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Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning

Page: 311

The Asiatics who first crossed over to the American continent were evidently in a very barbarous stage, although they may have known how to produce fire, and use bows and arrows.[542:3] The tribe who inhabited Mexico at the time it was discovered by the Spaniards was not the first to settle there; they had driven out a people, and had taken the country from them.[542:4]

That Mexico was visited by Orientals, who brought and planted their religion there, in a comparatively recent period, is very probable. Mr. Chas. G. Leland, who has made this subject a special study, says:

"While the proofs of the existence or residence of Orientals in America are extremely vague and uncertain, and while they are supported only by coincidences, the antecedent probability of their having come hither, or having been able to come, is stronger than the Norse discovery of the New World, or even than that of Columbus himself would appear to be. Let the reader take a map of the Northern Pacific; let him ascertain for himself the fact that from Kamtschatka, which was well known to the old Chinese, to Alaska the journey is far less arduous than from China proper, and it will be seen that there was in all probability intercourse of some kind between the continents. In early times the Chinese were bold and skillful navigators, to whom the chain of the Aleutian Islands would have been simply like stepping-stones over a shallow brook to a child. For it is a well ascertained fact, that a sailor in an open boat might cross from Asia to America by the Aleutian Islands in summer-time, and hardly ever [Pg 543]be out of sight of land, and this in a part of the sea generally abounding in fish, as is proved by the fishermen who inhabit many of these islands, on which fresh water is always to be found."[543:1]

Colonel Barclay Kennon, formerly of the U. S. North Pacific surveying expedition, says:

"From the result of the most accurate scientific observation, it is evident that the voyage from China to America can be made without being out of sight of land more than a few hours at any one time. To a landsman, unfamiliar with long voyages, the mere idea of being 'alone on the wide, wide sea,' with nothing but water visible, even for an hour, conveys a strange sense of desolation, of daring, and of adventure. But in truth it is regarded as a mere trifle, not only by regular seafaring men, but even by the rudest races in all parts of the world; and I have no doubt that from the remotest ages, and on all shores, fishermen in open boats, canoes, or even coracles, guided simply by the stars and currents, have not hesitated to go far out of sight of land. At the present day, natives of many of the South Pacific Islands undertake, without a compass, and successfully, long voyages which astonish even a regular Jack-tar, who is not often astonished at anything. If this can be done by savages, it hardly seems possible that the Asiatic-American voyage was not successfully performed by people of advanced scientific culture, who had, it is generally believed, the compass, and who from an early age were proficient in astronomy."[543:2]


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