find, under all modifications of tradition, proofs of their being of a common stock with other nations of the globe, and of a long and complete separation—intermingled with great and striking analogies in their dogmas, customs, and mythological systems; which it is now admitted that all the great nations of antiquity—Egypt, Chaldea, China, and Hindoostan—all drew from one common source, and probably learned in one common school, between the epoch of the deluge and the time of the dispersion. Beyond these it has been asserted by many, that no affinity whatsoever with any particular people can be traced, except such as might be supposed to be the natural fruit of the human mind, its passions, and its necessities in its fallen state, devoid of the light of revelation, however isolated, and wherever placed.
The most benighted of the American tribes have retained the impression of the existence of a Supreme Being, who was the "Master of Life," and the absolute governor of the world. This is indisputable, at the same time that among most of them, the principal adoration or worship was reserved for a host of minor deities and idols.
All concurred in asserting the existence of an evil spirit or principle, whose works and suggestions were calculated to injure them, although the depravity and blindness of their nature led them to seek to propitiate him.
All seem to have forebodings of the immortality of the soul, admitting or implying that after the death of the body, their thinking part would still exist. They have generally professed belief in future rewards and punishments; each people picturing their heaven and hell, according to the notions of felicity and misery imbibed from their early education and habits.
But this is not all. Among whatever division of these aborigines tradition is found to exist, you discover wrapped up in allegory, or distorted by perverted fancy, distinct testimony of the origin of all from common parents; the idea that mankind had forfeited their original state of happiness; coupled with faint glimpses of the coming of One, who should work a regeneration, and