well admit of any just Apology, or fair Excuse.
We have no Inclination to concern ourselves so far as to treat largely concerning the Legislative Authority of Great Britain. Let This be called Supreme by its Favourers; and let it be magnified in all other Regards and to the uttermost Degree by them, if they please: But, with their Leave, it is not extended, nor can it constitutionally be, to the Affair of Taxation, as all Britons know, or might know if they would: For the Commons of Great Britain have the sole Right of taxing the People, whom they represent: This Right was recovered upon the Revolution: And, ever since that Time, the Commons have steadily exercised it. It is allowed, that, as Tax Bills are sent up to the Lords and Crown, They accept of them, just as they are brought to them, according to the Formality of Law: For otherwise the Monies granted cannot be had, and applied to the public Use and Service. -- But, after all, the Taxation itself, and the Gift of the Monies, is by the Commons, in the Name and Behalf of the People of Britain.
Now the Americans, and their Commons, as Judge Blackstone calls our General Assemblies, cannot see, what Right the Commons of Britain have to take their Monies from them, and apply them to such Uses as they judge proper. Nay they have over and over again unanswerably proved, that they have not the Right to do so: For indeed, if they have it, certainly we poor Americans must be destitute of the Rights and Privileges of Englishmen, to which we are fully entitled: And, if This be our Case, it must be disreputable and ignominious both to them and their American Brethren: To them, that they deprive us of the Rights and Liberties justly belonging to us; and to their American Brethren,
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who have dearly purchased them, and never have yet forfeited them; but have rather deserved an Addition to them by our Exertions.
And yet the Majority of a certain great Assembly have peremptorily resolved, that They have Authority to make Laws binding on the Colonies in all Cases whatsoever: So then They thus assert their Authority, among other Things, to tax us when, and how, and as often and as much as they please.
Upon which, if it should be enquired, By what Authority they thus resolved? And who gave them that Authority? It is probable, that they could give no sufficient and satisfactory Answer. Certainly the Americans never gave them such Authority; and the People of Britain never could give them such Authority: For they never had it to give.
But it deserves some particular Notice here, that they were so cautious and reserved as not to say, that they had the Right, or rightful Authority, to make such Laws: And hence it may very fitly be presumed, that they knew in their own Souls, that they had no such Right, or rightful Authority; and therefore they would not declare, that it belonged to them.
Many judicious Persons here are of the Mind, and have often expressed it, that it would have been better if the Majority had not boasted of their absolute Authority, nor indeed resolved any Thing at all about it: For, in Truth, the Saying and Resolving, that they have such Authority, is no Proof at all of their being in the rightful Possession of it. -- And the Methods, which have been taken for supporting their asserted Authority, have no Tendency to produce any Approbation of it, or real Regard to it. But, as the Claim of such an Authority by a British Senate must be deemed absurd and wrong by the most understanding Britons themselves;
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so the rough Managements to support and establish it are judged, by the Americans in general, to be contrary to Reason, Right and Equity. -- And all the Military Force, which can be sent for its Support, will only serve to confirm and establish these Colonies in their real Apprehensions, that wrong and unrighteous, as well as weak and foolish, Measures are used with them; and These, as they think, from such illiberal Motives, as wise Men will find it very difficult to justifie, or even to palliate.
Although it has been readily and cheerfully granted, that the British House of Commons have the undoubted Right and sole Power and Authority of taxing the People, their Brethren, at Home; yet we conceive it to be a most unreasonable and unrighteous Stretch of the Authority, which is claimed by them, to exercise it in taxing the People of America: -- For it is most sure and certain, that the Americans have never chosen them for their Representatives; and it is reasonable to think, that they never will chuse them as such: Because they cannot well be accountable to them for their public Conduct and Managements; nor can they well be treated by them according to their good or evil Deservings from them.
The Americans consider it as very disingenuous to treat them in such an unfit and severe Manner, by iniquitous Laws and rigorous Executions of them; when They, especially of New England, have at their own Expence settled a great Continent, so much to the Advantage of Britain, and to our Loss, in the Way of Trade and Commerce; and by means of which Great Britain is made so wealthy at Home, and so much respected and esteemed by her sorrounding Neighbours. -- Nor have they only settled this vast Continent to a considerable Degree; but, by the Expence of much Treasure and much Blood, they have maintained the Possession to the Emolument of Britons: And why? It
[ 32 ]
was all for the sake of enjoying those Rights and Privileges, which are now scandalously begrutched to them, and insidiously and wrongfully wrested from them.
The Colonists also think, that the Managements against them are impolitic and imprudent, as well as disingenuous and unfair: For, it New England alone, by Divine Providence favouring their Expedition against Louisburgh in the Year 1745, gave Protection to Great Britain and Peace to Europe; is it not highly probable, that they, with the other Colonies, both may and will be greatly serviceable in future to their Mother Country, unless they be discouraged and hindred from being so by unkind and injurious Treatment? And must it not therefore be for the Interest of Great Britain to lighten them of the heavy Burdens put upon them, and not to leave so much as one on them? -- Certainly then it must be their Wisdom to do this for them.
Besides, The Americans sincerely think, that the Imposition and Continuance of such Burdens on them is a direct and continued Breach of the public Faith: For the Americans, especially of the Charter Governments, were solemnly promised, that they and their Posterity forever should enjoy all the Rights and Privileges of Englishmen; upon Condition, that, at their own Expence, they would settle and improve such and such Territories, as should be purchased by them in America. Now it is beyond all Dispute, that the Americans have fulfilled their Part of the Contract: And therefore the depriving of them of the stipulated Rights and Liberties, and even the Abridgment of these, should not be meditated, and much less resolved on and executed, by Christianized Britons: For even Turks and Pagans would be ashamed to perpetrate such a shameful Breach of public Faith: And therefore it may be well and reasonably expected, that, wherein there has been any
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such Thing, or an Appearance of it, there should be an honest and manly Resolution not to abide by it: For such a Resolution, instead of dishonouring any Body of Men, would render them more amiable, excellent and illustrious in the Estimation of the whole World.
Moreover; The Colonists judge, that the British Commons have dealt with them, in their modern Managements, not according to the golden Rule of Equity: For certainly the British Commons, were They in our Situation and Circumstances, and We in theirs, would not think it just and right for themselves to receive such Treatment from us, as they judge proper to give unto us.
The Americans therefore, upon such Considerations as have been mentioned, are ready to exclaim with regard to the unfit, unkind and injurious Dealings towards them by their Brethren: Oh! the Times! Oh! the Manners! For they think it wrong, that any Men should exert, if they have it, such an undue Influence as to remove the ancient Landmarks of English Freedom, as well as of Truth and Righteousness: And they look on it as unaccountable and astonishing, that any such Things should be acted, or tamely suffered, by Great Britain. Yea the Colonists scruple not to speak out the Language of the Tragic Poet in the Christian Hero:
And the true End of Government is lost!
That those, who should defend each in his Right,
Betray their Trust, and seize upon the Whole!
This, this is to rebel against that Power,
By which Kings reign; and turns the Arms of Heaven
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And where is the Hurt, or Impropriety, of my offering this Apology for their Rights and Liberties; any more than in Justin Marty's, Tertullian's, Athenagoras's, and other Writers in the primitive Church, tendering their Apologies for their Christian Brethren to the Roman Emperors and Senates? And, if this Attempt, in Conjunction with those of others, should meet with Acceptance; and my Country, with the other Colonies, should fare in any Measure the better for it, it will be a great Comfort to me at the Setting of my Life, and cause me to quit the Stage with more Composure and Satisfaction; because due Freedom is restored to America, and there is a comfortable Prospect of its descending to our latest Posterity.
But, if notwithstanding all, that has been so clearly and fully, so rationally and judiciously argued against the late Innovations, by particular Persons of various Orders, and by such respectable Bodies of Men as Councils and Representatives, Might must be still exercised for subverting and overpowering American Right; We think, and are fully persuaded, that the generous and brave Americans will be disposed and resolved to defend themselves and their Rights, and prepare in the best Manner they can for doing so: And, if Things, from unadvised and rash Measures still used, must be brought to a desperate Crisis, the Colonists will make their Appeal to HIM, who is higher than the Highest, or supremest, on the Earth; who, as He always judges righteously, always loveth Righteousness and hateth Oppression and all Manner of Iniquity: And they will hope and trust in HIM, as their Cause is just and right, to own and succeed it: For JUST & RIGHT is HE.
In the mean while may an English American, suitably to his Profession and public Business, be allowed to call upon all his American Brethren, while endeavouring to do their Duty to their GOD and their King, as well
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as themselves and their Country, in all Respects and Instances, to pray constantly and most humbly and earnestly to the gracious Parent and glorious Lord of the Universe!
O Thou most supreme Lover and eternal Doer of Right, and Avenger of Wrongs: Shine forth, and arise, and stir up thy Strength, and come & save us: Maintain our Cause against them, that would strive with us: Take hold of Shield and Buckler, and stand up for our Help: For our Help is in the Name of the LORD, who made Heaven and Earth: Wherefore help us, O our GOD, and save us according to thy Mercy; and say unto us, I am thy Salvation: For we trust in thy Power and Mercy through the only Mediator, our Strength and Redeemer: To whom be Glory throughout all Ages:
F I N I S.