Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/27

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Japheth, will leave no doubt in reflecting minds that the Aboriginal inhabitants of America and Australasia are also the descendants of Shem.

The traditional prophecy among the inhabitants of America, that a people were to come from a country beyond the ocean to assume the dominion, discloses to our view one of the most remarkable and extraordinary facts recorded in history. The existence of such a prophecy among such a people, is, without reference to Revelation, utterly inexplicable; and forces upon us the unavoidable conclusion that the patriarchical prediction, "Japheth shall dwell in the tents of Shem," had been delivered to them by their ancestors, and that it had passed down with fearful apprehensions of its accomplishment, from generation to generation. On the arrival of the Europeans, they were not only actually expecting its fulfilment, but appear, by pointing to "the rising sun," to have been aware of the very abode of the family of Japheth. This, without any other light, furnishes incontrovertible evidence of their descent from Shem.

The idols of Mexico and the temples of Peru, are evidently of Asiatic origin; and the argument drawn from family likeness, one of the surest guides on such a subject, is in itself conclusive. None of the Aboriginal Americans, except the Esquimaux and a tribe of negroes on the Amazon, have any resemblance in colour or personal appearance that would justify us in supposing them to have had either a European or an African origin. They are neither white nor black, but red, the prevailing Asiatic colour, common to the descendants of Shem.

Nor is history, even among the descendants of Japheth, entirely silent respecting the existence of the western continent. The garden of Hesperides, the Ultima Thule, and the Atlantis of the ancients, all point to America; for they are all placed, by the writers who profess to have any knowledge of them, in the West. The climate, the soil, and the capability of Central America for the production of all kinds of tropical fruits, justify the high character bestowed on the garden of Hesperides; which Hesiod expressly declares to be beyond the ocean, and others under the setting sun. The planet Venus received the name of Hesperus, simply from the circumstance of her appearing so frequently near this part of the world at the close of day. Nor are the northern and southern divisions less appropriately designated. In North America, a great part of which is everlastingly enveloped in ice and snow, we may at once recognize the Ultima Thule of remote ages, which has been so long vainly sought for in the North Sea and to the westward of the British isles. South America, lying opposite to Africa, was thence so appropriately named, and so exactly