Elder H. A. Stebbins' Articles and Related Items

Saints' Herald (1880)   |   Gospel in All Lands (1886)   |   1890s Articles
Autumn Leaves
(Lamoni, IA: RLDS Church)

  • 1889 Kingsborough Excerpts:
          Mar.  Apr.  Jun.  Jul.  Aug.  Sep.

  • 1889 Elder Stebbins Excerpts:
          May  Jul.  Aug.  Sep.  Oct.  Dec.

  • 1890 Elder Stebbins Excerpts:
          Jan.  Feb.  Mar.  Apr.   Christ in America

  • 1892 "The Book of Mormon"

  •     Transcriber's Comments

    Saints' Herald 1887-99   |   1897 Stebbins article   |   1894-1901 Stebbins book
    Antiquities of Mexico 1831-48   |   The Ten Tribes 1836   |   America in Prophecy?

    Vol. II.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, March, 1889.                                  No. 3.

            [p. 116]



    VISCOUNT KINGSBOROUGH was an English antiquarian, was born in 1795, and was the son of the Earl of Kingston. In 1830 he published his "Antiquities of Mexico, Comprising Facsimiles of Ancient Mexican Paintings," &c. He died in 1837, having expended a fortune and the most of his life on his matchless work, which consists of nine ponderous folio volumes.

    Vol. 1. contains a copy of the collection made by Mendoza, preserved in the Bodlean [sic] library at Oxford, England; of the Codex Telleriano, in the library of Paris; fac-similes of the collection of Botturini; and copies of other paintings in the Bodlean library.

    Vol. II. contains manuscripts from the Vatican paintings of Laud; paintings from the Institute of Bologna; from Vienna and Berlin, and bas-reliefs from Antigua.

    Vol. III. contains fac-similes of the Borgian collection at Rome, and paintings from Dresden, Hungary, and the Vatican.

    Vol. IV. contains Monuments of New Spain, by M. Dupaix, in French.

    Vol. V. consists of translations from the first three volumes, by Augustine Aglio.

    Vol. VI. consists oí intepretation of collection of Mendoza; explanation of Codex Telleriano-Remensis; explanation of Codex Vaticanus, and Notes.

    Vol. VII. contains "Historia Universal De Nueva Espanya;" by Las Casas.

    Vol. VIII. contains Supplementary Notes, Supplementary Extracts, a Treatise on the Jewish Descent of the Indians, and The Letters of Cortez.

    Vol. IX. contains Chronico Mexicano, by Tozozomoc, and Historia Chichemeca, by Ixtlilochitl, and Retos Antiques E Idolatrías De Las Indios La Nueva Espanya.

    The following extracts are made from the sixth and eighth volumes and pages indicated. S. F. W.

    Vol. VI. page 4: "In Peter Martyr's work: They knew them (the Cherebians) [to] ‘honor the cross, although lying somewhat, and in another place compassed about with lines, they put it upon such as are new-born, supposing the devils fly from that instrument; if any fearful apparition be seen at any time by night, they set up the cross, and say that the place is cleansed by that remedy; and being demanded whence they learned this, and the speeches which they understand not, they answer that those rites and customs came by tradition from the elders to the younger.'"

    "Gomara says that in Yucatan a cross of copper or wood was placed over the graves of the dead."

    Page 46: -- "A very remarkable representation of the ten plagues which God sent on Egypt in order to punish Pharaoh's hardness of heart occurs in the eleventh and twelfth pages of the Borgian manuscript. Moses is there painted as holding up in his left hand his rod which became a serpent, and with a furious gesture calling down plagues on the Egyptians. These plagues were frogs, locusts, lice, flies, &c.; all of which seem to be represented in the pages referred to; but the last and most dreadful were the thick darkness which overspread Egypt for three days, and the death of the first-born of the Egyptians, the former of which is represented by the figure of an eclipse of the sun, and the latter by Meclanteotl (or god of the dead) descending in the form of a skeleton, or a cadaverous body, from the God of Moses. The curious symbol of one serpent swallowing another occurs likewise in the nineteenth page of the same manuscript. It is not extraordinary that the Mexicans, who were acquainted with one portion of Genesis -- that relating to the migration of the children of Israel from Egypt, -- should have not been ignorant of another."

    Page 50: "Now let us proceed briefly to state the plea and pretext by which the Ingas [sic] subdued those countries under their yoke. They professed to the people that after the deluge, with which event the Indians were universally acquainted, the human race was again propagated and multiplied by the Ingas alone; for that seven heroes came forth from the cave of Pacaritambo and procreated, in the manner which has been mentioned, new nations and people; whence it was fit and just that all mankind should obey, and submit to, the Ingas their ancestors and progenitors. They made this also a boast, that they alone of all men, possessed the


    pure and true knowledge of the worship and honor due to God; and hence in Cusco, as in some holy land, the temples exceed the number of four hundred, and the neighboring territory was everywhere full of religious mysteries."

    "It has been before remarked that the Mexicans in many of their customs resembled the Peruvians and that their religion was probably derived from a common source. Viracocha being the same deity as Tetzcatlepoca and Huitzilopuchtli, although worshipped under a different name.

    "The belief which the Mexicans and Peruvians entertained of their origin is likewise an argument in favor of their common descent. The former of these nations pretended that their ancestors had proceeded from seven caves; the latter that they were descended from seven heroes who came out of the same caves.

    51 -- "M. De Humboldt has observed that if we knew exactly in what part of the globe the ancient kingdoms of Tulan, Tlapallan, Huetlapallan, Amaquemecan, Aztlan, and Chicomoztoe were situated, we might be able to form an opinion of who the ancestors of the Mexicans were, and from what country they passed over to America. By an attentive examination of the meaning of these proper names, and the mutual comparison of one with another, Tulan signifies the country of reeds; Tlapallan, the Red Sea; Iluetlapallan, the Old Red Sea; Amaquemecan, the country of the veil of paper; Aztlan, the country of the flamingo; and Chicomoztoe, the seven caves * * * In the absence of facts we employ conjecture* * * Egypt is the country to which all these names refer: and that the colony which arrived in early ages in America from the East, were Jews from Alexandria."

    Page 53: "Montezuma told Cortez that their ancestors had come from the same part of the globe as the Spaniards, situated toward the rising sun."

    Page 54. (Peter Martyr): "Cortez said to Montezuma 'What more wicked and abominable; what more foolish? * * * Ye slaughter so many human bodies every year for these insensible images' sakes.' Montezuma: 'Hearken, O, Cortez! The ceremonies of sacrifice left us by tradition from our ancestors, these we observe and have hitherto exercised.'"

    Page 87: "The interpreter of the collection of Mendoza means to say that the Mexican paintings were, in the first instance, given to the native Mexicans, that they might consult together on their proper meaning, whose real testimony he afterward took down when they had come to an agreement as to the right signification of the symbols representing the cities tributary to the crown of Mexico. And Sahugan says, that he assembled, in a similar manner, the Indians of Tescuco and Mexico who were most conversant with the antiquities of their country, in order that they might explain to him the signification of their ancient paintings as the best authority which he could follow in writing the history of New Spain."

    Page 102: "The Mexicans celebrated in this month (Panquetzilitzli) the festival of the loaf, which was in this manner: They made a large loaf of the seed of bledos, which they called tzoctli, and of honey; and after having made it, they blessed it in their manner, and broke it, and the high priest put it into a very clean vessel, and took a thorn of maguey, with which he with great reverence took up a morsel and put it into the mouths of every one of the Indians, as if in the manner of a communion."

    Page 107: "Quecalcoatle is he who was born of the Virgin; who was called on earth Chimalman, and in heaven, Chalchihuitztli, which means the precious stone of penance or of sacrifice. He was saved in the deluge, and was born in Zivenavitzcatl, where he resides." "They call this the fast of the Lords; it lasted four days, that is to say, from the first day of Ocelotl to four earthquakes. This fast was a kind of preparation for the end of the world, which they said would happen in the day of four earthquakes, so that they were thus daily in expectation of that event. Quecalcoatle was he who they say created the world; and they bestowed on him the appellation of Lord of the Wind, because they said that Tonacatecotle, when it appeared good to him, breathed and begat Quecalcoatle. They erected round temples to him without any corners. They said that he it was that formed the first man, They celebrated a festival, on the sign of the four earthquakes, to the destroyer, with reference to the fate which again awaited the world; for they said that it had undergone four destructions,


    and that it would again be destroyed. He alone had a human body like that of men, the other Gods were of an incorporeal nature. -- (Codex Telleiano-Remensis.)

    (Foot-note.) "Quecalcoatle is said to have been attended by many deformed persons and crook-backs, corcovados, on his way to Cholula."

    "The extreme pertinacity which the Indians, both in Peru and Mexico, displayed in adhering to their old religion, frequently laying down their lives in its defense, and affirming when reasoned with upon the subject, that if Christianity was good for the Castillans, their own religion was no less for them, is a convincing proof that the signs and wonders which the Mexicans believed that Huitzilopuchtli had wrought in their favor (to which the hand and outstretched arm so often occurring in Mexican paintings probably alludes) and the oracles of Pachacama, revered in Peru, maintained the greatest ascendancy over their minds; and in this obstinacy, in blindly persisting in a persuasion which Christians told them was false, it must be confessed that the Indians closely resembled the Jews. The second reason for believing that Judaism was the religion of the Indians is, that they used circumcision. The third, that they expected a messiah. The fourth, that many words incorporated in their language and connected with the celebration of their rites, were obviously either of Hebrew or Greek derivation. The fifth, that Las Casas, the Bishop of Chiapa, who had the best means of verifying the fact, was of this opinion. Sixth, that the Jews themselves, including some of their most eminent Rabbis, such as Menasseh Ben Israel and Montecenio, who, though not a rabbi, was a Jew who had visited America, maintained it by both verbal statements and in writing. The seventh is the dilemma in which the most learned Spanish authors, such as Acosta and Torquemada, have placed their readers by leaving them no other alternative than to come to the decision whether the Jews had colonized America and established their rites among the Indian or whether the devil had counterfeited in the New World the rites and ceremonies which God gave his chosen people. The eighth is the resemblance which many of the Indian rites and ceremonies bore to those of the Jews. The ninth is the similitude which existed between many of the Indian and many of the Hebrew moral laws. The tenth is the knowledge which the Mexican and Peruvian traditions implied that the Indians possessed of the history contained in the Pentateuch. The eleventh, the Mexican tradition of the Teomoxtle or divine book of the Toltecas. The twelfth is the Mexican history of their famous migration from Aztalan [sic – Aztlan?. The thirteenth is the traces of Jewish superstition, history, tradition, laws, manners and customs, which are found in the Mexican paintings. The fourteenth is the frequency of sacrifices amongst the Indians, and the religious consecration of the blood and the fat of the victims. The fifteenth is the style of architecture of their paintings. The sixteenth is the fringes which the Mexicans wore fastened in their garments. The seventeenth is a similarity in the manners and customs of Indian tribes far removed from the central monarchies of Mexico and Peru (but still within the pale of religious proselytism) to those of the Jews, which writers who were not Spaniards have noticed, such as Sir William Penn, who, recognizing a probably fanciful likeness between the features of Indian and Jewish children, says:

    'When you look upon them you would think yourself in the Jew's quarter at London. Their eyes are little and black like the Jews; moreover they reckon by moons; they offer the first fruits, and have a kind of feast of tabernacles. It is said that their altar stands upon twelve stones. Their mourning lasts a year. The customs of their women are like those of the Jews. Their language is masculine, short, concise, and full of energy, in which it much resembles the Hebrew. One word serves for three, and the rest is supplied by the understanding of the listeners. Lastly, they were going into a country which was neither planted nor known, and he that imposed this condition upon them was well able, to level their passage thither; for we may go from the eastern extremities of Asia to the western extremities of America.'

    "If Sir William Penn had had an opportunity of beholding on what purple thrones the sovereigns of Peru and Mexico sat, he would perhaps have exulted less at the idea of the Jews having miraculously passed from the old continent to the new, either by the division of the waters of the


    Euphrates, as foretold by Esdras, or those of old ocean itself, the only remaining obstacle that could stop the march of the chosen people of God. We for our own part, should be almost tempted at the bare mention of such a prodigy to declare ourselves of the faith of the Irishman, who, on hearing a similar relation, gaily exclaimed, 'I believe it all but the first step.'" ...



    DEAR SISTER: -- In reading one of your "Autumn Leaves" that was loaned to me, I see that you wished any one knowing of Martin Harris' visit to England would give you all the reliable information they could in relation to it. I have not much to say in the matter, but the little I will say is truth, as his words have from that time to this remained stamped on my memory. On the 15th day of May, 1842, I was baptized into this church, and in the fall of 1846, met with the brethren at a conference in Birmingham. I was then an elder and presiding over the Dudley branch, brother John Banks being president of the district. That morning he introduced Cyrus H. Wheelock to the conference as its future president. From that the business went on as usual, but when we met in the afternoon Wheelock seemed to be quite out of sorts! The first we knew of the cause an elderly man asked permission to speak a few words to us. We then knew what disturbed Wheelock. He told us that it was Martin Harris, an apostate from the faith; that he had abused him and his brethren coming across the sea, and he would not allow him to speak, there being many people there who were opposed to the truth. When we came out of the meeting Martin Harris was beset with a crowd in the street, expecting that he would furnish them with material to war against Mormonism; but when he was asked if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, he answered yes; and when asked if the Book of Mormon was true, this was his answer: "Do you know that is the sun shining on us? Because as sure as you know that, I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and that he translated that book by the power of God." I then went home, and did not know where Martin Harris went from there; but from that day to this day I have felt confident that it was not the work of God that Martin Harris wanted to make war against, but the apostasy of Brigham Young and his associates.

    If this is of any benefit to you I shall be amply paid for my trouble. May the God of Israel bless and prosper you in your labor of love, is the prayer of an old man. Your brother in the covenant.
    St. Catherine, Linn Co., Mo.,
    26th Dec., 1888.
                        GEORGE MANTLE.

    Vol. II.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, April, 1889.                                  No. 4.

            [p. 178]



    "It is said that Topelcin Quecalcoatle was born on the day of seven canes, and they celebrated on this day of seven canes, a great festival in Cholula, to which they came from all parts of the country and the cities, and brought great presents to the Lords of the temple; and they did the same on the day that he disappeared or died, which was the day of one cane. These festivals happened at the expiration of every period of fifty-two years." -- Vol. vi., page 118.

    "It was after the deluge that the custom of sacrificing commenced. -- Comment: -- According to Scripture, therefore, sacrifices commenced immediately after the deluge; but sin, according to the Mexicans, commenced very much earlier, for they believe that sin began with time. Noah was called by the Mexicans Patecatle, and Cipaquetona; they said that he "invented the art of making wine, which it is generally agreed was not known before the deluge (since the patriarchs Noah and Lot were ignorant of its effects), and that he was preserved with six others in the ahuehuete or ark of fir, (which is one less than Moses said were saved from the deluge; since eight persons entered the ark), and that shortly afterwards his descendants built the tower of Tulan or Cholula, partly from curiosity to see what was going on in heaven and partly from fear of another deluge; but that Tonacatecutle, becoming incensed at their presumption, destroyed the tower with lightning, and scattered the workmen. Hence the Mexicans probably bestowed the epithet of Tepeva, or the dispenser, on their supreme deity." -- p. 119.

    "The God of the three-fold dignity resides in homuocan, that is to say, the place of the Holy Trinity, who, according to the opinion of their old men. by their word formed Cepotenal and a woman, Xurnio; and these are the pair who existed before the Deluge, who begat Tocatintle, as we shall presently relate."

    "It is remarkable that the figure of the sun and moon turned into blood frequently occurs." -- p. 159.

    "Torquernada says the Bishop of Chiapa, when he passed through Yucatan, sent his ecclesiastic to the interior of the country, who at the end of a year wrote to him that he had questioned a principal lord about the ancient religion, who informed him that they knew and believed in God, who resided in heaven; and that their God was the Father, Son and Holy Ghost: that the Son was called Bacab, who was born of a virgin named Chibirias, who was in heaven with God, and that the name of the mother of Chibirias was Oschil; and that the Holy Ghost was called Echuah. Bacab, the Son, they said, was put to death by Eopuco, who scourged him and put a crown of thorns upon his head, and placed him with his arms stretched upon a beam of wood, to which they believed he had not been nailed, bnt tied; and that he died there, and remained during three days dead, and the third day came to life and ascended to heaven, where he is with the Father; and immediately afterward Echuah coming, who is the Holy Ghost, filled the earth with whatever it stood in need of."

    "Ysnextli, they represented her as Eve, always weeping and looking at her husband Adam. She is called Ysnextli. which signifies eyes blind with ashes, and this refers to the time subsequent to sinning by plucking the roses. They accordingly


    declare that they are still unable to look up to heaven, and in recollection of the happy state which she lost, they fasted every eight years on account of this fall; and this fast was on bread and water only. Th?? fasted the eight days preceding the sign of one rose; and on the arrival of the sign they prepared to celebrate the festival." -- p. 141.

    "Botturrini [sic] observes in the following passage, speaking of the planets, that "the week of the Chiapauas, resembling that of the Toltecas, consists of seven days."

    "In the year four house, or in 1509, they perceived a light by night which lasted longer than forty days. Those who saw it saw that it was discernable throughout all New Spain and that it was very great and very brilliant, and that it was situated in the East, and that ascending from the earth it reached the skies. This was one of the prodigies that they beheld before the arrival of the Christians."

    Note. -- "It has been observed above . . that it was probably some volcanic eruption. * * * Many other prodigies are related to have preceded the fall of Mexico, equal, both in number, in magnitude, and in impossibility, to those declared by Josephus to have attended the destruction of Jerusalem. Strange voices are said to have been heard in the air, and the serene vault of heaven to have been disturbed by the mimic combats of armed hosts. The sister of Montezuma, who was dead and buried, is pretended to have come to life, and many other signs and wonders to have happened. -- p. 144.

    Plate 1. of Codex Vaticanus: "Homeyoca. which signifies place in which exists the Creator of the universe, or the First Cause, to whom they gave the name of Hometeul, which means the God of the three-fold dignity, or three Gods, the same as Olemris. They call this place in which he resides Zivenavi Chepaniucha, * * * and by another name, Homeiocan, that is to say. the place of the Holy Trinity, who, according to the opinion of many of the old men, begot, by their word Cepatenal, and a woman named Xumia; and these are the pair that existed before the deluge who begat Tocateutle, as we shall relate."

    Note -- "The worst argument that has been used to defend the doctrine of the Trinity, and one that displays the greatest ignorance, is that by which reasoners, like Dr. Warburton in his Divine Legation of Moses, seek to address common-place arguments to unreflecting minds, viz.; that if this doctrine had not been revealed to man by divine inspiration, it would never have entered human contemplation, since laying aside the consideration of whether such a belief was entertained by the Indians, who on this admission can not be supposed, from the rude state of science amongst them to have been the inventors of it, but rather to have derived it, with the knowledge of many other Christian mysteries, from more civilized regions of the globe." - - p. 156.

    "Amongst the many arguments which might be brought forward to show that Christianity had in very early ages extended itself to America, one of the strongest and most convincing is the fact that the doctrine of the Trinity was known in Peru, New Spain and Yucatan. This fact rests on the authority of very respectable writers. Acosta. in his Natural and Moral History of the Indies, distinctly asserts it; and the celebrated Las Casas, bishop of Chiapa, as cited by Torquemada, says that he had heard it from a person worthy of credit whom he charged to make inquiries into the religion of the inhabitants of the peninsula of Yucatan. A distinguished writer also, of the present age, the Baron De Humbolt, says that the Muyscas, the ancient inhabitants of Bogota, likewise believe in the existence of a Trinity. -- p. 158.

    Solacar says: "The chiefs and men of rank in the province of Chiapa were acquainted with the doctrine of the most holy Trinity. They called the Father Icona, the Son Bacab, and the Holy Ghost Estruach, and certainly these names resemble the Hebrew, especially Estruach that of the Holy Ghost does, for Ruach in Hebrew is the Holy Ghost.

    "As in the tradition current in Yucatan of Bacab and his crucifixion (which both Remesal and Torquemada have recorded, the latter on the authority of Las Casas himself, and which it deserves particularly to be noticed each author has accompanied with some new circumstance in his relation, Remesal informing us that the name of the respectable ecclesiastic who gave the information to Las Casas, was Francis Hernandez, and Torquemada that it was Eopuca who scourged and put to death Bacab) so in these Mexican paintings many analogies may be traced between


    the events to which they evidently relate and the history of the crucifixion of Christ as contained in the New Testament. The subject of them all is the same, -- the death of Quecalcoatle upon the cross, as an atonement for the sins of mankind. In the fourth page of the Borgian manuscript, he seems to be crucified between two persons who are in the act of reviling him: who hold as it would appear halters in their hands, the symbols perhaps of some crime for which they were themselves going to suffer. It is very remarkable that, although Quecalcoatle strictly enjoined honesty, temperance and chastity to the Mexicans, he still should have been esteemed by thieves as their patron god, as we learn from the following passage of the twenty-second chapter of the fourteenth book of Torqnemeda's Indian Monarchy: 'Amongst the abuses which these nations practiced one was they had a sign in their false judicial astrology which they named Ceacatl, of which they said that those who were born in it, if they were nobles would be turbulent, and if they were common people, would become thieves addicting themselves to the superstitions and wicked arts of those whom they called Timapalytotique, these were generally fifteen or twenty in number, who when they wished to rob any house, made an image of Coocatl or one of the god Quetzalcohuate, and went in a body, dancing to the place where they intended to commit the robbery; and he who carried the figure or this false god (who assuredly was false since he led such a worthless band as these) preceded them, leading the way, and likewise another who carried the arm of a woman who had died in her first childbed.' Torquemada, in recording this superstitious practice does not attempt to explain in what it might have originated; regarded simply in the light of a superstition, the Mexican belief that one of their principal gods favored and protected thieves is not more open to the keen shafts of satire than those fables of classical antiquity, against which the early fathers launched all their wit and learning and often sullied with exceptionable passages their otherwise pure and spotless pages." -- p. 166.

    Page 163: "Las Casas says that Gomez, was in Nexapa, in the province of Guixaca, and the vicar of the convent showed him sheets of paper, drawings copied from extremely ancient paintings on long pieces of leather, rolled up and much smoked, &c. * * * She who represented Our Lady had her hair tied up in the manner in which the Indian women tie up their hair, and in the knot behind was fastened a small cross, by which it was intended to show that she was the most holy, and that a great prophet would be born of her, who would come from heaven, whom she should bring forth without connection with a man, still remaining a virgin: and that his own people would persecute that great prophet, and meditate evil against him, and would put him to death, crucifying him upon a cross; -- and accordingly he was represented in the paintings as crucified, with his hands and feet tied to the cross without nails. The article of the resurrection, how he had to return to life again, to ascend into heaven, was likewise painted. The Dominican fathers said they found those things among some Indians who inhabited the borders of the coasts of the South Sea, who stated that they received these memorials from their ancestors."

    The Mexicans seem to have confounded together in their tradition of four ages and four destructions of the world the fictions of Greece respecting the four ages; the traditions of the Hebrews respecting the fall of man, the loss of Paradise and the deluge; the belief of Christians in the accomplishment of prophecy, in the downfall of four great empires of antiquity, and the Jewish account of the destruction of Jerusalem. -- p. 160.

    "Torequemada informs us that Quecalcoatle had been in Yucatan, and was there adored. The interpreter of the Vatican Codex says, in the following curious passage, that the Mexicans had a tradition that he, like Bacab, died upon the cross; and he seems to add, according to their belief, for the sins of mankind."

    "Gomara says the Spaniards noticed the resemblance of the Peruvians to Jews. 'They are all very like Jews in appearance and voice, for they have large noses, and speak through the throat. The dress of the Peruvians was like the ancient Jewish dress."

    Cogulludo in History of Yucatan: -- "The ecclesiastics of the provinces, whose care accelerated the conversion of the Indians to our holy Catholic faith, animated


    with the zeal which they felt for their interests, not only destroyed and burned all the idols which they worshiped, but likewise all the books which they possessed, composed after their peculiar style, by which they were enabled to preserve the memory of past events and whatsoever else they imagined might furnish occasion for the practice of superstition or pagan rites. This is the reason why some particular facts which I wished to notice in this work can not be ascertained; but even the knowledge of their historical annals has been denied to posterity, for nearly all their histories were committed to the flames without any attention being paid to the difference of the matter of which they treated. Neither do I approve of that suggestion, nor do I condemn it: but it appears to me, that secular history might have been preserved in the same manner as that of New Spain and other conquered provinces has been preserved, without its being considered to be any obstacle to the progress of Christianity. I shall however, in consequence, be able to say little more than that which has already been written of their religious usages in the time of paganism."

    "If more of the historical paintings and monuments of Yucatan had been preserved, we should probably have been able to have determined, whether Bacab and Quecalcoatle were only two different names for the same deity, who was worshiped alike by the Mexicans and the people of Yucatan. Torquemada informs us on the authority of Las Casas, that Quecalcoatle had been in Yucatan, and was there adored. The interpreter of the Vatican Codex says, in the following curious passage, that the Mexicans had a tradition that he like Bacab, died upon the cross, and he seems to add, according to their belief, for the sins of mankind. This tradition which rested solely upon the authority of the anonymous interpreter of that manuscript, acquires the most authentic character from the corroboration which it receives from several paintings in the Codex Borgianus which actually represent Quecalcoatle crucified and nailed to the cross. These paintings are contained in the fourth, seventy-second and seventy-fifth pages of the above mentioned manuscript; the article of his resurrection, burial and descent into hell appears also be be represented in seventy-first and seventy-third pages of the same." -- p. 165.

    "In the seventy-second page of the Borgian Manuscript, Yestapal Nanazcaya, or the fourth age of the Mexicans, that of flints and canes, memorable for being the era of the birth of Quecalcoatle and of the destruction of the province and city of Tulan seems to be represented. Quecalcoatle is there painted in the attitude of a person crucified, with the impression of nails both in his hand and feet, but not actually upon a cross, and with the image of death beneath his feet, which an angry serpent seems threatning to devour. The skulls above signify that the place is Tzonpantli, a word which exactly corresponds with the Hebrew proper name Golgotha. The body of Quecalcoatle seems to be formed out of a resplendent sun, and two female figures with children on their backs are very conspicuously presenting an offering at his feet. The Mexicans sometimes added the epithet Tlatzalli to Tezonpantli when the signification of both names became the place of precious death or martyrdom; Tlatzalli meaning in the Mexican language, precious or desired. The seventy-third page of the Borgian manuscript is the most remarkable of all: for Quecalcoatle is not only represented there as crucified upon a cross of the Greek form, but his burial and descent into hell are also depicted in a very curious manner; his grave which is somewhat in the shape of a cross, and strewed with bones and skulls symbolical of death, resembles likewise that kind of building which the Indians of New Spain constructed in the courts of their temples, which they called tlaco and in which they played the religious game of the ball, instituted perhaps in commemoration of him. The head of the devouring monster on the left signifies his descent into hell, and seems to compel Michtlantecutli, the Lord of the dead, to do him homage. Michtlanticutli, it may be observed, was a different personage from Zontemogue, the former presiding over hell, the region of the dead, and the latter over hell, the place of punishment for the wicked. The Mexicans, like the early Christians, seem sometimes to have personified hell and death; and Milton has followed their example, unwisely gilding error with poetry. -- p. 166.

    To be continued.

    Vol. II.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, May, 1889.                                  No. 5.

            [p. 228]




    [initial pages, 225-227 not copied]

    ... There are so many evidences in relation to the ancient people of America, and of their wonderful civilization that it is hard to make choice of matter to present with these chapters. But, along with the testimonies of Montesinos, Humboldt, Prescott, Baldwin and others, already in part presented, the author would now gather important evidences from the writings of M. Desire Charnay, the French traveler and explorer. He visited Mexico and Yucatan in 1857-8 and again in 1880-1, and studied the sculptured monuments of a lost people and the ruins of their great cities. For his work Allen Thorndyke Rice, of New York, wrote the introduction, from which the following extracts are made:

    "This interesting volume, now offered to American readers, is the outcome of an expedition which received strong support in the United States, and enriched the museums of Paris and Washington with valuable collections. * * * The expedition aimed at the careful reproduction of Central American monuments, and a systematic investigation of the ruined cities and other remains of ancient civilization in Central America and Mexico. It was dispatched under the joint auspices of the governments of the United States and France. The means were provided not only of photographing bas-reliefs and hieroglyphic inscriptions, but of making careful casts of them. Copies of these casts were to be presented to the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, and to the French Government. The collection and preservation of these reproductions formed one of the most valuable features of the enterprise, offering as they now do, to students of all countries, an ample field for investigation, and possibly the materials requisite for a solution of the language problem by some future Champollion. "In the face of great difficulty and discouragement M. Charnay has succeeded in securing and safely transporting numerous casts of the important palaces and temples of Central America, now on exhibition in the museums of Paris and Washington, after the destruction if the first collection of hostile Indians. * * * These monuments are of surpassing grandeur; their annals and the tale that their hieroglyphics strive to tell are still unsolved. * * * Yet how few Americans of our day have any conception of the stately edifices of monumental Mitla, or of Palenque, with its magnificent palaces, its terraces, and temples, its pyramids and sculptured ornaments. The story of Spanish rule in America is familiar to all, but comparatively few have any knowledge of those splendid relics that crown the entire nucleus of New Spain, and which, despite the havoc of time, speak to us so eloquently of a noble culture reaching back beyond the Conquest. More, no doubt, would have been known but for the untimely end of the distinguished traveler, John L. Stephens.

    "All the marvels of Eastern fable pale before the vision of a New World emerging like a mirage from the Western seas, peopled by strange races, glorious in the richness of its tropical vegetation, its forests teeming with curious animal forms, its mines reputed to contain inexhaustible stores of gold and gems. The bounds of human empire had suddenly been widened, and the world's compass was increased by an unknown quantity. * * * Thence came gold and silver to be coined in all the mints and curiously wrought in all the jeweler's shops of Europe and Asia.

    "Of the innumerable questions to which the discovery of America gave rise, the most difficult to answer, perhaps, was that regarding the origin of the newly discovered races. * * * In support of a derivation from Noah, we are constantly referred to the native flood-myths, and to the tradition of a foreign origin. According to the Lord Kingsborough, who is a willing believer in Scriptural analogies, the Mexican tradition of a deluge bears 'unequivocal marks of having been derived from a Hebrew source.'

    * * * As a sequel to the flood-myths we come upon traditions of the building of a tower of refuge, and this has led some writers to identify the Americans with certain of the builders of Babel, who were scattered over the earth after


    the confusion of tongues." -- Rice's Introduction to Charnay's "Ancient Cities of the New World," pages 9 to 17.

    While Mr. Rice does not believe (nor does M. Charnay) that the ancient Americans were of Hebrew origin, and that it is doubtful if they came from any European or Asiatic country, still Mr. Rice says that it is true that there are "striking resemblances between the architectural style of America and of several Old World countries; and slight, but seemingly real, points of affinity in language; while a consensus of traditions shows an aboriginal knowledge of certain countries beyond the sea inhabited by 'white-faces.'"

    He says farther: -- "One of the distinctive features of Mexican architecture is the pyramidal form of the buildings, or their substructures. On this account, chiefly, an attempt has be?? made to trace a connection between America and Egypt, in civilization if not in race. * * * Most of the ruined towns have such mounds, but the great pyramid of Isamal is peculiar in consisting of two pyramidal piles of masonry, one on the top of the other, the base of the whole measuring not less than eight hundred and twenty feet on each side, and the first platform six hundred and fifty feet. The pyramidal form is also finely seen in the Casa Gobernador (Governor's House) at Uxmal, which is described as the most stately in form and proportions of all the structures of the kind. Here three successive terraces form the base which holds aloft the grand ornate building, and they add to its looks of spacious, magnificence.

    According to Stephens the carved work is equal to the finest Egyptian work. It would be impossible, he says, with the best instruments of modern times to cut stone more perfectly * * * Add to this the difficulty of quarrying large masses of stone, of conveying them long distances through a rough country, and of raising them to great altitudes, and the construction of vast edifices seems truly marvelous. "Whether or not it will be in human power to decipher the hieroglyphics, and to give to history the annals they so vainly strive to tell, is a question yet to be settled," and he says that the problems thus presented are worthy of the attention of the greatest intellects of Europe and America, and that it is "reasonable to expect that some new Champollion will yet do for the early annals of our continent what has already so amply been done for the history of ancient Egypt." He adds that the monuments "attest the prosperity of what was one of the finest and most populous regions of the earth," and says that the scholar, with the photographs and plaster casts in sight, may now, in effect, have before his eyes "Copan with all its mysteries; its columns scored with hieroglyphics; its rows of death's heads on its sculptured walls; its nameless kings and gods; and to his unimpassioned research we must trust to bring before us once more the old faith of an ancient and mighty priesthood, and the lost knowledge and strange arts of a cultivated and vanished people." -- Rice's Introduction to Charnay, pages 20 to 23.

    But there is no reason to believe that the great intellects of Europe and America will be able solve this great problem, which is attracting so much attention just now, unless God shall give to some one the key to the mysterious languages that are engraven upon the walls and monuments of the lands of Jared and of Zarahemla. Already has God given much unto men, if the great and wise would but consider it, and if they would seek unto him for more after his own way. But for the fulness and for the closing scenes of "his act, his strange act," they will have to wait, even till I e shall "make it plain." The chief things in M. Charnay's book will be given along with succeeding chapters of this story, in connection with extracts from Stephen's works, and from the writings of other explorers.

    To be continued.

    Vol. II.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, June, 1889.                                  No. 6.

            [p. 263]



    On the seventy-fifth page of the Borgian Manuscript Quecalcoatle is again represented as crucified, and one of his hands and both his feet seem to bear the impression of nails; he appears from the phonetic symbol placed near his mouth, to be uttering an exclamation, and his body is strangely covered with suns. If the Jews had wished to apply to their Messiah the metaphor of the Sun of Righteousness, they would have perhaps painted him with such emblems; and perverting in like manner another expression of Scripture, -- "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end," -- have painted the signs dedicated to Quecalcoatle before and after the signs allotted to the twelve tribes of Israel, as seems to be the case on the seventy-fourth page of the Borgian Manuscript where the skull or symbol of death placed over the other signs may signify that he had redeemed them from it.

    The two signs dedicated to Quecalcoatle were the cattle, or the wind, and the green feathered serpent, which occupy the first and the last places amongst these signs. The seventy-first page of the manuscript seems to represent a cross overshadowed by the wings of a cherub, beneath which Quecalcoatle is reclining, whilst the figures on the sides and the mutilated human limbs around, may bear some allusion to the punishment of his enemies. The eagles which are represented on the same page, remind us that that bird is sometimes mentioned in the Old Testament as an instrument of divine wrath, as in the eleventh verse of the forty-sixth chapter of Isaiah:

    "Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country; yea I have spoken it, I will also bring to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."

    Since the Jews interpret the Old Testament in so different manner from Christians, and contend that the Messiah is spoken of under innumerable types which the latter refuse to recognize, because they have not been noticed by the apostles, we may reasonably demand whether the eagle was one of them, and whether the representation of Quecalcoatle, borne upon the wings of an eagle, which occurs on the fourth page of the Borgian Manuscript, may not allude in some manner to the fourth verse of the nineteenth chapter of Exodus?

    "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto myself." It is remarkable that in these Mexican paintings the faces of many of the figures are black, whilst the nails on the hands and feet of others are long, and more like the talons of a bird than human nails, and that the visage of Quecalcoatle is frequently painted in a deformed manner. Even here Jewish absurdity and the perversion of ancient prophecy seem to betray themselves. The Jews esteemed long nails as the symbol of the divine ordinance, "Be ye fruitful and multiply," and it is therefore probable from this as well as from other reasons which are enumerated in the following passage (taken from a little work treating of their religion) that they would have added them to the representations of their heroic or mythological personages: "They look so attentively to their nails because of their great fruitfulness."

    And, as regards the deforming of features, which the Mexicans attributed to Quecalcoatle, the words of Isaiah, in the fifty-second chapter of his prophecies, which the Jews believed referred to their Messiah, and which they might have


    understood in an exaggerated sense, must also be recollected:

    "Behold my servant shall deal prudently. * * * He hath no form or comeliness."

    Notwithstanding the reserve which the early Spanish historians imposed upon themselves in treating of Quecalcoatle (whose name in fact would scarcely have been handed down to us but for the preservation of a chance copy of the first edition of the "Indian Monarchy" of Torquemada, from which a second edition was printed at Madrid in 1723), we are still enabled to give some description of his busts, some of which it may be supposed were very deformed, and others much less so."

    (Text of Plate III and IV.)

    "The second place in which these unfortunate people believed was hell, which they affirmed that the souls of those who died by the hands of justice, or by disease, or by any other kind of natural or violent death, were conducted, the souls of those who perished in war excepted, which passed to heaven. In this region of hell they supposed that there existed fair gods."

    168. Both a fan and sickle were sometimes placed in the hand of Quecalcoatle, as it would appear from busts which is preserved in the British Museum, the countenance of which is mutilated, though not deformed, and the curve of the sickle in the right hand broken off. Reasons are given in another place for assuming the bust to be of Quecalcoatle, but it would seem that the Mexican artist intended to give an expression of youth and beauty to the face, nor is it surprising that the image should not always have been sculptured with a deformed visage, according to the description of Torquemada:

    "Since the same motives which induced some Spanish writers, whilst openly reviling the other Mexican gods, to speak almost in respectful terms of Quecalcoatle, namely: a regard to the excellence of his moral precepts, and the exemplary conduct of his life, might have inclined the Mexicans occasionally to represent him with a sweet and benignant expression of countenance."

    Torquemada, in the sixth book of his "Indian Monarchy," thus eulogizes Quecalcoatle:

    "In truth the dominion of Quetzalcohuatle was sweet, and he exacted no service from them but easy and light things, instructing them in such things as were virtuous, and prohibiting such as were wicked, evil and injurious, teaching them likewise to abhor them."

    169. Mons. Dupaix discovered in the province of Tlascala, which bordered on Cholula, a bust which so exactly corresponds with the description given by Herrera of the image of Quecalcoatle, which was adored in that city, that we can not refrain from referring to the Fifty-third Plate of the Second Part of hie Monuments, which contains a representation of it under the number 123. The bird's face was perhaps only a mark or visor, symbolical of his absence: or it might have been the bill of the Huicuan and have alluded to the proper name Hurtzelopuchtle, and to the bird which invited the Mexicans out of the bush to set out on their pilgrimage from Aztalan [sic].

    It deserves to be remarked, that both of the hands of the figure seem to be pierced with nails, the heads of which are invisible. The tradition current in Yucatan, that Kopuco crowned Bacah with thorns appears also to be preserved in its head-dress. A crown of thorns of another fashion may perhaps be recognized on the head of another piece of ancient sculpture discovered by Mons. Dupaix. This figure, in relievo, is represented in the Ninth Plate of his Monuments, Part Third, number Thirteen: and the crown seems to be formed out of the thorny leaves of the aloe.

    If such testimony as that of Las Casas, Kemesal, De Salcar and Torquemada. may, from the importance of the subject, still stand in need of further corroboration before belief can be yielded to the traditions of Yucatan, which even went so far as to affirm that Bacab had been crucified by Eopueo, it is afforded by the discovery of which Mons. Dupaix made of a cross in a temple, when investigating the ruins of the ancient city of Palenque, which was situated on the borders of Yucatan.

    Although, in anticipation of the objection which some persons may be inclined to make, that the finding of a cross on the confines of Yucatan was no proof that the people of that province believed, as a matter of faith, in the crucifixion of


    an individual, we shall insert a passage from Cogulludo's History of Yucatan, which is very remarkable, as the cross there mentioned had the image of a person crucified sculptured upon it:

    "In the middle of the court formed by the cloister of our convent in the city of Merida, there is a stone cross, the thickness of the four several sides of which is about six inches, and their length a yard; its length has evidently been diminished by a part having been broken off. The figure of a saint crucified, of about half a yard in length, is sculptured in mezzo-relievo on the same stone. It is understood to have been one of the crosses which in the times of Indian paganism were discovered in the island of Cozeumel. Many years ago it stood in the upper part of the church; and it is reported that, from the period when it was placed there, scarcely any flashes of lightning struck the convent, although it had often been struck before that time. Being blown down in a storm they carried it into the lower body of the church where we saw it for some time, leaning against the foot of the altar of the Chapel of Captain Alonzo Carrio de Valdes, with little decency. The reverend father, brother Antonio Ramirez, on being elected Provincial, both on account of that which was rumored of this cross, and in order to place it in a more decent situation, caused a foundation composed of stones to be constructed for it with steps up to it, and a pillar in the middle of sufficient height, on the top of which was fixed the cross in an upright position, with the image of the crucified saint turned toward the east, its extremities being gilt and worked with beautiful mouldings. With the general consent of both ecclesiastics and of the laity, and in order not to affirm aught which was not entirely certain, an inscription was placed on the back of it which says:

    "This cross was found in Cozeumel without tradition."

    176. Botturini says: "No pagan nation refers primitive events to fixed dates like the Indians. They recount to us the history of the creation of the world, of the deluge, of the confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel, of the epochs and ages of the world, of their ancestors' long travels in Asia, with the years precisely distinguished by their corresponding characters.

    They record in the year of Seven Rabbit« the great eclipse which happened at the crucifixion of Christ our Lord; and the first Indians who were converted to Christianity, who at that time were perfectly well acquainted with their own chronology, and applied themselves with the utmost diligence to ours, have transmitted to us the information that from the creation of the world to the happy nativity of Christ, five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine years have elapsed, which is the opinion or computation of the Seventy."

    175. "These miserable men hence invented certain dreams, the result of their own blindness, relating that a god of the name of Citlallatonae, which is the sign seen in heaven, called St. James, or the milky-way, sent an embassador from heaven on an embassy to a virgin of Tulan, called Chimalman [which name signifies a shield] who had two sisters, one named Tzochitlique and the other Conetlique; and that the three being alone in the house, two of them perceiving the embassador of heaven died of fright, Chimalman remaining alive, to whom the embassador announced that it was the will of God that she should conceive, a son; and having delivered to her the message he rose and left the house. As soon as he had left it she conceived a son, without connection with man, who was called Quetzalcoatle, who they say is the God of the air, and his temples are round, in the manner of churches, although to that time such was not the fashion of their temples. He was the inventor of temples of this form, as we shall show. He it was, as they say, who causes hurricanes, and in my opinion was the god whom they called Citoladuali, and it was he who destroyed the world by winds.

    "This painting here is wanting, together with another, which represented that as soon as this son of the virgin was born he possessed the use of reason. The son of the virgin, Topilcin Quecalcoatle, knowing that the vices of men wore necessarily the cause of the troubles of the world, determined on asking the goddess Chalchenitlican, who is she who remained after the deluge with the man in the tree and is the mother of the god Tlaloque. whom they have made goddess of water, that they might obtain rain, as they stood in need of it, etc."


    (Note.) "The painting seems to represent the embassador or angel announcing the message to Suchiquecal, who was Eve, or the woman whose seed was to bruise the serpent's head, which prediction seems to be alluded to in the seventy-fourth page of the Lesser Vatican Manuscript, which immediately follows another, representing Quecalcoatle slaying the beast whose power was in its tail.

    "The Mexican religion was peculiarly austere, unlike the religions of antiquity, and those which still prevail in Asia, with the exception of the Lamaism of Thibet, which some learned men have supposed to be an offshoot of Nestorianism, it permitted not even the slightest levity, in the service of the gods, cruel and sanguinary in the extreme, it notwithstanding professed to inculcate rigid morality.

    178. "It is a remarkable fact, that the brazen altar in Leviticus, an engraving of which may be found in the old editions of Prideaux's Connection, is a model in miniature of the Mexican Teocallis; they are quite alike, except that the ascent to the Teocallis was by stairs consisting of steps and the ascent to the brazen altar was by an inclined plane."

    183. (Plate XV Codex Vaticanas.) "Of Quecalcoatle they related that proceeding on his journey he arrived at the Red Sea, which is here painted, and which they named Tlapallan, and that entering into it they saw no more of him, nor knew what became of him, except that they say that he desired them at the time of his departure to restrain their grief and to expect his return, which would take place at the appointed time. And accordingly they expect him even to the present time; and when the Spaniards came to this country they believed that it was he; and even at a later period, in the year 1550."

    186. Capotecus revolted, they alleged as the cause of their insurrection, the report of their god, which was to redeem them, had already come. Quecalcoatle was born on the sign which they call Ove Cane; and the year to which the Spaniards arrived commenced on the sign of Ove Cane, according to their ancient computation; whence the occasion arose of their believing that the Spaniards were their god, because they said that he had foretold that a bearded nation would arrive in those countries who would subject them; and they did not comprehend how the devil, who invented all that, could know what was at the future time to happen; because there was no grounds for inferring this, except that as wars have been so common and natural amongst men, from the beginning of the time, when sin began, and mankind are so ambitious of usurping the dominion of others, he might have chosen to utter this prediction in order that when any other nation should subject them he might take credit to himself, saying, that long ago he had prophesied it to them; and so in fact it happened: they adored him as a god, as will be seen, for they believed it certain that he had ascended into heaven and was that star which is visible at the north of the sun before the break of day, which is the planet Venus; and they represented him accordingly as has already been shown."

    [[The Book of Mormon contains prophecies of Columbus and Europeans coming here and subduing the nations. -- Ed.]]

    186. (Cortez letters to Charles V.) "All, especially Montezuma, replied, that they had already informed me that they were not the native race of the country; that a long period of time had elapsed since their forefathers came to settle it, and that they could easily believe that they might have erred in some matters of their former faith since it was so long since they had quitted their mother country: and that I, as having more recently arrived, should be better acquainted with the things which they ought to yield their faith to and believe, than they themselves: and that I should tell them these things and cause them to comprehend them, and that they would do that which I desired them, which was better."

    187. "An infinite variety of facts connected with the customs, religions rites and ceremonies, and opinions of the Indians, are utterly inexplicable, except on the supposition that America has in early ages been colonized by Christians: and not a few others are difficult to be accounted for, unless we suppose that colonies had proceeded to that continent from Egypt. In the first class may be reckoned the Christian doctrines and traditions discovered in America; in the second the discovery of Greek crosses in many provinces of New Spain, and of brass money, in the shape of a cross.


    as of the Greek letter (T). The art of embalming, which in Peru was carried to the highest perfection; the pyramidal shape of the Mexican Teocallis, some of which, for example the temple of Cholula, and that discovered by Mons. Dupaix among the ruins of the city of Palenque, were like Egyptian pyramids, hollow in the interior; the use of the temazcalli, or vapor bath, which was very general in New Spain; but above all, the invention of the Mexican calendar, which nearly agreeing with the Coptic, especially in an extraordinary intercalation of a month every four years displayed an exact knowledge of the duration of the year, which it is impossible to suppose their own proficiency in astronomy enabled the Mexicans to attain, and for which the Copts were indebted to the ancient Egyptians. The Mexican calendar seems likewise to have borrowed certain numbers which it employed from the Coptic; four was a number in high esteem in the Abyssinian Church, because it was that of the Evangelists, five was the day of fasting amongst the primitive Christians, which the Copts esteemed with or more than the Sabbath. The number eight was also much prized, because the ceremony of circumcision took place on the eighth day after the birth of the infant. That this Jewish rite adopted by the Copts, was performed originally with a stone knife, as is evident from the twenty-fifth verse of the fourth chapter of Exodus, and from other passages of Scripture, which circumstance induced Garcia to suppose that the reason why the tecpatl, or flint knife, was held in much reverence by the Mexicans, was on account of its connection with circumcision. And Torquemada says that the Totonacas, a numerous nation of New Spain inhabiting a mountainous country to the east of Mexico, near the sea-coast, circumcised their children on the twenty-eighth or twenty-ninth day after their birth, and that the high priest, or the priest next to him in rank, performed the ceremony with a stone knife. It deserves also to be remarked, that in the Mexican calendar the number eight, in connection with the sign of the flint, was much esteemed."

    To be continued.

    Vol. II.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, July, 1889.                                  No. 7.

            [p. 310]




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    ... The conclusions of the celebrated Josiah Priest on the subject of the Asiatic origin of the American Indians, and about their tradition of the deluge, the confusion of languages, etc., are in agreement with many other writers. He says that the authors of the great works found in America seem to have retained the ideas received from their fathers at the time of the building of Babel better than did many of the nations of Europe. Upon this he writes as follows:

    "This is consented to on all hands, and even contended for by the historian, Humboldt. In order to show the reader the propriety of believing that a colony, very soon after the confusion of the language of mankind, found their way to what is now called America, we give the tradition of the Aztec nation, who once inhabited Aztalan [sic]. The tradition commences with ?? account of the Deluge, as they had preserved it in books made of the buffalo and deer skin, on which account there is more certainty than if it had been preserved by mere oral tradition, handed down from father to son. They begin by painting, or, as we would say, by telling us that Noah, whom they call Tezpi, saved himself with his wife, whom they call Xoehimietzal, on a raft or canoe. The raft or canoe rested on or at the foot of a mountain which they call Colhuacan. The men born after this deluge were born dumb. A dove from the top of a tree distributes languages to them in the form of olive leaves. They say that on this raft besides Tezpi and his wife were several children, and animals, with grain, the preservation of which was important to mankind." -- Priest's American Antiquities, pp. 199, 200.

    Mr. Priest asks the question if the raft is not the ark, the mountain Ararat, and if the men said to have been born dumb do not well represent the confusion of tongues, equal to being dumb, because of their being unable to converse with each other. And if the dove and the olive leaves, the children, the animals, the grain preserved, are not all in harmony, to a great degree. with the Biblical account of the ark, the deluge, and the tower, and certainly one must admit that they are.

    Mr. Priest continues upon the same point: "When the Great Spirit ordered the waters to withdraw, Tezpi sent out from his raft a vulture, which never returned, on account of the great number of dead carcasses it found to feed upon. Is not this the raven of Noah, which did not return when it was sent out the second time. and for the very reason here assigned by the Mexicans? Tezpi sent other birds, one a humming bird. This bird alone returned, holding in its beak a branch covered with leaves. Is not this the dove? Tezpi, seeing that fresh verdure now clothed the earth, quitted his raft, near the mountain Colhuacan. They say that the tongues which the dove gave to mankind were infinitely varied, and when they received them they immediately dispersed. But among them were fifteen heads or chiefs of families which were permitted to speak the same language, and these were the Toltecs, the Aculhncans and the Aztecs, who embodied themselves together and traveled they knew not where, but at length arrived in the country of Aztalan, or lake country." -- American Antiquities, p. 200.

    We note here a wonderful harmony between the Aztec tradition and the history given in the Book of Mormon concerning; the language of the people that left the tower of Babel for America after the confusion of tongues; for they agree in the fact that this first colony retained the use of the original language of the earth, that which was spoken before the rebellion at Babel and its consequences. We read as follows: "Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people. * * * And the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord and the


    Lord did have compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared and his brother. * * * And the Lord had compassion also upon their friends and their families, and they were not confounded. * * * And they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges in which they crossed many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord. And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop in the wilderness beyond the sea, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands." -- Book of Mormon, pp. 301, 302, 303.

    Thus we see that the book that was written by the people of olden time who came upon this continent, and whose words were hid up to come forth in latter days, is fully testified to by the tradition kept by their descendants, as certified to by the wise of our day who, have for many years, made these subjects their study.

    Mr. Priest says that he obtained knowledge of the tradition, and also the engraving of which he speaks, from Baron Von Humboldt's volume of "Researches in Mexico," and that Humboldt himself found it painted on a manuscript book, one made of the leaves of some tree that were suitable for the purpose, after the manner of the ancient nations of Asia, around the Mediterranean. He relates how Humboldt found many other "painted representations" on the native books and on the prepared skins of animals, delineating the leading circumstances and history of the fall of man, of the serpent deceiving the woman, and of the murder of Abel by Cain.

    In writing further of this historical picture and its valuable testimony, and of the group of men receiving their different languages from the dove, before their scattering abroad, -- Mr. Priest says:

    "The purity of this tradition is evidence of two things: 1. That the book of Genesis, as written by Moses, is not, as some have imagined, a cunningly devised fable; because these Indians can not be accused of Christian priestcraft, nor yet of Jewish priestcraft, their religion being solely of another cast, wholly idolatrous. 2. That the earlier nations came directly over after the confusion of the ancient language and the dispersion, on which account its purity has been preserved more than among the wandering tribes of the old continents.

    "There is another particular in this group of dumb human beings that is worthy of notice, which is that neither their countenances nor the form of their person agree at all with the countenances or formation or the common Indians. * * * If so then it is evident that the Indians were not the first people who found their way to this country.

    "Among these ancient nations are found many more traditions corresponding with the accounts given bv Moses respecting the creation, the fall of man bv means of a serpent, the murder of Abel by his brother, etc., all of which are denoted in their paintings, as found by the earlier travelers among them." -- American Antiquities. pp. 202, 203.

    Another tribe, the Mayas, are thus spoken of by H. H. Bancroft:

    "Votan * * * was the supposed founder of the Maya civilization. He is said to have been a descendant of Noah, and to have assisted at the building of the tower of Babel. After the confusion of tongues he led a portion of the dispersed people to America." -- Native Races, vol. 5, page 27.

    Quotations to the same effect might be made from Delafield, Donnelly, and other writers, but it seems unnecessary. However it would be well to give some of the views entertained about the ancients of America having been of Asiatic origin, and, moreover, that they were acquainted with the manners, customs and arts of the Egyptians, which would also agree with the Book of Mormon in its account that the colony that came over under Lehi were Jews from Jerusalem. For the Jews had been acquainted with Egypt and her people (or over a thousand years before Lehi emigrated, and doubtless borrowed some of the peculiarities of that people. And a colony of them in a new country, and dividing out into various parts of it, were more likely to make use of some of those peculiarities of architecture and sculpture than were those living in an old community. Bancroft says:

    "The theory that America was peopled, or at least partly peopled, from Kastern Asia, is certainly more widely advocated than any other, and, in my opinion, is moreover based upon a more reasonable and logical foundation than any other." -- Native Races, vol. 5, page 30.

    On the same page Bancroft quotes the learned Humboldt as saying: "It appears most evident to me that the monuments, methods of computing time, systems of cosmogony, and many myths of America, offer striking analogies with the ideas of eastern Asia, analogies which indicate an ancient communication."

    Albert Gallatin writes as follows, as quoted by Bancroft: "I can not see any possible reason that should have prevented those, who after the dispersion of mankind towards the east and northeast, from having reached the extremities of Asia and passed over to America, within five hundred years after the flood. However small may have been the number of those first emigrants, an equal number of years would have been more than sufficient to occupy, in their own way, every part of America." -- Transactions of the American Ethnological Society, vol. 1, page 179.

    While Bancroft himself does not believe that the original Americans originated in Egypt, as some scientists have made claim, but which is contrary to the Book of Mormon, as already shown), still he admits as follows: "Resemblances have been found between the calendar systems of Egypt and America, based chiefly upon the length and division of the year, and the number of intercalary and complementary days." -- Native Races, vol. 5, page 62.

    Mr. John Delafield in his celebrated work on antiquities says:

    "We find one feature common to the architectural genius of these races, which is to be discovered nowhere else. We allude to the surprising mechanical power that they must have employed in constructing their works of massive masonry, such as the present race of man has attempted in vain to move. Travelers in Egypt are filled with amazement at the stupendous blocks of stone with which the pyramids, temples,


    and tombs are constructed. In Peru the same is observed. * * * Another feature presents great analogy: Their buildings, particularly their sacred houses, were covered with hieroglyphics. Each race, Egyptian, Mexican and Peruvian, recorded the deeds of their gods upon the walls of their temples. Nay, science was also sculptured thereon in both countries, in the form of zodiacs and planispheres, corresponding even in signs. In the sanctuaries of Palenque are found sculptured representations of idols which resemble the most ancient gods, both of Egypt and Syria. Planispheres and zodiacs exist which exhibit a superior astronomical and chronological system to that which was possessed by the Egyptians." -- Antiquities of America, pp. 59, 60.

    In relation to the harmony found to exist between the calendar systems of the Egyptians and the Ancient Mexicans and Peruvians, already referred to by Bancroft, we gather the following from Dalafield. It is a portion of a letter from Mons. Jomard. a scientist who had carefully investigated the astronomical computations and calendar system of the ancient Egyptians. He thus wrote to Delafield:

    "I have also recognized in your memoir on the division of time among the Mexican nations, compared with those of Asia, some very striking analogies between the Toltec characters and institutions observed on the banks of the Nile. Among these analogies there is one which is worthy of attention. It is the use of the vague year of three hundred and sixty-five days (composed of equal months and of five complementary days equally employed at Thebes and in Mexico, a distance of three thousand leagues). It is true that the Egyptians had no intercalation, while the Mexicans intercalated thirteen days every fifty-two years. * * * In reality the intercalation of the Mexicans comes to the same thing as that of the Julian calendar, which is one day in four years, and, consequently supposes the duration of the year to be three hundred and sixty-five days and six hours. Now it is remarkable that the same solar year of three hundred and sixty-five days, six hours, adopted by nations s? different * * * relates to a real astronomical year, and belongs peculiarly to the Egyptians. * * * It would be superfluous to examine how the Mexicans obtained this knowledge. Such a problem would not be soon solved. But the fact of the intercalation of thirteen days every cycle, that is, the use of a year of three hundred and sixty-five days and a quarter, is a proof that it was either borrowed from the Egyptians, or that they had a common origin." -- Delafield's American Antiquities, pp. 52, 53.




    (Page 192. Plate 16. Codex Vaticanus.)

    This they say is the representation of that tower which we have already mentioned that they built in Cholula, which the old men say was constructed in this manner. Those Indians who were under that chief who had escaped from the deluge, name[d] Xllua, made bricks out of a mountain in Tlaltnanalco called Cocotle; and from Tlaltnanalco to Cholula, Indians were placed to pass the bricks and cement from hand to hand, and thus they built this tower, that was named Tulan Culula, which was so high that it appeared to reach heaven. And being content, since it seemed to them that they had a place to escape from the deluge, if it should again happen, and from whence they might ascend to heaven, -- a chalcuitl, which is a precious stone, fell from thence and struck it to the ground." * * *

    (Page 200. Plate 20.)

    "We certainly ought to deplore the blindness of this people and the cunning of Satan, who in this manner has persevered in counterfeiting the Scriptures; since he communicated to these poor people the knowledge of the temptation of our mother Eve, and of the inconsistency of our father Adam, under the fiction of this woman, who is turned toward her husband, as God declared to our mother Eve, (and she shall desire towards her husband), whom they call Isnextli, who is the same as Eve, who is always weeping, with her eyes dim with ashes, with a rose in her hand, emblematical of her grief, being in consequence of having gathered it. And accordingly they say that she can not behold heaven; wherefore in recollection of the happiness which, on that account, she lost, they celebrate a fast every eight years, on account of this calamitous event; the fast was on bread and water. They fasted during the eight signs preceding the entrance of the rose, and when that sign arrived they prepared themselves for the celebration of the festival. They affirm that every series of five days comprised in this calendar was dedicated to this fall, because on such a day Eve sinned. They were accordingly enjoined to bathe themselves on this night, in order to escape disease."

    204. "I can not omit to remark, that one of the arguments that persuades me that this nation descends from the Hebrew, is to see what knowledge they have of the Book of Genesis; for, although the devil has succeeded in mixing up so many errors, his lies are still in such a course of conformity with Catholic truth, that there is reason to think that they have had acquaintance with this book. Since this and the other four books which follow, which are the Pentateuch, were written by Moses, and were only found amongst the Hebrew people, there is very strong ground for supposing that this nation proceeds from them. The manner in which they came to this country is unknown. Further proof of this fact may be found in their frequent sacrifices and ceremonies; one amongst others was * * *

    The Jews considered the brazen serpent which Moses lifted up in the wilderness as a famous type of the coming of their future Messiah. And since the Mexicans were so well acquainted with the early history of the Pentateuch, and with the signs and wonders which Moses performed in Egypt, by lifting up his rod, which became a serpent, it is probable that they were not ignorant of the history of the brazen serpent, and that Quecalcoatle (which proper name


    signifies the feathered serpent) was so named after the memorable prodigy of the serpent in the wilderness, the feathers perhaps alluding to the rabbinical tradition that the fiery serpents which bit the children of Israel, and which God sent suddenly against them, were of a winged species. Representations of the lifting up of serpents frequently occur in Mexican paintings, and the plagues which Moses called down upon the Egyptians by lifting up his rod, which became a serpent, are evidently referred to in the eleventh and twelfth pages of the Borgian Manuscript. An allusion to the passage of the Red Sea, the waters of which rolled back to allow the children of Israel pass, and were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left, as it is said in the twenty-second verse of the fourteenth chapter of Exodus, seems also to be contained on the seventy-first page of the lesser Vatican Manuscript; and the destruction of Pharaoh and his host, and the thanksgiving of Moses may perhaps be signified by the figure on the left, on the same page, of a man falling into a pit or gulf, and by the hand on the right, stretched out to receive an offering."

    255. "The Toltecas were most probably Jews who had colonized America in very early ages, bringing along with them the knowledge of various arts, and instructing the Indians in them, but especially propagating among them their own religious doctrines, rites, ceremonies, and superstitions, which seemed to have pervaded the New World from one end of that vast continent to the other, and even to have extended to some of the islands in the Pacific Ocean; for we read in Captain Cook's voyages of the rite of tatooing, or consecration, or putting apart, or making unclean for a definite period of time, both animate and inanimate things; and also that the natives of some of those islands, which were probably peopled from America, practiced circumcision."

    290. -- BEARDED TRIBE

    "But still, the account of a bearded tribe amongst the Indians inhabiting a mountainous district of the Capotecas [sic - Zapotecs?), who were designated by the Spaniards Mexis or Mexies [sic - Miztecas?), and who, according to their report, exceeded all Indian tribes in cannibalism, and were cruelly exterminated by them, (principally with the assistance of mastiffs), must excite our suspicion as to whether they might not have been Jews. Herrera says: 'In the province of the Mixies, that has been already mentioned, which is twenty leagues distant from Guaxaca, the people are of a good stature, have long beards, (which is an uncommon thing in these parts), and their language is very thick in pronunciation, like that of the Germans.'"

    From a painting which occurs on the eighty-seventh page of the Codex Vaticanus, it would appear that the Capoticas were a bearded people, as well as the Mexes. The two nations bordered on each other, and alliances might sometimes have taken place between them.

    "If the Mexes were Jews, it is probable that their ancestors constructed the palaces of Mictlan and other splendid monuments in the territory of the Capotions, which M. Dupaix is not inclined to attribute to the art and industry of the latter people. That the Mexes were not the barbarous people that Spanish authors describe them, is evident from the superior knowledge which they possessed of the art of Indian warfare; for, whilst the Tlaxcaltecas with an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men could scarcely preserve their independence against Montezuma, and had in fact consented to the payment of a slight tribute, as is evident from the forty-fourth plate of the collection of Mendoza, where the symbol of their state is found amongst those of the other tributary cities and nations, and is numbered twenty-three. The Mexes are said by Herrera to have resisted all the efforts of Montezuma to subdue them, although their entire population did not exceed two thousand men. Another proof of their possessing a certain degree of civilization is, that they employed historical paintings, in which they recorded the brave actions of their country men."

    296. "It is certainly surprising to see how nearly the Jewish costume is imitated in some of the Mexican paintings. In the twelfth page of that manuscript of the Bodlean [sic] library, which seems to represent the migration of the Mexicans, or some other subject connected with a descent into hell, and which is unfortunately only a fragment of a larger painting, from which a part has evidently been torn off, the figure occurs of a Mexican priest in a dress very like that of the high priest of


    the Jews; the linen ephod, the breastplate, and the border of pomegranates, described in Exodus, are there in a manner represented. The golden bells are wanting, but those ornaments will be found in the valuable painting preserved in the Royal library of Dresden, attached to the dress of several of the figures, to which they are appended by certain hemmings or fringes, as was ordained in the twenty-eighth of Exodus, in the case of the dress of the Jewish high priest, 'And beneath,' &c. Was it the fruit or the flower of the pomegranate, we ask, that was worked on the garments of the priest? The fruit appears to be imitated on the dress of the priest in the Oxford manuscript; but the flower, which may be that of the pomegranate, occurs as a symbol in the representations of several of the Mexican temples. "It has boon remarked above that the dress of the Mexican priest bears only a partial resemblance to that of the Jewish high priest; for it will be immediately perceived that besides the golden bells, the girdle and mitre are wanting. Gomara has observed, that a girdle sometimes formed a part of the Indian costume; and in the great variety of sacerdotal habits in use among the Indians, there is no difficulty in supposing, that what on one occasion might have been worn, might on another have been omitted. The Archbishop of Saint Domingo, Augustine Duvila, whose testimony must have great weight in a question of this kind, has also affirmed that the sacred vestments discovered in Tamaculapa were very like those worn by the high priests of the Jews. The head of the above mentioned priest seems to be ornamented with ribbons interwoven with the hair; but the Mexican tecutli, or crown, which bore a much closer resemblance to the head dress of Aaron than the Episcopal mitre, is represented in the same page of the Oxford Manuscript on the head of another figure. It also frequently occurs amongst the paintings of the collection of Mendoza, and is there always painted blue. This crown, or mitre, was worn by Mexican kings, and likewise by the judges; the former has it richly adorned with plates of gold. Those kings united, it is to be supposed, pontifical with regal dignity, although the ostensible head of the Mexican religion was the high priest, who at his consecration to the office was anointed with oil of olli, mixed with blood. Moses declares in the sixth verse of the twenty-ninth chapter of Exodus, that he was commanded by God to "Put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre;" and in the twentieth verse to "Kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about."

    "It is evident, from the passage in Exodus which has been quoted, that the holy crown was distinct from the mitre, &c. * * * Three things deserve to be mentioned of the Mexican mitre. It frequently consisted of a plate of gold on a blue ground; it was tied to the head by a lace or ribbon: and it was peculiarly worn on the forehead of the king or priest. In Peru, a tassel hanging from the bead of the Inca was the symbol of regal dignity; but some of the Incas wore a crown more nearly resembling an Episcopal mitre, if the portraits of those monarchs prefixed by Herrera to hie Decade are not ideal."

    298. "The Egyptian priests, some of whose customs the Jews seem to have imitated, notwithstanding the hatred they bore to the Egyptian nation, wore also, when discharging the functions of supreme judicature, a breast-plate with the image of Truth engraved upon it, as Diodorus Siculus testifies."

    "The figures in the Oxford Manuscript before referred to, are in the original paintings large and coarsely executed, with little apparent regard to minute details; it is impossible, therefore, to decide whether the breast-plate on the priest represented on the twelfth page, is square or round, or whether it contains one or more precious stones. The breast-plates worn by the Mexican priests appear to have been of different shapes and sizes, and to have been set with various numbers of precious stones. In the thirtieth page of the original Mexican painting, preserved in the library of the Vatican, the figure of a priest or some other personage occurs, with a round breast-plate attached by a chain to his neck; and near him appears to be two or three breast-plates


    one of a square and the other of a round form.

    "From the forty-second verse of the twenty-eighth chapter of Exodus: "And thou shall make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness: from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach." It would appear that the mantle, worn from a sense of decency by the Mexican priests round their loins, very much resembled the breeches which Moses made for Aaron and his sons. It says in the thirty-seventh and following verses of the fifteenth chapter of Numbers: "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them make fringes in the borders of their garments, throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue; and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them." It was to be expected that so solemn an injunction to the Jews to wear fringes on the borders of their garments would be scrupulously obeyed throughout their generations; accordingly we find in the fifth verse of the twenty-third chapter of St. Matthew: "But all their works they do for to be seen of men; they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments."

    Reference to the eighth page of the Oxford Manuscript, before mentioned, will show that it was a Mexican custom also to wear fringes and borders fastened to the apparel; and an examination of any of the Mexican paintings contained in these volumes will fully establish the fact. The Oxford Manuscript, which has been so often referred to, it has already been observed, is incomplete. This original Mexican painting is drawn in a very coarse style, on paper of the metl, and unlike other Mexican paintings, it rolls up instead of being folded; some of the figures are uncolored, and the subject is probably historical or mythological, and it has been supposed connected with the descent of some fabulous personage into hell, since in a Christian calendar, that is to say, a Mexican painting explanatory of the rites and doctrines of Christianity, which we have had the opportunity of seeing, hell is always represented by the symbol of the upper jaw of a serpent, and the Jewish notion of descending as it were into a pit, seems also to be preserved.

    (Note). -- It is probable that the lower orders amongst the Jewish populace dressed exactly like the Mexicans, wearing simply a mantle girded round their loins, which slight covering was even dispensed with by their prophets when they prophesied (Isa. 20; 1 Sam. 19). To the Greeks this manner of prophesying would have appeared as extraordinary and unbecoming, as the hallowed cave from which the Delphic oracles were delivered, or the tripod and the inspired priestess, were in the eyes of the early fathers. The oracles had in fact sunk into contempt for some time before the Christian era; since their predictions having so often failed, mankind began at last to suspect them; but that stress which some theologians lay on the cessation of oracles, which, like the cessation of sacrifices amongst the Jews, they say was occasioned by the coming of the Messiah; appealing moreover to a treatise of Plutarch on the subject, to prove that the oracles did cease about that time, -- is unnecessary, since what becomes of their argument, if it can be proved that oracles existed in the New World long after the establishment of Christianity, and that the Jews there revived their old sacrifices? With respect to oracular inspiration, considered as a long prevailing belief of some of the greatest and wisest nations of antiquity, it may be observed that it was not so absurd as many Christian writers have represented it. For the principle having been admitted, that men might occasionally receive divine warnings of events likely to compromise great interests, the idea which suggested itself to the ancients, of establishing oracles, that on the one hand they might not appear to neglect the admonitions of heaven, nor on the other to suffer the populace to be deluded by false prophets, such as were frequent among the Jews -- was founded on policy and a regard for the public good."

    313. "In the thirty-ninth page of the Mexican paintings, now in Pesth, Hungary, a curious representation of Quecalcoatle, as it would appear, occurs in the shape of a serpent fixed to a pole."

    "Mention has already been made of ablutions as common amongst the Mexicans; but the confession which was customary among the Peruvians is still more


    surprising. Acosta, in the twenty-fifth chapter of the fifth chapter of the fifth volume of his history, describes it."

    302. "We are induced from all these considerations to believe that the Peruvian sacrifices of atonement and burnt offerings were originally instituted amongst the Indians by the Jews; and that time had corrupted them, as likewise the feast of the passover, into a mass of superstitions."

    To be continued.

    Vol. II.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, August, 1889.                                  No. 8.

            [p. 357]



    313. -- "The following chapter, which is taken from the Third Book of Garcías: Origin of the Judeans, we here insert in the original Spanish, with the translation annexed, both because it contains many scriptural authorities to prove that the Jews in ancient times did frequently profane religion by the celebration of human sacrifices and likenesses, because Garcia inclines to the opinion that their descendants introduced that shocking custom into Peru. This chapter is entitled, Como los Judeas; los Indias, le curon sacrificia, de Nwnos. * * * (See 2 Kings 17th).' "And they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to devils. * * * And they asked the blood of the innocent.'"

    Manasseh passed his sons through the fire; Achaz sacrificed a son.

    "It can not be doubted that human sacrifices were common throughout Palestine. And if the Holy Land was polluted with these abominable rites, which the Jews are said to have learned from their neighbors, the Canaanites, where is the difficulty in supposing that in after ages they wore transplanted to American soil by their descendants. * * * It is a very remarkable fact that the Indians were accustomed to pass their sons through the fire as a kind of baptism. * * * "

    420. -- "It deserves to be remarked that as amongst the Jews certain cities were appointed as cities of refuge, by which criminals might fly and escape the punishment of the law; so amongst the Mexicans and amongst most of the Indian States, there were appointed places of refuge to which culprits might fly and claim the rights of the sanctuary, but that murderers could avail themselves of this privilege, as anciently was the case in Christendom, is neither probable nor asserted by any Spanish historian. The places of refuge amongst the Indians were the palaces of kings, named by the Mexicans tecpan; and wherever there was a place, there it may be supposed was a city of refuge likewise. But it may also be imagined, although it is not so expressly stated by Spanish writers, that the Mexican teocalli, especially the greater temples of Mexico, were places of refuge, and that the city of Cholula was a place of refuge."

    326. -- "The reflection that human sacrifices were common among the Jews at one period of their history, as among the Mexicans and Peruvians, must give rise to grave reflections. * * *"

    338. -- "What shall we say when we find * * * that the Indians of New Spain did expect a Messiah, whom they even named Mexi, which name exactly resembles the Hebrew, whose advent they expected in the year of the Cane, or the year of the Lord. Although Cortex is himself silent on the subject, Torquemada has recorded in the thirteenth and fifteenth chapters of the Fourth Book of his 'Indian Monarchy,' the curious fact, that when the Spanish general arrived on the coast of New Spain, he was not only taken by the Mexicans for their Messiah, but actually received their adorations in that character, seated on a throne erected for that purpose on the deck of his ship. To this belief of the Mexicans Torquemadais inclined to attribute the rapid progress of the Spanish arms, as the necessary consequence of the general commotion into which their empire was thrown by the rumor everywhere circulated that the Messiah had come to take possession of his kingdom."

    351. -- * * * Cortez kept the matter a secret, because there were those who did not wish it to be known in Europe that he had been taken for the Messiah in America. But great as was the folly of Montezuma, in thus blindly following the faith of his ancestors, it does not surpass that of some modern Jews, inhabitants of Morocco, who annually confine in a coffin a virgin of their own race, in the hope that she may give birth to their expected Messiah."

    378. Temples. -- "It is obvious that we can not compare the temple of Jerusalem, as a whole, with any of the Mexican temples, because we have not a perfect idea of all its parts. It is only from scattered passages of Scripture that we are enabled to guess that there were many features of resemblance between these different structures. That Solomon's temple was high, we learn from 2 Chron. 2:31, where it is expressly so designated: 'And this house which is high, shall be an astonishment unto every one that passeth by it, so that


    he shall say, why hath the Lord done thus unto this land and unto this house?' That it had an ascent, which was probably eight steps up to it, is incidentally mentioned in 2 Chron. 9:2-4, which contains an account of the queen of Sheba's visit to Solomon: 'And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, and the meat at his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel, and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her.'

    "A causeway is also mentioned in 1 Chron. 26: 16 as leading to the latter temple. 'To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate Shallecbeth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward.'"

    "It is impossible when reading what Mexican mythology records of the war in heaven and of the war of Zontemonque and the other spirits: of the creation of light by the word of Tonacaticutli, and of the division of the waters; of the sins of Yxtlaohuhqui, and his blindness and nakedness; of the temptation of Suchiquecal, and her disobedience in gathering roses from a tree, and the consequent misery and disgrace of herself and all her posterity, -- not to recognize Scriptural analogies. But the Mexican tradition of the Deluge is that which bears the most unequivocal marks of having been derived from a Hebrew source. This tradition records that a few persons escaped in the Ahuehuete, or ark of fir, when the earth was swallowed up by the deluge, the chief of whom was named Patecatle or Cipaquetona; that he invented the art of making wine; that Xelua, one of his descendants, at least one of those who escaped with him in the ark, was present at the building of the high tower, which the succeeding generation constructed with the view of escaping from the deluge should it again occur; that Tonacatecutle, incensed at their presumption, destroyed the tower with lightning, confounded their language and dispersed them; and that Xelua led a colony to the New World." -- ???. Antiq. tom. vi.

    409. -- (Torquemada): "Another ecclesiastic named Brother Diego de Mercado, a grave father, who has been definator of this province of the holy gospel, and one of the most exemplary men and greatest doers of penance of his time, relates, and authenticates this relation with his signature, that some three years ago, conversing with one of the Otomies, about seventy years old, respecting matters concerning our faith, the Indian told him that they in ancient times had been in possession of a book which was handed down successively from father to son in the person of the eldest, who was dedicated to the safe custody of it, and to instruct others in its doctrines. These doctrines were written in two columns, and between column and column Christ was painted crucified with a countenance of anger. They accordingly said that Lord was offended, and out of reverence would not turn even the leaves with their hands, but with a small bar which they had made for the purpose. which they kept along with the book. On the ecclesiastic's questioning the Indian as to the contents of the book and its doctrines, he was unable to give him further information, but simply replied that if the book had not been lost, he would have seen that the doctrine which he taught and preached to them and those which the book contained were the same."

    "It is so singular a fact that the Indians of Mexico and Peru should have believed with Christians in many doctrines which were held to be peculiarly and exclusively Christian, and to constitute a line of demarcation between Christianity and all other religions that it appears a convincing proof that Christianity must, in early ages, have been established in America, and that ancient communication existed between the old and the new continents at a period long antecedent to the age of Columbus."

    "In pointing out some of the leading doctrines of Christianity, the knowledge of which was likewise found amongst the Indians, it may be proper to observe that although it might be easier shown that the Indians believed in the existence of Deity, in the immortality of the soul, and in a future state of rewards and punishments; still, as these are intuitive truths which all religions teach, which all ages have believed, so inferences will be attempted to be drawn from them, since the Romans, the Greeks, the Mahometans, or the Hindoos, might by the same arguments have proved to have carried on intercourse in former ages with the Indians.


    The doctrines were peculiarly Christian, a belief in which the Indians likewise professed. However mixed up with other superstition, and from which inferences may be fairly drawn, are the following: That of a Trinity, of original sin, of repentance, of penance, of a vicarious atonement, of a future Redeemer, and of the resurrection of the body."

    "But, besides exhibiting a certain degree of conformity on these doctrinal points, they likewise seem to have been formerly acquainted with the sacraments, although superstition had lamentably perverted these ancient mysteries of the Christian church, since traces of them may be found in various rites and ceremonies common alike to the Mexicans and Peruvians."

    "Having briefly mentioned what the particular doctrines of Christianity were, which the gravest writers assert were known to the Indians before the arrival of the Spaniards in the New World, we shall proceed separately to adduce proofs to show that the above mentioned doctrines did in reality constitute a portion of the Indian faith; and, although many testimonies from different authors might be cited in confirmation of each article, it will be sufficient in this place to quote the single authorities of men like Acosta, Peter Martyr, Garcia, and Torqucmada, whose writings are highly appreciated in Spain, and are also known to the rest of Europe."

    "Several historians of the New World mention Suchiquecal, and the sin which she committed in eating the fruit of a tree."

    "The doctrine of a vicarial atonement, or of a sacrifice for sin, whereby the guilt of one party is expiated and atoned for by the innocent blood of another, was also well known to the Indians; and the question is carious, how traces of this doctrine should have been discovered in America, and how, on the supposition of these traces, affording indications of Christianity having in earlier ages existed in that continent, the doctrines of a purer faith could have thus degenerated, and in time have become mingled with such barbarous superstitions."

    "If our surprise is excited by the discoveries that the Peruvians were not altogether ignorant of the nature of a vicarial sacrifice, or atonement, it will be produced in no less degree when we discover that the inhabitants of New Spain generally believed in the coming of a future Redeemer or Savior, whose advent, as welt as the last destruction of the world, may seem to have expected at the close of the certain stated periods corresponding with the artificial cycles of time which they displayed in their calendars. That future Redeemer was Quecalcoatle. The letters of Cortez to Charles the Fifth fully prove that about the time when the Spaniards first arrived in America, the expectation was very general in New Spain of the appearance of Quecalcoatle, and for many years afterward that expectation continued; so difficult it is to root out ancient prejudices, since we are informed that the mere report of their God having come to redeem them, induced the Capotecas to revolt in the year 1550."

    "Gomora, speaking of this expectation, says: 'The Indians viewed with attention the dress, deportment and beards of the Spaniards. They were astonished at seeing the horses feed and gallop; they were terrified at the glittering of their swords, and fell to the ground at the report and noise of their artillery, thinking that heaven was bursting with thunder and lightning, and they said of the ships, that it was Quecacoatle who was coming, bringing his temples with him. since he was the God of the air who had left them, and whose return they expected.'" -- La Conquesta.

    "A most striking proof of the firmness of the faith of the Mexicans in Quecalcoatle is afforded by the relation which Cortez, in his third letter to diaries the Fifth, and Gomara in his 'Conquest of Mexico,' gave of the events which occurred during the last days of the siege of that city. Gomara, describing the state of extremity to which the Mexicans had been reduced, and their obstinacy in resisting the Spaniards to the last, says: 'Cortez being desirous of seeing how much of the city remained yet to be gained, ascended a high tower, looked around him and perceived that there was an eighth part. On the following day he returned to the attack of the remaining portion. He commanded his troops to kill none but those who defended themselves. The Mexicans lamented their unhappy fate, entreating the Spaniards to conclude their work of slaughter. And certain chiefs


    called to Cortez in a very pressing manner, who hastened to the spot, imagining that it was to treat of terms of surrender. Having placed himself by the side of a bridge, they addressed him: 'Since you are the son of the sun, why do you not finish with his course? O sun! that canst encircle the earth in so short a space of time as a single day and one night, kill us at once, and relieve us at once from such great and protracted sufferings; since we desire death, in order to go and rest with Quecalcoatle, who is expecting us.'"





    [initial pages, 361-362 not copied]

    ...the Jaredites... dwelt in Honduras, Yucatan, Chiapas and Mexico. Some believe that they were identical with the Mound-Builders of the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. And this is probable, because the book [of Mormon] shows that they went north and east from Mexico in the days of their division and decline, and scientific men hold that the Mound-Builders were a different people from the progenitors of the Indians, that they were a peculiar race throughout, and that they perished from off the earth, giving place to a later and dissimilar people, the ancestors of the various colored tribes that were found in America by the European discoverers and explorers. Some scientific men think that the Mound-Builders were the same as those in Mexico called Toltecs. This is doubtful; because the tradition of the Toltecs seems to denote that they lived and flourished after the birth of Christ; notwithstanding they, like the Jaredites, are said to have mainly vanished from sight before the Aztecs ruled in Mexico. But probably the Toltecs were a remnant of the Nephites before they gave way to the Lamanites, or were incorporated among them and by amalgamation and degeneracy lost their superiority. Of the Toltecs Charney "says

    "All that the Toltecs did was excellent, graceful and delicate. Exquisite remains of their buildings, covered with ornamentation, together with pottery, toys, jewels, and many other objects, are found, for, says Sahagun, 'they had spread everywhere. The Toltecs were" good architects and skilled in the mechanic arts. They built great cities like Tula, the ruins of which are still visible, whilst at Totonac they erected palaces of cut stone, ornamented with designs and human figures that recall their chequered history. At Cuernavaca were palaces built entirely of cut stone.' Torquemeda speaks of the Toltecs in the same terms, observing that ' they were supposed to have come from the west and to have brought with them maize, cotton, seeds, and the vegetables found in this country; that they were cunning artists in working gold, precious stones, and other curious things.' Clavigero thinks that 'they were the first nation mentioned in American traditions, and justly celebrated for their culture and mechanical skill, and that the name Toltec came to be synonymous with architect and artificer.'" -- Ancient Cities of the New World, pages 82, 83.

    The Book of Mormon shows that the first nation in American tradition were the Nephites (the Jaredites having perished only in name), and that the Nephites came originally from the west, across the sea, bringing all needful seeds with them; and that afterwards they emigrated from Peru into Yucatan, Mexico and further north. Also the scientific men of our time agree that there was an ancient emigration from South America into North America; that some came by sea; and that there were different periods of settlement and of civilization in Central America and Mexico as well as in the United States. Prof. J. D. Baldwin says concerning these matters:

    "The civilized life of the ancient Mexicans and Central Americans may have had its original beginning somewhere in South America, for they seem more closely related to the ancient South Americans. * * * I find myself more and more inclined to the opinion that the aboriginal South Americans are the oldest people on this continent." -- Ancient America, page 185.

    "It has sometimes been assumed that the Aztecs came to Mexico from the north, but there is nothing to warrant this assumption, nothing to make it probable. * * * Investigation has made it probable that the Mexicans or Aztecs went to the valley of Mexico from the South." -- Ancient America, pages 217, 218.

    Of the Mound-Builders, whether they were the Jaredites or Nephites we do nut decide. Mr. Baldwin says:

    "The facts that the settlements and works of the Mound-Builders extended through Texas and across the Rio Grande indicates very clearly their connection with the people of Mexico, and goes far to explain their origin. * * * We cannot suppose the Mound-Builders to have come from any other part of North America, for nowhere else north of the Isthmus was there any other people capable of producing such works as they left in the places where they dwelt. (In the Ohio and other valleys of the United States.) Beyond the relics of the Mound-Builders themselves no traces of the former existence of such a people have been discovered in any part of North America save Mexico and Central America. * * * It is not unreasonable to suppose that the civilized people of those regions extended their settlements and also migrated across the Gulf into the Mississippi Valley. In fact the connection of settlements bv way of Texas appears to have been unbroken from Ohio to Mexico." -- Ancient America, page 73.

    At a meeting of the 'American Science Association,' held in Chicago, August 7-11, 1868, Prof. J. W. Foster claimed that the evidences were that the ancient Peruvians "carried on commerce with distant 'arts of the continent, as relics prove." At the same meeting Dr. J. H. Gibbon said, "The hieroglyphics of Central America represent sailors, priests, and classes and kinds of men different from the native races of America."

    On page 209 of "Ancient America," Mr. Baldwin relates that in 1502, at an island off the coast of Honduras, Columbus met some Mayas, who came there "in a vessel of considerable size" from a port in Yucatan, thirty leagues distant; that it was a trading vessel, "freighted with a variety of merchandise, and that it used sails."

    Of the ancient people, and of their mounds, their pyramids, their buildings and of the materials used in them, Baldwin says:

    "Coming from Mexico and Central America they would begin their settlements on the Gulf coast, and afterwards advance gradually up the river to the Ohio valley. Their constructions were similar in design and arrangement to those found in Mexico and Central America. * * * Pyramidal platforms or foundations for important edifices appear in both regions, and are very much alike. There is evidence that they used timber for building purposes. In one of the mounds opened in the Ohio Valley two chambers were found with remains of the timber of which the walls were made, and with arched


    ceilings precisely like those in Central America, even to the overlapping stones. The resemblance is not due to chance. This method of construction was brought to the Mississippi Valley from Mexico and Central America." -- Ancient America, pp. 70, 71.

    "This ancient race seems to have occupied nearly the whole basin of the Mississippi and its tributaries, with the fertile plains along the Gulf." -- Ancient America, page 32.

    Speaking of the ancient Colhuan nation who dwelt in Yucatan, Honduras, Chiapas, etc., Baldwin remarks:

    "Some of the traditions state that the Colhuas came from the east in ships. * * * If accepted as vague historical recollections they could be explained by supposing that the civilized people called Colhuas came from South America through the Carribeun Sea, and landed in Yucatan and Tabasco. They are universally described as being the people who first established civilization and built great cities. * * * The Colhuas are connected with vague references to a long and important period in the history previous to the Toltec ages. They seem to' have been in some respects more advanced in civilization than the Toltecs. * * * Some of the principal seats of the Coliman civilization were in the region now covered by the great forest. * * * In my judgment it is not improbable that they came by sea from South America. * * * Tradition places their first settlements on the Gulf coast in Tabasco, between Tehauntepec and Yucatan." -- Ancient America, pp. 108, 199, 200.

    That the ancient dwellers in Central America and Mexico did use cement, and in a variety of ways, is attested by Charney:

    "The interior of the pyramid is composed of clay and volcanic pebbles. * * * Over this was a thick coating of stucco (cement), such as was used for dwellings. Where the pyramid is much defaced its incline is from thirty-one to thirty-six degrees, and where the coatings of cement still adhere, forty-seven degrees. * * * If by an effort of the imagination we were to try and restore this dead city (Teotihuaean), restore her dwellings, her temples and pyramids, covered with pink and white coatings, surrounded by verdant gardens, intersected by beautiful roads paved with red cement, the whole bathed in a flood of sunshine, we should realize the vivid description given by Torquemada (as follows): 'All the temples and palaces were perfectly built, whitewashed and polished outside. All the streets and squares were beautifully paved, and they looked so daintily clean as to make you almost doubt their being the work of human hands, destined for human feet. Nor am I drawing an imaginary picture; for, besides what I have been told. I myself have seen the ruins of temples, with noble trees and beautiful gardens full of fragrant flowers.' The outline of the pyramids is everywhere visible, and serves as a beacon to guide the traveler to the ruins of Teotihuacan. * * * We set out under the escort of an Indian, and soon reached an immense mound known as the Citadel, measuring over sixteen hundred and fifty feet on the sides. It is a quadrangular enclosure, consisting of four embankments some nineteen feet high and two hundred and sixty feet thick, on which are ranged fifteen pyramids. * * * On the opposite bank of the torrent we noticed in some places three layers of cement, laid down in the same way and consisting of the same materials, as I can certify. This cement is identical with that of Tula, except that there it was probably done for the sake of solidity; whereas here, where the city was demolished several times, it was due to the fact that the new occupants did not care to clear the ground of all the rubbish. This supposition becomes almost a certainty, when we add that numerous fragments of pottery have been found between the layers. Besides this is amply exemplified in Rome and other cities, where ancient monuments are divided from later ones by thick layers of detritus." -- Ancient Cities of the New World, pp. 129, 130.

    "Here also the floors and walls are coated with mortar, stucco, or cement, save that in the dwellings of the rich they are ornamented with figures, with a border like an Aubusson carpet The colors are not effaced; red, black, blue, yellow and white are still discernible." -- Ancient Cities, page 146.

    Of the ruins now called Comalcalco, Charney says: "When these excavations first began, statues, stones of sacrifice (indicative of later times), columns, huge flags, and cement were unearthed. Unfortunately the whole was destroyed by these ignorant people. The rains consist of groups of pyramids of different dimensions, so extensive as to cover twenty-four miles. A country gentleman tells me that he has counted over three hundred of these artificial mounds on his own property. Besides these ruins others are to be met at Blasillo, situated on the Toltec march of migration. * * * I hear that an important city formerly existed there, whose monuments, like those of Comalcalico, consist of columns, statues and caryatides. This city having the same origin; and Toltec migration, Toltec civilizing influence being admitted as well as proved, these two cities would be the first built by them after their great migration." -- Ancient Cities, page 190.

    "The walls of the palace were without any ornamentation, save a layer of smooth painted cement. * * * Some thirty-five feet to the southeast of the palace, on a cemented platform, is a tower of three stories, of which two are still standing. * * * Facing this pyramid, to the north. hidden by the luxuriant vegetation of a virgin forest, are three other pyramids. All were crowned with temples, the" walls of which are still standing. The layers of demolished cement leave uncovered the body of the walls. * * * Hundreds of other pyramids, every one occupied by palaces, stretch as far as the seaboard, buried in the depths of the forest, presenting innumerable monuments to be brought to light, for which years, numerous workmen, and iron constitutions are required for the future explorers. I have shown the way -- let others follow. The stupendous ruins, of which we have had but a glimpse, imply an immense amount of labor, and a dense population. It is quite clear that the present Tabasco, with a population of one hundred thousand, could not produce monuments so imposing as those of Comalcalco. The question arises, Who built them ages before the Conquest; and what became of the numerous population which such


    monuments presuppose?" -- Ancient Cities, pp. 199, 200, 203, 206, 207.

    On page 204 M. Charney says that the towers, the palaces, and the tern pies, "must have gleamed on the astonished gaze of the Spaniards, as did the walls of the maritime cities of Yucatan," at the time of the Conquest nearly four hundred years ago.

    J. L. Stephens is quoted as saying of the palace of Palenque that the floors were "of cement as hard as the best seen in the remains of Roman baths and cisterns," and I find that he mentions it as covered with stucco and painted. Also the following by him:

    "The stucco is of admirable consistency, and hard as stone. It was painted, and in different places about it we discovered the remains of red, blue, yellow, black and white?" -- Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, Vol. 2, page 311.

    In relation to the statement in the Book of Mormon that the timber had been cut off in many parts of this north land before the Nephites took possession, we find that scientific men, without knowing of or caring for the book, believe that such was the fact, and that the timber grew up again after the days of the Mound- Builders. The trees are found as a forest, alike upon the palaces and pyramids of Central America and upon the mounds and fortifications of the United States, those in the south being hidden entirely from view by the overgrown and almost impenetrable forests. Of the Mound-Builders Mr. Baldwin says: "No trace of their ordinary dwellings is left. These must have went to dust long before great forests had again covered most of the regions through which they were scattered." -- Ancient America, page 34.

    To be continued.

    Vol. II.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, September, 1889.                                  No. 9.

            [p. 403b]




    [initial pages, 402-403a not copied]

    ... That the ancients of America were an agricultural people, to the extent and completeness that is spoken of in the Book of Mormon, is fully confirmed by many who have investigated the ruined cities and the mounds and monuments of that great people, and have studied the writings, paintings, and traditions of their degraded descendants for nearly four hundred years past. In this connection Baldwin also makes a statement regarding the great timbered regions of the western states. By the European settlers these were called primeval forests, by which is meant that they supposed


    that these were the first or original ones. * * * this was long ago discovered to be an error, science having satisfied itself that before those forests vast areas were covered with cultivated fields, gardens and vineyards; with hamlets, villages and cities wherein dwelt a busy and an enlightened people. Prof. Baldwin writes as follows:

    "The great age of these mounds and inclosures is shown by their relation to the primeval forests in which most of them were discovered. I say primeval forests, because they teemed to be primeval to the first white men who explored them. Of course there were no unbroken forests (in the Ohio Valley for instance) while the land was occupied by the Mound Builders. They were a settled agricultural people, whose civilized industry is attested by their remain?. If they found forests these were cleared away to make room for their towns, inclosures, mounds and cultivated fields; and when, after many ages of such occupation, they finally left, or were driven away, a long period must have elapsed before the trees began to grow freely in and around their abandoned works. * * * When the Ohio Valley was first visited by Europeans it was covered by an unbroken forest, most of the trees being of great age and size. * * * The mounds and inclosures were discovered in this forest, with great trees growing in them. Eight hundred rings of annual growth were counted in the trunk of a tree (mentioned by Sir Charles Lyell and others) which was found growing on a mound at Marietta, Ohio. In the same way successive generations of forest trees had grown over their extensive mining works near Lake Superior, and many of those works are still hidden in what »eem to be primeval forests. * * * It is certain, in any case, that the period when these old constructions were deserted is so far back in the past that sufficient time has passed for the abandoned towns and fields to remain (perhaps for centuries) as waste places, to pass through the transition from waste lands to such great forest growths as were cleared away to prepare the soil for the settlements, towns, and farms of our people." -- Ancient America, pp. 50, 51.

    In the notes along with chapters twelve and thirteen the writer of this series gave lengthy quotations from Prescott's Conquest of Peru, by which was shown that the Peruvians were wonderfully proficient in the arts of agriculture as well as being skilled in manufacturing many things. Of that people Prof. Baldwin speaks as follows:

    "In some respects the Peruvian civilization was developed to such a degree as challenges admiration. The Peruvians were highly skilled in agriculture and in some kinds of manufactures. No people ever had a more efficient system of industry. This created their wealth and made possible their great public works. All accounts of the country at the time of the Conquest, agree in the statement that they cultivated the soil in a very admirable way, and with remarkable success, using aqueducts for irrigation, and employing guano as one of their most important fertilizers." -- Ancient America, page 247.

    "Ignorance and incapacity have taken the place (since the Spaniards plundered and ruined the country) of that intelligence and enterprise which enabled the old Peruvians to maintain their remarkable system of agriculture to complete their great works, and that made them so industrious and skillful in their manufactures. Is it possible to imagine the present inhabitants of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia cultivating the soil with intelligent industry, building aqueducts five hundred miles long, and constructing magnificently paved roads through the rocks and across the ravines of the Andes -- Ancient America, page 276.

    Upon these interesting matters Mr. Bradford writes:

    "We are surprised in discovering a continuous, unbroken, chain of these relics; and, reverting to the epoch of their construction, we are presented with the astonishing spectacle of a great race cultivating the earth, possessing many the arts, and diffused through an immense territory three thousand miles in extent." -- Origin of the Red Race.

    Another writer, Mr. Brownell, on page 33 of his "Indian Races," mentions the "extraordinary remains of large public granaries" in Mexico and remarks that all these things go to prove that there, "in unknown ages and for unknown periods, existed wealth, power and civilization but he says that nevertheless these witness give us but little information as to the actual history of their "long vanished constructor« Of the ruins and the portion of history which they do tell, he says:

    "They indicate the former existence of populous nations, excelling in many of the arts of civilization, and capable in numbers and power of executing the most gigantic works. * * * They had a long continued existence, and their government and social institutions were upon firm and well defined basis, while in many of the arts and sciences they equaled (and in others were superior to) their Christian conquerors. Their public edifices and internal improvement were on as high a scale, and of as scientific character, as were those of most of the European nations of that day." -- Indian Races, pp. 42 and 50.

    Mr. Brownell further remarks:

    "The surprising number of these ruins relics, and the great space over which they extend, indicate the existence for many ages of a people who possessed all the power which only regular government, settled institutions, and an established national character can give." -- Indian Races, page 58.

    From a letter in the Eureka, Nevada, Sentinel, written from Payson, Utah, April 3d, 1877, and published at the time. I make the following extracts, concerning agriculture and manufacturing among the ancient inhabitants. The writer tells of excavations in six great mounds near there. They stand upon an area of six acres, the largest of them being over three hundred feet in diameter and eighteen feet high. In each was found one or more houses, with plastered rooms, and in these were human skeletons. The writer mentions that the floor of one (at least) was a hard cement, which by diligent labor they penetrated and found a box containing wheat, "which dissolved when brought in contact with light and air." He says that some of the kernels in the center


    looked bright and these were planted the season before he wrote and they produced several pounds of good grain. Of it he writes as follows:

    "The wheat is unlike any raised in this country, and it produced a large yield. The heads are very long and they hold very large grains." He adds: -- "We judge that these ancient dwellers followed agriculture for a living, and that they had many of the arts that are known to us, for we found crockery, cooking utensils, vases (some of a pattern like those used in the present age), also molds made of clay for casting, stone lasts well shaped, mill stones, etc. On one large stone jug (or vase) can be seen a perfect delineation of the surrounding mountain scenery for twenty miles. We also found pieces of carved cedar, and many trinkets, and between the teeth of one skeleton a stone pipe."

    Of the agriculture of the ancient Americans Bancroft says:

    "The introduction of agriculture was doubtless of very ancient date. The Olmecs and Xicalancas * * * were farmers back to the limit of traditional history, as were the lineal ancestors of all the nations. * * * Indeed, as the Nahua nations were living when the Spaniards found them, so had they probably been living for at least a thousand years, and not improbably for a much longer period. It was. however, according to tradition, during the Toltec period that husbandry and all the arts as to the production and preparation of food, were brought to the highest degree of perfection. Many traditions attribute to the Toltecs the invention or first introduction of agriculture. * * * Granaries for storing maize were built. * * * Many of these had a capacity of several thousand bushels, and in them corn was preserved for several years. Besides the regular and extensive plantations of staple products gardens were common, tastefully laid out and devoted to the cultivation of fruits, vegetables, medicinal herbs, and flowers." -- Native Races, vol. 2, pages 347, 351.

    In the traditions of the Mexicans the name of Quetzalcoatl is famous, as being that of a great leader and benefactor among their ancestors. And, without a doubt, that name either represents Christ as known to the Nephites or one of the great worthies mentioned in the Book of Mormon, a prophet and ruler who lived in one of the most prosperous and wealthy periods mentioned in that book. Mr. Bancroft says that tradition relates that "he taught the people agriculture," as well as "the art of government," and he adds:

    "His was a veritable golden age. Animals and even men lived in peace, the soil produced the richest harvests, and the grain grew so large that a man found it trouble enough to carry one ear of maize." -- Native Races, vol. 3, page 274.

    However tradition had exaggerated the facts there was evidently a great amount of truth as a foundation for this story of a better past than they knew, of a superior age to the one they lived in. In his fourth volume, page 619, Mr. Bancroft mentions the traces in New Mexico of ancient agriculture in the way of "irrigating canals and ditches," and on page 696 he speaks of a field above San Buenaventura, California, containing "some five hundred acres," which he says is "divided by parallel ridges of earth, and having distinct traces of irrigating ditches, supplied by a canal." Of these works he writes:

    "It is said that the present inhabitant« of this region, both native and Spanish, have no knowledge of the origin of these agricultural works." -- Native Races, vol. 4, page 696.

    Mr. Bancroft quotes from an article on antiquities in Mexico that was written in 1869 (for the Mexican Geographical Society) by Señor Carlos Sartorius, who speaks of one region as follows:

    "History tells us nothing respecting this part of the country, distinguished for its abundant supply of water, its fertility, and its delightful and healthy climate. * * * There exist innumerable traces of a very numerous population before the Conquest. * * * For an extent of fifteen to twenty leagues, from east to west, there was not a span of earth that was not cultivated, as is proved by numberless remains. * * * The whole country is formed into terraces by stone walls. * * * The small ravines served for innumerable water tanks, built of stones and mortar; these dams were also covered with a coating of hard cement. It is evident that a numerous population took advantage of every inch of land for cultivation, using the water gathered in the tanks during the rainy season for irrigation." -- Native Races, vol. 4, pp. 429, 430.

    Of the Book of Mormon statements about the manufacture of clothing, of the existence of horses on this continent, and of the abundant use of the precious metals I will write hereafter, when space permits.

    The Book of Mormon account of the famine reads thus:

    "And there was a great famine upon the land among all the people of Nephi. * * * And the work of destruction became sore by famine. * * * For the earth was smitten that it was dry and did not yield grain. * * * And the people saw that they were about to perish by famine, and they remembered the words of Nephi. * * * And when Nephi saw that the people had repented he cried unto the Lord, saying, * * * Lord wilt thou turn away thine anger, yea, thy fierce anger, and cause that this famine may cease in the land? Lord wilt thou hearken unto me * * * and send forth rain upon the face of the earth, that she may bring forth her fruit and her grain. * * * For thou hast said, If this people repent I will spare them." -- pp. 406, 407.

    How very like the above is the prayer of the Toltecs in such times of drouth and famine, as preserved in tradition and related by Charnéy in his recently published work. He save: "And what" can be more beautiful than the prayer addressed to Tlaloc: "O Lord, liberal giver of all things * * * alas your vassals, the gods of water, have disappeared and lie concealed in their deep caverns. * * * Lord, have pity on us that live. Our food goes to destruction; it is lost and dried up for lack of water; it is as if turned to dust. Wilt thou have pity on the people who are wasted with hunger. * * * Their mouths are dry as sedge; all the bones of their bodies show as in a skeleton. * * * ? Lord, thou were wont to give us abundantly of those things which are the life and joy of all the world; all these things have departed from us.


    Hast thou utterly forsaken us? Shall not thy wrath and indignation be appeased? Wilt thou leave this city and kingdom desolate and uninhabited? Is it so decreed in heaven? Grant, at least, that these innocent children, who can not so much as walk, and those still in the cradle may have something to eat, that they may live and die not in this terrible famine. * * * Grant, O Lord, that the people receive the favor and mercy at thine hand. Let them [live] and enjoy the verdure and coolness that are [as] precious stones. * * * May it please thee that the animals and herbs be made glad, and that the fowls and birds of precious feather fly and sing.'" -- Ancient Cities of the New World, pp. 119, 120.




    "Torquemada writes: 'It was likewise found that in some provinces of New Spain, as in Tolonaca, they expected the coming of the son of the great God, who was the Qieu, into the world; and they said that He was to come to renew all things; although they did not believe in interpreting this in a spiritual, but in a temporal and earthly sense. For example, they thought that on his coming, the grain would be of a pure and more substantial quality; that their fruit would be better flavored, and more excellent in its kind; that the lives of men would be considerably prolonged, and that everything else would become better in a corresponding degree.' -- Page 413.

    'And in order to hasten the coming of the son of the great God, they sacrificed upon a certain season of the year, eighteen persons, both male and female; encouraging them and exhorting them to consider themselves fortunate in being the messengers of the public, which dispatched them to the great God, to entreat and to supplicate him that he would vouchsafe to send them his Son to free them from their many miseries and hardships, and from the obligation and afflictions laid upon them of performing human sacrifice, which, as has already been observed, they considered a cruel and terrible burthen; and it was an intolerable torment and grief to them, since they performed them in obedience to the commands of their false gods, on account of the great fear in which they held them.


    Page 413: 'It was the cupidity of the Spaniards that first instructed them in another essential doctrine of the Indians, -- that of the resurrection of the body. And here we must observe that this doctrine is peculiarly Christian; it is on this point and not on the immortality of the soul, that Christianity differs from the religions of antiquity, and it is very singular that it should have been discovered in


    the New World. Gomara, after stating that the Peruvians deposited gold and silver vases in the tombs of the Incas, says:

    'When the Spaniards opened these sepulchres and scattered the bones, the Judeans entreated them not to do so, assuring them that they would be united in the resurrection; for they fully believe in the resurrection of the body, and in the immorality of the soul.'

    "Herrera says: 'In the provinces of Guazacualco and Uluta they believed that the dead would come to life; and when the bones of such as died amongst them had dried up, they collected them in a basket and hung them to the branch of a tree, that they might be at no loss to find them when the period of the resurrection arrived.'

    "He also says: 'In the province of Quembava they well knew that there was an immortal principle in man, although they thought it was not his soul, but a (bodily) transfiguration, believing that the body would be restored to life. They explained further that its future habitation would be some delightful and pleasant place, and they therefore used interment like the other Indians.' -- Historia de Los India Occidentales.


    Page 414: "Peter Martyr says: 'They report also another thing worth the noting, which will be very pleasing to your holiness. The priests seem to baptize children both males and females, of a year old, with holy ceremonies in their temples, pouring water crosswise out of a cruet on their heads.'

    Page 414: "Herrera says: 'Baptism has been discovered in Yucatan alone of all the provinces of New Spain; and its name, in their language signifies regeneration. They hold it so much a matter of religion, and entertain such reverence for it that nobody omits receiving it; they imagine that they receive a pure disposition in it to become good, and to escape harm from devils, and to obtain the glory which they hope for. It is administered to them from the age of three years to twelve, and no one marries without having received it. They fix upon a day for receiving it which they deem fortunate. The fathers fast on the three preceding days; in the meantime the priests are occupied in the purification of the mother, exorcising the devil by means of certain ceremonies, which being completed, the children proceed, one by one, and the priest threw some ground maize and incense with his hand upon them. And they sent wine in a vase and censer out of the city, with orders for the Indian not to drink it or to look behind him; and by the performance of this ceremony they imagined that they exercised the devil. The priest then came forth habited in long and grave vestments, with a branch in his hand, and placed some white cloth in the bands of the children, questioning the older as to whether they had committed any sin, which, on their confessing, he took them aside and in certain words blessed them, holding the branch in a threatening attitude towards them, and with some water which was kept in a bowl, moistened their foreheads, cheeks, fingers and toes, when sonic presents having been given, the baptismal ceremony was completed, and the festival terminated in banquets. In addition to the three days before mentioned, the father and mother remained apart for nine more.' -- India Occidentales.


    "Proceeding from baptism to the most solemn sacrament of the church, that of the Lord's Supper, we shall find a mysterious resemblance to the communion of Christians in the idolatrous rites of the Mexicans called teo qualo, which literally signifies, to eat God. This ceremony consisted in eating the body and blood of Huitzilopuchtli or Quecalcotle, under the similitude of bread, which they named Loyoliaytlaquatl, which signifies 'the food of our life.'

    "Torquemada, in the thirty-eighth chapter of his sixth book thus describes it: 'They collected in one of the principal and handsomest halls of the temple, adjoining the altar, and took a quantity of grain and seeds of bledos and pulse, which they pounded with great care and devotion, and kneaded and formed into the said stature of the size and height of a man. The fluid with which they worked and moistened the dough was the blood of children whom they had sacrificed for the purpose, the intention of which was to typify, in the simplicity and innocence of the child, that of the god whom the stature represented. After it was made the


    priests and satraps took it in their hands, and placed it with great reverence and veneration upon the Cu, or altar which they bad prepared and adorned for its reception. * * * As soon as it was morning the ministers and high priests proceeded to consecrate and to bless it, if such an act can be called a consecration and benediction, although the Indians apply that very term to it in their own language.' * * *

    'Quecalcoatle (priest) took a spear head, with a flint, and threw it at the breast of the idol, with which he pierced it and the idol fell, which ceremony they performed, saying it was to kill their God, Huitzilopuehtli, in order to eat his body. The priests afterward drew near, and one of them took out the heart and presented it to the king, and the others divided the body into two parts, and gave the one half to the inhabitants of this quarter of the city named Tlatelulco, who distributed it in crumbs to all the people resident in these suburbs, especially to the young soldiers, without giving any of the part of the dough of the idol to the women,' etc.


    Botturni says: 'I likewise possess some historical notices concerning the preaching of the gospel in America by the glorious apostle St. Thomas. They are contained on thirty-four sheets of Chinese paper, and I suppose assisted Don Crogora in the composition of his work on the same subject, which he entitled The Phoenix of the West. * * * The above mentioned preaching is so clearly indicated in the histories of the Indians, that it is even recorded in the paintings of the Choutales, amongst whom a most miraculous cross was discovered, besides the other crosses which the Spaniards found on the island of Potonchan in the city of Texcalan.'

    "The above mentioned histories all declare that a white man preached among them a holy law, and the fast of forty days, which Emperor Tetzahualcoyotl, in the greatest vicissitudes of his reign, frequently practiced; and they add that at his departure from them he left a prophecy, thât in the year of their calendar, Coacatl, one Cane, his son, would come from the east to preach again to them, which was the reason why the Indians were so disturbed at the intelligence of the arrival of Spaniards, exactly in the year and character Coacatl.

    "And I, following the track of the Indian calendars, have discovered that the prophecy of the Saint was verified to the letter. The Indians, availing themselves of the lofty metaphors of their language, have bestowed the name Quetzalcoatl upon the glorious apostle, which signifies 'the serpent bird,' intimating by the bird the swiftness with which he had passed from a distant country to theirs; and by the serpent, the wise circumspection of the law which he came to preach, the value of which was farther denoted by the feathers of the bird, which they called Qutzalli; and infinitely esteemed." -- Catalogo de Muses Indiano.

    Page 419: "Rosales, in his history of Peru says: 'That in former times, as they had heard their fathers say, a wonderful man had come to their country, wearing a long beard, with shoes, and a mantle, such as the Indians carry on their shoulders, who performed many miracles, cured the sick with water, caused it to rain, and their crops and grain to grow, kindled fire at a breath and wrought other marvels, healing at once the sick and giving sight to the blind.'

    Page 425: "The crosses most celebrated are those of Yucatan, of Mestica, Quaretero, Teheque, and Teanqueztcpoc. The crosses of Yucatan were worshipped by the Yucatanese in obedience, as they said, to the instructions of their great prophet Chilam Cambol; who desired that when a certain race of men with beards should arrive in that country from the east, and should be seen to adore that sign they should embrace the doctrine of those strangers."

    Page 507. Nntes. -- "The Mexicans bestowed the appellation of Topeltzin on Quecalcoatle, the literal signification of which is 'our son,' or 'our child.' * * * The proper name, Topeltzin, does in fact bear a significance corresponding, if not literally yet entirely in substance, with that of 'Immanuel,' since 'God with us,' which is the interpretation of the Hebrew name, means God domiciled amongst us. And the full force of the expression is preserved in the term Topeltzin, which might be interpreted, 'The Son of Man, or 'God on a level with man.'

    "For the Mexicans believe that Quecalcoatle took human nature upon him, and was not exempt from sorrow, pain and


    death, and that he suffered voluntarily to atone for the sins of mankind. They also believed that he alone, of all the Gods, had a human body, and was of a corporal essence, a notion which we can only wonder whence it could have been derived; as Las Casas and Torquemada both assert that Quecalcoatle had been in Yucatan; and there can he little doubt, when we reflect upon the mysterious history of Bacab, that the cross discovered by M. Dupaix, in the ancient temple of Palenque, was connected with the tradition of the crucifixion.

    Page 508: "Quecalcoatle is emphatically styled Father, in the exhortation which the Mexican priest addresses to the penitent who had come to make confession to him of his sins: 'When thou wast created and sent into this world thou was created and sent into it pure and good, and thy father and thy mother, Quecalcoatle formed thee like a precious stone, like a rich jewel of gold, beautiful to look upon and well polished; and thou by thine own free will and choice, hast polluted thyself, and hast wallowed in the mire of the sins and iniquities which thou hast committed, and now thou hast confessed.' From this passage it is plain that the doctrine of free will, as opposed to absolute predestination, was a fundamental article of the religion of the Mexicans, although in some degree modified by their notions on judicial astrology.

    Page 511: "The Deity is said in so many passages of the Old Testament to be jealous of his honor, and to work miracles for his name's sake, that many persons may feel it hard to reconcile that professed jealousy with the desecration of his name so common among the Jews, the profanation of his temple, and the human sacrifices which they offered to him; the corollary of which is, that though Abraham received the covenant from God, and Moses promulgated his law to the Jews, still Judaism was never under such special divine protection as to prevent its degeneration into most abominable rites in the Old World, nor, consequently, in the New.

    Therefore let it not be maintained that Jehovah could not have been worshiped under the name of Tezcatlipoca by the Mexicans, and human sacrifices been offered to him in New Spain, as in Palestine of old. But, even on the assumption that this was the case, let not God impiously be made accountable for the crimes which men may have committed in his name."

    Page 1. Notes. -- "Parkhurst, quoting in his Hebrew lexicon a passage from Plato, cited by Gration in a note subjoined to the twelfth chapter of the fourth book of his treatise, De Veretate Religion is Christianae, immediately adds: 'Can any one help thinking that Plato had seen, or at least heard of Isaiah's prophecy, chapter 59:2? Since in the second book of his Republic he says that in order to exhibit the character of a man perfectly just, it is necessary that his virtue should be stripped of all external recommendations, so that by others he should be reckoned a wicked person, should be mocked, scourged, bound, have both eyes put out, and at last, having suffered all evils, be cut in pieces as a sacrifice (as some think the Greek word signifies) be hung up or crucified." * * *

    "If, however, there are grounds for supposing that the above passage in the Republic of Plato relates to the sufferings and crucifixion of Christ * * * may we not refer to the seventy-third page of the Borgian Manuscripts, which represents Quecalcoatle both crucified and, as it were, cut in pieces; and we could with equal reason demand whether any one can help thinking that the Jews of the New World applied to their Messiah not only all the prophecies contained in the Old Testament relating to Christ, but likewise many of the incidents recorded of him in the gospels.'

    "Few, we will venture to say, can doubt, after reading the note subjoined to page 107 of the sixth volume of this work, which contains a list of the names and types under which the Mexicans adored Quecalcoatle, that this was the case. The history of that remarkable personage, which will be found at page 258 of the same volume, especially if considered in connection with what is said of Zotic, at page 179, who like John the Baptist and Elias, went about clothed in a skin, calling on the people to repent, and like the latter who was dreadful in the vengeance which he took upon his enemies, flaying them alive when he overcame them, will serve still more to strengthen the conviction.


    Since who, on reading of Quecalcoatle and Heremac being joint kings of Tula, of the cup which Tezcatlepoca presented Quecalcoatle to drink, accosting him at the same time with the salutation of, 'My Son,' of his unwillingness to taste it, and his weeping bitterly after having drank its contents; of his forsaking his temporal kingdom of Tula for the Immortal Kingdom of Tlappal (heavenly Jerusalem. --Ed.), being called away by the God who was the Sun; of his departure on the day to which the sign of four earthquakes was dedicated in the Mexican Calendar; of hie promise to return again with great power to avenge himself of his enemies and to redeem his people; and of the belief of the Mexican kings that the scepter should not depart from the Quecalcoatle cause; but must immediately recollect what is said in the New Testament of Christ frequently naming himself the king of the Jews, confessing at the same time that he was only their spiritual king, their temporal sovereign being Herod, which name, due attention being paid to the genius of the Mexican language, which excluded from its alphabet the letters R and D, is a near approximation of Heremac, of his prayer to his heavenly Father to let the cup pass away from him, which is recorded in St. Matthew 39: 26 as follows:

    "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt."

    "And this was pronounced more than once as we learn from the forth-second and forty-fourth verses of the same chapter.

    'He went away again the second time and prayed, saying, O, my Father, if this cup may pass not away from me except I drink it, thy will be done. And he left them, and went away again and prayed the third time, saying the same words.'

    "This is likewise mentioned in Luke 22:29, to which the painting contained in the seventy-fourth page of the Codex Borgianess may bear allusion:

    "'And he came out and went, as he was wont, to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was as it were great drops ot blood falling down to the ground.'

    "Of his describing himself in his speech to four of his disciples as a traveler about to take a journey, which is thus related in Mark 13:34.

    "'For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey.'

    "Of his drinking vinegar from a reed, as recorded in Mark 15:36; of his declaration that he was going to his heavenly Father; of the great earthquake which occurred at the crucifixion, which is mentioned in Matthew 27:51; of his sudden disappearance from his disciples, and ascent into heaven, as related in Luke 24:51, which recalls to our recollection what is said at pages 119 and 82 of volume six of the present work about the mysterious disappearance of Quecalcoatle whilst hastening on his journey to the Kingdom of Tlappelan; of the Mexican tradition of Huitzelopuchtli being seated on the left hand of Tezcotlepoca; of his having previously foretold to them his second advent and the day of judgment, which was to be ushered in with earthquakes and an eclipse, like those which occurred on the day of the crucifixion, verifying the words of the prophet Joel as cited in Acts 2:19, 20; and of his promise that the Holy Ghost should descend upon the earth after he left it, to which, and to the account in Acts 2:1-4, of the descent of the fiery tongues upon the apostles, the Mexican fable mentioned above at page 108, of the sixth volume; of Quecalcoatle preparing the way of Tlaloc, and of the latter being the secretary of Providence, who wrote his laws in lightning and published them with thunder, might bear some allusion."

    Having instituted a close comparison between to brief history of Christ as contained in the mythological traditions of the Mexicans, with the intention of showing that the Jews feigned that the principal prophecies in the Old Testament relating to the former were verified in the person of the latter, we


    shall proceed to point out some paintings in the Codex Borgianus, in which are shadowed in a much more clear manner than the types of the Old Testament foreshadow the Messiah, the accomplishment of the famous prophecies relating to Christ.


    Vol. II.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, October, 1889.                                  No. 10.

            [p. 456]




    [initial pages, 454-55 not copied]

    ... In relation to the great calamities thus recorded in the Book of Mormon it comes in place to present the corroborative evidences furnished by scholars that at a remote time in the past, and while a people lived upon the land, just such an overwhelming catastrophe did take place upon this continent, especially in the region of Central America. Colonel Foster speaks in his "Prehistoric Races" of the "Atlantis theory," by which he means the idea of Braseur de Bourbourg, Donnelly, and others, that in ancient times a part of America, called Atlantis, was overwhelmed by earthquakes and by the waves of the sea. Prof. Foster quotes Plato, Plutarch, and Diodorus Siculua in their writings of such a continent existing west of Africa in their time, or of their theory that it existed. Prof. Foster quotes these things for the purpose of showing that the Toltecs, Aztecs, and other nations and tribes found in America had among them traditions that such great commotions and destructions did take place among their ancestors in ancient times. He says:

    "These passages from the ancient classics as to the existence of a Western Continent, coupled with certain traditions found in the ancient Mexican records of a great catastrophe, the combined result of earthquakes and inundations, by which a large area in Central America became submerged, and a greater portion of the population destroyed, have re-opened the discussion whether Plato's "Story of Atlantis" does not belong to the sobrieties of truth. * * * De Bourbourg brought out these traditions in his translation of the Toltec history of the cataclysm (deluge of water) over the Antilles (West India Islands); and the late George Catlin published a little work in which this theory is vigorously maintained.

    "Among the Indian tribes of North America Catlin found the tradition of such a cataclysm. The tribes further south relate that the waters were seen coming in waves like mountains from the east, and of the tens of thousands who ran for the high grounds to the west only a few succeeded in reaching places of safety * * * The tribes in Central America and Mexico, in Venezuela, and in British and Dutch Guinea, distinctly describe these catastrophes, one by water, one by fire, and the third by winds. * * * From amidst the thunder and flames that came out of the sea, whilst mountains were sinking and rising, the terror stricken inhabitants sought every expedient of safety. Some fled to the mountains, and some launched their boats upon the turbulent waters, trusting that a favorable current would land them upon a hospitable shore; and thus in the elemental strife this ancient civilized people became widely dispersed.

    "The festival of 'Izealli' was instituted to commemorate this terrible calamity, in which 'princess and people humble themselves before the Divinity and besought him not to renew the frightful convulsions.' It is claimed that by this


    catastrophe an area larger than that of France became engulfed, and that with the peninsulas of Yucatan and Guatemala, went down the splendid cities of Palenque and Uxmal and others whose sites are now in the ocean bed, with the most of their living inhabitants; and that the continent has since risen sufficiently to restore many of these ancient sites. De Bourbourgh boldly asserts that he has found proofs that the first civilization of the earth was on the ground which sank in the cataclysm; and that the first ceremonial religion commenced there." -- Prof. J. W. Foster's Prehistoric Races, pp. 390, 397.

    One thing is to be noticed in the above extracts concerning the traditional history of Central and South America, namely that it agrees remarkably as to the three agents of destruction that are named in the Book of Mormon, although placed in reverse order. That book says that the winds came as the first destroying agency, and after that the fire, then the earthquake and the deluge of water. But this difference is not at all material; for traditional history and the book are in complete harmony as to the widespread and terrible destruction wrought by all these elements being in action at the same period, in successive order or jointly as the case might be. And some mountains sank and others were raised up, just as the book clearly states was the fact in that awful and momentous time. Also the people mourned, lamented, and humbled themselves before God, as both the book and the tradition testify.

    Prof. Baldwin mentions the tradition that part of the American continent was destroyed by "a succession of frightful convulsions," and he adds:

    "Three of these are constantly mentioned, and sometimes there is mention of one or two others. The land was shaken by frightful earthquakes, and the waves of the sea combined with volcanic fires to overwhelm and engulf it. * * * Most of the inhabitants, overtaken amid their regular employments, were destroyed, but some escaped in ships, or fled. * * * to portions of the land that escaped immediate destruction. Quotations are made from the old books in which this tradition is recorded to verify De Bourbourg's report of what is found in them." -- Ancient America, p. 176.

    Up?? this subject, and also showing the tradition of a period of miraculous darkness accompanying the catastrophe, Bancroft writes as follows in regard to the people of Peru:

    "The Peruvians had several flood-myths. One of them relates that the whole face of the earth was changed by a great deluge, attended by an extraordinary eclipse of the sun which lasted five days." -- Native Races, vol. 5, p. 14.

    After relating the Toltec traditions of the Creation, of the universal deluge in their fatherland, (by which the first age was brought to a close), following which seven families, all speaking the same language, are said to have come across the sea to this continent. (See notes with chapter 15.) Bancroft gives the traditional account of some things that happened to them in this land. He says:

    "The second age terminated with a great hurricane, which swept away trees, rocks, houses, and people, although many men and women escaped, chiefly such as took refuge in caves which the hurricane could not reach. After several days the survivors came out * * * and all this time they were in darkness, seeing neither the sun nor the moon. * * * Next occurred an earthquake which swallowed up all the Quinames, * * * together with many of the Toltecs, and of their neighbors the Chichimecs." -- Native Races, vol. 5, pages 209, 210.

    Therefore we see that both the Peruvians and the Central Americans retained memory of the great darkness, one tradition exaggerating the number of days, but both agreeing with the Book of Mormon account that such a time of physical darkness did take place And the latter part of the Toltec history, as given by M. Charney, is identical woth the Book of Mormon history of the decline and overthrow of the Nephite Nation. From being a mighty people, with wealth, refinement and possessing many luxuries, having great cities, palaces and temples, Charney relates how they fell as a nation and became lost as a people. He says:

    "After years of warfare, followed by calamitous inundations, tempests, drouths, famine and pestilence, the Toltecs, greatly reduced in numbers, dispersed; some directing their course south, others going north * * * Clavigero writes that the miserable remains of the nation found a remedy in night, some settling in Yucatan and Guatamala." -- Ancient Cities of the New World, page 125.

    It seems that enough has been written and quoted herein to prove that the Book of Mormon is a veritable history of the people who lived upon the American Continent in by-gone ages, every remarkable or startling epoch that is spoken of in that book being substantiated by the finding of wise men and explorers. So far as the account of the rending of the rocks and their being cast about upon the face of the land, that really needs no mention. For geologists and travelers have wondered at the mighty convulsions by which, since the formation of the earth, even great mountains of rock have been split asunder, and passing through the chasms one can see that if they were brought together again every part would fit into its opposite as closely as the dove-tail work of a cabinet maker. And fragments great and small, of rock are found scattered over the land, upon the prairies and in the wood land, far from mountains or vast heights of rock where they might have originated. The writer of these articles remembers in Southern Wisconsin those rocks that from the beginning were a wonder to the white settlers, such as "The Devil's Chimney," and other masses that stood or lay upon the earth, alone, and no mountain or rocky eminence any where near the place from whence they came, the power by which they were brought, a profound mystery to the curiosity hunter; and so they remain to this day. But their sides betoken that they were riven from a greater mass, and that by some mighty power they were brought through the air, and rolled along like boulders which show by abrasions and their oval form that they have had contact with their kindred in their passage, by glacier or flood, up and down the earth. The Book of Mormon gives the account that tells the story of how they came to be thus, as it says, "In broken


    fragments, in seams, and in cracks upon all the face of the land." -- Nephi 4:2.

    "In his 'Sacred Mysteries of the Mayas' Le Plongeon mentions the traditions of a catastrophe by an overflow of water in the Central American regions in ancient times."

    As said * * * some further testimonies will be given regarding the manufacture of cloth and the use of gold and silver among the ancient Americans. (Previously) there were presented valuable extracts from Prescott's Conquest of Peru about the variety and beauty of the clothing manufactured by the Peruvians in former times, and also his testimonies about the lavish use of gold and silver among that people, especially in their temples and palaces. To these are added the following from Charney in his sketch of the Toltecs:

    "Cotton was spun by the women, and given a brilliant coloring. * * * It was manufactured of every degree of fineness, so that some looked like muslin, some like cloth, and some like velvet. They had also the art of interweaving with these the delicate hair of animals and birds' feathers, which made a cloth of great beauty." - - Ancient Cities, page 44.

    "The Toltec soldiers wore a quilted cotton tunic that fitted closely to the body, and protected also the shoulders and the thighs." -- Ancient Cities, page 125.

    Of course these things by Prescott, Charney, and other writers, relate to the civilized and enlightened people who anciently dwelt in the land, not to their degraded, filthy, and naked descendants. Even in later times Brownell says of the Auracanians of South America:

    "They wore woolen clothing, woven from the fleece of the native sheep, and consisting of close fitting undergarments, and an easily constructed cloak. The women wore long dresses with a short cloak." -- Indian Races, page 652.

    On page 41 of Ancient America, Prof. Baldwin says that the evidences are that the Mound-Builders "had the art of spinning and weaving," and at a scientific meeting held in Norwich, England, in 1868, a specimen of cloth was exhibited that was taken from a mound in Butler county, Ohio, and thence placed in Blaekmore Museum, at Salisbury, England, as spoken of by Prof. Baldwin on the same page. On page 247 he says that the Peruvians "had great proficiency in the arts of spinning, weaving, and dyeing."

    Further about their knowledge of gold and silver, and of the skill with which they worked those metals, we read in Charney:

    "The Toltecs were cunning artists in working gold, precious stones, etc. * * * They had sculptors, mosaists, painters, and smelters of gold and silver, and by means of moulds knew how to give metals every variety of shape. Their jewelers could imitate all manner of animals, plants, flowers, birds, etc." -- Ancient Cities, pp. 83, 88.

    Prof. Baldwin writes as follows of the Peruvians:

    "They had great skill in the art of working metals, especially gold and silver. * * * The gold and silverwork of these artists was extremely abundant in the country at the time of the Conquest; but Spanish greed had it all melted for coinage. It was with articles of this gold work that the Inca Atahuallpa filled a room in his vain endeavor to purchase release from captivity. One of the old chroniclers mentions 'statuary, jars, vases, and every species of vessels, all of fine gold.' * * * In a description of one lot of golden articles sent to Spain in 1534 by Pizarro, there is mention of 'four gold llamas (native sheep), ten gold and silver statues of women of full size, and a cistern of gold so curious that it incited the wonder of all.' Nothing is more constantly mentioned by the old Spanish Chroniclers than the vast abundance of gold found in Peru. * * * It was very beautifully wrought into ornaments, temple furniture, articles for household use, etc. In the coarse of twenty- five years the Spaniards sent to Spain more than eight hundred million dollars worth of gold, nearly all of it taken from the subjugated Peruvians as 'booty.'" -- Ancient America, pp. 248-250.

    Prescott mentions the four golden llamas and ten statues of women, also the finding of ten planks of silver that were a foot in width and two or three inches thick. Brownell says:

    "Temples, royal palaces, public edifices, and tombs were ransacked in search of gold by the rapacious plunderers. * * * No conquest was ever rewarded by such acquisitions of the previous metals." -- Indian Races, p. 637.

    Understanding that Peru was the seat of the ancient civilization, the land of the Nephites in their best days, when wealth and every kind of prosperity was theirs to enjoy, we can comprehend bow that land was still the greatest in these accumulations in later centuries. But their glory departed and their land was spoiled, as the Lord «aid to their ancestors would be the case when they turned from him unto darkness and sin. He said that another people should take their country, and so it came to pass. Of their using the baser metals, and having horses I will speak hereafter.

    (To be continued.)

    Vol. II.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, December, 1889.                                  No. 12.

            [p. 551]




    [initial pages, 549-550 not copied]

    ... some of the evidences, corroborative of the teachings of the Book of Mormon, that the ancient Americans were of Hebrew origin, and that they esteemed the cross as a religious emblem and revered it as a sacred symbol* * * it will now be in order to present some valuable antiquarian matter in proof of the claim that this continent was visited bv Christ in person. It will include further evidences from the historical traditions, the writings, the paintings, and the sculptured walls of the ancient cities, that the ancestors of the people found by the Spaniards did know, as the Book of Mormon affirms, that the Son of God came as the Savior of the world, and that he was crucified by men.

    Lord Kings borough relates that when Las Casas, the Catholic Bishop of Choapa, passed through Yucatan, he sent one of his priests to the interior of the country, and that this priest afterwards wrote to Las Casas that, in reply to questions concerning the religion of their fathers, one of the chief native Lords said to him:

    "That their God was Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; that the Son was called Bacab, who was born of a virgin * * * and that the Holy Ghost was called Echuah. They said that Bacab, the Son, was put to death by Eopuco, who scourged him and put a crown of thorns upon his head, and placed him with his arms stretched upon a beam of wood, to which they believed he had not been nailed, but tied; and that he died there, and remained during three days dead, and the third day he came to life and ascended to heaven, where he is with the Father." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 141.

    "Among the many arguments which might be brought forward to show that Christianity had, in very early ages, extended itself to America, one of the strongest and most convincing is the fact that the doctrine of the Trinity was known in Peru, New Spain, and Yucatan. This fact rests on the authority of very respectable writers. Acosta, in his 'Natural and Moral History of the Indians,' distinctly asserts it: and the celebrated Las Casas, Bishop of Chiapa, as cited by Torquemada, says that he heard it from a person worthy of credit. * * * The Baron De Humboldt also says that the Muyscas of Bogota likewise believe in the existence of a trinity." - - Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 158.

    "De Salcar says: 'The chiefs and men of rank in the province of Chiapa were acquainted with the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. They call the Father Ieona, His Son Bacab, and the Holy Ghost Estruach; and certainly these names resemble the Hebrew, especially Estruach, for Ruach in Hebrew is the Holy Ghost.' As in the tradition current in Yucatan of Bacab and his crucifixion * * * so in these Mexican paintings many analogies may be traced between the events to which they evidently relate and the history of the crucifixion of Christ as contained, in the New Testament. The subject of them all is the same, being the death of Quecalcoatle upon the cross, as an atonement for the sins of mankind. In the fourth page of the Borgian Manuscripts he seems to be crucified between two persons who are in the act of reviling him." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 168.

    On the one hundred and sixty-third page of the same volume Kingsborough says that Las Casas relates that while Gomez was in the province of Guiaxca he was shown sheets of paper that were drawings copied from extremely ancient paintings on long pieces of leather that were rolled up and much smoked, and that these were obtained from some Indians who dwelt on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, "who stated that they received them from their ancestors." Upon these were pictured a holy woman, who, without being with a man, should give birth to a great prophet, and that he should suffer death at the hands of his own people, "and accordingly he was represented in the painting as crucified, with his hands and feet tied to the cross, without nails." Kingsborough says further:

    "If more of the historical paintings and monuments of Yucatan had been preserved we would probably have been able to have determined whether Bacab and Quecalcoatle were


    only two different names for the same deity, who was worshipped alike by the Mexicans and the people of Yucatan. * * * The interpreter of the Vatican Codex says that the Mexicans had a tradition that Quecalcoatle like Bacab died upon the cross, and he seems to add that it was, according to their belief, for the sins of mankind. This tradition * * * acquires the most authentic character from the corroboration which it receives from several paintings in the Codex Borgia, which actually represents Quecalcoatle crucified and nailed to the cross. These paintings are contained on the fourth, seventy-second, seventy-third and seventy-fifth pages of the above mentioned manuscript. On the seventy-second page Quecalcoatle is painted in the attitude of a person crucified, with the impression of nails both in his hands and feet, but not actually upon a cross. * * * His body seems to be formed out of a resplendent sun. * * * The skulls above signify that the place is Tzonpantli, a word which exactly corresponds (in the Mexican) with the Hebrew word Golgotha * * * On the seventy-fifth page he is again represented as crucified, and one of his hands and both his feet seem to bear the impression of nails. He appears, from the phonetic symbol placed near his mouth, to be uttering an exclamation, and his body is strangely covered with suns. If the Jews had wished to apply to their Messiah the metaphor of the 'Son of Righteousness,' they would have perhaps painted him with such emblems." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, pp. 165, 166.

    The following statement by Kingsborough is very significant, when taken in connection with the words of John the Baptist concerning Christ and one part of his cleansing work, as found in Matthew 3:12, as follows: "Whose fan is in his hand, and he shall thoroughly purge his floor." And the figure and its symbols are made still more remarkable as memory calls up the prophecies of Joel, and Jesus, and John, that at Christ's second coming the sickle shall be thrust in and the harvest of the earth be reaped, for the gathering of the good grain and the burning of the tares. Kingsborough says: "Both a fan and a sickle were sometimes placed in the hand of Quecalcoatle, as would appear from a bust which is preserved in the British Museum, the countenance of which is mutilated and the curve of the sickle in the right hand broken off." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, p. 168.

    The following statement is concerning Dupaix's discovery:

    "Mons. Dupaix discovered in the province of Tlascala a bust which so exactly corresponds with the description given by Herrera of the image of Quecalcoatle, which was adored in that city, that we can not refrain from referring to the fifty-third plate of the second part of his 'Monuments.' * * * It deserves to be remarked that both of the hands of the figure seem to be pierced with nails, the heads of which are invisable. The tradition current in Yucatan that Eopuco crowned Bacab with thorns appears also to be preserved in its head-dress. A crown of thorns of another fashion may perhaps be recognized on the head of another piece of ancient sculpture discovered by Mons. Dupaix. * * *

    The crown seems to be formed out of the thorny leaves of the aloe. If such testimony as that of Las Casas, Kemesal, De Salear, and Torquemada, may, from the importance of the subject, still stand in need of further corroboration, it is afforded by the discovery by Mons. Dupaix of a cross in a temple, when he was investigating the ruins of the ancient city of Palenque." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 169.

    "We also insert a passage from Cogulludo'a History of Yucatan, which is very remarkable, as the cross there mentioned had the image of a crucified person sculptured upon it. He relates as follows: 'In the middle of the court. * * * in Merida there is a stone cross, the thickness of which is about six inches. * * * The figure of a saint crucified is sculptured in mezzo-relievo on it. It is understood to have been one of the crosses which in the times of Indian paganism were discovered in the island of Cozumel.'" -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 169.

    Many writers and explorers testify as to the cross having been a common emblem in Central America and Mexico at the time they were discovered bv the Spaniards. Prof. Baldwin and the Hon. Ignatius Donnelly state as follows: "The cross is one of the most common emblems present in all the ruins. This led the Catholic missionaries to assume that knowledge of Christianity had been brought to America long before their arrival." -- Ancient America, page 109.

    "When the Spanish missionaries first set foot upon the soil of America * * * they were amazed to find the cross as devoutly worshiped by the Indians as by themselves. * * * The hallowed symbol challenged their admiration on every hand." -- Atlantis, page 319.

    The Hon. H. H. Bancroft relates in his volumes as follows: "The island of Cozumel was especially devoted to religious observances, and was annually visited by a great number of pilgrims. There were therefore more religious edifices here than elsewhere. Among them is mentioned a square tower. * * * It was surrounded by an enclosure, in the middle of which stood a cross nine feet high." -- Native Races, vol. 2, page 793.

    "In a tablet on the wall of a room in Palenque is a cross surmounted by a bird." -- Native Races, vol. 3, page 135.

    "One of the most remarkable emblems of the Maya worship, in the estimation of the conquerors, was the cross, which has also been noticed in other parts of Central America and in Mexico. * * * The cross is to be found in Mexican manuscripts." -- Native races, vol. 3, pp. 468, 469.

    On page 470 Mr. Bancroft again mentions the one on Cozumel, and the one at Merida, previously mentioned from Kingsborough; and he adds concerning the one at Palenque: "The sculptured cross at Palenque has the Latin form. A bird is perched on its apex, and on either side stands a human figure, apparently priests." -- Native Races, vol. 3, p. 470.

    "Again he mentions the same cross and figures, as follows:

    "Fixed in the wall at the back of the enclosure, and covering nearly its whole surface, was the tablet of the cross, six feet four inches high, ten feet eight inches wide, and formed of three stones. The center stone and part of the western


    bear the sculptured figures shown in the cut. The rest of the western and all of the eastern stone were covered with hieroglyphics. * * * The subject doubtless possessed a religious signification, and the location of the tablet may be considered a sacred altar, or most holy place, of the ancient Maya priesthood. Two men, probably priests, clad in the robes and insignia of their office, are making an offering to the cross, or to a bird perched on its summit." -- Native Races, vol. 4, pp. 333, 334.

    Bancroft mentions other crosses as follows:

    "Brasseur de Bourbourg tells us that, the ruins of Quecaleoatle's temple at Tulancingo were visible long after the Conquest, and also speaks of a subterranean palace called Mictlancalro, and a stone cross discovered on Mount Meztitlan. Veytia also speaks of the cross of Meztitlan, sculptured on a lofty and almost inaccessible cliff." -- Native Races," vol. 4, p. 544.

    On page 545 of the same volume he mentions a house in one of the ancient cities of northeastern Mexico that has a room which, he says, "contains the remains of a kind of altar, and a sculptured cross." Of still another people, those of Peru, he remarks:

    "I may mention here that the Incas possessed a cross of fine marble, or jasper, highly polished and all of one piece. It was three-fourths of an ell in length and three fingers in thickness; it was kept in a sacred chamber of the palace and held in great veneration." -- Native Races, vol. 5, p. 48.

    Of Quetzalcoatle, the Toltec Savior, Bancroft says that one of his symbols, sculptured or painted with him, was the cross; and he adds:

    "Quetzalcoatle is said to have been a white man, with a strong formation of body, broad forehead, large eyes, black hair, and a heavy beard. He always wore a long white robe, which, according to Gomora, was decorated with crosses. He had a mitre on his head and a stick in his hand." -- Native Races, vol. 3, p. 274.

    Kingsborough quotes from the Italian historian, Botturini (who visited Mexico in A. D. 1835), who says that the Mexican traditions "recount to us the history of the creation of the world, of the deluge, of the confusion of tongues, * * * of their ancestors' long travels in Asia," and he adds that they make record of a certain year as the one in which took place the great eclipse which happened at the time of the crucifixion." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, p. 176.

    The Book of Mormon itself fully attests of the knowledge had by the ancients concerning God, and his Son, and the Holy Ghost; and especially of their understanding the atonement made by Christ. As, for instance, the following passages are samples:

    "For this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and that we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming. * * * and we worship the Father in his name." -- Book of Jacob, 3:1, 2.

    "And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God. * * * And he cometh unto his own that salvation might come unto the children of men, even through faith on his name. And they shall consider him a man and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him and crucify him. And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and, behold, he standeth to judge the world." -- Mosiah 1:14.

    Upon the subject of American antiquities and traditions the celebrated Le Plongeon writes as follows: "The fact that the same doctrine of a Supreme Deity, composed of three parts distinct from each other, yet forming one, was universally prevalent among the civilized nations of America, Asia, and the Egyptians, naturally leads to the inference that, at some time or other, communications and relations, more or less intimate, have existed between them." -- Sacred Mysteries of the Mayas, page 56. For the extracts from Lord Kingsborough's work I am indebted to Elder S. F. Walker.

    (To be continued.)

    Vol. III.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, January, 1890.                                  No. 1.

            [p. 29b]




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    ... With this chapter I add a few more quotations concerning the traditions of the ancient Americans about Christ's visit to their fathers. Lord Kingsborough. writes as follows:

    "Of Quecalcoatle they relate that, proceeding of his journey, he arrived at the sea, which is here painted, and which they named Tlapallan, and that entering into it they saw him no more, nor knew they what became of him, except that they saw that he desired them to restrain their grief and to expect his return, which would take place at the appointed time. And, accordingly they believed it was he." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 183.

    "What shall we say when we find that the Indians of New Spain did expect a Messiah? * * * Torquemada has recorded in the thirteenth and fifteenth chapters of his fourth book of his 'Indian Monarchy' the curious fact that when the Spanish general arrived he was not only taken by the Mexicans for their Messiah but actually received their adorations in that character." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 338.

    He says that Cortez kept the matter as secret as possible because he was ashamed of the circumstance, evidently expecting to be ridiculed in Spain if it became known. Again he says: "If our surprise is excited by the discovery that the Peruvians were not altogether ignorant of the nature of a vicarious sacrifice or atonement, it will be produced in no less deg ?? when we discover that the inhabitants of New Spain generally believed in the coming of a future Redeemer, or Savior, whose advent, as well as the destruction of the world, they seem to have expected at the close of certain stated periods. That future Redeemer was Quecalcoatle." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 409.

    Torquemada writes: -- "It. is likewise found that in some provinces of New Spain, as in Talonaca, they expected the coming of the Son of


    God into the world. * * * They paid that he was to come to renew all things, although they did not believe in interpreting this in a spiritual but in a temporal and earthly sense. For example, they thought that on his coining the grain would be of a pure and more substantial quality, that the fruit would be better flavored and more excellent in its kind, that the lives of men would be prolonged, and that everything else would become better in a corresponding degree." -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 413.

    If the above was indeed the belief of the people whom the Spaniards found, then it surely accord with the teaching of both the Bible and the Nook of Mormon. The Bible, especially, has much to pay of the wonderful fertility of the earth that will he in the day of Christ's return, and when he reigns over it. The prophets say that in his time the desert will blossom as the rose, that the garners shall overflow with plenty, that God's people shall plant and build for their own use and occupancy, and not that others may eat their fruit or grain, or dwell in their houses; for "every man shall sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree." These. and many other things, are said of a literal and temporal salvation upon a redeemed earth, in fulfillment of the saying of Christ in Jerusalem that "the meek shall inherit the earth." As to the longevity of man in that time the Lord has said by Isaiah that "as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of my people," or, as one translation gives it, "as the days of the tree of life." showing unlimited continuance and length, not an uncertain one. But in either rendering it is evident that the idea of great longevity was intended to be conveyed.

    Of the evidences that they also understood the doctrine of the resurrection the following is presented:

    "It was the cupidity of the Spaniards that first instructed them in another essential doctrine of the Indians, that of the resurrection of the body. And here we must observe that this doctrine is peculiarly Christian. It is on this point and not on the immortality of the soul that Christianity differs from the religions of antiquity, and it is very singular that it should have been discovered in the New World. Gomara, after stating that the Peruvians deposited gold and silver vases in the tombs of the Incas, says: 'When the Spaniards opened these tombs and scattered the bones the Peruvians entreated them not to do so, assuring them that these bones were to be united in the resurrection,' Herrera says: 'In the provinces of Guazaculco and Uluta they believed that the dead would come to life.'" -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 6, page 413.

    Lord Kingsborough also relates from Torquemada another interesting matter, namely that Diego de Mercado, in those early days, conversed with an aged Otomie, who informed him 'that they in ancient times had been in possession of a book, which had been handed down successively from father to son, in the person of the eldest, who was dedicated to the safe custody of it, and to instruct others in its-doctrines. * * * On the ecclesiastic's questioning the Indian as to the contents of the book and its doctrines he simply replied that if the book had not been lost he would have seen that the doctrine which he taught and those which the book contained were the same.'" -- Mexican Antiquities, vol. 15, p. 409.

    Elias Boudinot (elected in 1810 as the first president of the American Bible Society) in his book about the Indians wrote as follows:

    "There is a tradition, related by an aged Indian of the Stockbridge tribe, that his fathers were once in possession of a sacred book, which was handed down from generation to generation, and at last hid in the earth; since which time they have been under the feet of their enemies. But these oracles were to be restored to them again, and then they would triumph over their enemies, and regain their ancient country, together with their rights and privileges. * * * They also say that their fathers were possessed of an extraordinary power by which they foretold future events, * * * that they did by these means bring down blessings upon their beloved people; but that this power for a long time past has entirely disappeared." -- Voice of Warning, pages 81. 82.

    Upon the fact that they did have books and writings in plenty in those olden times Charnay admits as follows:

    "The history of this people can only be read on the monuments they have left. Yet documents were not wanting, and had the religious zeal of the men of that time been less ill-judged, they would have found in the various and multiform manuscripts, in the charts or maps, in the idols, in the pottery and living traditions, ample and reliable materials from which to write an exhaustive history of the Maya civilization. But the Spaniards were more careful to destroy than to preserve. Zumarraga. Bishop of Mexico, destroyed all the Aztec annals that he could lay his hands upon." -- Ancient Cities, p. 270.

    Also Prof. J. D. Baldwin has the following:

    "The ruins show that they had ti e art of writing, and that at the South this art was more developed. * * * It is known that books or manuscript writings were abundant among them in the ages previous to the Aztec period. They had an accurate measure of the solar year, a system of chronology, and many of their writings were historical." -- Ancient America, page 187.

    Mr. Baldwin quotes the words of Las Casas, the Spanish missionary, who says that he and his fellow priests had seen the books, but he adds, "though many were burned by the monks, who were afraid they might impede the work of conversion."

    Mr. Baldwin says further:

    "Besides many similar bonfires there ie record of a great conflagration in which a vast collection of these old writings was consumed." -- Ancient America, p. 189.

    In his work John T. Short writes as follows:

    "The infamous crime committed against the cause of knowledge, and the irreparable injury done to the natives, to their successors, and to the students of history for all time, by the destruction of those manuscripts, must ever remain an universal blot upon the name of the early church in Mexico, and must be ranked with the worst deeds of the Goths and Vandals." -- North Americans of Antiquity, p. 429.

    (To be continued.)

    Vol. III.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, February, 1890.                                  No. 2.

            [p. 78b]




    [initial pages, 75-78a not copied]

    ... That the people of ancient Central America were given to the worship of idols is attested by all the explorers of that part of America, and, bearing out the record of the Book of Mormon, idol worship appears to have been confined exclusively to those regions. For neither the book nor the discoveries of antiquarians disci se that veritable idols were held in veneration anywhere else upon American soil, whatever may have been their fetish worship or love for grotesque figures, carved or painted, in different parts of the land. Catherwood and Stephens, Charney, le Plongeon, John T. Short and other explorers describe in detail the immense stone idols, with altars in front of them, that have been found throughout Central America. Of the ruins of one city (Tikal) in Guatemala Charney says:

    "In the open space or court which stands between the temples, are several stones. * * * Some have their front occupied by a human profile and hieroglyphics on the sides. On others both profiles and hieroglyphics were of very hard cement. * * * In this court are likewise several circular altars like those at Copan * * * but here we have a new feature in the altars which stand in the open air. * * * In our drawing is represented a beautifully sculptured figure, in high relief, with the usual dress of priests, grandees, and idols. * * * Unlike similar reliefs at Palenque, where the idol formed the central subject, here it is replaced by a standing human figure, having an elaborate head-dress. * * * To the right, below the inscription, are symbolic ornaments, and towards the lower extremity arc two superb human profiles. * * * We follow Stephens in the description and illustration of these monuments, and find that the most remarkable are monolith idols * * * and that the inscriptions, bas-reliefs, and idols are like those of the places we have already described. * * * At Kabah, which we think coeval with Copan, we noticed the exaggerated ornamentation which marks two different epochs. * * * The idol personifies several deities, shown in the first we reproduce, where the great central figure having a woman's head, emerges from a dragon's jaws." -- Ancient Cities, pp. 468, 470, 474, 475.

    John L. Stephens gives many engravings of the idols he found in Copan and elsewhere. Of the first one described in his account of Copan, Stephens says: "At the point marked D stands one of the columns or idols which give the peculiar character to the ruins of Copan. * * * It stands with its face to the east. * * * It is thirteen feet in height, four feet wide and three deep, sculptured on nil four of its sides from the base to the top and is one of the richest and most elaborate specimens in tbe whole extent of the ruins. * * * Before it, at a distance of about eight feet, is a large block of sculptured stone. * * * Following the wall at the place marked ? is another monument or idol of tbe same size, and in many respects similar. The character of this image is grand, and it would be difficult to exceed the richness of the ornament and clearness of the sculpture. * * * On one side, at the foot of the pyrnmidal wall, is the monument or idol marked B, of which the engraving represents the front. * * * Near this, at the point marked A, is a remarkable altar, which perhaps presents


    as curious a subject of speculation as any monument in Copan. The altars, like the idols, are each of a single block of stone. In general they are not so richly ornamented, and are more faded and worn. * * * Some are completely buried. * * * All differed in fashion, and doubtless had some distinct reference to the idols before which they stand." -- Central America and Yucatan, vol. 1, pp. 136-140.

    He describes and gives illustrations of other idols, and of one in particular he says: "It is one of the most beautiful in Copan, and in workmanship is equal to the finest Egyptian sculpture. Indeed it would be impossible with the best instruments of modern times to cut stones more perfectly." -- Central America, vol. 1, page 151.

    Many further evidences might be produced, such as that Cortez found the Mexicans under Montezuma offering up human sacrifices upon altars, but with the, confession that it was contrary to the ways of their predecessors, who offered no human beings but abhorred it. All of which goes to show how the people of God degenerated and became loathsome and wicked in their darkness, as the Book of Mormon describes. The following from Mr. Stephens, as to the past greatness and glory of that people is worth repeating here:

    "The day after our survey was finished, as a relief we set out for a, walk to the old stone quarries of Copan. * * * The range lies about two miles north from the river, and runs east and west. The side of the mountain was overgrown with bushes and trees. * * * The city was buried in the forest and entirely hidden from fight. Imagination peopled the quarry with workmen, and laid bare the city to their view. Here, as the sculptor worked, he turned to the theater of his glory and dreamed of immortal fame. Little did he imagine that the time would come when his works would perish, his race be extinct, his city a desolation, an abode for reptiles, and for strangers to gaze at and wonder by what race it had once been inhabited. * * * How the huge masses were transported over the irregular and broken surface, and particularly how one of them was set on the top of a mountain two thousand feet high, it was impossible to conjecture In many places were blocks which had been quarried out and rejected for some defect" -- Central America and Yucatan, vol. 1, page 146.

    Many other important quotations might be given from the writings of antiquarian students and scientific explorers, and as space may permit, some more will be presented. Of the antiquity of the ruins found where the Nephites flourished greatly and where the Jeredites lived before their day, Mr. Baldwin says:

    "The Mexican and Central American ruins make it certain that in ancient times an important civilization existed in that part of the continent, which must have begun at a remote period in the past. * * * A large portion of them had been forgotten in the forests, or become mythical and mysterious long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Three hundred and fifty years ago the forest which so largely covers Yucatan, Guatemala, and Chiapas, was growing as it grows now. * * * How many additional centuries it had existed no one can tell. * * * In the ages previous to the beginning of this immense forest the region it covers was the seat of a civilization which grew up to a high degree of development, flourished a long time, and finally declined until its cities were deserted and its cultivated fields left to the wild influences of nature. * * * Copan, first discovered and described three hundred years ago, was then as strange to the natives dwelling near it as are the old Chaldean ruins to the Arabs who wander over the wasted plains of Lower Mesopotamia. Manifestly it was forgotten, left in the forest long before Montezuma's people rose to power It is easily understood that this old city had an important history before that unknown time in the past when war, revolution, or some other agency of destruction, put an end to its career, and left it to become what it is now." -- Ancient America, pages 151, 152.

    "Moreover, these old ruins in all cases show us only the cities last occupied in the periods to which they belonged. * * * It can be seen that some of the ruined cities were several times renewed by reconstructions. We must consider also that many ages must have been required to develop such admirable skill in masonry and ornamentation. Therefore the time between the beginning of this mysterious development and the period when the builders first used cut stone laid in mortar and cement, and when they covered their work with beautiful sculptured ornaments and inscriptions, must have been very long." -- Ancient America, pp, 152, 153.

    Of the ruins of Tula, M. Desire Charney writes as follows: "These remains are priceless in every respect, because of their analogy and intimate connection with all those we shall subsequently discover, forming the first links in the chain of evidence respecting our theory of the unity of American civilization. * * * On looking at them I seem to myself to be carried back a thousand years amidst that grand old race whose ruins I am here to study." -- Ancient Cities, pp. 98, 103.

    On page 105 he describes his excavations down to the floors of "houses and palaces," and how he found "frescoed walls, columns and pilasters," also "cisterns, gardens, water pipes, filters, vases, and enameled terra-cotta cups." Of his discoveries he enthusiastically remarks: "On examining the monument of Tula we are filled with admiration for the marvelous building ingenuity of the people who erected them. For, unlike most primitive nations, they used every material at once. They coated their inner walls with mortar, faced their outer walls with cut stone and baked brick, and had brick and stone staircases and wooden roofs. They were acquainted with pilasters, with caryatides, and with square and round columns. Indeed they seem to have been familiar with every architectural device. That they were painters and decorators we have ample evidences in the house that we unearthed there, where the walls are covered with rosettes and geometrical figures." -- Ancient Cities, p. 107.

    In the same place he excavated and found what he calls a palace, whose apartments and inner courtyard covered twenty-five hundred square yards of ground. Like Baldwin and others he says the ruins give evidence of their


    having been occupied, and either destroyed to some extent afterwards, or else been vacated for a long time and then rebuilt. He writes as follows:

    "Here and there closed-up passages, walls rebuilt with materials other than those employed in the old construction, seem to indicate that the palace was occupied at two different periods." -- Ancient Cities, p. 110.

    With the next chapter will be given further testimony from Charney and others upon the ancient civilizations of America.

    Vol. III.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, March, 1890.                                  No. 3.

            [p. 136b]




    [initial pages, 134-136a not copied]

    ... it is well here to consider the objection which has been urged, that so large a volume as the Book of Mormon could not have been written from matter engraved upon so small a bundle of plates as a pile only six inches high. Therefore the claim that the book is divine and that it was divinely translated is declared to be very plainly a humbug, a transparent fraud. But the jump to this conclusion appears to be a very hurried one, and to have been made in all cases without any investigation whatever. For the facts also on this point are like the others, much stronger than even the friends of the book would suppose, unless they shall give the subject proper thought and investigation.

    Having looked into the matter, the writer learns from a tinner that about eighty sheets of common tin will measure an inch in thickness or sixty sheets of heavy tin. As common tin was spoken of by the eye-witnesses of the plates, and as it is said that the sheets were "not quite as thick" as that, it is safe to say that eighty if not one hundred of the metal plates found by Joseph Smith would not any more than fill an inch in thickness. If we say eighty, and take five inches of the six as the portion translated, (the remainder being sealed), we would have four hundred sheets that were eight by seven inches in length and breadth, or, being written on both sides, eight hundred pages of characters


    to make five hundred and fifty pages of the present Book of Mormon.

    Again, there are some languages of which, in a given space, much more can be written than there can be of other languages, as for intance, the hieroglyphics of Egypt. Hincks, Rawlinson, Ebers, Bunsen, and other Egyptologists, tell us that among the ancients of that land three kinds of writing was used, there being besides the original hieroglyphieal the hieratic, used more by the Egyptian priesthood, and the demotic, which became in time the common language. From one of Prof. George Rawlinson's works I quote the following:

    "The hieroglyphic is that of almost all monuments, and is also found occasionally in manuscripts. The hieratic and demotic occur with extreme rarity upon monuments, but are employed far more commonly than the hieroglyphic in the papyrus rolls, or books, of the Egyptians. Both of them are cursive (running) forms of the hieroglyphic writing, invented to save time, and suited for rapid writing with the pen, but in no way suited for carving upon stone. . . They occupy more space than the corresponding hieroglyphics." -- Ancient Egypt, vol. 1, page 58.

    He says that the hieratic was in use earlier than the "demotic, having been employed as far back as the time of the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties," that is about fifteen hundred, and perhaps sixteen hundred, years before Christ was horn. By it the hieroglyphic forms were to a certain extent preserved, hut they are nearly lost in the demotic, "which Appears to have been introduced about the seventh century B.C., and which rapidly superseded the hieratic, being simpler and consequently easier to write."

    The first of the three (the hieroglyphic) was divided into two great classes, the first class of characters being called Ideographs, meaning those which represent ideas; the second class being called Phonetics because they expressed sound. Chambers says:

    "The earliest known monuments which ascend to the third dynasty, (above 2.000 years before Christ), are filled with phonetic hieroglyphics, showing that at that early period the principle of writing sounds had been completely developed." -- Article Hieroglyphics.

    Inasmuch as Mormon and Moroni wrote in what they called the "Reformed," that is the improved, Egyptian, doubtless they wrote in that language which was best adapted to their purpose of putting a great deal in the smallest space, although, as Moroni says, it might not have been as pure a language, or one in which they could tell as clearly what they wished to write as if they had written in the Hebrew.

    Now, according to Bunson, there were about one thousand signs in the hieroglyphical language of Egypt, and many of these, as such signs represented whole words. For instance we find that a circle, O, signified "the sun," and also "a day," and that a curved line, or, ~, represented "the moon" and also "a month." An oval meant "an egg," or "a child," and a vulture symbolized "mother." Two water plants of that further investigations and discoveries in deciphering Mexican hieroglyphic paintings will exhibit a close analogy to the Egyptian, in the use of two systems, one for monumental inscription, the other for ordinary purposes of record and the sending of information. We find the three species of hieroglyphics common to Mexico and Egypt." -- American Antiquities, pp. 42, 46.

    Further, upon the differences between languages in regard to space, the following is added: On page 530 of the work of the late Hon. E. M. Haines, called, "The American Indian." is given the Indian original of a certain writing, together with the English interpretation of the same. It shows that while the Indian syllables make but four lines the translation into English makes eleven lines of the same length, or nearly three times as much reading in English. That is, the space taken to write the Indian meaning is but little over one-third that which is taken to write the English meaning of the same thing.

    Hence, with all these things put together there seems to be abundant reason why the contents of the Book of Mormon might have been written on eight hundred pages of metal


    plates that were seven by eight inches broad, probably with space to »pare.

    As being appropriately associated with the matter already introduced concerning the similarity and probable intimate connection between the languages engraved in Egypt and in America, comes in an account of an essay that was presented and read before the "Nebraska Academy of Sciences," as published in the Omaha Republican of January 15th, 1881. There were present Professor Wilber and other geologists and scientific men. Among the papers read was one by the Rev. W. E. Copeland upon the ancient dwellers in America. Among other things he paid as follows:

    "Not a few facts point to a similarity of race between the pre-historic peoples of America and of Africa. They were both builders; and, if anything distinguished the Egyptians from all other nations of antiquity, it was the number and magnificence of the buildings which they erected. Other races built, but only to a slight extent compared with the pre-historic races of America. The ruined cities of Central America are unequalled in extent, and in the solid grandeur of the buildings, by anything in what has been called the Old World, except by the cities of Egypt, such as Memphis, Heliopolis, Thebes, Karnak and Luxor. And the method of building is similar in both Egypt and America. Temples and palaces are constructed of immense blocks of stone, that are so nicely joined that in instances a knife blade can not be inserted between them. And the style of architecture, grand, massive and solemn, is also quite similar; while carving and figures in relief are found in both. And though the (.'race and beauty of Grecian architecture is wanting yet (in the other two) it is replaced by a massive grandeur.

    "Among all the remains of the pre-historic Americans, whether we examine the mounds, the ruins of Central America, or the cities of Mexico that still flourished in the time of Cortez, we find the pyramids. It is true that this form is found elsewhere, but not as a prevailing type, save in America and Egypt. When one examines the temple mound at Cahokia (Illinois), the pyramidal structures of Central America and Mexico, and the pyramids of Egypt, it is difficult to resist the conclusion that kindred races built them all. Both within the pyramids of Egypt and the pyramidal mounds of America we find burial vaults. * * * Perhaps neither were built purposely for tombs, yet both have been put to the same use.

    "On all these massive buildings, both in Egypt and America, we find hieroglyphics, whether identical in their meaning, or not, we can not yet tell. But the similarity is striking; and no other nations of antiquity (besides these two) made so common use of these inscriptions. On the buildings of other nations can be found hieroglyphics, hut their use is rare compared with those found in Egypt and America. * * * Finding two nations making use of the same style of writing, and that not in use among other nations, we are induced to suppose a similar origin. And we are almost compelled to conclude that there was a similar social condition, which conclusion is enforced because of the vast extent of the buildings that were erected by the ancient Americans, and, as in Egypt, mainly for temples; although works for the benefit of the people were also undertaken on a very extensive scale.

    "Besides the hieroglyphics found in Central America, we have also in the carvings other resemblances to Egyptian art. In Copan we find representations of colossal apes and baboons, strongly resembling in outline and appearance the Cynocéphale that was worshiped at Thebes, and once attached to the base of the obelisk at Luxor, now in Paris. The Tan, surrounded by a circle, which was the sacred cross of Egypt, appears on the ruins of Palenque. The emblem of the cross is of frequent occurrence in the pre-historic remains of America.

    "We also find much in the civilization of ancient Mexico and Peru which resembles the civilization of Egypt. Their knowledge of mechanics was about equal. Both moved huge blocks of stone over long distances, and elevated them to a great height; and in it all they used most accurate measurements. Both arranged systems of irrigation. Both excelled in astronomy, the Mexicans having made great improvements in this science. Both bad made great advances in architecture, and had elaborated a similar style, unlike that prevailing elsewhere in the civilized world. And, while I would not claim that the style of architecture is identical, yet the resemblances are very many, and the impression made upon the observer is the ???? both in Egypt and in America.

    "Both of the races were skilled agriculturalists, overpowering all obstacles, in one place building canals and in another aqueduct?; and by irrigation making out of the desert a beautiful gardon.

    "In several of the art* we find a close resemblance, for both were skilled jewelers, and used cutting implements that were harder than our best steel. And we find evidences that several of the so-called lost arts of Egypt were known to the Toltecs; in short, that the wonderful civilization of Egypt had a counterpart in America.

    "Their religion was the same, both being sun-worshipers, in honor of whom they erected like edifices. The ruling monarch of Egypt was regarded as the living vicegerent of Ra, the sun-god; and the kings who built the pyramids, and those after them, were called, "Son of Ra." So the Inca of Peru was by his subjects believed to be the visible representation of the divine sun. And he combined in his person the royal dignity of the divine Inca, and the office of high priest, the religious head over the people, which was exactly the case with the Egyptian ruler, too. We find the belief among both that there was one God superior to all others, a pure Spirit that was invisible, omnipotent and omniscient."

    Mr. Copeland also mentions an important incident in Mexican railway building in the ancient land of the Toltecs, where the grading work passed along a line that seemed for twenty-five miles to be but one vast graveyard. He says that the tombs were eleven or twelve feet below the surface, and that the walls of the tombs were of masonry, securely plastered, with heavy flagstones laid across the top. In


    them were mummies, wrapped in cloths, also some specimens of gold and silver work. He mentions, too, the fact that at the Conquest of Peru the mummies of the Incas were found, or, as Prescott shows, the dead Incas were sitting up in royal state in halls used for the mummies of these notable men of that empire. Copeland concludes upon this point by saying:

    "How striking the similarity to the contents of an Egyptian tomb!! And we can find no other nation which mummified their dead and built tombs which would for centuries endure the wear and tear of time, preserving uninjured their contents for the wonder of later generations."

    (Concluded next number.)

    Vol. III.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, April, 1890.                                  No. 4.

            [p. 182b]




    [initial pages, 180-182a not copied]

    ... It may be supposed by those who are not acquainted with the facts, and indeed it has been charged by the enemies of the latter day work, that sufficient had been learned and published about the ruins, relics, and ancient civilizations of Peru, Mexico, and Central America, for a sharp man, one with a vivid imagination, to have used such knowledge as the basis for a wonderful romance about the ancient inhabitants of those lands, and to come very near the truth, too, in a great many things.

    But the evidences are to the contrary of this opinion, the facts being that all of the great discoveries and investigations in those countries, whether made by traveling explorers, or by scientific and other learned men, were unknown to the world, even to men of letters in Europe and America, until after the Book of Mormon was copied (translated) from the plates of Mormon in 1829.

    Even in the case of Fernando Montesinos, who was sent from Spain to Peru in 1030, as related with chapter eleven of this story, although he made quite a study of the civilization then existing, and wrote of the wealth and present surroundings of that people, and something of their traditional history, yet his two volumes, called "Memories" and "Annales" remained for two hundred years in manuscript form in the national archives in Madrid, and only the former volume has been published yet, and that in French after having been translated by Mons. Com pans. Consequently it was not known to American scholars, much less to the general public, until after the year 1830. Therefore it is as new to all readers of English as are the recent works of Stevens, Squier, Charney, and other modern writers. Furthermore, Montesinos did not know anything and did not write anything about other lands that Peru, for he lived and died without any knowledge of the extensive rnins of Central America and Mexico, where the Book of Mormon describes as anciently existing the grandest, and the earliest, as well as the latest, civilization of the American Continent. For this see Baldwin's "Ancient America," pages 201 to 271.

    Then Baldwin, on page 102, mentions Palacios, who, he says, may properly he called the first explorer in Central America, because he wrote of Copan in 1570. But the value of this date is gone when we learn that, like the works of Montesinos, his letters to the king of Spain were stored away, and that they were not known to English or American readers until they were obtained by the Hon. E. G. Squier, translated by him into English, and published in the year i860. So we gather from Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. 4. page 79, and from the American Encyclopedia, article, "Squier." Among other early writers Baldwin (on page 102) mentions Captain Del Rio, who, he says, prepared "a brief account of Palenque" in 17S7. Of his writings Stephens says:

    "The report of Captain Del Rio, * * * through either the supineness or the jealousy of the Spanish government, was locked up in the archives of Guatamala until the time of the revolution, when i he original manuscripts came into the hands of an English gentleman, and an English translation was published in London in 1822. This was the first notice in Europe of the discovery of those ruins. And, instead of electrifying the public mind, so little notice was taken of it that in 1831 the Literary Gazette, a paper of great circulation in London, announced it as (then) a new discovery." -- Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, vol. 2, p. 269.

    Hence we see that Captain Del Rio's work could have been of no use to Joseph Smith or to any one else in America in fabricating the Book of Mormon, when it was not even in the hands of the chief literary men of London before 1831. The first mention of Del Rio's work in any American book is found on page 308 of Priest's "American Antiquities." as mentioned by C. F. Rafinesque in a letter to Champollion. the French savant, written at Philadelphia in 1832. Rafinesque said that the account of the ruins given by Del Rio had inspired him "with hope» that they (the ruins) would throw a great light over American history, when more perfectly examined." -- American Antiquities, p. 308.

    Captain Dupaix was another explorer. Of him Stephens says:

    "While the report and drawings of Del Rio slept in the archives of Guatemala. Charles the Fourth of Spain ordered another expedition, at the head of which was placed Captain Dupnix. * * * His expeditions were made in 1805-1807, the last of which was to Palenque. The manuscripts of Dupaix and the designs of his draughtsman, Castadena. were about to be sent to Madrid when the revolution broke out in Mexico. They then became an object of secondary importance, and remained during the wars of independence under the control of Castadena, who deposited them in the Cabinet of Natural History in Mexico. * * * And the work of Dupaix was not published until 1834-5, twenty-eight years after his expedition, when it was brought out in Paris." -- Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, vol. 2, page 297.

    Of Dupaix's writings Mr. Baldwin says: "Captain Dupaix's folios, in French, with the drawings of Castadena, contain the first really important memoir of these ruins. They were prepared in 1807, detained in Mexico during the revolution, and finally published in Paris in 1834-5." -- Ancient America, page 102. Hence we see that this first really important account of the ruins of Central America was not published until five years (and then in French only) after the Book of Mormon had told its story of that land, and of its ancient inhabitants and their great works. Again, it has been thought that perhaps Lord Kingsborough's writings were published before the Book of Mormon, but, according to W. H.


    Prescott in his "Conquest of Peru," their publication was not begun until 1830, and when Prescott wrote hie note in volume 1, page 128, seven volumes of Kingsborough's proposed nine had been published. The preface to Prescott's Conquest was written October 1st, 1843, but how long after 1830 the note on Kingsborough was written does not appear, but from the context it would seem to have been as late as 1840. The original price of Kingsborough's nine volumes, with colored plates, was $875, or, with uncolored plates, the price was $500. Later the price was $400 per set, so says Stephens in volume 1, page 208.

    As for Priest's "American Antiquities," it is evident that it was published as late as 1832, because it contains the letter from Prof. Rafinesque that was written in 1832 to Champollion, as mentioned in a previous paragraph herein. The copy seen by the writer of this has neither title-page nor preface, therefore the time of its publication is unknown to me.

    The preface of John Delafield's work, "Antiquities of America," bears date "February, 1839,'' and the title- page says that it was published simultaneously in New York, London, and Paris, in 1839. Hence these two books. Priest and Delafield, s? often quoted or referred to, came too late for any use by the writers of the Book of Mormon.

    In taking up the celebrated work of John L. Stephens, more commonly known as "Catherwood and Stephens' Travels," we find that, these men did not start from New York on their tour of investigation until October 3d, 1839. And the preface to the first volumes published by them was written in May, 184, or eleven years after the Book of Mormon had informed its readers that a great civilization and many cities had existed of old in the regions that were really first opened up to the knowledge of America by this same student and explorer. John L. Stephens. He claimed that he and Catherwood discovered the ruins of forty-four cities and villages. Hon. H. H. Bancroft speaks of their extensive researches compared with the small discoveries made by the few who, prior to their time, visited those regions, and he says:

    "Since 1830 the vail has been lifted from the principal ruins of the ancient Maya works by the researches made. * * *It will be noticed that all the authors (before) mentioned, who write from actual observation, have confined their investigations to from one to four of the principal ruins, excepting Messrs. Stephens and Catherwood. These gentlemen boldly left the beaten track and brought to the knowledge of the world about forty ruined cities whose very existence had been previously unknown, even to the residents of the larger cities of the very state in whose territory they lie. Stephens' work was noticed (With quotations) by nearly all the reviews at the time of its appearance, and it has been the chief source from which all subsequent writers, including myself, have drawn their information." -- Native Races, vol. 4, pages 144-146.

    Mr. Bancroft writes of other brief explorations, such as those by Zavalla, former Mexican ambassador to France, who visited the ruins in 1830, and Waldeck, a French artist, who was at Uxmal in 1835, and Freidrichsthal, an Austrian (who confined his examinations to two cities), who was in Yucatan about 1840. Mr. Bancroft says that the explorations of all these were very limited.

    It should be borne in mind by the reader that the chief ruins in Central America (which discovery as well as the Book of Mormon shows to have been the seat of the greatest empire of ancient America, and where the remains are ten fold greater than they are in any other region), had not been heard of in our land until since 1830, and in fact that the most of them were discovered long after that year. Those ruins which are the most noted are called Uxmal, Copan and Palenque. And although Palacios in 1576 wrote of Copan, yet, as we have seen, his work was not published in English until 1860. Hence of the marvellous ruins of Copan Bancroft says:

    "For what is known of Copan the world is indebted almost entirely to the works of the American travelers, Mr. John L. Stephens and his most skilful artist companion, Mr. F. Catherwood. From the works of these gentlemen, with the slight notes to be gleaned from other sources, I proceed to give all that is known of what is commonly termed the oldest city on the American continent." -- Native Races," vol. 4. page 81.

    Of the ruins called Uxmal, Stephens wrote that up to his own time Waldeck's account was the only thing that had ever been published about them. Waldeck's work was published in Paris in 1835. -- Stephen's "Incidents of Travel," (published in 1848), vol. 1, page 297.

    Brasseur de Bourbourg is another writer who has been largely referred to by Baldwin and others, and it might be supposed that his work was ancient. But the American Encyclopedia says that he was born in 1814, and that it was not until 1848 that he began "exploring the United States, Mexico and Central America." His "History of Civilization in Mexico and Central America" was not published until 1857-9 (in the French language only), and three other volumes in 1861-4. See the American Encyclopedia, vol. 3, page 214.

    Of the ruins called Palenque we read in the American Encyclopedia as follows:

    "The ruins were discovered by the Spaniards in 1750. explored by Bernasconi in 1787, and by Dupaix in 1807. whose account was published in 1834-5." -- Article "Palenque," vol. 12. p. 819.

    Thus the story of Palenque was not known to English readers until after 1835, at the earliest, as previously shown.

    As for Prescott, his "Conquest of Mexico" was first published in 1843. and not until 1847 did he publish his "Conquest of Peru." in which he writes interestingly of the civilization formerly existing in that land, and an account of the great roads, ruins, etc.

    The valuable works of Hon. E. G. Squier should not be overlooked. It is a matter of history 'hat his "Aboriginal Monuments." and his "Antiquities of the State of New York," were not published until 1851, his "Nicaragua and its Ancient Monuments," until 1852, and hie "Notes on Central America." until 1854, therefore his writings were of no benefit to those who translated the Book of Mormon. A


    work by Hon. E. G. Squier and Dr. E. H. Davis was published by the Smithsonian Institution of Washington in 1843, which is spoken of as being the "first systematic work" published about the Mound-Builders of America.

    Prof. J. D. Baldwin's "Ancient America" was published in 1872.

    Bancroft's five volumes, entitled "Native Races of the Pacific States," were published in 1875.

    Mr. John T. Short's work, "North Americans of Antiquity," was published in 1882, as was also Hon. Ignatius Donnelly's "Atlantis."

    The works of Prof. J. W. Foster, the noted geologist, and archaeologist, were published as follows: "The Mississippi Valley" in 1809, and "Prehistoric Races of the United States" in 1873. M. Desire Charney, the French explorer, first visited Mexico and Central America in 1857, and the second time in 1880. His last book, "Ancient Cities of the New World," was published in 1884.

    Brownell's "Indian Races," and Bradford's "Origin of the Red Race," are all recent publications, within the last thirty years.

    Thus I have referred to all the leading and secondary writers upon American antiquities, twenty-one in all, and have presented the evidences that only one of these authors was published in the English language prior to 1829, and that his work was not known in America until after the translation of the Book of Mormon, altogether too late to have helped in fabricating a falsehood and fraud of that character and scope. Hence the ministry who defend the origin of that book, and the general reader also, can see at once the impossibility of the claim made in this respect by the unscrupulous enemies of the latter day work, who seem to have staked everything, present and eternal, that they will prove the book to be a lie.

    Thus ends for the present the "Story of the Book of Mormon." But, if life is spared and time permits, the writer intends to add further antiquarian evidence to those already accumulated and published in "Autumn Leaves," and for a book, if the articles should sometime be published in that form. But for the present, farewell.

    THE END.

    Vol. III.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, August, 1890.                                  No. 8.

            [p. 345]

    BY  W. C. C.



    Did Jesus Visit America? This question to a Saint would seem to involve an element of skepticism. Such is not the intention of the writer. My object is two-fold. First, to discover from a rationalistic standpoint fresh evidence of a fact admitted by all members of the church, but, so far, only attempted to be proved by its standard works; my second object is to awaken in the minds of the searcher after knowledge a new avenue of research, that by development and extension may possibly reveal vast hidden mines of collateral testimony to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. These possible mines may be best entitled here, The Myths and Legends of the Aboriginal Americans.

    Before entering particularly into our subject, let us take a brief general survey of the field in which lies our special topic. It is imperatively necessary in the study of legendary lore to have an approximate knowledge of the composition and character of the people among whom they are current.

    The aborigines of America may be divided into four classes. First -- The lake dwellers of Titicaca and the adjacent territories; the temple builders of Central America, Yucatan and Mexico, and the mound builders of the Mississippi valley. Second -- the Inca civilization of Peru as it existed at the time of the conquest. Third -- the Aztec civilization of Mexico and Central America. Fourth -- the North American Indians. If anything like a correct history of native American nations shall ever be written, I think it will be found that some such a division as we have made here will be demanded. I know this classification will upset many of the theories heretofore held by those who have investigated the subject, but that can not be helped. If my conclusions are incorrect, as shall be demonstrated by future events, none will be more ready to retract and start afresh than I. But I trust that time and extraneous evidence will show that all the facts, whether written or monumental, tend to prove that the first settlement of this continent was at or near the northern extremity of South America; that from thence a homogeneous civilization radiated into all the surrounding countries, including Peru, Central America and Mexico, and extending into what is now the United States of America, building to a greater or lesser degree like temples and monuments, and having a similar language and literature; and that this primitive civilization was nearly if not entirely blotted out at the time of the discovery and settlement of America by Europeans, leaving ruins and monuments, many of them unknown to, and all of them unexplainable by the then inhabitants of the country. Do not understand me as saying that there was no race relationship existing between these four subdivisions. Such relationship may have existed, and probably did exist, but it was so remote that all knowledge of each other was nearly if not completely obliterated, and each designated civilization was as separate and distinct as though it had sprung from an altogether different primitive origin.

    For instance, the Book of Mormon says that Jesus visited America. I shall undertake in this paper to show from the imperfect notes which I have made from time to time in my study of the Aztec


    nation, that there is very strong evidence in the traditions and legends of that people to prove not only such a Messianic visit, hut that neither the Aztecs themselves, nor their ancestors near or remote had personal knowledge of it, but had preserved a history of the event only by the adoption of the myths of the previous inhabitants of the country; thus going to illustrate the idea that I wish to make plain here, that the Aztec civilization was entirely separated from that of the people inhabiting the land of Mexico and Central America at the time of Christ's ministry here.

    A word now with reference to the so- called Aztec nation. The Aztec civilization dates from about B. C. 800. The chronologies of that period are so imperfect and contradictory that it is impossible to fix the exact date or even approximate to it with anything like certainty; but we can come near enough to warrant us in concluding that it began not earlier than the date given, and may have been a century or so later. But the first settlement was not made by the Aztecs, but by an allied nation called the Toltecs, who after a brief supremacy were succeeded by another related people, known as the Chichimecs. This nation was in turn succeeded about the beginning of the twelfth century by the Aztecs. There were other small tribes possessing at times more or less power and influence, and occupying distinct neighboring territories that are referred to by writers sometimes in such a way as to often confuse and mislead the reader, but when properly understood as compared with the nations I have named, they were not of sufficient importance to interfere materially with the statement that these three successive dynasties comprised in the main all that was of paramount interest to the student of Mexican aboriginal history during this period.

    It has been generally supposed that the Aztecs were the natural descendants of the ancient inhabitants of Mexico and Central America. This is a mistake. All the evidences of this old civilization goes to show that it advanced from the south, and thence disappeared in a northerly or north-easterly direction, not all, however, accompanied them in their exodus. How many remained is uncertain; not considerable, however, either in point of numbers or intelligence, as but few were found by the Toltecs on their arrival, and those few were so deficient in mental development as to be unable to give any definite account of themselves or to intelligibly interpret the hieroglyphical inscriptions found on the monuments left by their progenitors. It is now almost a settled fact that the Toltecs, the Chichimecs and the Aztecs all came from some land to the north-west of the city of Mexico. This fact has puzzled antiquarians more than any other problem relating to the ancient people of America. Scores of theories have been advanced with reference to their origin in view of this fact, and yet we appear to be as much in the dark as when they were first discovered by Cortez and his companions. For my own part, I think that they were descendants of those Hagothites who went north and were never heard of more, as recorded in Book of Mormon, page 378, verses 3 and 4. It seems to me altogether probable that they sailed along the shore until they entered the Gulf of California; thence up that gulf to its head, where of necessity they must come to a halt, and there founded a community, spreading out eventually over Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Northern Mexico, and that the extensive and curious ruins in that region of country that have puzzled so many travelers and archaeologists, were the works of their hands. In like manner the Peruvian civilization of the Incas, after hundreds of years of a kind of Abrahamic isolation from the parent stock, and under the leadership probably of some such a man as Moses or Samuel of the old world, or Nephi or Alma in the new, influenced also more or less by climatic and other natural surroundings, developed a people that, at first glance, would seem to be altogether distinct and separate from the surrounding tribes, whereas they were all of one common stock, and differed only in the character and extent of their development.

    To my mind the grand central idea set forth in the Book of Mormon is the belief in Christ, and, of course, the plan of salvation. From Lehi down to the latest prophecy in the book, that seems to have been the great hope of the faithful. Niw with that idea made so prominent in the history, why is it that there is an almost


    utter absence of any mention of such a character as generally understood in the traditions and myths of the people with whom the first discoverers came in contact in the settlement of America? It is noteworthy that the Catholics were constantly on the alert to discover evidences; Christianity having at sometime been taught here. Their failure to make application of any of the myths that might have related to the personality of Jesus can be accounted for from their imperfect understanding of the Bible prophecies and promises with reference to His visit to this continent. So when they discovered a cross and other symbols that, to a devout Christian would have at once aroused speculation as to their origin, and when afterward they found the ordinance of baptism being administered, and learned of the belief of the natives in the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead, instead of seeing in these an evidence of a personal Messianic ministry here, they at once jumped to the conclusion that such Christian instruction as had been given here, instead of being by the Divine Head of the church, must have been by His disciples, and it was claimed that James the apostle was the principal missionary responsible for this work. However, no matter how imperfect their knowledge of what they saw, or how rude their application of these observations, it is noteworthy and should constantly be borne in mind by the Latter Day Saint that these early settlers saw enough to convince them beyond a doubt that Christianity had been taught here. They could not understand the several stages of civilization which they saw, nor the great difference that separated the various tribes; nor why, while most of the antiquarian evidences seemed to indicate in an unmistakable manner that the principal migration into the country came from the south, yet that the great ruling dynasty belonged to a people coming from an opposite direction. They could not understand the wonderful, almost child-like faith and reverence shown by the people irrespective of age or rank for their principal deity. God alone could give the key that would unlock these and many other mysteries. We shall see how that key is doing its work as time passes and the due time of the Lord arrives for Him to accomplish his purposes.

    To a Latter Day Saint it would seem to be unaccountable, if Jesus did make his personal appearance here, why the inhabitants had no recollection as shown by their traditions of Him or his work, especially when this query is supported by the fact of the wonderful natural phenomena preceding and attending His advent, the manner of His appearing and the marvelous powers displayed by Him while on this continent. It would seem that these things would so indelibly impress themselves on the minds of the people as to render a recollection of them ineffaceable from the memory of all future generations. And yet we have been taught that because no such recollection exists, therefore the claims made for His appearance here must be a fable.

    But when we come to the Book of Mormon, and see that those to whom Jesus ministered on this continent journeyed into the north country and those to whom the oracles of God were committed and in whose hands were the sacred and secular histories of their progenitors were totally destroyed, and that, if any were left in the land where the Christ originally ministered, they must of necessity have been of an unlearned and inferior order, we can readily see why no memory of Him had survived his disappearance. And when we are now informed by the traditions of those who inhabited this land when it was discovered and settled by Europeans, that instead of their being descendants of that ancient people they were an outgrowth of an entirely different lineage, and that whatever knowledge they may have possessed of such old inhabitants they must have received from the rude traditions of the inferior and unlettered remnants left behind by the southern nation in its northern exodus -- we can see additional grounds for a reasonable solution of the vexed question. The Nephite exodus occurred in A. D. 400. (See B. of M. 324: 2.) So four hundred years or more had elapsed 'from the time of their exodus and the appearance of thex Toltecs, the bearers of the first so-called Aztec civilization, a longer period than has yet elapsed from the discovery of America by Columbus to the present. When we consider the wonderful changes that have taken place in our own civilization in that space of time we can more readily understand some that may


    have transpired in the history of the Nephite remnants, and be prepared to accept as at least reasonable the conclusion, that with this inferior race, much, if not most of the events of the period of their history preceding the exodus had either been very much modified in their myths and traditions or altogether lost and forgotten.

    But it is evident that the great event in that history had not been forgotten. The miraculous appearance of the crucified Redeemer, His short but successful ministry, His equally sudden and mysterious disappearance, and the prophecies and promises with reference to His second coming are all, to my mind, clearly traceable in their myths and legends. What the name by which he was originally known may have been, we have at present no means of knowing. Quetzalcoatl, the name given him by the Toltecs, was a compound one, signifying child of the sun. This designation alone at once suggests some interesting speculations as to their reasons for applying it to Him.

    First: The Aztecs were sun-worshipers. That is, they recognized a great ruling spirit in the universe which, by its very nature was the source of all power and wisdom, the great creative, sustaining and controlling agency in nature. Primarily they were not idolaters, but from time immemorial, they had symbolized that Great Spirit in the sun as the most perfect embodiment of the qualities of the Deity as they understood them. Now, hearing of this new God of whom they had not previously heard anything, what more natural than for them, instead of permitting him to supercede their own time-honored deity, to make him the second in order of rank, or child of the sun.

    Second: It is a historical fact that the Aztecs named one of the soldiers that accompanied Cortez, Touatiah, "the child of the sun" from his fair, ruddy complexion. Their traditions said that Quetzalcoatl was white with light hair and beard, a remarkable contrast to their own dark skin and black hair.

    Third: But to my mind the most reasonable hypothesis by which to account for the name, is that the ancient people spoke of him as the Son of God, one of the titles under which he had introduced himself to them. The Aztecs making the best application of this idea possible to them, in view of their imperfect knowledge of him and his character, simply adopted him into their own religions system as the "Son of the Sun," or "Child of the Sun," which would be equivalent to the Son of God.

    Latrobe in his short sketch of travels in Mexico, says Quetzalcoatl was referred to by the ancient inhabitants of the land as "born of a virgin." Where else bat from an actual contact with Jesus could they have been likely to have obtained that idea. Other nations, it is true, hare similar legends with reference to their national deities, but it is now generally accepted as true that their legends were more than likely adopted into their religions after and by reason of a knowledge of either the prophetic or historical account of the Christian Messiah. But here was a nation, having a detached existence for hundreds of years prior to European occupation from all other nations existing on the face of the earth, and yet adopting into their national religion one of the most unreasonable tenets, one that has been the most hotly contested by skeptics, and one that would be among the last to suggest itself to the average human mind that can be conceived of. Latrobe also says he was known as "at once king, priest and law-giver," and &s "a precious stone of suffering and sacrifice."

    So fully and perfectly do these quotations coincide with like references to him in both the prophecies of the Old and the history of the New Testament accounts that did we not know to the contrary, we might suspect that they had been borrowed from them. But on the contrary they had for years been among the traditions of the ancient people, and since the advent of the Aztecs had been among its written histories, so that no possible reason can be adduced for causing us to think that they had been grafted into their religious myths as a result of their knowledge of and instruction in the. faith of the conquering nations.

    Prescott, volume 3, page 35, says hi was personified by the lands under the gulf. Two reasons might be assigned for this. First: Their traditions stated that he came from the east, and when he disappeared he went in that direction. The Aztecs, like the Jews, not knowing of


    any other land than their own, might very readily have concluded that he was an inhabitant of the sea, or more properly, the lands underneath it. Second: The Book of Mormon gives an account of a great cataclysm, occurring at the time of the death and resurrection of our Lord, by. which a large scope of country was swallowed up by the sea. The Mexicans in the imperfect state of their knowledge concerning the Son of God, to my mind, confounded the traditions with reference to his coming and the convulsions attending his final ascent, and so they impersonated him.

    Again; the walls of the temples dedicated to his worship were embellished with figures of serpents. This could not have been the result of teachings derived from a contact with other believers in him, and it may well puzzle many to see anything in this circumstance tending to prove his Messianic character. But when we come to study more closely into the legends and symbols of the ancient inhabitants, we can see what I conceive to be a very good reason for causing us to think that these characters were emblematical of the Christ.

    Orton especially says that the serpent among the aborigines was the badge of the apothecary art. We know that the North American Indians have a peculiar liking for the use of representations of this reptile in the incantations attending the ceremonies for the cure of disease. This being the case, what more natural than for the Aztecs to conclude from the accounts they get of his own claims of being the Great Physician, as well as the traditions of the miracles and wondrous works, performed by him, that he must indeed have been a very great medicine man, and make the places set apart for his worship the house of The Great Physician?

    But one of the most significant facts concerning this remarkable personage was that, though he came suddenly and mysteriously and established his claim to the reverence and veneration of all future ages by such marvelous manifestations of wisdom and power, he nevertheless is said to have stayed but a short time and disappeared as suddenly and mysteriously as he came. But unlike any other great character in their history, he told them that he had not permanently abdicated in dominion, but, on the contrary, he would come again to assume his sovereign rights, and would forever remain with them. So forcibly did he impress this thought upon them that there does not appear to have been a time subsequent to his disappearance, when the ruling dynasty did not quake at the mention of his coming, keeping themselves in readiness meantime to surrender up to him his government, should he appear. This can but refer to the second coming of Christ in a slightly modified form, and coincides perfectly with the Book of Mormon account he himself gave of that great event. The modifications, be it always remembered, being accounted for in this instance, as in nearly all others, by the fact of the Aztecs not being the legitimate successors of the nations to whom he ministered. It has puzzled many students to account for the effeminacy and lack of energy displayed by the hitherto powerful and warlike Montezuma, when with his countless and disciplined soldiery, he was confronted by a few hundred Spaniards under Cortez, and, instead of resisting, meekly marched at the heels of the invader like a trained dog, from his own well defended palace to the enemy's stronghold, and voluntarily submitted himself to an imprisonment that ended only with his death. Montezuma was a priest before he was a king, and hence was of necessity educated in all the learning of his day. He was probably the best informed man in his realms in the legendary lore of his people. It is certain he was thoroughly acquainted with all the myths and traditions with reference to Quetzalcoatl, and, from the most authentic sources we are fully warranted in the conclusion that his otherwise unaccountable act of submission was because of his firm faith in the theory that Cortez was the long looked for returning Lord.

    Thus I have given in brief the few points that have occurred to me as being most prominent in proof of the Messianic character of Quetzalcoatl. The works that have reached us, that give any idea of his history, are full of suggestions of the extreme fruitfulness of the original histories of these old nations on this interesting subject, and a more careful study of that original source may settle the question beyond controversy.


    In hopes that some more searching effort may be made than has been possible for me under my circumscribed condition, I leave the subject for the present.

    Vol. V.                                    Lamoni,  Iowa, October, 1892.                                  No. 10.

            [p. 451]

    THE  BOOK  OF  MORMON. -- No. IV.



    As the testimony of the eight witnesses has been referred to several times in the preceding articles, it is but proper to give their testimony here in full.... [Affidavit follows]

    These witnesses are known to be reliable, and though after publishing this testimony they were widely separated in the earth, and in after years somewhat divided in spiritual faith, in their convictions of the gospel, yet they never denied this testimony; nor did they ever contradict it, but iterated and reiterated the same till death; than which no better proof could be offered of their competency according to the rules of evidence.

    The plates referred to and from which the Book of Mormon was translated, are described as about seven by eight inches in width and length, not quite as thick as common tin, bound together as a book by three rings running through each, and altogether near six inches thick. They were discovered on the morning of September 22, 1823, to Joseph Smith by the angel who had appeared also to him the night previous.
    "He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprung. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants; also that there were two stones set in silver bows; and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim -- deposited with the plates; and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted seers in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book."
    These were all found in a stone box on the west side near the top of the largest hill in the neighborhood, near the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York; but possession of them was not granted until four years from that day and date, or to give it in Joseph Smith's own language: --
    "On the 22d day of September, 1827, having gone as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me, etc.; by the wisdom of God, they remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand; when, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him." -- History of Joseph Smith, Millennial Star, vol. 14 (supplement).
    It would be very proper here to inquire after the Urim and Thummim; for of all instruments used in times past in the service of God, perhaps none are clothed with greater mystery and obscurity, and none endowed (if the term be permitted) with greater power. The Hebrew word Thummim -- Tummim -- means perfection, "symbolic figures in the high priest's breastplate." And the Hebrew word Urim means lights, "mentioned along with Thummim, as something in the high priest's breastplate that gave an oracular response." -- Young's Analytical Concordance. See also Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8; Numbers 27:21; Deuteronomy 33:8; 1 Samuel 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Nehemiah 7:65....

    Had the Book of Mormon been translated from "behind a blanket," as its opponents assert, it would even then be in harmony with that kind of practice among the high priests, as seen from the above quotation.

    We are here assured that this oracle continued till within one hundred and twelve years of Christ, and had thus been in use with Israel for some one thousand four hundred years; and yet during all this time, a secret and a mystery. It was consulted upon all questions of great importance; its answers were considered correct, being made by the power of God. The precious stones were used to "make known the divine will, by casting an extraordinary lustre;" and yet the exact manner of using it, how the breastplate and stones were used, how worn at that particular time, are not known; perhaps were never made known to anyone except the high priest alone, as Moses has nowhere revealed it, of which we have an account, presumably for the reason as given by himself: --
    "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever." -- Deut. 29:29.
    All of which looks very marvelous to us, but simply proves that God's ways are not man's ways. In harmony with this rule of Moses is Joseph Smith's statement of the angel's words and instructions to him, to wit: --
    "Again, he told me that when I got these plates, of which he had spoken, I should not show them to any person: neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim; only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them; if I did I should be destroyed." Whatever the breastplate in this case, the Urim and Thummim was attached to it. (Ibid supplement.)...
    Joseph Smith declares that be soon found out why he had received such strict charges from the angel, as "every stratagem that could be invented was resorted to," to get the plates and Urim and Thummim away from him, oven endangering his life, for that reason on the one hand, and still greater on the other -- that no person except permitted by command of God should view them. That Joseph had another stone called seers' stone, and "peep stone," is quite certain. This stone was frequently exhibited to different ones and helped to assuage their awful curiosity; but the Urim and Thummim never, unless possibly to Oliver Cowdery who, as early as September 7, 1834, in writing upon this subject testified: --
    "Day after day I continued, uninterruptedly, to write from his mouth, as he translated, with the Urim and Thummim, or as the Nephites would have said, 'Interpreters,' the history, or record, called 'The Book of Mormon.'" -- See Letter 1.
    This agrees with Joseph Smith's account of the translation; and though Joseph lost the Urim and Thummim through transgression, the latter part of June (probably), 1828, yet they were returned to him in July of the same year; by which, according to his statement above, he accomplished by them what was required at his hand, when the heavenly messenger called for them, whereupon he delivered them all up.

    Elder David Wliitmer's idea was that the translation was made by the seers' stone, as he calls it, not the Interpreters, and Emma Smith's (Bidamon) statement accords with Whitmer as published in Herald some years since. The only discrepancy between the statements of the witnesses is that relating to the detail of the translation; and, as shown above, David and Emma, in the nature of things, did not know just how the Urim and Thummira were used, as they had never seen them. The reader will please bear in mind that no one was allowed to see either the plates or the Urim and Thummim, except as God commanded. The eight witnesses were allowed to see the plates and handle them as shown above; none else.

    In January, 1885, the writer visited Elder David Whitmer at Richmond, Missouri, and among other questions asked: "Were the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated in Joseph Smith's possession while translating, and seen and handled by several different persons? If not, where were they? Answer: "I do not know." Question: Did you see the Urim and Thummim? Answer: "I saw the Interpreters in the holy vision; they looked like whitish stones put in the rim of a bow; looked like spectacles only much larger." Question: Had you seen the plates at any time before the angel showed them to you? Answer: "No."

    Except in the holy vision referred to by Brother Whitmer, the reader may be sure that the Urim and Thummim was never shown to any person, except possibly to Oliver Cowdery, as he had desired to translate, and received permission to do so; but he lost the gift, evidently from a lack of faith. (See Supplement, page 14.)

    Also, Brother Whitmer stated to the writer in 1885, that "Joseph told him" that in the translation "the original characters appeared upon parchment, and under them the translation in English, which enabled him to read it readily." While this is probably correct, or approximately so, it should be taken for just what it purports to be, and goes to show that the theory advanced above is correct, that David, and all others, must depend on Joseph's statements as to how the translation was made....

    Joseph Smith was in company with those three [witnesses] at the time the manifestation was received, in the woods near Father Whitmer's house, Fayette, Seneca county, New York. And, be it remembered, that these very men years afterward became divided in their religious views, their conceptions of the gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon; David Whitmer withdrawing in 1838 with Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer. These stood aloof from the church because of doctrinal differences, Oliver almost losing his hope entirely, but, recovering himself, bore faithful testimony to the Book of Mormon before his death, and which he had never denied, while David Whitmer never hesitated to bear his up to the time of his demise, a few years since, and never lost faith in God. Martin Harris died in Idaho [sic] some years since in the faith; and to properly label all the slanderous reports made against these witnesses, so that none shall be deceived by them, it is but necessary to quote the language of David Whitmer in 1887, in his Address, page eight: --
    "It is recorded in the American Cyclopedia Britannica, that I, David Whitmer, have denied my testimony as one of the three witnesses to the divinity of the Book of Mormon, and that the other two witnesses, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harrisdenied their testimony to that book. I will say once more, to all mankind, that I have never at any time denied that testimony, or any part thereof. I also testify to the world that neither Oliver Cowdery nor Martin Harris ever at any time denied their testimony. They both died reaffirming the truth of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. I was present at the deathbed of Oliver Cowdery, and his last words were, 'Brother David, be true to ymir testimony to the Book of Mormon.' He died here in Richmond, Missouri, on March 3, 1850. Many witnesses yet live in Richmond, who will testify to these facts, as well as to the good character of Oliver Cowdery."
    It is remarkable that, after many years of persecutions and bitterest hatreds from without, intestine broils and discords from within, in a sense hated by friend and foe, these witnesses still bear faithful testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Here, as late as 1887, the last of all the witnesses iterate« his former testimony with his companions who testified that the translation was made "by the gift and power of God; for His voice hath declared it unto us."

    This fact in chief has never at any time been denied in part or in whole, directly or indirectly, first made when they all were warm friends in religious views, but iterated and maintained to the death, though at that time, or had for years, been separated and estranged from each other. The writer doubts if the world can prodnce their equals as competent, faithful, undeviating witnesses, according to the accepted rules of evidence. The only discrepancy as noticed is in giving the detail of the manner in which the translation was made; and we have seen how easily that could be. But if the reader be not fully satisfied, then please turn and read the different, statements of the evangelists about the resurrection of Christ. All agree in the fact in chief; but their account of the detail is different. (See Matt. 28th; Mark 16th; Luke 24th; John 20th.) And the writing on the cross. (Matt. 17:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 10:19.)

    This fact of difference is usually argued as proof of no collusion between the witnesses; that each wrote his account of the matter as he understood it; and, thongh differing from each other, yet all agree upon the main fact. That which is true of the writings of New Testament witnesses is equally true of writings of Book of Mormon witnesses; and it must be so accepted....

    Note: The following excerpts are reproduced from Zenas H. Gurley, Jr.'s Jan. 14, 1885, Richmond, Missouri, personal notes:

    Gurley Collection, LDS Church Archives   (Vogel EMD V:135)

    Copy -- Questions asked of David Whitmer at his home in Richmond Ray County Mo -- January 14 - 1885. relating to Book of Mormon, and the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of L D. S. by Elder Z H Gurley

    1 [Q] -- Do you know that the plates seen with the Angel (on the table) were real metal, did you touch them?

    Ans We did not touch nor handle the plates.

    2 Q -- Was the table literal wood; or was the whole a vision such as often occurs in dreams &c?

    Ans -- The table had the appearance of literal wood as shown in the vision, in the glory of God.

    3 Q -- Did you see the Urim and Thummim, what was it?

    Ans -- I saw the "Interpreters" in the holy vision, They looked like whitish stones put in the rim of a bow, looked like spectacles only much larger.

    4 Q -- Why did you stand aloof from the church after 1838?

    Ans -- I was appointed in charge of church affairs in Zion Missouri, but from my teachings disaffection grew, and Joseph and Sydney came out and visited the various branches of the church pledging them to themselves as against my teachings upon the word of wisdom and other matters, until for the establishment of their views they organized the Danites by which each member was sworn to sustain the Heads of the church whether right or wrong -- the penalty of refusing so to do being death, "the throat cut" -- I left because I could not accept it, being led out by the outstretched arm of God -- promised life and blessing, and that my opponents would suffer that which they had tried to bring upon me. Being informed of these designs &c by W W Phelps - John Corrill, and Riggs.

    5 Q. Why did Oliver Cowdery leave the church?

    Ans -- Oliver left the church for the same reasons I did, so also did my brother John Whitmer.

    6 Q. Why did Martin Harris leave the Church? Ans -- I do not know. He never was at Far West.

    7 Q. What caused several of the 1st quorum of Twelve to leave the church?

    Ans -- cannot state positively --

    8 Q. Why was Joseph Smith called Baruk Ale, and Sydney Rigdon, Baneemy?

    Ans -- Those names came through the "United Order" in the church. Why they came I cannot tell. I believe that Order, as also the mercantile and Kirtland Bank business, to have originated either with man or Devil, being no part of the Gospel of Christ, or of his Church

    9 Q. Who was the Angel that showed the plates to you and Cowdery and have these plates been seen since?

    Ans -- I do not know as no name was given. I have never seen the plates since.

    10 Q. Was it understood in the early times of the church that the tongues spoken were mainly or all indian tongues?

    Ans -- My understanding was that all kind of languages was spoken.

    11 Q. Do you know anything about Brewesters Seeing and Translating gifts while in Kirtland, Ohio. If so how do you account for the same?

    Ans -- I know nothing about it

    12 Q. Do you repudiate the High Priests quorum or that order, and can you give its origin and occasion of it in the church?'

    Ans -- Yes I do -- as not an order in Christ. It originated in the church because of desire to obtain greater power than what had been given -- over anxiety with the leaders, leading to it.

    13 Q.-- Were you present when Joseph Smith received the revelation commanding him and Oliver Cowdery to ordain each other to the Melchisedek Priesthood, if so, where was it and how?

    Ans -- No I was not -- neither did I ever hear of such a thing as an angel ordaining them until I got into Ohio about the year 1834 -- or later.

    14. Q. Can you tell why that Joseph and Oliver were ordained to the lesser Priesthood by the hand of an Angel but in receiving the Higher they ordained each other?

    Ans -- I moved Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to my fathers house in Fayette Seneca County New York, from Harmony, Penn. in the year 1829, on our way I conversed freely with them upon this great work they were bringing about, and Oliver stated to me in Josephs presence that they had baptized each other seeking by that to fulfill the command -- And after our arrival at fathers sometime in June 1829, Joseph ordained Oliver Cowdery to be an Elder, and Oliver ordained Joseph to be an Elder in the church of Christ and during that year Joseph both baptized and ordained me an elder in the church of Christ. Also, during this year the translation of the Book of Mormon was finished, and we preached preached, baptized and ordained some as Elders, And upon the Sixth day of April 1830, six Elders together with some fifty or sixty (as near as I recollect) of the members met together to effect an organization.

    I never heard that an Angel had ordained Joseph and Oliver to the Aaronic priesthood until the year 1834 5. or 6 -- in Ohio. My information from Joseph and Oliver upon this matter being as I have stated, and that they were commanded so to do by revealment through Joseph. I do not believe that John the Baptist ever ordained Joseph and Oliver as stated and believed by some, I regard that as an error, a misconception.

    15 Q. How did it happen that a 1st Presidency was established in the church, one of whom was to receive commands &c. and the church was to receive them, just the same as though they heard God speak, and where is the authority for this in the books?

    Ans -- I regard it as an assumption of power unauthorized by the books in the law of Christ.

    16 Q. Was it understood in the beginning of the work that the Book of Mormon with the Bible was all that is necessary as a rule and guide to faith? if so why and by what right was the book of Doctrine and Covenants added?

    Ans --The Book of Doctrine and Covenants, was added to satisfy the desire of some of the members and elders -- The Bible and Book of Mormon was held to contain Gods law in its completeness, and we understood that they alone should be taught as doctrine, Revelations and visions would assist individuals but were not to be taught as doctrine in any case, such was Josephs teachings upon this point.

    17 Q. If the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the Gospel with the New Testament, and they constitute the Law to the Church, what need is there for a 1st President to receive revelations to govern the church?

    Ans -- There is no need for such officers, I hold that all difficulties, all differences of opinion as to doctrine, should be settled by conferring one with the other, united wisdom of many guided by the Law, being the safest rule.

    18 Q. Was or was not the revelations of Joseph Smith considered purely personal or local at the time they were received?

    Ans -- Yes they were, and they were not to be published until Christ should come. The Book of Mormon with the Bible being the whole law to the Church.

    19 [Q] Were the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated in Joseph Smiths possession while translating and seen and handled by several different persons, if not, where were they?

    Ans -- I do not know.

    20 Q. Did Joseph use his "peep stone" to finish up the translation? if so why?

    Ans -- He used a stone called a "Seer stone," the "Interpreters" having been taken away from him because of transgression.

    21 Q. Had you seen the plates at anytime before the Angel showed them to you?

    Ans -- No.

    22 Q. Did Joseph Smith ordain you as his Successor?

    Ans -- Yes he did, in Clay county, Mo-1834. upon condition that he was killed or any mishap befell him. I regard my authority as an elder for Christ given me of God before that time as superior to any honor which Joseph could bestow upon me by any such ordination. This was done on or about the time when Joseph dismissed the "Camp" which he had brought up to deliver Zion a body of some 300 men who was armed and equipped for war.

    23 Q. Do you know how the first Twelve was chosen?

    Ans -- Yes. Cowdery and myself were appointed a committee [to choose] the Twelve, but Joseph insisted that his brother William Smith should be put in as it was the only way which he could be saved, otherwise we would not have chosen him.

    24 Q. What do you think of the Gathering as taught by Joseph Smith to the Church?

    Ans -- I regard it as an error, one that brought evil upon the church. I believe that God will finally gather his people, but not in the sense and way as taught by Joseph, before Gods gathering takes place He will perform a great and mighty work in the earth he will prepare the way, that way is not prepared, hence all attempts at Gathering will prove futile until the Day of the Lord comes.

    25 Q. Were you present during any of the time of translation, if so, state how it was done.

    Ans -- The "Interpreters" were taken from Joseph after he allowed Martin Harris to carry away the 116 pages of Ms -- of the Book of Mormon as a punishment, but he was allowed to go on and translate by the use of a "Seer stone" which he had, and which he placed in a hat into which he buried his face, stating to me and others that the original Character[s] appeared upon parchment and under it the translation in english, which enabled him to read it readily. While Brother Whitmer was too feeble to write much, being unable to write the answers to the foregoing 25 questions in person -- Yet it was with his consent and in his presence that I wrote them and corrected them, as they appear here.

    Jan. 21 -- 1885.     Z. H. Gurley


    Transcriber's Comments

    Detail from William Armitage's "Christ Appears to the Nephites" (1888 engraving)

    Christ in pre-Columbian America?

    (under construction)

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