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in the southwest of Canaan, about 40 miles long, and 15 broad. " And it came to pass that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, Shishak, king of Egypt, came up against Jerusalem with 1200 chariots, and 60,000 horsemen, and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt.”* (2 Chron. 12: 2, 3.) Abijah, son of Rehoboam and grandson of Solomon,“ set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even 400,000 chosen men. Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with 800,000 chosen men, being mighty men of valor.” (2 Chron. 13: 3.) “ And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah 300,000; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, 280,000 : all these were mighty men of valor. And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian, with a host of a thousand thousand (i. e. a million) and 300 chariots; and came unto Mareshah.” (2 Chron. 14: 8, 9.) According to Josephus, the whole number slain and taken prisoners by the Romans, during the seven years' war, was 1,462,000. What must not great Babylon have been at the height of its glory, when Seleucus Nicator, soon after the death of Alexander, could drain it of above 500,000 persons to people his new city of Seleucia, 45 miles northward ? And this, too, after Babylon had been repeatedly taken, sacked and pillaged by hostile armies.
Let the reader carefully examine the scriptural statistics of the numerous armies, which converted the land of Judea into one great battle field, from the days of Joshua till the final destruction of Jerusalem ; let him reflect upon the descriptions of Nineveh and Babylon, and of many other cities as well as kingdoms; let him abate as much from the letter of the text as Michaelis, Eichhorn and other wise biblical critics, as much as Gibbon, Niebuhr and other modern historians, as much as Hume, Kaimes and all the philosophers may summarily require; still, he cannot doubt but that Palestine and the neighboring countries once contained a population incomparably greater than at the present day, unparalleled, perhaps, in modern times, except in the empires of China and Japan.
Delhi, formerly the capital of Hindoostan, the boast of India, and the seat of the great Mogul, was estimated to contain two millions of inhabitants. Pekin, according to information given to Lord Macartney, contains no less than three millions. Jeddo, in 1812, as the Japanese stated to Golowan, had a population of ten millions ! I do not vouch for the strict accuracy of these figures; and the reporters cannot be easily questioned just now. Thebes was believed by the Egyptians, according to Diodorus, to have been the first city founded upon the earth; and we certainly have no account of any more ancient since the flood. Its population has been calculated from sundry hints and traditionary fragments, variously, at from one to twenty millions. Its most flourishing period preceded the building of Memphis. Its remains at this day testify that the oldest city in the world has probably never been surpassed in architectural grandeur ; and that even its population may not have been greatly exaggerated by either poet or historian. Strabo says that, in his time, Epirus was thinly inhabited, but that according to Theopompus, whom he cites, it had once been extremely populous. Paulus Æmilius, we are told, destroyed seventy cities in Epirus, and took 150,000 prisoners. Who believed this? At length, M. Pouqueville, during a long residence in the dominions of the late Ali Pasha, actually discovered the remains of sixty-five cities, quite able to speak for themselves. I have somewhere seen an estimate which makes the population of the Roman empire, in the age of Augustus, to have been four thousand millions. Gibbon, I believe, reduces it to about one hundred and twenty millions in the reign of Claudius. Even this will do,—especially when it is recollected that, like Goguet, Millot, Hume, etc., the author of the “ Decline and Fall” was always rather partial to the “ rule of reduction." But of such details and speculations there is no end.
If there be, however, any semblance of truth in the Bible and in other ancient authorities, we must concede that the whole world of which they treat was densely populated. They never speak of any country, indeed, which, at the time, was destitute of inhabitants, or which does not appear to have been well filled with inhabitants. Sesostris and Alexander, though a thousand years asunder, found the far east teeming with a population as redundant as ever swarmed upon the banks of the Nile. The Roman conquerors experienced no lack of hostile numbers in their marches through the remotest and most ungenial climes. In Africa, in Asia, in Gaul, Germany, Britain, Scythia, everywhere, they met and encountered host after host; and the wonder is, after reading their own accounts of the battles and the slain, that the earth had not been utterly depopulated and converted into a dreary wilderness.,
I cannot doubt, therefore, that the world was vastly more populous during the whole period which intervened from the age of Noah to that of Constantine, than it has been at any time since. Population diminished rapidly after the decline and fall of the Roman empire. It continued to diminish during the dark ages. And it has been on the advance only within the last two or three centuries. I speak chiefly of countries known to history. As to the Chinese and some other oriental nations, they may have suffered less in this respect; and they may still serve as a specimen and index of what the population of other nations may once have been. China at this day, with a territory considerably smaller than that of the United States, is supposed to contain nearly half the population usually allotted to the whole world. They are, too, the most industrious, intelligent, contented, happy, peaceful, orderly, age-honoring, home-keeping, and specie-paying people on the globe. And they would be the most temperate also, if Christian avarice would let them alone. What would be the population of the earth, if it were everywhere equal to that of China ? Why may it not thus have been ? Why should it not thus be? The very prospect, nay, the possibility of such an event would annihilate the Malthusian heresy, with all its unchristian dogmatism, and unsocial restraints, and arbitrary provisions, and terrific conclusions. Happily, it has not yet invaded or dis turbed the repose of the Celestial Empire.
I think, then, we may warrantably conclude that, before the death of Peleg (according to any chronological system) the earth might have been peopled throughout its entire extent ; and that there were, at the birth of Peleg, inhabitants enough to furnish colonies for every principal division or important locality upon the globe.
The doubts, suspicion and incredulity so generally manifested in regard to a large portion of the (so called) extraordinary facts, personages, events and statistics, mentioned by ancient writers, have resulted from the prevalent but groundless assumption, that they all pertain to a rude and barbarous age; and are therefore to be regarded as fictions or exaggerations. Their hypothesis about the primitive state is a perpetual stumbling-block at every turn. Until they set out right, they will never interpret correctly or estimate fairly the works, the archives, or the character of antiquity. Their theory obscures and circumscribes their vision. It exacts from their judgment a verdict at variance with all sorts and degrees of evidence. Not only must every ancient profane document yield to this arbitrary test, but the Bible itself cannot escape their critical tortures, or conjectural emendations, or supercilious disregard. It constrains them to “ beg the question,” to reason in a circle, and to avail themselves of “trifles light as air” to uphold their baseless fabric. The Greeks and the Romans are their standard of perfection, by which to measure all other ancient nations; and the remoter were any of these, in either time or space, so much the worse is the sentence awarded. Because the Greeks and Romans did not know this, or could not do that, therefore the Phænicians and Egyptians must have been still more ignorant and less capable. And by the same rule, the contemporaries of Noah and Adam were little better than children and infants. The old Egyptians could not construct an arch ; ergo they were but clumsy novices in architecture, and consequently in all the arts. True, they were able, without mechanical science, and by mere brute force, “ to pile Ossa upon Pelion," but too stupid to build a Dutch oven or a cabbage vault; when, lo! the arch is discovered in the catacombs and among the mummies of the Pharaohs, in the temples which for ages had been forgotten and buried beneath the sands of the desert, in the bosom of the great pyramid, which had grown hoary with years, centuries before the Parthenon or Coliseum had been dreamt of! The aborigines of America knew nothing of the arch or of iron, nothing of butter, cheese, roast-beef or wheaten bread; therefore they must have sprung from an ancestry equally rude and helpless; or they must have come hither before those wonderful mysteries had been revealed to mankind in the old world!
Here I may add, that theories about the American Indians are generally formed from exceedingly imperfect data-often from no data at all and that the same facts and observations sometimes lead to directly conflicting theories. Thus, I am acquainted with intelligent individuaks in Tennessee, who have resided many years among the Cherokees and profess to know them thoroughly, who differ widely in their deductions respecting their origin and national affinities. One, a most respectable clergyman, at present a citizen of Nashville, is perfectly satisfied from his own personal investigations among the natiyes, that they are the genuine descendants of Israel's long-lost ten tribes. Of the same opinion was a late learned judge of our supreme state court. Both have written ably in support of
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their views; which accord, in the main, with those of Adair and Boudinot. Others refer them, as well as the adjacent tribes, to the nomadic races of Northern Asia ; and others again, to the Southern Malays. I have been strongly inclined to the latter opinion myself, both from a slight inspection of a few Indians and still fewer Malays at different times and places, and from the statements and reasoning of more competent observers. It is probable that Asia and Europe, as well as Africa, have contributed more or less to the population of this continent. How do we know after all that the Mongols are not descended from Ham ? I mean the Mongols of the naturalist, as distinguished from the Indo-Germanic hordes and Caucasian Tartars, with whom they have been long mingled and often confounded. It might be rather difficult also to prove that the Malays are of the Semitic stock, or that they too are not the posterity of Ham. It would be curious, if all the degraded and degrading varieties of the human species, namely, the Negro, the Mongol, the Malayan, and the American, should appear at length to belong to the great family of the African patriarch.
But it was not my purpose in these notes to propound, much less to advocate any new or peculiar theory. On the whole, however, I favor the hypothesis, that the indigenous Americans have occupied this continent from the earliest times that they came hither at the epoch of the grand dispersion—that they constitute one of the original varieties which have existed ever since that they are presumptively of the Hamite family, and are now experiencing the effects of the divine denunciation uttered by Noah against their wicked progenitor.
Their high antiquity cannot be doubted or disputed, unless a similar race can be found in the other hemisphere, from which they might have been derived at a more recent date. Their savage character and condition can be as easily accounted for as the degeneracy of their kindred in Africa or of any other portion of the human family. No people, known in history to have been civilized, have ever become absolute savages in their own country; though many have sunk into the lowest depths of ignorance and wretchedness; the modern Egyptians, Syrians, Arabs, Greeks, for example. Still none of these are savages. The savage state preceded all history except the Bible ; but it did not precede civilization. That Noah and his immediate descendants were civilized—that their posterity, who never removed from the father-land or who settled in the countries ad