Ievves in America, or, Probabilities that the Americans are of that race. With the removall of some contrary reasonings, and earnest desires for effectuall endeavours to make them Christian.
Thorowgood, Thomas, d. ca. 1669.
Page  14

CHAP. V. The third Conjecture.

THE Americans words and manners of speech, bee in many things consonant to those of the Jewes, aSeneca hath that other reason, per∣swading that the Spaniards planted in Italy, because they both speake alike; and as Volaterraneb for his Countreymen, so some suppose the Greeks long since mingled with the Brittans, because we still have divers words of Graecian Idiome. For this reason cCaesar judged the British to bee Gauls, in that the Cities of both the Nations were called by the same names. Giraldus Cambrensis derives his Countreymens Ori∣ginall from Troy, because they have so many Trojan names and words amongst them; Oenus, Resus, Aeneas,*Hector, Ajax, Evander, Eliza, &c. and Grotiusd there∣fore imagines that the Americans came from Norway, because they have many words the same with the Nor∣wegians. It is then considerable to our purpose, how in this the Jewes and Indians be alike.

1. The aspirations of the Americans have e the force of consonants, and are pronounced by them not as the Latines and some other Nations, but after the man∣ner of the Hebrewes.

2. The name of that great City Mexicof is ob∣served in sound and writing to come very neare unto that name of our deare Lord, Psalme 2. 2. Meschico, and Mexico in their Language is a g Spring, as of our Master and Messiah; the day spring that from on high hath visited us. Luk. 1. 78.

Page  15 3. The Ziims mentioned Esa. 13. 21. and 34. 14. are h supposed to bee wicked Spirits, deluding Man∣kinde, as Hobgoblins, Fairies, &c. Such are the Ze∣mes among the Indians so often spoken of by iPeter Martyr, these they call the Messengers of the great God; every King among them hath such a Ziim or Zeme, and from them came those Predictions constantly current among them, of a cover'd Nation that should spoyle their Rites.

4. Acosta marvailes much k at the Indians, that having some knowledge that there is a God, yet they call him not by any proper name, as not having any pecu∣liar for him, a Relique it may be of that Judaicall con∣ceit of the non-pronuntiable Tetragrammaton.

5. Tis very remarkable that Escarbotusl tells, how he heard the Indians often perfectly use the wvrd Hal∣lelujah; at which hee marvailed the more, because hee could not at all perceive that they had learned it from a∣ny Christian; and this is with like admiration recorded m by the describer of Nova Francia.

6. In the Island of St. Michael or Azores, which be∣longs to America, saith nMalvenda, certaine Sepul∣chers, or Grave-stones are digged up by the Spaniards, with very ancient Hebrew Letters upon them, above and below, thus above, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Why is God gone away; and beneath this Inscription 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Hee is dead, know God, which words seem to have a woefull enquiry of Gods departure from them, with a com∣fortable Declaration of his dying for them, together with an incitation to know him.

7. Very many of their words are like the Hebrew, which our Novangleso have observed, and in the general attested: A more serious disquisition into their Lan∣guage Page  16 would conduce much to finde out their descent, and helpe exceedingly towards their Conversion; and if it be said, the Jewes were ever tenacious of their Lan∣guage, which pElias Levita saith, they changed not in Aegypt, but if they be now in America, all in a man∣ner is lost. 'Tis fit then to consider, that in all Na∣tions, in two or three Ages there is a great alteration in their Tongues; the words of the League between the Carthaginians and Romans in fifty yeares space, sayth qPolybius, were so uncouth, and little knowne, that they could scarce bee understood; and rKeckerman sheweth, (r) that the German language in almost as short a time received the like mutation, and our Saxon An∣cestors translated the Bible into English as the Tongue then was, but of such antique Words and Writing, that few men now can read and understand it, which waxing old, and hard, it was againe Translated into newer words, saith Arch-Bishop sCranmer, and many even of those words are now strange and neasie to us; in such suddaine Change of Language universally, wee need not wonder, that so little impression of the He∣brew Tongue remaines among them, if the Indians be Jewish; but wee may marvaile rather, that after so many yeares of most grosse and cursed blindnesse, and having no commerce, nor converse with other Nati∣ons, that any the least similitude thereof should be left.