[Page] An HISTORICAL ESSAY Endeavoring a Probability That the LANGUAGE Of the Empire of CHINA is the Primitive LANGUAGE.

By Iohn Webb of Butleigh in the County of Somerset Esquire.

LONDON, Printed for Nath. Brook, at the Angel in Gresham Colledge. 1669.

Licensed By Authority.



NEW DISCOVE­RIES make the Lives of PRINCES famous; Their POSTERITY powerful; Their Subjects rich. Most prudently therefore doth YOUR MAJESTY vouch­safe to encourage them. Which rais­ [...]th a Spirit in the Hearts of Your People to prosecute the same. It be­ing fully verified in Your Majesty, what was said unto that famous Em­perour [Page] of CHINA, HIAVOUUS, The vertue of a KING is like the Wind, his Subjects like Corn, which incline all to that part, whereunto they are moved by the Wind.

This ESSAY in all humble submission invokes YOUR ROY­AL Protection, it pretends to ad­vance the DISCOVERY of that GOLDEN-MINE of Learning, which from all ANTIQUITY hath lain concealed in the PRIMI­TIVE TONGUE; whether Religion, Famous Examples of the Wisedom of Old, Politique Rules for Government, or what ever else ad­vantageous to Mankind be respected. And wherein no doubt, so great My­steries are involved, as nothing hitherto in all the Learning of the World can either excel or equal.

Hence it is, thatso many Wri­ters, in almost all Ages since the [Page] Birth of CHRIST have one way or other treated thereof: some as­serting the Teutonique to be it; some the Samaritan; others the Phaenician; divers Churchmen pleading as well for the Chaldaean, as Hebrew. With what success I question not; my intention being, not to dispute what in Possibility can­not, but what in Probability may be the First Speech. Neither is it my purpose with others to insist on vulgar Traditions, or licentious Etymolo­gies of Words; weak and frail Foun­dations to support such a Weight, but fix my Basis upon Sacred Truth, and credible History. Scripture teacheth, that the whole Earth was of one Language until the Conspi­racy at BABEL; History in­forms that CHINA was peopled, whilst the Earth was so of one Language, and before that Con­spiracy. Scripture teacheth that [Page] the Iudgment of Confusion of Tongues, fell upon those only that were at BABEL: History in­forms, that the CHINOIS be­ing fully setled before, were not there; And moreover that the same LANGUAGE and CHA­RACTERS which long preceding that Confusion they used, are in use with them at this very DAY; whether the Hebrew, or Greek Chronology be consulted.

The Scripture is infallible, my principal Authors, fide Sacerdotum datâ, profess Integrity, as having of very late Daies, by long study compiled the History of CHINA, from the Antient Records thereof, eversince the time of NOAH. The Foundation then not failing, my Superstructure most probably stands, So much the firmer; as that how valid soever transient Words are, written Records be of far more cer­tain [Page] Credit. As YOUR Serene MAIESTY right well knows.

YOUR MAIESTY may happily say, I have daringly en­gaged in a bold Undertaking. But difficult things GREAT SIR are as soon effected, as easy, if the true way be observed. However to err in a matter wherein so many of greatest Learning have erred: YOUR MAIESTY pleasing to pardon me, I need not blush.

The LORD GOD of Hea­ven and Earth, bless, guide, and preserve YOU, in all Your Coun­cells; and make YOU Religious like Jaus; Wise like Yuus; Victo­rious like Hiavouus, whose con­quering sword crowned Him with victory over more Nations, than Alexander of Macedon ever saw or heard of; Like Xunus beloved of all YOUR People: And make all YOUR People as publiquely [Page] minded, as Their People the CHINOIS, Whereby YOUR MAIESTY and ROYAL POSTERITY shall reign hap­pily to Eternity; and YOUR Kingdoms enjoy Wealth and Pro­sperity throughout all Ages.

Your Sacred Majesties Ever most Loyal Ever most Lowly Subject and Servant, Iohn Webb.


An Exact MAPP of CHINA▪ being faithfully Copied from one brought from Peking by [...] Father Lately resident in that Citty.

AN ESSAY Towards the PRIMITIVE Language.

BY what manner of Policy, the se­verall Nations and People of the world were governed before the Flood, no certain memory is re­maining, nor any record to which we may give just credit, extant; either of the wars or peace, or other actions that were then performed. But that they had Kings, Rulers, and set Forms of Go­vernment, undertook noble Enterprises, made Invasions, subdued Countries, managed with great advice the affairs of war, and atchieved many things worthy of admiration, there is no cause to doubt. For, their exceeding long lives, having, to their strength of body, added the experience of eight hundred or nine hun­dred years, must necessarily increase their Wise­dome [Page 2] and conduct, and render their underta­kings (had they been communicated to poste­rity) far more excellent, than whatever can be related of after-times.

And though Moses passeth over this first Age in so short a narrative as seven brief chapters; and, writing an history of and for the Church, mentioneth no farther, the affairs and nations of the world, than was meet for the Church, that of the Israelites especially, to know, accor­ding as it was likely they should have then, or after, more or less to doe with them; much ne­vertheless may be collected from him in relati­on to the condition of that time. For, we find that the men of those days were mighty and famous; his words Gen. 6. v. 4. being, They were mighty men, which were of old men of renown. We may stile them Hero's, such as either through their valour brought almost impossible and ad­mirable attempts to an unexpected and desired issue; or such as by their vertue were the Au­thors of profitable Arts and Sciences, and re­duced Mankind to civil and sociable conver­sation.

But it is not to be denied, that then there were mighty men in regard of bodily stature al­so, whom the Scripture calleth from their greatness and terribleness Rephaim and Emim; from their pride Anakim; from their strength Gibborim; from their Tyranny Nephilim; from Gibbons in Gen. their naughtiness Zamzummim; such were Og and Goliah after the Flood. But howsoever the bodies of these men were composed, cer­tain it is, that before the Deluge, they divided [Page 3] (as we by the Civil Law are now wont to doe) their goods amongst their children; assigning their Real estates to the eldest of their sons, and their Personal to the younger. For, Adam gave unto Cain Lands to Till, unto Abel Sheep to Feed.

Posterity being multiplied, they fell imme­diately to the building of Cities, fortifying of Castles, driving of Cattle, committing of Slaugh­ters, and whatever else the interest of their wilfulness perswaded them unto; These things being done by them as well for necessary habi­tation, as for strength and safety to secure them­selves, and oppress others. That they did build Cities, no doubt is to be made; for if Iabal was the first that dwelt in Tents, Where should the rest dwell, saith Heylin, but in Citties, Towns, or Villages? And that the first of Cities was built by Cain, as also that he called it after the name of his Son Enoch, the Scripture teach­eth Gen 4. v. 17. which was either erected by him, to cross that curse of his wandring to and fro; or to arme him against others, whom his guilty conscience caused him to feare; or to be a receptacle and storehouse of those spoiles, which by force and violence, Iosephus tells us, Ios. [...]. Iud. lib. [...]. c. 3. he took from others, when the earth was bar­ren to him, and would afford him nothing. Probable it is, that the City was called Enoch, because, the curse not suffering the Father to stay in any place, he was enforced to commit an hasty inheritance to his son, and leave him to finish and govern the same.

To this manner of life, in regard of general [Page 4] use, several Arts were invented; One finds out the making of Tents, in which leading a wan­dring life, his robberies might be the more con­cealed, and his flocks and heards the better fed. Another the forging of iron usefull for the ma­king of arms, and weapons of war▪ and what else they could of that kind. Another, Musique: whereby the affections being enflamed, they were stirred up unto those things, in which they placed their greatest happiness. So that as this race of men, acted all things not by reason, but lust; frequent contentions, private quarrels, and open war, could not but of ne­cessity arise amongst them: and, though they might be well enough able from themselves to defend themselves; the other party, the chil­dren of Seth nevertheless lived no more safely amongst them, than silly sheep amongst raging wolves.

They were as great Idolaters, if not greater Idem c. 4. then those of the after-age to which they gave example; for, degenerating, saith Iosephus, from the ancient institutions of their fore-fathers, they neither observed the service of God, nor humane Laws. But were fierce and cruel, full of Injustice, Oppression, Murther, Rapine, Pride and Ambition, all concomitants of war, and presages of ruine to insue. Which Ambition and Pride had, as it seemeth, a very early influ­ence upon the Leaders of the succeeding Age, otherwise they could not possibly have imagined that they should make themselves a name, by the building of such a work at Babel, as they en­terprised to erect; nor so soon have known [Page 5] what war meant, as that, ere they were well warme in their new seats, to invade one ano­ther. For, the issues of Assur, and the issues of Cham, saith Sir W. Raleigh, fell instantly at con­tention Sir Walt. Ra. Hast. par. 1. pa. 144. for the Empire of the East.

As for fruits of Peace, they had Theology, Prophesie, Astronomy, Astrology; had Weights and Measures; and Cain, as Iosephus relates, first assigned proprieties in possession of Land, be­fore as common as the Ayre and Light: there­fore Meum and Tuum was even in those times.

Concerning their manner of diet: many are of opinion, that they eat no flesh, but fed on ve­getable aliments, those at the least of the race of Seth, who obeyed the command of God. And this may be collected from the very Text, Be­hold, I have given you every hearb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth; and every tree in thee which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed to you, it shall be for meat; Gen. 1. v. 29. which plainly sheweth, they were utterly prohibited the eating of flesh. Neither doe we read, that this prohibition was taken off, till immediately after the descent of Noah from the Ark, when either, because the Deluge had impaired or in­firmed the nature of vegetables, God giving him an augmentation of his words, said, Every moving thing that liveth soall be meat for you; even as the green hearb have I given you all things, Gen. 9. v. 3. And though it may be supposed, the first men would not keep sheep, except they made food of them; very learned expositors will tell us▪ that it was partly for their skins, with which [...] lothed themselves; partly for their milk [Page 6] with which they sustained them, and partly for offerings which they sacrificed unto God. As Dr. Brown in his Pseudodoxia Epidemica hath de­livered. Dr. T. Br. in Pseud. Epid. l. 3: p. 141.

They enjoyed the use of Letters: for Iosephus attesteth, that Adam having prophesied two u­niversal Destructions, one by fire, another by water, his posterity erected two pillars, one of brick, another of stone, in both which they writ their inventions of Astronomy. But, notwith­standing he thus witnesseth, yet whether those of Adams posterity that erected the same pillars invented the Letters they engraved on them, he saith not: whereby we may conjecture, that, admitting the engravements were made be Seth or Enoch; the Characters nevertheless were more ancient, and by some other found out; of which haply we shall have somewhat more to say. However, of these Epigraphs the Scripture seemeth not to be altogether silent; for we read, Iudg, 3. v. 26. And Ehud escaped while they tar­ried, and passed beyond the Quarries, and escaped unto Seinath. Now Isa: Vossius tells us, that this Translation receding from the true significa­tion Is. Voss. de At [...]t. mun. p. 3 [...]. of the Hebrew word, puts Quarries for Sculptures. But the Seventy have rightly ren­dred it [...]; for there, saith he, was that stony Pillar which the Hebrews believe Seth set up, as Iosephus alleadgeth, who writes that even in his time the same Pillar remained in a place called Syriada.

Some ascribe the invention of Astronomy to Seth, as also the first naming of the seven Pla­nets: Others to Enoch, who, they say, [...] fur­thered [Page 7] this Science, and who (saith Eupolemon) was by the Greeks called Atlas, to whom they attribute the invention thereof.

Trades also they had and Occupations: Cain was a Plough-man, Abel a Shepheard. Arts and Sciences, as was said before, as well mili­tary as civil; for Iubal invented musical instru­ments, and Tubal-Cain the working in metals, and making of Armour, which some think to be Vulcan by the neerness of name and occupa­tion. They lived in all manner of wealth, pleasures, delights, licentiousness, and sensuality; and Naamah is reputed the first inventress of linnen and woollen, and of vocal Musique, and seemeth to have been the Venus, or Helena ra­ther, of those times; all the world wandring in love after her, if we may credit the Hebrew Doctors.

Heylin telleth us, the like may be supposed in Heyl. Cosm p. 4. Lond. 1657. all other mysteries and Arts of living, though there be no express mention made of them in those early days. In regard therefore that Sci­ences were then in such manner multiplied, though Moses recordeth them not; divers are of opinion, notwithstanding we read not in Genesis of any kind of shipping before the build­ing of the Ark, that the knowledge of Naviga­tion was not wanting to them, it being so sin­gular an Art; so necessary for the life of man, and by the natural and daily use of swimming, so easily to be found out. Which Conjecture hath some ground of likelihood, considering that Adam according to the very probable, though commonly received Opinion, was, by [Page 8] his Creation learned in all manner of Arts. As also, that although in their removes for peo­pling of the world, they might either by swim­ming, or by bridges, or on rafts, pass convenient­ly over rivers; yet nevertheless over Seas out of one part of the world into another, or from Continents into Islands they could not possibly transport themselves without shipping, and some skill in Navigation. And if any should object, that, had they had shipping, others might have been saved in them, besides Noah and his family: it may be answered, that the Ark of Noah was covered; for the Text saith, And Noah removed the covering of the Ark, &c. Gen. 8. v. 13. that is (as we are to conceive) part there­of, and so much as served to look forth, from whence he might see round about, which by the window he could not doe, it opening one way only. Whereas the other shipping being open vessels, could not live during such conti­nually violent rains, and downfalls of water, which like Hyracanes, or Spouts, Cataractae Caell came tumbling from the clouds; but must in­evitably perish. Besides, They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, untill the day that Noah entred into the Ark. Mat. 24. v. 38. And therefore took no care, and could have no time to make any stores ready, or be victualled for so long a season as the flood la­sted, or till provisions were sprung up and to be had again. Add especially hereunto, that God had passed his decree, that all Mankind, and all living Creatures, upon the face of the earth, Noah and his family, and [Page 9] those with him in the Ark excepted, should be destroyed.

That the world was throughly peopled be­fore the flood, that great and universal De­luge, which God, for the sins of men, was pleased to bring upon the whole world, doth cleerly manifest. For why, saith Heylin, Heyl. Cosm p. 6. should all the earth be buried in that sea of waters, if all the Earth had not been peopled, and all the people of it guilty of oppression in the sight of God? And certainly, saith Sir. W. Sir W. Ra. hist. par. 1. p. 136. Raleigh, seeing all the world was over-flowne, there were people in all the whole world which offended. But, that the whole world was peopled by Adam and his off-spring before the flood, that Scripture which commandeth Adam to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the Earth, Gen. 1. v. 28. doth, I conceive, asplainly and evidently manifest, as that by vertue of the like blessing conferred in the self same words on Noah, Gen 9. v. 1. it was to be peopled by Noah and his issue after the flood. For if so many Millions of men, as we shall shortly hear, Ninus, Zoroaster, Semiramis, and Staurobates, led after them to the field (and they left not all their Kingdomes empty) were born within three hundred years after the Deluge: What numbers might they consist of, that one thou­sand six hundred fifty six years brought forth, preceding the same? If, in like manner, all Asia the greater, and the less, with Greece, and the Islands thereof, all Aegypt, with Mauritania and Lybia, were within the aforesaid time after the flood fully peopled: And if we believe Be­rosus, [Page 10] then not only those parts of the world, but (within one hundred and forty years after the flood) Spain, Italy and France were also planted; much more then may we think, that in one thousand six hundred fifty six yeares be­fore the flood, the world was throughly re­plenished with people.

From the first promise made to Abraham, unto the departure of Israel out of Aegypt, be­ing four hundred and thirty years, after the Apostles account, Galat. 3. v. 17. were born of Abrahams own body, comprehending men, wo­men, and children, saith Willet, fifteen hun­dred thousand. And reason will grant, that, ha­ving the same blessing promised, as great in­crease A. Will. in Exod. 12. should be given to the sons of Adam, as the sons of Noah. Considering withall that the sacred story doth not particularly recite all the progeny of all the men in those days, but that only which seemed cheifly necessary for under­standing the succession of things and times. And it is absurd to think, that men during such long lives, and in such perfect health should not beget very many children, and have frequently two and three at a birth. When in this our Age we have known a woman, the wife of one Edward Iones by name, a Wa­terman yet living in Westminster, to have brought him forth eight children within the compasse of two years, at the first birth two, at the se­cond as many, and at the last four. And when within this last Century from Robert Honywood of Charing in the County of Kent Esquire, and Mary his wife, she, that is so famous for bal­lancing [Page 11] her salvation with the breaking of a glass, lawfully proceeded three hundred sixty seven persons within less than the space of eighty years. Taking notice also, that, long be­fore the flood, Polygamy being universally con­tracted to strength of body and length of days, no degrees of kindred or consanguinity were observed. And when death forbearing the fa­ther, made no place for the son, till he had be­held living nations of his own body. Therefore we have cause to doubt, that the people wan­ted world, rather than the world people; or, as Sir W. Raleigh, the world could not contain them, rather than that they were not spread throughout the world. Insomuch that if God had not abridged the life of man after the Flood, and decreed his age to be ordinarily no more than seventy years, whereby women are become incapable to beare children above thir­ty years at most, and made them all subject likewise to infinity of diseases, there must either have ensued some other universal destruction to have exstirpated them all again, or else they could not have had so much as room to have breathed in; their numbers would have been so infinite, many ages since.

For, supposing the women before the flood to have been generally fruitful, as no doubt they were, and that they continued child-bear­ing long, of which in regard of the length of their lives, as little question is to be made, setting aside how many children soever they might have at a birth, though in Aegypt even since the flood, it hath been usual with them [Page 12] to bring forth two, three, five, and, as Trogus Pompeius saith, sometimes Seven at a birth. It seems not impossible, considering the encrease of the Honywoods, but that, by ordinary means, in the revolution of one thousand six hundred fifty six years, such numbers might be multipli­ed, as would not only plant the whole world, but also many more worlds besides, if any such were. For, finding that from two persons in almost eighty years were produced three hun­dred sixty seven; if we admit from Adam and Eve in the interval of the two first Centuries after the Creation to have proceeded but four hundred, and allow one fourth part only of this number to be apt for generation; that is, one hundred, or fifty married couples: then if each of these couples have but every two years one, they wil bring forth in 50 years more than twelve hundred and fifty sou [...]s. And by thus proportioning one fourth part of the num­ber begotten, to every fifty years of time, which▪ in regard of their long lives, and presumed strong constitutions, could not be any impedi­ment to procreation; it is most cleare, most certain, that in the space of sixteen hundred years the last generation will amount unto two thousand, nine hundred, thirty three millions of millions; three hundred eighty four thousand, seven hundred sixty six millions; ninety six thousaud and four hundred persons; the odd fifty six years, how advantagious soever in the last place, being wholly laid aside. For, if the product of those be added, it will encrease their numbers unto above ten millions of mil­lions. [Page 13] So that either that first age was as much or more subject to Plagues, Pestilences, Fa­mines, Wars, Losses, and Calamities, as after­times; or else, either the world could not con­tain such prodigious multitudes; or they must devoure one another for want of food and habi­tations. For, granting the Terrestrial Globe to be all habitable Earth, no Seas intervening and dividing it into twelve equall parts; it will be found, allotting to each division two hundred and fifty millions of people, that three thousand millions will fully plant the same, and make it more wonderfully populous than this extream part of Asia, whereof we are to treat. But being, scarcely the one half of it only is habitable, and Sea possesseth the rest; fifteen hundred millions will more than enough suffice. Whereby it is demonstrable, that, if for setling of Plantations multitudes of people be requirable, the whole Earth was throughly planted before the Flood. But how innumerable soever their numbers appear to be, by the just judgement of God upon them for their manifold offences, they were, by the first of the universall destructions, Water, all de­stroyed.

The Scripture is very manifest and plain herein, And behold, I, even I (saith the Lord) doe bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to de­stroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under Heaven, and every thing that is in the Earth shall die, Gen. 6. v. 17. Againe, Gen. 7. v. 19. And the waters provailed exceedingly upon the Earth, and all the high hills that were under [Page 14] the whole Heaven were covered. Now this drown­ing of the world, hath not been quite drown'd in the world; for, even by prophane Authors it is remembred. To omit others, Lucian in his Dea Syria relateth the opinion of the Hiera­politans, but a little corrupted from the narra­tion of Moses; so plainly doth he attribute to his Deucalion the Ark, the resort and safeguard of the lyons, bores, serpents, and beasts; the repair­ing of the world after this drowning thereof, which he ascribeth to the perjury, cr [...]elty, and o­ther abominations of the former people. Berosus not as in Amnius that brat of a Monk, but as in Abydenus that ancient Historiar, cited by Eusebius, as I find in Sir W. Raleigh, affirmeth, Sir W. Ra. hist. par. 1. p. 88. that Saturn gave warning to Sissithrus of this Deluge, and willed him to prepare a great Ves­sel or ship, wherein to put convenient food, and to save himself with his kindred and acquain­tance; which he builded, of length five fur­longs, and of bredth two. After the retiring of the waters, he sent out a Bird which retur­ned; after a few days he sent her forth again, which returned with her feet bemired; and be­ing sent out the third time came no more. Plu­tarch Plut: de a­ [...]im. com­parat. also hath written of this Dove, sent by D [...]u­calion out of the Ark, which returning was a sign of tempest; and flying forth, of faire weather.

At Berne in Switzerland in the year 1460. in a Mine from whence they drew out Metal-Ore, Simler. Ortel. Fracastor. apud Meu: Cent. at fifty fathom deep, a ship was digged up, in which were forty eight carcases of men, with Merchants goods: At Shotesham in Norfolk within the lands of Sir William Daylie▪ Knight, [Page 15] in digging of a Well, at a considerable distance from the Sea, at sixteen fathom, innumerable quantities of Oysters, Cockles, Perywinckles, and such other sorts of shell-fish, whole and unbroken, were found: and in Cheshire within the forrest of Da [...]imore, in searching for Marle, at sixty fathome, at seventy say some, huge and mighty trees, as black and hard as Ebony, were taken forth. Now, What should these discoveries, and others of this kind where­of Histories are full, signifie? but to declare un­to posterity, that not only the Continents of all the Earth, but Islands of the Sea also, and all the other parts of the world, as well as Asia, were drowned and overflowne: and that the inhabitants of them in like manner peri­shed.

When then the world was wholly inhabited before the flood, it must consequently follow, that several dispersions and plantations were then made, as either the numbers of the people encreased, or the necessity of providing victu­als for themselves and families enforced; as strong a motive, saith Heylin, to such dispersi­ons H [...]yl▪ Co [...]. pag. [...]. as the Confusion of Tongues was afterwards. The difference is, That, that which neces­sity would have done in long tract of time, the Confusion of Tongues did at an instant. And if any should imagine the unity of their Language did hinder their dispersion, we confess it some hinderance at first, but not much afterwards: for though it might restrain their dispersion, it could not their Populosity, which necessarily requireth transmigration, and emission of Co­lonies. [Page 16] In regard therefore of such severall dispersions, the different affections of the people and general corruption of the Age; for, The whole earth was corrupted, Gen. 6. v. 11. Heylin makes no question, but that they might have different Languages and forms of speech, at least as to the Dialect and Pronunciation, al­though the Radicals of the Language might remain the same. But though, besides what hath been already said, that expression of the Builders of Babel, Let us make us a name, lest we [...] be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole Earth, Gen. 11. v. 4. seemeth to imply, that there were dispersions preceding the flood; for how else should they in such newness of time apprehend, they might be scattered abroad, un­less they had learned from their fathers by hear­ing them relate, that the people had been dis­persed into several Plantations before; and therefore would provide, that whatever be­came of others, they might promise themselves a name, and be remembred by the work they made, into what part of the world soever they should chance afterwards to be dispersed. Ne­vertheless I cannot find, the least authority to presume, that the language spoken by our first Parents, admitted any whatever alteration either in the Form or Dialect and pronunciati­on thereof, before the Confusion of Tongues at Babel; but that it was in this first Age before the flood, and afterwards untill the time of that Confusion, the common and general speech, and therefore primitively called (saith Coelestine) Lingua humana, the Humane [Page 17] Tongue. Monsieur D'Espagne in his Essay of the I. D' E▪ pagne. p. 38 wonders of God, tells us, That the Language of Adam continued alone in the world, there be­ing none other for the space of fourteen ge­nerations; this Unity continued till the nativi­ty of Phaleg the Son of Heber. And Crinesius Chr. Crin▪ de conf. Ling. p. 3. saith, All men living in the time before, and at the Confusion it self, did not only agree in unity of Words, but also in unity of Lip, that is, in the manner of Pronunciation. Where­fore we may certainly conclude, that Noah car­ried the Primitive Language into the Ark with him, and that it continued pure and uncorrupted amongst his succeeding generations until the Confusion of Tongues at Babel, till when, The whole Earth was of one Language and one Lip, as Gen. 11. v. 1. cleerly manifesteth.

Now whether this Language may be yet re­maining in any part of the Universal World, is the main subject of our enquiry. In order to which, we are to consider, in what part of the World the Ark first rested; what Colonies were planted either before Nimrod and his Troops came into the Valley of Shinaar, or the Confusi­on of Tongues happened; And whether yea or no, those Colonies so planted were liable to the curse of Confounded Languages, being through their absence, not guilty of the Crime commit­ted at Babel.

Concerning then the place where the Ark might rest after the Flood: All that the Scrip­ture saith of it, is, that the Ark rested upon the Mountains of Ararat, Gen. 8. v. 4. But in what Country these Mountains are, that it saith not. [Page 18] Iosephus will have these Mountains of Ararat Ios. Ant. Iud. l. 1. c. 4 to be the hills of Armenia, borrowing his dis­covery from Berosus, cited by him in these words, Fertur & navigij hujus pars in Armenia apud mon­tem Cordiaeorum superesse; & quosdam Bitumen inde abrasum secum reportare, quo maxime vice amuleti leci hujus homines uti solent; and it is reported saith he, that a part of this vessel is yet remain­ing in Armenia upon the Cordiaean Mountains, and that divers doe scrape from it the Bitumen, and carrying it away with them, use it especi­ally instead of an Amulet. Nicholas Damascenus calleth this Mountain of Ararat, Baris. But Sir W. Raleigh after having by several arguments fully proved, that the Ark of Noah did not rest in any part of Armenia, and that the Mountain of Ararat was not any one of the Gordiaean Mountains, or Baris, there being no such hill in Armenia, or in rerum natura, as Baris con­cludeth. That Ararat is not any one hill so called, no more than any one hill among those Mountains which divide Italy from France, is called the Alpes; or any one of those which part France from Spain, the Pyrenian. But as these being continuations of many hills, keep one name in divers Countries, so a [...]l that long ledge of Mountains which beginning at the Coast of Lycia runs through Armenia, Mesopo­tamia, Assyria, Media, Susiana, Parthia, Cara­mama, Aria, Margiana, Bactria, Sogdiana, and Paropamisus, having all these Kingdoms on the North or South-side of them, are of one gene­ral name. And that as Pliny giveth to this ledg of high hills, even from Cilicia to Paropa­misus, [Page 19] and Caucasus, the general name of Tau­rus, so was Ararat the general name which Mo­ses gave them, the diversity of appellations no otherwise growing, than by their dividing and bordering divers Regions, and divers Coun­tries. As in like manner we do call that, that doth generally go by the name of the Medi­terranean Sea, sometimes the Tyrrhene, Ionian, Adriatique, and Aegean; sometimes the Helle­spont, Pontus, Propontis, and B [...]sphorus, according to the several Countries it passeth by, and the several Coasts it washeth. And therefore seeing that Moses teacheth us, that all those people, which under the conduct of Nimrod entred the Valley of Shinaar, came from the East, And as they went from the East, they found a plain in the land of Shinaar, and there they abode, Gen. 11. v. 2. We may I suppose, saith he, without controver­sie resolve, that the Ark of Noah rested and took ground upon those Mountains of Taurus, or Ararat, as Moses calleth them, which lye Eastward from Shinaar, between East-India and Scythia; and not on those Mountains of the North-west, betwixt Mesopotamia, and Arme­nia major, as Berosus first faigned, and most Writers following him have since mis­taken.

Goropius Becanus in his Indo-Scythia main­tains, that the Ark rested on the top of Mount Gor. Bec. Indos. p. 473. Caucasus, in the confines of Tartaria, Persia, and India, using many arguments for his opinion; as amongst others the exceeding populousness of the Eastern Countries, but relying principally upon the aforesaid Text of Scripture. With him [Page 20] Heylin joynes issue; saying, ‘If then they came Heyl. Cosm. Pag. 7. from the East to the land of Shinaar, as the Text saith plainly that they did, it might well be, that they came from those parts of Asia, on the South of Caucasus, which lye East from Shinaar, though somewhat bending into the North, impossible they should come from the Gordiaean Mountains in the greater Armenia, which lye not onely full North from Shi­naar, but many degrees unto the West.’

The first thing mentioned in Scripture, that Noah did after his coming forth of the Ark, having sacrificed and returned thanks to God for his deliverance, was, to Till the Ground and Plant. And Noah began to be an Husbandman, and be planted a Vineyard, Gen. 9. v. 20. And ma­nifest it is, that he travailed not far to seek out the Vine, for the Plantation thereof is remem­bred, before he entred into any counsel, how to dispose of the World amongst his children. In regard whereof many are of opinion, that Noah seated himself in the East, in or near to the place, where he first went forth of the Ark, and that he never came to Shinaar at all. For he was too principall a person to be either forgotten or neglected, had he removed with Nimrod thi­ther. Sir Wal. Ral. hist, par. 1. pag. 158. And it is no where found, saith Sir W. Raleigh, that Noah himself came with this Troop to Babylon, no mention at all being made of him (the years of his life excepted) in the succeeding story of the Hebrews, nor that Sem, or any of the Sons of Noahs own body, was in this disobedient company, or among the builders of Babel. Therefore it is very probable that Noah Id. p. 144. [Page 21] taking up his rest, not far from the place where the Ark grounded, first inhabited India, and had well peopled all those parts, which lay neerest to him, before he sent Nimrod, and his followers forth upon new discoveries. Hence the same Au­thor telleth us also, that from the East came Id. p. 109. the first knowledge of all things, and that the East parts of the world were the first civilized, having Noah himself for an Instructer, where­by the farther East to this day, the more Civil, the farther West the more Savage.

In confirmation hereof Heylin likewise de­clares, Heyl. Cosm. p. 16. 17. that Sir W. Raleigh pleads the point ex­ceeding strongly, that it must needs be, that Noah was setled in the East, and had well peopled all those parts which lay nearest to him, before he sent Nimrod and his Troop a­broad to search for other habitations. And af­ter having very studiously discoursed of the seve­ral generations, and dispersions of the Sons of Noah, so far forth as their names are registred in holy Scripture to be the Heads and Leade [...]s of those several Tribes, which joyned together in the design for the building of Babel, and af­terwards dispersed themselves, he proceedeth, saying, But that no more than these (I mean, saith he, heads of Families) descended in so long a time from the loines of Noah, that they should have towards the new peopling of the world in an hundred years (for so long time it must be at least from the Flood, to the building of Ba­bel,) no more than sixteen Sons in all, and ten of those sixteen goe childless to the grave, is not a thing to be imagined. Nor is it to be thought, [Page 22] that all the people which were born since the flood till then, could meet together at one place as by inspiration; or being met could joyne together in a work of so little profit; or that if Noah or Sem had been there amongst them, they would not have diswaded them from that foolish enterprise. And therefore I should rather be of their opinion which think, that Noah fixed himself in those parts, which lay neerest to the place where the Ark took land, and having planted as far Eastward as he thought convenient, sent out the surplusage of his people; under the conduct of one or more of these Un­dertakers, directing them perhaps to the land of Shinaar, where himself had dwelt before the flood. For, in regard there is none of those, though most diligent men, who have written of the Plantations of the world upon this dis­persion, that either speak of any Nations plan­ted by Noah himself, or Sem and Iaphet, or of their setling in the Colonies of any one of their Descendents; it is to me saith Heylin again, a very strong argument, that they came not with the rest to the Plains of Shinaar, but tarried still in those habitations, wherein God had planted them.

Purchus thinks, that before the flood Noah li­ved in Syria (which probably his Author might Purch. Pil­grimage, lib. 1. p. 67. mistake for Serica) but whether there, or in the land of Shinaar, or wheresoever else; Iosephus affirms, that he forsook his native Country, and with his Wife and Family travailed into ano­ther Region, where he built the Ark. Now, though what became of him, or whither he re­moved [Page 23] is uncertain. Nevertheless it is most sure, saith Willet, that he neither joyned with A. Willet in Gen. 8. & [...] Nimrod, nor his company, nor ever ingaged with them; and although the Scripture ma­keth no mention of the rest of his Acts, yet no doubt is to be made, but that he exercised him­self in Planting of Religion, and doing most ex­cellent works for the benefit of Mankind, of which Moses omitteth to speak, as also of the proceedings of the Godly succeeding Fathers, because he hasteth to the story of Abraham.

That Noah staid behind and came not with the rest to the Valley of Shinaar, Goropius al­so G. Bec. In­dos. pag. 466. is cleerly of opinion; who in like manner asserteth, that it is for certain, about Ararat first; afterwards in the Plains of Shinaar, men after the Deluge seated themselves, and from either of those places were dispersed into several parts of the world. And if any shall think the contra­ry, saith he, that none remained behind, but all went together to Shinaar, he will of great folly accuse the second Parent of Mankind, that he should have so little of the common sence of men in him, as to make them all leave assured habitations, for uncertain dwellings; secure hou­ses, for open fields; free ways, for encumbred passages; and known Meadows, for unknown pastures. By the verses of Sibylla also, which not only Iosephus, but likewise Eusebius, St. Hierome, Id: p. 532 and others word for word remember, it ap­pears that all came not together to Shinaar. [...]. i. e. as Goropius renders the words, [Page 24] Cum omnes homines ejusdem linguae usum habe­rent, quidam eorum turrim aedificarunt altissimam, quasi per eam telum essent assensuri, when all men had the use of one same Tongue, some of them built a most high Tower, as if they had intended to have scaled Heaven thereby. When then Sibylla, as Sir W. Raleigh observes, making a limitation, saith, some of them [only some] built the Tower; and Moses witnesseth, that those that built it, came from the East into the West, it is plainly manifest, that all came not together with Nim­rod unto Shinaar, but others remained behind in the Eastern parts. All therefore were not pre­sent at the building of the Tower, seeing that they went not All together; neither is it said in Scripture that they did, which as it doth posi­tively say, They were All of one speech; so it doth not definitively say, They All went.

Moreover, the exceeding multitude of Peo­ple, wherein the East parts of the world first abounded; and wherein none of those by whom the Earth was planted after the Confusion of Tongues, are yet reported to have setled any Co­lonies, doth likewise very much convince, that the East Countries were peopled before the re­move to Babel. For, that they were not left desolate upon this remove, but sufficiently pro­vided both of Men and Citties, appeareth by those vast Armies of Zoroaster and Staurobates; Heyl. Cosm. p. 7. & 731 of whom Zoroaster out of his own Kingdom of Bactria, brought into the field against Ninus the Monarch of Assyria, an Army of four hundred thousand fighting men; which manifesteth, saith Heylin, that Bactria was as soon peopled, [Page 25] as any Country since the general Deluge. For, it could not have possibly been, that Zoroaster should have raised so mighty an Army in the time of Ninus, who was in suceession but the third Mo­narch from Nimrod, had Bactria been planted, but by a Colony sent out from Shinaar. The o­ther Staurobates being King of India beyond Indus, was invaded by Semiramis with an army consisting of three Millions of footmen, one million of horsemen, beside other mighty Forces both for Land and Sea service; whereof, saith Sir W. Raleigh, if we believe but a third part, it shall suffice to prove, that India was the first Sir W. Ra. hist. par. 1. p. 99. Planted and Peopled Countrey after the Flood. For Staurobates encountred her with an army exceeding her numbers, Staurobates avitis ma­joribus, quam quae erant Semir amidis copiis, Stau­robates drawing together of his own people greater forces then those of Semiramis (saith Di­odorus Siculus) defeated her.

Now though considering the great Troops that Nimrod might bring with him to Babel, as by the building of the City and Tower may appear, the numbers which Semiramis levied might easily grow up, she being the Wife of Ni­nus, the Son of Belus, who was the Son of Nim­rod; it was impossible nevertheless, that the army of Staurobates should exceed hers, had his numbers of Indians been encreased, but by Co­lonies sent into those parts, so late as the disper­sion at Babel and Confusion of Tongues, unlesse God had raised his Army out of Stones, or by some such miracle. For, not any multiplication natural (to use Sir W. Raleigh's own words) [Page 26] could in such time produce so many bodies of Men, as were in the Indian Army victorious o­ver Semiramis. When then India beyond Indus was in the time of Staurobates so fully peopled by those that remaining with Noah never came down to Shinaar; we need not doubt, but that they had then passed farther also; and as their numbers encreased, or desire of new seats invi­ted them, made removes, and sent out Colonies to the more remote parts of Asia, till at length they setled in the remotest CHINA. Which Country that it was originally peopled by some of the posterity of Noah before the enterprise at Babel, Heylin conceives may probably be conclu­ded. Heyl. Cosm. pag. 870. But of this hereafter. In the mean time, I might add for a farther evidence, that those that have written the actions of Alexander of Macedon, assure us, that he found more Cities and Sumptuosities in that little King­dom of Porus, which lay side by side with the River Indus, than in all his other Travailes and Undertakings.

But hereof we have as yet from Heylin some­what Id. pa. 881. more to say. He then in enumerating the old Inhabitants of India, relateth; that they were originally descended from the Sons of Noah, before they left these Eastern parts, to go towards the unfortunate Valley of Shinaar. We could not else have found this Country so full of people in the days of Semiramis, as that Staurobates to oppose her, could raise of natural Indians only, an army consisting of greater forces than that she led, and had compounded of several Nations to the number of four millions and upwards. A [Page 27] matter exceeding all credit, though neither could make up a fourth part of that number, if the Indians had been no other, than some one of those Colonies, which were sent from Babel, or rather a second or third swarme of those for­mer Colonies, which went thence under the command of the first Adventurers. For, that any of the first Adventurers, who were present at the building of the Tower of Babel, travailed so far East, is not affirmed by any, who have la­boured in the search of their Plantations. So that I take it for a matter undeniable, that the Plantation of India preceded that of Babel, though by whom made, there is nothing to be said for certain. Yet, saith he, if I might have liberty to express my own conceptions, I am inclinable to believe, that all the Eastern parts of Persia, with CHINA, and bo [...]h the Indias, were peopled by such of the Sons of Sem, as went not with the rest to the Valley of Shinaar. For, otherwise I can see no reason, that the posterity of Iaphet, should plant the greatest part of the lesser Asia, and the whole Continent of Europe with the Isles there­of, and that the Sons of Cham should spread themselves over Babylonia, Palaestine, the three Arabia's, and the whole Continent of Africa; the posterity of Sem being shut up in a corner of the greater Asia, hardly so big as some of the Provinces taken up by the other Adventurers. And therefore that an equal latitude may be al­lowed to the Sons of Sem, I think it not impro­bable to fix them in these Eastern Countries, spreading themselves this way, as they grew in numbers, before the rest of the Adventurers went to [Page 28] seek out new fortunes at the Tower of Babel. Thus far Heylin. Who hath set no less than four con­siderable remarks, as to our present enquiry after the Plantations made before the dis­persion at Babel, in this one and the same Para­graph.

But here I meet with an objection, that Atha­nasius Kircherus in his China illustrata asserts, China was peopled by the posterity of Cham, af­ter he came out of Aegypt, and therefore could not be planted by any of the Sons of Sem, or before the Confusion at Babel. In answer where­unto, I must take leave to give you Kircherus his own words; by which you will find so slen­der authority for his Assertion, that you will ad­mire rather, how it was possible so learned a man could ever fancy such a conceit. For, his princi­pal, yea verily in manner his only argument is, that because the Aegyptians, who were descen­ded from Cham, used Hieroglyphicks; therefore the Chinoes did descend from Cham, because they used Hieroglyphicks also. Whereby you may observe, that if the Mexicans want their Ance­stors, they may repair to Kircherus, and he will presently inform them, that they came from some of the posterity of Cham because they in like manner as had the Aegyptians, have Hiero­glyphicks in use. But why to confirm his opi­nion, did he not tell us, that the Hebrews were of the seed of Cham, because they likewise as well as the Aegyptians were circumcised? However heare him, Certe ut ad credendum inducar, magni momenti argumentum, sunt veteres is [...]i sinensium A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 6. pag. 226 characteres Hieroglyphicorum in omnibus aemuli; [Page 29] Certainly, saith he, that I am induced to believe this, those ancient Characters of the Chinoes in all things imitating Hieroglyphicks, are an argu­ment of great validity.

But Sir W. Raleigh will positively assure you, Sir W. Ral. hist. par. 1. pag. 98. A. Sem. Rel. del Cin. par. 1. c. 6. that the Chinoes had Letters in use long before either the Aegyptians or Phaenicians: Semedo will maintain, that they had the same Characters which they use at this day, and which were ab­stracted from those Hieroglyphicks, divers years before Kircherus brings Cham's Plantation into China: Vossius can assert, that they have had the Is. Voss. de Aetat. mun. p. 44. M. Mart. Act. Sin. p. i Id. Sin. His l. 1. p. 22. use of Letters longer by far than any people that ever were: And Martinius makes appear ere long, that for Antiquity in the use of Letters, China excells all other parts of Asia; as also that veteres isti Sinensium characteres Hieroglyphico­rum in omnibus aemuli, were invented by the Chinois many ages before the flood. What is more to be said? Kircherus himself (allowing him his own computation) shall acknowledge A Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 6. p. 225. that China was both planted, and these their characters invented some Centuries of years before the dispersion at Babel.

Now, though this is far more than sufficient to answer the objection, let us see nevertheless, how he conducts his Colony. He tells us then, loco citato, ‘That Cham first out of Aegypt through Persia, and thence into Bactria conducted his Colonies, whom we conclude, saith he, to be the same with Zoroaster King of the Bactrians; but Bactria the farthest Region of Persia, is bounded by the Kingdom of the Mogor, or In­dostan, and thereby so opportunely scited, that [Page 30] they might easily from thence transferre their Colonies into China, the utmost Nation of the habitable world, together also with the first elements of Letters, which from their Father Cham, and Mercurius Tresmegistus Counsellor of his Son Misraim, and first inventor of Hiero­glyphicks they had though rudely learned.’ Now Cham cannot be said to goe out of Aegypt into Bactria, for after his arrival in Aegypt, he never departed thence, but lived and died there in the three hundred fifty second yeare after the Deluge, as Sir W. Raleigh relates. Heylin hath told us lately, that Bactria was as soon peopled Sir W. Ral. hist. par. 1. p. 197, 198. as any Country since the Universal Flood, o­therwise it could not possibly have opposed Ninus with such numbers as it did, if the same had been planted but by a Colony, sent out from Shinaar; much less may we say, if it were but first peopled from Aegypt, so long time after. For, Sir W. Raleigh finds Cham to have but be­gun his Kingdom there one hundred ninety one years succeeding the inundation of the world. And as for Mercurius Tres-Megistus, whom the Greeks called Hermes, there were many of this name, and how to distinguish them is difficult. Two of them were famous in Aegypt, and there worshipped as Gods. The One (probably here meant) was the son of Hylus, whose name saith Boccase, the Aegyptians feared to utter, as the Bocc. lib. 7. pag, 126, 127. Iews did their Tetragrammaton; the other was the son of this Tres-Megistus, and for his wisdom by his father called Cath; but which of these two it was that taught the Aegyptians the use of Letters, Writers much differ; and no less also [Page 31] about the Age in which they lived. For Isaack­son and others, place them about the time that Abraham was called out of Haran or Charran in­to the land of Canaan; others suppose the first and most ancient to have been Ioseph the son of Iacob; others again, that he was Moses himself; and Sir W. Rawleigh with some Historians find them not to have flourished until the days of Moses; when as the Chinois had enjoyed their now letters at least five hundred years before.

It was Sem that inhabited the Countrey of A­sia Iosep. Ant. Iud. lib. 1. cap. 7. [...]rch. Pil­grimage, lib. 1. p. 37. G. I. Vos. Chron Sac. pa. 52. Aynswor. in Gen. 10. beginning at Euphrates, and extending to the Indian Ocean sea, saith Iosephus: To the poste­rity of Sem befel the parts of Asia from Indaea Eastward, saith Purchas; the Eastern parts of A­sia, together with some of the Southern, were peopled by the generations of Sem; saith G. I. Vossius. And with these Raleigh, Heylin, and Ayn­sworth agree, as you have heard. Whereas Cham and his off-spring possessed the South of Asia and Africa, as the same Authors assert.

Neither could Cham be Zoroaster, it is a fancy, Sir W. Ral. hist. par. 1. p. 169. saith Sir W. Raleigh, of little probability. For Cham was the paternal Ancestor of Ninus, the father of Chus, the grandfather of Nimrod, whose son was Belus, the father of Ninus, which Ninus slew Zoroaster in Bactria, as Historiographers una­nimously accord. Wherefore, and for that Cham never removed out of Aegypt after his settlement there, into Bactria; Cham could not be Zoroaster King of the Bactrians, nor from thence ever trans­ferr Colonies into China, as Kircherus would per­swade. But in all probability, China was after the Flood first planted either by Noah himself, or [Page 32] some of the sons of Sem, before the remove to Shinaar. For, such Principles of Theology, as amongst the Chinois, we shall shortly hear of, could not proceed from the wicked and idola­trous race of accursed Cham, but from those only that were, de civitate Dei, of the City of God.

The most remote parts then of the Eastern World, being planted before the dispersion at Babel; and until the Confusion of Tongues, the whole Earth being of one language and one lipp, it must indisputably succeed, that Noah and who­soever remained with him, which came not with the rest to the valley of Shinaar, and consequently by their absence thence, had no hand in that vain attempt, could not be concerned in the Confusion there, nor come within the curse of confounded Languages; but retained the PRIMITIVE Tongue, as having received it from Noah, and likewise carry the same with them to their seve­ral Plantations, in what part of the East soever they setled themselves, aswel as Nimrod and his Troops brought it with them to Shinaar. And hence it is, that Goropius saith, Because the Cimme­rians were not at the Confusion of Babel, there­fore G. Beca. Indos. pag. 534. there is no question to be made, but that their Language was the PRIMITIVE.

Hence the same Author, Because those that were left behind to plant Margiana, were not at Id. pag. 533 the building of the Tower, it must be necessarily acknowledged, in regard the Language was not confined to any, but general to all, aswel unto those at Shinaar, as all people elsewhere, that the ANCIENT Language, which before the Confusion was common to the universal World, [Page 33] remained with those of Margiana. Hence Sir W. Sir W. Ral. Histor. par. 1. pag. 158. Raleigh, it is conjectured, that those of the race of Sem which came into Chaldaea, were of Nim­rod's Troop, and removed with him thither: yet, in regard they were no partners in the unbelie­ving work of the Tower, therefore they did re­tain the first and most antient Language, which the first Age had left to Noah, and Noah to Sem and his Issues Hence Heylin also, That some Plan­tations Heyl. Cosm. p. 7. had no reference to the Confusion of Tongues, being made before it, on the sending out of such Colonies, as were nearest to the place, where the Ark did rest. But how general soever the consent is, what needeth prophane testimo­ny; when sacred History plainly teacheth us, That the Language of These only that were at Babel was confounded, and not of Those that were ab­sent thence, and not guilty of that mis-believing work. The words of the holy Penman, Gen. 11. v. 5, 6, 7, 8. are. And the Lord came down to see the City, and the Tower, which the Children of men build­ed. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one Language, and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and THERE confound THEIR Language, that THEY may not understand one anothers Speech. So the Lord scattered THEM abroad from THENCE upon the face of all the Earth, and they left off to build the City.

Which can admit no other construction, than that the Language of Th [...]se, that were THERE, that is, at that place in Babylonia, not in India or elsewhere was confounded. So in like manner [Page 34] THEIR Language, i. e. Their Language that were with Nimrod, and of this Western Colony; not the Language of Noah, and his Plantations in the East. Again also, That THEY, to wit, those children of men, that built the Tower; not those generations that had no hand in building of the same, might not understand one anothers speech.

Furthermore, the Lord scattered THEM abroad from THENCE, ‘Which, saith Sir Sir W. Ral. par. 1. pag. 104. W. Raleigh, hath no other sence, but that the Lord scattered THEM, viz. those that built this Tower, for those were from THENCE (to wit, Babel) dispersed into all the Regions of the North and South, and to the Westward. The East being inhabited before.’

But let us consider the Context. The Scene was the valley of Shinaar; They found a plain in the land of Shinaar, and they dwelt there. v. 2. The Offenders were Nimrod and his Troops; And they said, Go to, let us build us a City and a Tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven, and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole Earth. ver. 4. The fear of a Judgment brought a Judgment upon them. And as the Of­fenders were those only at Shinaar, so the Lan­guage of those only at Shinaar was confounded. Go to, let us go down (saith the Lord) and there confound their Language, that they may not under­stand one anothers speech. v. 7 The punishment be­ing justly inflicted, where only the offence lay, and upon those solely that had offended. No man shall answer for anothers fault: it is both the Law and Gospel. The soul that sinneth, it shall die, [Page 35] Ezech. 18. v. 20. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it he good or bad; 2 Corinth. cap. 5. v. 10. And I must not omit that the marginal notes of our Bible, for the more clear exposition of the Text we are upon, refer us to the Wise­dome of Solomon, cap. 10. v. 5. where it is writ­ten; Moreover, the Nations in their wicked conspi­racy being confounded, Shee [Wisedome] found out the righteous, and preserved him blameless unto God, and kept him strong against the tender compassion of his son. Whereby, though it may be conceived, that in the particular, this alludes unto Abraham his sacrificing of Isaac; yet in the general, it is most evident, most certain thereby, that Those only that had offended in the conspiracy of the building of the Tower, had their Language con­founded, and were convicted by that Judg­ment.

Thus from Scripture and approved History hath been made appear, That the Ark rested in the East; That Noah planted not far from the place, where it took ground; and from thence by himself, and his off-spring, that abode with him, peopled the Eastern parts of the World, together with China; and that these Plantations were un­dertaken and setled before the remove to Shinaar, and Confusion of Tongues, by those that never came at Babel; and could not therefore be inga­gaged in that presumptuous work. But who they were of his off-spring that Noah kept with him, whether of the sons of Ioctan, or of all the rest a certain number (Cham and his issue only excep­ted) [Page 36] cannot, saith Sir W. Raleigh, be known. Never­theless Sir W. Ral. Hist. par. 1. pag. 101. we are not to doubt, but that their num­bers were so great, as not only sufficed to hus­band those Plantations that Noah had setled, but also to send forth Colonies elsewhere, as occasion required.

The Scripture also plainly declareth, That the curse of Confounded Languages fell upon those only that were present upon the place at Babel, and personally acted in that ungodly design there. And therefore we may warrantably conclude, That either the PRIMITIVE Language is to be found amongst those Plantations that were made before the Babylonian Enterprise, by those that were absent thence, and had not offended therein; or else it cannot be appropriated to any Nation now extant in the World, or at this day known. For, as the people at Babel, that had solely offended, were therefore from Shinaar scattered throughout all the other parts of the un-inhabited Earth; so only the Language which they brought with them thither, was there for their offence confounded; and, as is conceived, divided into several other Languages, passing at this day amongst us by the name of MOTHER-Tongues, which that they were seventy two in number, he that hath a mind to please himself with believing it, shall not displease me.

Now here, Heylin is so courteous, as to befriend Heyl. Cosm. pag. 17. me with an Objection. That admitting it for granted, that those who staid behind with Noah, spake the same Language which was common to the Fathers before the Flood (be it the Hebrew or what else soever it was) there seems no reason to [Page 37] the contrary, but that it might in time be bran­ched into several Languages or Dialects of the same one Language, by the Commerce and En­tercourse which they had with Nations of a diffe­rent speech. To which, is thus answered, That not only Commerce and Intercourse, but also Time and Conquest may possibly cause the alte­ration of a Language, yet in regard that Con­quests are of divers kinds, and Intercourse and Commerce of different natures, such alteration cannot be effected by every manner of Commerce and Conquests.

For, on the one side, where an Invader enters a Country with a resolution wholly to dispossess and expel the Natives, it inevitably follows, that the speech of that Country, must, being subdued, receive such an absolute change, as that no other, than that which the Conqueror brings with him can remain. And thus we find, it succeeded at the conquest of the Land of Canaan by the Israelites; who generally, expelling the Canaanites, introdu­ced their own Language (whatever it were) and extirpated the former. Where also an Invader hath made such a full Conquest, as that he can clear, or (as I may say) drive the Countrey, and carry away the whole body of the Natives into captivity, there, no doubt is to be made, but that the Language of the vanquished must undergo a manifest alteration. And thus we find that in so short a time as the captivity of Babylon, those of Iudah had in such manner lost their speech, as at their return home, they could not understand the Book of their own Laws, but by an Interpre­ter. Nehem. cap. 8. v. 7. 8.

[Page 38] But on the other side, where the Invader en­ters, to possess new dwellings, and plant himself and people; when he neither carries the Natives elsewhere into captivity, nor utterly expels them, the old Language of that Countrey cannot be extirpated; but may be altered, and by the mix­ture with new commers after long tract of time, become generally a new kind of speech. Thus the invasions of the Huns, Goths, and Longobards, and their Conquests, brought a new Language into Italy. And thus the Goths and Vandals, Sa­racens and Moors into Spain. So likewise where a forein Enemy, out of an ambitious desire of Fame and Glory, and for eternizing his name in­vades a Countrey, and having obtained a victory, upon a certain tribute condescended unto by the Natives, for acknowledgment of subjection, ac­quitteth it again, there it is impossible, the speech of that Countrey should be changed. For, it can­not be imagined, that the Kingdom of Porus, in­to which Alexander the Great no sooner leaped, than leaped out of it again, could by such a con­quest, have the Language thereof, either altered or corrupted. In like manner, the conquests of the French in Italy, no more altered the Italian Tongue, than our Invasions of Scotland, did the Pictish, or Scottish speech.

There is moreover another kind of Conquest, where the Victor takes up the Manners and Cu­stomes of the vanquished, and transporteth into his own Country the Language, Arts, and Sciences of those that he hath overcome. For the Romans together with their victory over Greece, brought home with them, Sculpture, Painting, and the [Page 39] Language of that People also; which Plutarch in the life of M. Cato telleth us, most of the Romans studied. Yet we find not, that the Latine Tongue was corrupted, but rather refined thereby; and if it were refined, then it was altered, for every refining is changing. But, this some will perhaps say, is directly contrary to what is objected: for, here in this case, not the Language of the van­quished by the Conqueror, but the Language of the Conqueror by the vanquished comes to re­ceive an alteration. After the same manner, by their conquests in Asia, the Romans learned luxu­ry and riot, to wear silk, and live effeminately; the Asiatiques in the mean time composing them­selves to the antient temperance, frugality and discipline of their Lords and Masters the Romans. Thus also we find, that the Macedonians long be­fore, when they had conquered Persia, became not only in Language and Attire, but also in Di­scipline and Customes Persians rather, than the Persians, Macedonians. And this oftentimes hap­peneth, as all History informs, where the Con­queror is either barbarous, or not in such a de­gree civilized, as those that are subdued by him. Or else efflated by success, wholly gives himself over to licentiousness, disdaining the manners of his native Countrey.

As for Time, it may, having especially Com­merce its attendant, prevail somewhat herein. For, we our selves can scarcely now understand the Language that was used in the days of Chau­cer. And yet nevertheless we know, that the La­tine Tongue, hath from Caesars time, maugre all conquests and intercourse whatsoever, received [Page 40] not the least alteration, but remaineth both in the Characters and reading the same, as then. and is as generally, if not better understood, in these days, than it was fifteen hundred years since.

Lastly, concerning Intercourse and Commerce, it is true, that in such a Nation, where a general Commerce is permitted, and free access granted to all Strangers to trade and inhabit, aswel in the Inland parts of the Countrey; as upon the Frontires or Sea-coasts, there a change of Lan­guage may by degrees happen. And we need not go far for Example. For, with us our selves, by this means chiefly, the Saxon Tongue, since the time of the Normans is utterly lost. Insomuch that what by Latinizing, Italianizing, Frenchi­zing, and [as we must have it called forsooth,] Re­finizing, or rather Non-sencizing, our old Lan­guage is so corrupted and changed, that we are so far from Saxonizing, as we have scarcely one significant word of our MOTHER speech left.

But on the contrary, where Commerce is made, and intercourse allowed, upon the Seacoasts and Frontires only, there we find the Language of the Natives in the In-land parts, to remain with­out suffering any alteration. Hence Caesar telleth us, that he found some footsteps of the Gaulish Language upon the coast of Britain, when with­in the land (though he advanced not far) the British Tongue was spoken purely. And hence in Ise-and, though about four hundred years since conquered by the Norvegians, in regard there is little access of strangers, but only as some part of the Maritime shores affordeth; as also because [Page 41] they suffer not their unexperienced youth to tra­vail abroad into other Countries, the old Runique or Gothique Tongue in manner yet continueth, and is by divers of the Inhabitants understood, when in all the Septentrional World besides, it is utterly forgotten and extinct. But what shall we say of the Basquish or antient Language of Spain? which notwithstanding all the Invasions of the Carthaginians, Romans, Goths, Vandals, Moors re­maineth yet pure in Biscay, whatever Commerce and Intercourse soever that Countrey hath in all times enjoyed. Insomuch that the Inhabitants upon one side of the River running from the mountains of Ordunia to Bilboa, and which car­ries the Iron-mills, speaking the MOTHER Language, understand not one word, unless by an Interpreter, what those on the other side of the same River say. What of the Irish Tongue? which Countrey, although we have kept under subjection by lawful conquest, near five hundred years, setled many Plantations therein, and per­mitted continually free Commerce, yet neverthe­less the natural Language of the Countrey conti­nueth throughout most parts of that Kingdom pure and untainted at this day. And which is re­markable, if a child born of English Parents there, and as curiously overseen as possibly a child can be from hearing of the Native Irish speak, chance to hear but one word of that Language, he will sooner remember the same, and be apter to re­peat it again, than he shall any one word of En­glish, though twenty times spoken before him. What of the old British Tongue? since that through all the conquests of the Romans, Saxons, [Page 42] Danes, and Normans, and after unlimited conver­sation with most Nations of the World, it hath passed currant, and is yet remaining in Wales. In like manner, the Arabique continueth incorrupt in the hilly pares of Granata: and the antient Epirotique in the high, wooddy, and more moun­tanous parts of Epirus.

By all which it appeareth, That not any kind of Conquest can wholly alter or extirpate the natu­ral Language of a people, except by generally ex­pelling the Natives, or transplanting them else­where. And that Commerce and Intercourse where a mixture of several Nations is wholly permitted, may in long tract of Time produce an absolute alteration; but where tolerated on the Sea-coasts or confines of a Country only, can neither alter a Language, nor branch it into several Dialects of the same, but may possibly in those places corrupt it, whilst the Inland parts nevertheless enjoy purely their MOTHER Tongue.

When then it is reputed ridiculous to hear that Adam spake Dutch in Paradice: And when we consider, that the Hebrews have no surer founda­tion to erect their Language upon, than only a bare Tradition of their own, which we all know is so infamous an Historian; as Wisemen neither report after it, nor give credit to any thing they receive from it: As also that the Samaritans by their often removes were but a mungrel people, and in regard of their continual commerce with Nations of a different speech; and the many storms and tempests of Wars and Conquests, which they were always subject to, have but a mungrel Language; for though it hath, as is not [Page 43] to be denied, some proper and peculiar words of its own, nevertheless it oftentimes useth the Ara­bique, and in forming of Nouns and Verbs, some­times follows the Hebrew, sometimes the Chaldaean, wherewith it is of great affinity. And though they may have had, as they pretend, the Pentateuch of Moses written in a strange Character, the Samaritan, as they call it, yet their having had it in their custody contributes not an Iota to the Anti­quity of their speech, or that it should have ancient­ly been the PRIMITIVE Tongue, in regard those Characters not much differ from the modern He­braique, unless where either by the negligence of the Scribe, or variety of the Copies, some diver­sity appears; as our famous Doctor Brian Walton, late Bishop of Chester in his Introduction to the B. Walt. Intr. ad Ling. Or. p. 18, 19. reading of the Oriental Tongues hath very lear­nedly observed: And when in like manner we consider, that it cannot with any probability of Truth be resolved, that the Phoenicians, who are generally supposed to be the wicked off-spring of accursed Cham, the principal Actors, and Offen­dors in that daring conspiracy at Babel, should enjoy so great a priviledge, as to carry away with them, and be infranchised to that Sacred Lan­guage, which even in the time of innocency was spoken between God and Man: Why may we not reflect upon the CHINOIS? For we shall make appear, that They were primitively plant­ed in CHINA, if not by Noah himself, by some of the Issue of Sem, before the remove of Nimrod to Shinaar, and the Confusion of Tongues at Babel; Their Language to be the self same at this day, as when they were first planted and began to be a [Page 44] people; Their Country never subject to any such conquest, as could prejudice, but rather dilate their language; Their Laws in all times to have prohibited forein Commerce and Inter­course; and Their dominions ever shut up against strangers, never permitting any to set footing within Their Empire, unless by way of Embassy solely; nor suffering Their own Natives to tra­vail abroad without especial licence from their Emperour: So jealous have they evermore been, lest Their Language and Customes should be cor­rupted. Considering which, together with their infinite multitudes of People, and perpetual flou­rishing in Peace, and all Arts and Sciences, whilst every Nation almost throughout the whole Uni­verse besides, have more than once in time been over-run and conquered; it may with much pro­bability be asserted, That the Language of the Em­pire of CHINA, is, the PRIMITIVE Tongue, which was common to the whole World before the Flood; and that it could never be branched into several Languages, or Dialects of the same one Language, by the Commerce and Intercourse which they had with Nations of a different speech; when they never had Commerce or Intercourse with any. Nor were ever known to these parts of the World (scarcely to their adjoyning Neighbours) till about an hundred and fifty years since, by the Portugals and Spaniards they were disco­vered.

But I find St. Hierome, and others that follow him, object, That the Hebrew was the PRIMI­TIVE Language, in regard that all the proper names of men before the Deluge, and immedi­ately [Page 45] after the same appear to be naturally He­brew. And that it was necessary the Sacred Scrip­ture should be delivered in that Language, which Adam and the rest used before the Flood. To which the answer is obvious, that the Names might be first imposed in the PRIMITIVE Language, and that it was an easie matter for the succeeding Ages, understanding by Tradition what they meant, to transferr them into the He­brew Tongue; whereby also the Names of men might equally answer to the Names of places, which otherwise they could not do; for through­out the whole course of the Books of Moses and Ioshuah it is manifest, that the names of the Places and Cities of Canaan, the antient names, I mean, by which they were called before ever the Israe­lites came to dwell in them, were Hebrew names. Neither was there any more necessity, that the sacred Oracles of God should be written in the first and most perfect speech, than for CHRIST to be born of the most honorable and richest Pa­rents, and live in the most splendid and delicious manner. For, that the World might know, man is not to attribute any thing to his own merits or greatness, but that God giveth all his Grace gra­tis, he hath ever chosen humble and lowly Mini­sters of his Grace. Thus of Abraham the son of an Idolater, and maker of Idols, he made choice, to be the first founder of Circumcision. And so ordained, that CHRIST himself, when he was to be born should scarcely have a roof to shelter him, when he newly came out of his Mo­thers womb, from the inclemency of the Air. And when CHRIST came to redeem us from [Page 46] sin and death, he elected not, those, to preach his Gospel throughout the World, that were of the Schools of the Philosophers, or of Demosthenes or Cicero, but made choice of rude men, of a rude manner of life, Fishermen, and Boatmen to be the Heralds for proclaiming of his Victory. Neither was it any King or Monarch, but an Abject, who was cast forth and exposed to the mercy of cruel waves, and cruelty of merciless Crocodiles, that delivered the Israelites from their slavery in Ae­gypt. And if we run throughout all, throughout all we shall find, those to have pleased God most, that are wont to displease men most. There is no reason therefore any should think that so contra­ry to the doctrine of God, either the Typical Law or the fulfilling of the Law should be given in that Language which all others excelled. But, as the fulfilling of the Law, which relateth chiefly to the Gentiles, was written in the Greek Tongue; be­cause that Language being, as it were, then ge­nerally known, the Nations might by reading it, the sooner be converted, and brought within the sheepfold of CHRIST. So no doubt, the Typi­cal Law, wherein the Church of the Israelites was solely concerned, was written, not in the PRI­MITIVE, but for their better instruction, in the old Hebrew Tongue, which Abraham brought, not out of Chaldaea, but learned in the land of Ca­naan, whereby it became the Language of his Posterity, and by them was vulgarly spoken, un­til, as some will have it, their Captivity. And this the Scripture doth in direct terms testifie; when upon the calling of the Aegyptians it is said. In that day shall five Cities in the land of Aegypt [Page 47] speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of Hosts. Isai. 19. v. 18. By which we are taught, that the Aegyptians should not only be brought to offer the same sacrifices and oblations to the LORD, as the Israelites did, but speak the same speech with them also, which was the Language of the land of Canaan. From whence we will at present depart, to enter upon our travail into CHINA.

MARTINUS Martinius in his famous Chi­nique M. Mart. Atl. Sin. pag. 1. Atlas, after his much celebrating of Asia in general, for having been the place of our first Pa­rents, and Paradise, and original of all things, proceedeth to the Antiquities of the Empire of CHINA, in particular, after this manner. But of Asia it self, saith he, there is no part (at least since the universal Deluge) more Noble, more Antient, or more fertile than this extreme part thereof, whether Politique Government, the use of Letters, or Industry be respected. For, the History of it by the Chinois themselves even from all Antiquity written, comprehendeth almost three thousand years before the birth of CHRIST, as more evidently by the Epitomy and Chrono­logy collected out of their Annals appears. Ever since which time they are said to have had Let­ters, Moral Philosophy, and Mathematical Scien­ces especially; which both their more than An­tique observations of the Stars, and those Laws of Government written in most antiently anti­ent Volumes; and at these very times extant, more than sufficiently shew and declare. In the Epistle Dedicatory of his Atlas he premiseth thus, In these Mapps, I present unto your view [Page 48] the scituation and limits of the most vast Empire of the Chinois, equal almost unto all Europe. It hath ever since the Flood of Noah, been inhabited by a most industrious and civil people but hither­to wholly inaccessable to Strangers, until now at last for the salvation of Souls, after great trouble and anxiety those of my Society, saith he, have gained entrance thereinto.

Isaacus Vossius (of whom our famous Dr. Ush­erIs. Voss. de Aetat. Mun. pag. 44.late Archbishop of Armagh, gives so clear a testimony, that we are obliged to acknowledg him a most learned man) in his dissertation of the true Age of the world, having discoursed of those Nations, that are the greatest pretenders to Antiquity, as the Hebrews, Samaritans, Chal­deans. and Aegyptians, brings up the Chinois in the rear, and of them delivers his testimony after these words. Let us now come to those, that not so much by their own, as the name of their neighbours are called Chinois. I mean, saith he, the Serians. A race of men by far the most skilled in letters of all the people that ever were. They preserve a continued History compiled from their monuments, and annual exploits of four thousand five hundred yeares. Writers they have more antient than even Moses him­self. Ever since their beginning to be a Nation, they have never been corrupted by intercourse with strangers, nor ever known what wars and contentions meant; but addicted only to quiet­ness, delight, and contemplation of Nature, have run through the space (plusquam) of more than four thousand years, unknown indeed to other Na­tions, but enjoying to themselves their own fe­licity at pleasure.

[Page 49] Now, in regard Vossius names them Serians, I M. Mart. Atl Sin. pag. 1. am compelled before proceeding farther to cer­tifie, that this outmost Region of the known World, which Martinius calls the extrreme part of Asia, is by some called Serica, Sina, or Chinois by others, by the Tartars Cathay and Mangin, and which every man wondersat, not any of all these names, is at all known unto the Chinois themselves,, that of Mangin excepted, the Tartars having ironically in derision put that upon them, as scoffing at their being over arrogant and proud of their civilities; for Margin in the Tartarian Tongue signifies barbarous people. But the Chinois call their Empire Chunghoa, and Chunghue, either name, saith Martinius, being imposed for the excellency thereof. This expres­sing the middle Kingdome (they supposing themselves to be scited in the middle of the World) That signifies the middle Garden or Flower rather. But how much these mysterious reasons of Names may import their Language to be the PRIMITIVE Tongue, I shall leave unto Martinius, Goropius, and others, ere our discourse brings us to a period, to acquaint you.

But seeing Martinius referred us to his Epito­my M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 1. p. 12▪ of the History of China, we are not to neglect him therein. Illud pro certo compertum, Sinemsem de diluvio Historiam non multum à Noctico abesse, quippe quae ter mille circi [...]er annis vulgarem Christi Ep [...]cham praegreditur. It is for certain, saith he, That the Chinique History that mentioneth the Deluge reacheth not far from the Flood of Noah, for it precedeth the birth of CHRIST accor­ding [Page 50] to the vulgar computation about three thousand years.

Now, for that we are to make great use of Martinius his Authority, I conceive it not imper­tinent to let you know, that he professeth, after his having lived many years amongst the Chinois, to have with great care and long study epitomiz­ed their History from their Original Annals, and innumerable their other Books, yet extant even at this day amongst them from their first beginning to be a Nation. And to have brought it down with all clearness and integrity to the incarnation of CHRIST, and since, to these times also, though that part thereof, we are not so happy, as to have yet made pub­lique.

In this their History from the time of the Flood, he very much enclineth to repose an assu­red M. Mart. Sin. Hist. Epist. ad L [...]t. confidence, telling us in his Epistle to the Reader, That the fidelity thereof is so much the more warrantable, as that the Chinois for them­selves only writ the same; either contemning or not knowing forein Nations; so that, seeing they neither regarded to please Strangers, nor boast of their own actions, they had no occasion to de­liver untruths or report Fables. So much the less because they have no Nobility either for Antiqui­ty of birth or time to flatter. Every the poorest man amongst them, if deserving it by his learn­ing, being capable of the highest preferment. Hence it proceeds, saith he, that about their Hi­story there are no controversies or disputes with them, no difference in the succession of their Em­perors, nor genealogies of their Royal families, [Page 51] of which nevertheless amongst us so little care is taken, that every Chronologer almost differeth from another.

Now, though Martinius hath this opinion of Id: p. 12▪ the sincerity of their Annals since the time of the Flood; yet as to the Age preceding the same, the Chinois themselves give little or no credit to what is related in them, during their Govern­ment by the heads of Families, but from the time they began to be ruled by a Monarch, of which, opportunity serving, we shall take farther notice, and at present advise you only. That whereas by their History it appears Fortrius who was their first Monarch began his reign over them, about three thousand years before the birth of CHRIST, after the common Chronology, Martinius tells us, that the credit thereof must rest at their own doors, for a matter of such mo­ment he will not take upon him to decide; in regard it consents not with the judgment of our Chronologers, that assign a much less space of time from the Flood of Noah. Yet nevertheless, saith he, the opinion of the Chinois seems not on M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 1. p. 13. every side to be rejected: Several of the Chro­nologers of Europe favour it; the Seventy Inter­preters make for it, so also Sam satenus and others, neither doth the Roman Martyrologe, or com­putation of the Greeks much dissent there­from.

But hearken unto Vossius; (Martinius consenting Is. Vos. d [...] [...]. Mun p. 46. 4 [...]. M. Mart. Atl. Sin. pag. 26▪ with him) Miranda artis & naturae opera quae ex hu­jus regni cognitione ad nos perl [...]ta sa [...], non est hujus loci recensere. Ea saltem referemus quae de annis & antiquitate gentis comperimus, Serum itaque tem­pus [Page 52] historicum incipit annis ante natum Christum 2847. The wonderful works both of Nature and Art, which, saith he, by the discovery of this Empire, are arrived at our knowledge, this is no place to mention. We shall relate at least what we find of the Age and Antiquity of the Nation. The Historical time therefore of the Serians be­gins two thousand and eight hundred forty seven years before CHRIST was born. This said, and having afterwards computed from the said time, the several reigns of their Emperors accord­ing to their several families, he thus concludes, A principio itaque regni Serum, usque ad finem praesen­tis anni, qui est 1658 post Christum natum, colliguntur in universum anni 4505. From the beginning ther­fore of the Serian Empire unto the end of this pre­sent year one thousand six hundred fifty eight after the birth of CHRIST, are numbred in the to­tal four thousand five hundred five years. Whereby appears, that according to the vulgar Aera, which Martinius follows, and which makes from the Creation to the Flood of Noah one thousand six hundred fifty six years; and from thence to the coming of CHRIST into the World two thousand two hundred ninety four years; the Historical time of the Chinois begins several A­ges, to wit, five hundred fifty three years before the Universal Deluge, computing to the year one thousand six hundred fifty eight: as Vossius doth.

Alvarez Semedo, a diligent Author for his time, Al. Som. [...]. del. Cin. par. 1. cap. 22. as writing his relation of China about thirty rears since; discoursing of the first Emperours there­of wholly omits Fotrius, with his five Successors [Page 53] till Iaus, the better to dispense with their Chro­nology before the Flood, of which he seems to have no great opinion: the most favorable judgment he will allow thereof, being that their Emperor Iaus might precede that destruction twelve years. And though he saith, there may be a mis-computation thereby in the History of this Emperour, and his Successors Xunus, and Ynus; he doth nevertheless assure us, that the matters related of them, are very coherent with their Successions. His words being; Ad ogni modo, benche via sia errore nel tempo, dall' historia di questo Imperatore e seguenti, è certo che le cose vanno coherenti con le loro successioni. He tells us also, that these three Emperors are by the Chinois reputed Saints, of whom they relate many things, and that certainly there is no doubt to be made, but that they were great Philosophers, and much enclined to moral vertue.

But in regard Martinius in his Tartarian War premiseth, that he hath in his Atlas of China de­duced and taken their History from their own antient Records ever since the time of Noah. We therefore beginning also at the Deluge, will now return to their Antiquity.

Of the Deluge their Writers make much men­tion, but of the original and cause thereof, as can yet be found, they give not any account. Which therefore whether it were that of Noah, or some other peculiar to the Chinois, as the Ogy­gian antiently in A [...]ica, or the Deucalionian in Thessaly appears not. For which a manifest rea­son may be given, because they have always re­puted themselves to be the only great people of [Page 54] the World; and that it contained either few or no other Nations besides themselves, and those generally so contemptible, as that they held them scarcely worthy the conquering, much less en­quiring after what successes or calamities befel them. And therefore with our Authors, I am very much resolved to believe, that, that flood which happened in China in the time of Iaus their seventh Empeeror, was the universal flood. For our Chronologers of Europe referr the flood of Noah to the very reign of this Emperor, and the Chinois themselves in their Annals relate, that during his government great numbers of People flocked into their Countrey; and that at the same time it was drowned, and overflown with waters, which were brought in by the De­luge, Eas Author Sinicus ait diluvio invectas, saith Martinius in the life of Iaus. Considering which together with the coherence of Time, this De­luge that thus drowned China could certainly be no other, than that, that drowned the whole World besides. And the flocking in of those peo­ple thither in such numbers, seemeth much to confirm the same. For thereby is evidently dis­covered as wel the great fears, that generally at last, possessed all Nations, as the hopes they had by their flying out of the low and champain Re­gions adjoyning, to avoid and escape the threat­ning danger, upon the great and high mountains, that run throughout, and as it were surround the Chinique World.

But let us see how our Author proceedeth. M. Mart. Sin. Hist. Lib. 1. p. 39. And because that under this Emperor mention is made of the gathering together of waters, [Page 55] which the History of China calleth the Deluge; and that the Europaean Chronologers from more certain grounds (from the computation of Mo­ses he might as wel have said) reduced the flood of Noah to the time of this Emperor. I could, saith Martinius, easily grant that all the History of the Chinois to this very time, is either fabulous, or comprehends those things, which happened be­fore the flood, whereof the memory might hap­pily be preserved in the Ark. For that many o­ther things, which appertain also to our faith, were vindicated from oblivion, and utter destru­ction even in the same place, is the opinion of learned men. He farther telleth us, That this extreme part of Asia, whereof we treat, was for certain inhabited before the flood. But by what means the memory of things could be preserved there, when all mankind was wholly destroyed, if we have not recourse to the family of Noah, is to me, saith the same Author unknown. Hear Id. pag. 21. him. Han [...] enim, qua describo, extremam Asiam, ante Diluvium habitatam fuisse pro certo habeo▪ ve­rum quo pacio fuerit rerum servata memoria, huma­no genere omni, si à Noëtica familia discesseris, penitus deleto, mibi non liquet. And if it should be object­ed, They might receive the memery of their acti­ons more antient, than the flood by Tradition; that Tradition also must be acknowledged either from Noah himself, or some of his sons to have proceeded.

Of all the Provinces of China, Xensi for Anti­quity hath the preheminence; in regard the first of Mortals, that ever set footing in China after the Deluge, planted, and took up their first [Page 56] seats within this Province. To which purpose M. Mart. Atl. Sin. pag. 43. Martinius in his Chorography thereof affirms; That by just right this most noble Province of Xensi, may with all others the chiefest of this extreme part of Asia, for greatness and Antiquity contend; for, from times of old, it hath been the seat of almost all the Chinique Emperors, even from the very original of the Chinois, until the exit of the family of Hana, which happened two hundred sixty four years after the nativity of CHRIST. And that this Province also, was the first, as by their most antient Annals appears, which was inhabited by the first Planters of Chi­na; and that from the West drawing more into the East, They came thither shortly after the ge­neral Deluge of the World; I am▪ saith he, from many and those most convincing arguments cer­tainly perswaded.

Observe in like manner, what Iean Nieuhoff in the late Embassage of the Oriental Company of the United Provinces of the Netherlands to the Emperor of China relateth. This Province of Xensi, saith Nieuhoff, is so famous, that for gran­deur I. Nieuh. [...] Amb. Or. par. 1. pag. 244. and Antiquity, it may by just right dispute with all the Provinces of the Higher Asia; for the Emperors of China, have from all times since the Universal Flood, kept their Imperial resi­dence therein, until the reign of the Family of Hana. If Xensi then be the most antient Coun­trey of the upper Asia, as Nieuhoff positively as­serts; and if of the upper Asia, Babylon be a Coun­trey, as all Geographers unanimously affirm, it follows indisputably, that Xensi is more antient than Babylon, and consequently received a Colo­ny [Page 57] into it, before Nimrod and his Troops came into the valley of Shinaar.

Now if the credit of their Annals before th [...] flood, should be suspected by us, as they are by the Chinois themselves before the reign of their Emperor Folins, we may probably conceive that Puoncuus whom they report to be their first Go­vernor, was the very Conductor of that Colony, that after the Deluge, and before the Confusion of Tongues first came and planted China. Neither M. Mar [...] Sin. Hist. Lib. 1. p. 17. is authority wanting for the same. Indidem licet conjicere omissis argumentis aliis, Puoncuum & So­cios a cessatione Diluvii, imo ante Turris Babylonicae molitionem ad Sinas venisse; From whence it may be lawful, saith Martinius, to conceive, setting other arguments aside, that Puoncuus and his As­sociates from the cessation of the flood, yea, be­fore the Enterprise of the Babylonian Tower, came into Cbina. When then China was planted from the cessation of the flood, it could not but be much more peopled, ere the Tower was set in hand, and far more before the Confusion of Tongues. For Authors are of opinion, that in re­gard of the vast greatness of the Foundations, and inestimable quantities of materials requira­ble for the raising of such a prodigious work, in such a low and moorish a Countrey, as Babylonia could not but as then be, Nimrod and his Confe­derates Sir W. Ral. hist. par. 1. pag. 100. consumed forty years, before the judg­ment of confounded Languages dissolved their work, and dispersed them.

But from these his reservations, it may be much suspected, that Martinius in his own thoughts, had an higher opinion of this people, [Page 58] than he deemed fitting to be vulgarly made known. And hence happily it is, that Vossius saith, Chorographiae Sericae interpres, vir minime I. Voss. de Aetat. Mun. pag. 45. ineptus, multo moderatius de gentis hujus virtutibus scripsit, quam sensit; The Interpreter of the Chi­nique Chorography, a man that very well under­stood himself, writ far more moderately of the perfections of this people, than he thought. And therefore had Martinius, having in manner from his cradle to his grave studied their Antiquities, written what he thought, and declaring his mind plainly, vouchsafed us those other Arguments he hath concealed, much more no doubt might have been discovered towards the clearing of what ensueth.

For, whether Puoncuus was the Ringleader of this first Colony or not, it may be very much pre­sumed, that Noah himself both before and after the Deluge lived in China. Iosephus attesteth, that Noah having warning of the flood given him Iosep. Ant. Iud. lib. 1. cap. 4. from God, seeing his perswasions to repentance and amendment of life, could work no effect up­on the Corruption of the Age, and fearing by the violence of the times to perish for his zeal, depar­ted from his native soil, and with his wife and children travelled into another Countrey. Sece­dens cum suis in aliam regionem migravit, saith Io­sephus. Now, why might not this other Region into which Noah retired be China? And that confluence of people (which you lately heard of) resort thither, out of desire upon the report of his piety to hear him preach, the better to be prepared against the approaching ruine? For it seems they repaired thither not only in regard of [Page 59] the flood, but also excited by the Fame of the vertues of Iaus and his uprightness, throwing themselves upon his protection as into their fa­thers bosome, in such numbers that the then Chi­nique Empire scarcely sufficed to contain them. From whence we may moreover observe, that the greater the thronging in of their numbers was, the greater probability there is, they throng­ed in thither, in hope to save themselves from the Deluge. Considering especially, that the Chinique History recordeth, their Countrey was at that time destroyed by waters, and therefore Martinius is clearly of opinion, that these were either the waters of Noahs flood, which for a long time after kept the plains and lower places of this extreme part of Asia overflown, or China was drowned by a peculiar inundation. Hear him. Ego malim credere, à No [...]tica inundatione su­perstites in extremae hujus Asiae planitie, locisque de­pressioribus resedisse; aut peculiari [...]luvie Sinas inun­datos. But that this Deluge in China was not a peculiar, but the universal Deluge, he himself hath verily perswaded. Hear with him, Semedo also, maintaining, Pensano alcui che quell acque A. Sem. Rel. del Cin. par. 1. pag. 22. erano reliquie del diluvio, That some believe these waters were those that remained of the Deluge, though of their original & encrease the Chinique History is silent. Hear Vossius likewise confidently I. Vos. de Aetat. Mun. p. 52. affirming, Secundum enim nostrum calculum dilu­vium Sert [...]um exacte cum Noachico convenit, for ac­cording to our calculation, saith he, the Serian Deluge agrees exactly with the flood of Noah. And it is not to be omitted, that Iaus, time being opportune, setting in hand to clear the Countrey [Page 60] of the Incumbrances which the flood had made, caused the Channels and mouths of the Rivers choaked up, as Martinius conceiveth, by the mud and sand which the violence of the Rains of the Noetique inundation had brought down, to be opened, and with banks and trenches brought within bounds, about which either through the want of skill in those that he employed, or hands in that newness of the World to assist him, long time was consumed, and not until after many years. during the reigns of his two next ensuing Successors brought to perfection in the end. For the Chinois attribute extraordinary Merit unto Yuus for the Adjusting of these Waters, as they call it.

It being then thus, Why might not that o­ther Region into which Noah withdrew, be Chi­na? And this Iaus, or Yaus (for I find the word both by Martinius, Kircherus, and others in­differently used) be that Ianus (the middle Let­ter Nadded only, gives us the very name, and to cut off the middle Letter, yea, the middle Sylla­ble oftentimes in the proper names of men is and ever hath been usually in the Eastern Languages done) be that Ianus, I say, whom most Authors maintain was Noab? The History that relateth to him, is by Nieuhoff, but Martinius chiefly, set down in the life of Yaus, and some circumstances I. Nieuh. l' Amb. Or. par. 2. pag. 106. M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. [...]. p. 3 [...]. attending it in the reign of his Predecessors; and which as in the most compendious manner, I have thought fitting to present unto you, by the way of Parallel, thus.

First, Noah had his name from the Comfort his father hoped to receive by him: and Iaus had [Page 61] his name of the Happiness his father hoped should proceed from him.

Secondly, Noah was so just and righteous a man, as that he surmounted all others of his Age: And Iaus so excelled in piety and vertue, as that he surpassed all others of his time.

Thirdly, Noah was a Preacher, and taught the ways of God. And Iaus was a Divine, and or­dained sacred Rites, and prayers unto God.

Fourthly, Noab was an Husbandman; and Iaus prescribed rules of Husbandry to his people.

Fifthly, In the days of Noah the whole World was drowned, and in the days of Iaus the whole World was drowned.

Sixthly, Before the flood of Noah, was a Con­junction of all the Planets in one Sign; and be­fore the flood of Iaus was the like Conjunction of all the Planets.

Seventhly, The son of Noah, Cham, was a re­probate, and therefore by Noah made a servant to his brethren; and the son of Iaus, Chus, was a reprobrate, and therefore by Iaus excluded from succession in the Empire.

Eighthly and lastly, the Deluge of Noah happe­ned in the year before CHRIST two thousand two hundred ninety four; and the Deluge that destroyed China in the time of Iaus agrees per­fectly therewith; for he began his reign there, in the year before CHRIST two thousand three hundred fifty seven.

Before the time of Moses the name of Iehouah, or rather Haiah, as Bayly in his Practice of Piety observes, was never known unto the Israelites. And those are not wanting that suppose, that [Page 62] name was derived from this Iaus. However the Purch. Pil­grimage, lib. 2. pag. 138. Samaritans, as I find in Purchas, begin their Chronicle after this manner. In the name of Iah, the God of Israel; there is none like to Iah our God, one Iehova, God of Gods, Lord of Lords, a great God strong and terrible. Iah is is my strength and song, saith Moses in praysing God for the preservation of Israel from the dan­ger of Pharaoh, Exod. 15. v. 2. Wherefore it is Aynswor. in Exod. not un-observable that the very first utterance that an Infant at his birth yeeldeth is, ya, ya, ya; as if the Lord had ordained, either that we should be born with his name Iah in our mouths, which name is generally ascribed to him, when some notable deliverance or benefit, according to his former promise comes to pass, because he is the beginning and Being of beings, and giveth to all, life, and breath, and all things, Act. 17. v. 25. or else, that in our swathling cloathes we should have something of the PRI­MITIVE Language, till afterwards con­founded, as we are taught to speak. But by the Chinois intend Excellens.

And how long soever the Chinois lived undis­covered to other Nations, it seems, that of old, they were not to the Israelites unknown, as may be collected from those words of the Prophet Isaiah, Ecce isti a longinquo venient [...]ce quoque illi ab Aquilone, & ab Occasu, denique isti à terra Sinaeorum; Behold, these shall come from far: and lo, these from the North and from the West, and these from the land of Sina. Isai. 49. v. 12. But when you shall find so many reciprocally mu­tual customes between them, whether Theo­logy, [Page 63] or Morality, or what else be respected, as throughout our Essay shall be manifested, you will, without all peradventure, assure your selves, that the Chinois immediately proceeded from one and the same stem Noah, as the Hebrews ori­ginally did, rather than that they seem to have been antiently to one another known.

We may therefore conclude, That if either sym­pathy of Qualities; Affinity of names, Coherence of Times; Concurrence in events; or most me­morable predictions be of validity in the case: we have at last, after such curious enquiry by all Writers upon this subject, and the Plantations of the World after the Deluge, found out; what became of Noah after he departed out of his na­tive Countrey, and that he lived in China. Where after his descent out of the Ark, he might betake himself immediately to his husbandry and plant­ing, in a rich, if not the richest soil of the whole Universe. And direct his Off-spring unto such parts of the Earth, as either himself formerly at first before the flood had lived in, or knew most agreeable to their inclinations, and for their best advantage. Without ever ranging over the World from Armenia to Arabia Foelix, thence in­to Africa, afterwards into Spain, and then into Italy, as Annius in his B [...]sus, and those that fol­low him, have feigned (Noah was an hus­bandman, no wanderer: saith our learned Ra­leigh.) Or without making him to be Sabazius or Zagreus, Prometheus, Hercules, Ogyges, Deuca­lion, Triton, and I know not who; all men, in all places, at all times, as Gor [...]pius would have him.

[Page 64] But we must not leave Martinius behind us, in regard especially that how resolved soever he may appear in other matters, we find him confidently positive in and concerning this. Observe him therefore, Mihi vero religiosum non sit, Yaum hunc nostrum eundcm cum Jano dicere; ita nominum & temporum assinitate suaden [...]e, qui Janus multis Noe fuisse creditur. But I may, saith he, without fear assert, that this our Yaus, was the same with Ianus, the affinity of names and times so per­swading, which Ianus is by many conceived to have been Noah. Yet how clear soever this Testi­mony is, let us moreover examine what Authors have said of Ianus, and by what Character they have found him to be Noah; setting aside their general consent, to which our Ianus so absolute­ly corresponds, that they call him Bifrons, as see­ing and knowing the Ages both before and after the flood.

Of the Antiquity then of Ianus, Fabius Pistor as I find him cited by Sir W. Raleigh giveth this Sir W. Ral. Histor. par. 1. pag. 91. testimony. Iani aetate nulla erat Monarchia, quia mortalibus pectoribus nondum hoeserat ulla regnandi cupiditas &c. vinum & far primus populos docuit Ianus ad sacrificia: primus enim Aras & Pomoeri [...] & S [...]cra docuit; ‘In the time of Ianus, saith he, there was no Monarchy, for the des [...]re of rule had not then folded it self about the hearts of men. Ianus first taught the people to sacrifice wine and meal: he first set up Altars, and in­stituted gardens and solitary groves, wherein they used to pray; with other holy rites and ceremonies.’

Now let us consider how far our Ianus may [Page 65] be concerned herein; Sane sires ab eo gestas [...]ecte M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 1. p. 36; expendas, omnes non modo Sinenses, sed orbis fere totius optimos quos (que) reges virtute pariter & gloria vel vicit, vel aequavit. Verily, saith Martinius, if his acti­ons be truly weighed, as well in vertue, as glory, he either equalled or excelled, not only all those of China, but all whatever the best Kings, that almost ever were in the whole World. He lived I. Nieuh: l' Amb. Or. par. 2. pag. 106. in the zeal of Charity; sowed the seeds of Pray­er; consulted frequently the highest Divinity; trampled vanity under his feet, gave himself to Fastings and Prayers to free his Subjects from calamities; and undertook all things with ad­mirable prudence and conduct. But, as near as possible, we are to observe the Chini [...]ue phrase, with a celestial piety, and singular wisedome he M Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 1. p. 37 [...] was endued, all welcomed him, as the approach­ing Sun; and by all was expected with as much desire, as the thirsty fields expect clouds and rain: He was powerful, but acted just things only; Noble and rich, but not proud; moderate in ha­bit; temperate in diet; loved simplicity in saluta­tions and titles, Rich houshold-stuff he despised, Pearls and Diamonds contemned; Venereal en­ticings not vouchsafe an ear unto; adorned hou­ses did not inhabit in; but wearing woollen gar­ments, with the skins of Deer defended himself from cold. But, is not this intended, may hap­pily some say, by just Noah, whom I sephus calls the Prince of the Iews, rather, than pious Iaus, the Prince of China? De religioso p [...]tius viro, quamEthnico Imper atore dicta putes; of a man in ho­ly Orders rather, than an Ethnick Emperour, you may think them to be spoken, saith Martiniu [...]. [Page 66] However we have not ended yet, and scarcely can end, his merits are famed to be such. For, he was of surpassing diligence, easie of access to all, never offended with the importunity of any; much less with any incivility, which through ignorance was committed in his presence. He readily heard the differences between his people, and decided them himself; his patience was not to be overcome; his affections not to be moved in treating of Affairs, and in a cool temper with a compassionately moderate voice gave judgment on Malefactors.

And though it is true that Monarchy was then in use amongst the Chinois, (For Fabius Pictor could not know more, than was then known, and perhaps might think the Terrestrial Globe contained no other Countries, than what were arrived at the Romans knowledg) the desire ne­vertheless of rule, the World being an Infant and harmless, had not then folded it self about the hearts of men. For our Ianus either weary there­of, or contemning it retired, and confining him­self to a solitary grove, lived there in the con­templation of Heaven and Heavenly things; and from the motions of the Coelestial bodies made such observations, as that his Subjects after­wards became fully instructed by him, not only in the Institution of Gardens, and Groves for their devotions, but also in planting and husbandry of whatever kind was requisite for the benefit of mankind.

Being returned from his solitude (and whe­ther under this solitude may not lie concealed, his going into the Ark, Time is to reveal, it be­ing [Page 67] questionable enough. For, Post haec, saith Mar­tinius, i. e. after his having given us the relation of the abatement of the waters) our Ianus brought the Chinique Empire into a better, yea, a new and another kind of form, than formerly it had, ordaining Sacred Rites, Temples, and Sa­crifices; constituting Laws both civil and cri­minal, and appointing several Tribunals of Ju­stice, for the greater ease as well of the Subjects, as their Governours in succeeding times, which continue in full force even at this day. In sum, he presented all things as vertue required, with such a natural aptness, as if goodness had been born with him, omnia virtute at (que) indole quadam si­bi congenitâ exequebatur, being my Authors words. Whereby he filled China with his just and pious deeds, and all Ages with his memory; for he lives a reputed Saint amongst them at this day.

He disinherited his son Chus, for being (mark I pray) Loquax & contentiosus, a Pratler and stub­born, saying one thing, acting another, seem­ingly vertuous, really vitious.

After this, he deliberated of his own accord voluntarily, to make, whilst living, a resignation of his Government, and would have surrendred the same to the care of one Sungous, who though of high esteem for his abilities, pretending ne­vertheless that the charge was too weighty for him, rejected the same. And thereupon our Ia­nus resigned his Dominion to Xunus, a right pi­ous, but poor Countryman; who like Numa be­ing invited to the Scepter from the plough, lives as yet no less famous for his vertues amongst [Page 68] the Chinois, than Numa amongst the Romans, but for his valour much more. I cannot forbear to remember two principles of his; first, no father could be so wicked to whom his son owed not obedience; nor any man so impious, but by in­struction and benefits might be induced to lead an honest and vertuous life.

Now Martinius and Nieuhoff by their late search find Iaus to have entred upon his Go­vernment over China about sixty three years be­fore the flood, though Semedo in his time will scarcely allow him twelve. But whether twelve or five times twelve, they compute, that he lived both before and after the Deluge, from which that Noah only with his wife, and his sons, and his sons wives escaped, nothing is more cer­tain. And therefore who this Yaus, Iaus, or Ianus could be, Noah excepted, is not to be un­derstood by me, unless happily any shall say, that the general Deluge happened long before the year of the World one thousand six hundred fif­ty six, which I conceive no sober man, if he be not Samaritanized will presume to think. For the Samaritans indeed by diminishing the gene­rations of Iared, Methusalah, and Lamech come short of the Hebrew computation before the flood, and exceed it much more in the Genealo­gies of the Patriarchs after the flood.

We are here to observe likewise, that on such a subject as we now treat of, where the actions of an Antient people, before these days unto the Europaeans, or more truly, saith Martinius, unto the universal World unknown, are to be enqui­red M. Mart: Sin. hist. in Epist. [...] into, the more modern Authors are the most [Page 69] warrantable. For heretofore their Histories were reputed meer Fables, even by men of judgment, insomuch as Lodovicus Vives (living about the time of their first discovery) writes, that he won­ders how any man could spend his time about such trifles.

Although their Histories be true, Historiae illorum, Is. Vos. Aet at. Mun. pag. 45. licet sint verae, saith Vossius. For, since the Tarta­rian War, as if Divine Power had decreed, they should be conquered to this end; Their discovery is generally compleated; Their Antiquity cer­tainly known; Their Language plainly under­stood, so far in present at least, as conduceth to our enquiry; Time being to make known the rest. For, now free conversation is permitted, and full liberty granted to study in any of Their Libraries at pleasure, and to buy and imprint any of Their Books; which when at first the Jesuites began to collect, was by publique Edict prohibi­ted. Insomuch, that if we diligently make use, of what is Providentially cast upon us, we shall not only not need much longer to be inquisitive wherein Their Learning consisteth, but also find their Language to be, as the most antient, so the most delightful and harmless, of all others at this day known throughout the World. Hoc de­mum aevo Serum calamitas, Serum nobis dedit noti­tiam, now at last in this our Age, the calamity Id. pag. 46. of the Chinois, hath given us knowledg of the Chinois. As the same Vossius hath it.

In what part of the World Noah built the Ark, the Scriptures are altogether silent; nor hath any approved Author, Goropius Becanus set aside, written thereof. Only this we are assured [Page 70] of, that the Ark was built, not in the North, or Northwest, but in that part of the World which lay East from Shinaar: And to my under­standing, saith Sir W. Raleigh, not far from the Sir W. Ral. hist. par. 1. p. [...]3. place, where it rested after the flood; for Noah did not use either Mast or Sail (as in other Ships) and therefore did the Ark no otherwise move, than the hulk or body of a Ship doth in a calm Sea. Also because it is not probable, that during those continual and downright rains there were any winds at all; therefore was the Ark little moved from the place, where it was fashioned, and set together. For it is written, God made a wind to pass upon the Earth, and the waters ceased. Gen. 8. v. 1. From whence it may be gathered, that during the fall of the waters, there was not any storm or forceable wind at all, which could drive the Ark any great distance from the place, where it was first by the waters lifted up. Thus far that Noble Gentleman.

Goropius Becanus in his Indo-Scythia doth in maintenance of his opinion, that the Ark took ground upon the mountains of Caucasus, sup­pose, that Noah built the Ark near those moun­tains, because on those hills are goodly Cedars: and that to this place Noah repaired both to se­parate himself from the reprobate Giants, who rebelled against God and Nature, as also because he would not be interrupted in building of the Ark; to which also he addeth conveniency of Rivers to transport the Timber, which he used without troubling any other carriages. Where­by Goropius appears you see very careful to sup­ply Noah with necessaries for so great a work; [Page 71] and considering his giving so near a conjecture, as he doth, at the place where the Ark might rest, he had great reason to fortifie the same, with as many circumstances, as the quality of that Clime would admit.

But having discovered such manifest foot­steps of the Residence of Noah in China; after he withdrew from the corruption of the World, as that they far outweigh whatever supposal to the contrary; we must now wave Caucasus, and confidently affirm, that no Countrey in the ha­bitable Earth could better furnish Noah, with all manner of conveniences, and every sort of ma­terials proper for the building of such a Machine than China. For, if the Ark were made of Pine­trees, as the Geneva translation renders the word Gopher, then Kircherus will assure you, such Pine­trees are in China, that eight men can scarcely A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 4. p. 185. fathom them, and that thirty eight men may stand within the body of them. If according to the Rabbins of Cedar, then Purchas will tell Purch. [...]il­grim age, lib. 4. pag. 438. you, that their store is such, as the Chinois use Ce­dar for funeral coffins and Tombs. If as the Sep­tuagint of square timber, or as the Latine of smooth timber, then Nieuhoff affirms, that of all I. Nieuh. l' Amb: Or. par. 2. p. 80 kind of trees for Carpenters work, such plenty, and of such several sorts is to be found within that Empire, that the number is beyond admi­ration incredible.

And as for conveniency of Rivers to transport the Timber, though without the use of other car­riages, it could never be brought to be put in work, either by Noah or his Assistants; Caucasus must with Goropius his good favour give place [Page 72] to China; for therein may be numbred no less, Id. par. 1. pag. 32. than an hundred and eleven Rivers, some of them resembling Seas rather, than navigable streams; so that, saith Kircherus, there is scarcely a field A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 4. p. 165. M. Mart. Atl. Sin. p. 6. Heyl. Cosm. pag. 796. but is watered by them; whereby the whole Em­pire is almost every where passable by boat, saith Martinius. Whereas Caucasus can boast of the spring-heads only of three, those nevertheless very famous ones, Indus, Hydaspes, and Zurae­drus; and though O [...]us is said to have his spring on the North-side of Caucasus, as those other on the South; the mountains notwithstanding are so inaccessible, as no timber could any way by whatever humane help be transported from that part. But Kircherus by a late discovery finds In­dus, A. Kirch. Chi. Ill. par. 2. p. 49 together with Ganges, Ravi, and A [...]hec the greatest Rivers of all India to have their first be­ginnings in the mountains of the Kingdom of Thebeth, above one hundred leagues from Cau­casus, whereby Goropius for confirmation of his opinion, comes to be utterly deprived of the conveniency of the chiefest of all his Rivers.

Besides, as careful as he was, he hath wholly forgotten to furnish Noah at Mount Caucasus with pitch; for according to the peremptory command, He was to make the Ark, and pitch it within and without, with pitch. Gen. 6. v. 14. Whereof Sir W. Rale [...]gh taking good notice, and Sir W. Ral. hist. par. 1. p. 94. well knowing the command being so positive, was not to be neglected, saith, ‘That the pitch which Noab used, is by some supposed to have been a kind of Bi [...]umen, whereof there is great quantity about the valley of Sodome, and Gomor­ra, now the dead Sea or Asphaltes, and in the [Page 73] Region of Babylon, and in the West India. But I must with all respect nevertheless to so cele­brated an Author, say, that the nearest of these places from the Caucasian mountains of A­rarat is distant about seven hundred leagues, and therefore somewhat too far; as I conceive at least, for Noah to transport such quantities of Bitumen, as he was of necessity to use upon so important an occasion. Now, of the great store of pitch that China affordeth, no more assured testimony can be given, than Their multitudes of Shipping, and infinite number of Pine-trees; but that kind of pitch which these trees produceth, and which is to us so welcome; the Chinois have in little esteem; But use and ever did, a bituminous or pitchy substance found in great abundance every where throughout Their Countrey, which they make up, as we do morter with the oyl of a cer­tain fish, and therewith calk and dress their Ships. This pitch of Theirs, as Gonsalez Mendoza in his History of China relates, is not only more G. Mend. hist. del Chi. lib. 3. pag. 167, 169. tenacious than ours, but also breedeth few worms (a matter of no small importance in those Seas) and makes the timber endure like stone. So that one Ship of Theirs will out-last two of ours, and did they not build them thin, would last much longer.

Neither doth Goropius acquaint us, how Noah in those barbarous and desolate upland Countries confining Caucasus, came by workmen to assist him; for himself and family, without the help of Angels, or the like miracle, could never of themselves have accomplished such a Fabrick. Whereas the natural ingenuity of the Chinois [Page 74] might not only give him assistance, but advise al­so, in what manner to put in work the directions that God had given him for building of the Ark; which if it were made in that part of the World which lay East from Shinaar, as most certainly it was, then no Countrey under the Sun can be found more Eastward from thence than Chi­na.

The Vines which grow about Mount Cauca­sus, are much celebrated both by Sir W. Raleigh and Goropius, they using them as a principal argu­ment, for the resting of the Ark there. But if e­ver in any part of the habitable Earth the Vine grew naturally, it is in China in the Province of Xensi especially; but in Xansi, saith Martinius, A. Sem. Rel. del Cin. par. 1. c. 1. M. Mart. Atl. Sin. pag. 39, 41. are the most delicious grapes of all others in Chi­na; where in the City of Pingyang their never enough by them extolled Emperour Iaus resi­ded. So that, as Sir W. Raleigh observes of Noah, he needed not to travail far to seek out the Vine; when it grew at his very door. But though they have Vines in all abundance, and such as yeeld most delicious fruit, the Chin [...]is nevertheless de­spise I. Nieu. l' Amb. Or. par. 2. p. 88. the wine thereof, and drying up the grapes for Raysins make a wine of Rice, no less gene­rous and noble than ours, stieping therein the flesh of Kidds, I know not, saith Martinius, with what Art prepared. It is highly esteemed by the Chinois, hath an excellent body, is very strong, and grateful to the tast and pleasant. They make it not of ordinary Rice; but a certain kind of it peculiar to their Countrey, which serveth on­ly to make this liquor.

And as for that, that Goropius saith, the Ark [Page 75] rested upon the mountains of Caucasus, because of all others it is the highest mountain in the World, it is no argument at all; unless it could be made appear, that, as it is feigned of the Argos, the Ark had sence to direct it self, or Noah a rud­der to steer it thither. It may as well be said, that it took ground on the Pike of Tenariff, which is conceived neither to yeeld to Caucasus, or any other whatever hill in the Universe for height. This we are certain of, that the Ark rest­ed on the Mountains, and reason granteth it was such a Mountain, as, were it more or less high, after the abatement of the waters, the Ark first touched upon; and setling afterwards as they declined, firmed on the same. And therefore nor Scripture nor reason will allow, it should be the highest of all others.

However, if need require, China will afford us mountains of inaccessible altitude; for Kirche­rus A. Kir. Ch. Ill. par. 4. p. 169, 170▪ tells us, That this Empire is adorned with innumerable hills; some of them being in regard of their immense height cloathed with perpe­tual serenity, others again covered with a conti­nual obscurity of hovering clouds. The greatest and highest especially, the Chinois have in so great veneration, as that they are transported with no study more, than a vain observation of them, supposing all their felicity and fortune to consist in them. And why? because the Dragon, whom they make the Lord of felicity inhabites them. But in regard many things are now done where­of the original cause is hardly to be conjectured, I should, were it lawful for me to interpose herein, conceive rather, that this their impu­ting [Page 76] all their happiness and prosperity to their mountains, might at first proceed from the feli­city and good fortune they attained, by their Ancestors being at the time of the flood preser­ved in the Ark upon such mountains; great deli­verances having in all times, amongst all Nati­ons, by several ways, with reference neverthe­less to the occasion been commemorated. Thus the Israelites observed the Passeover, in remem­brance that their forefathers were passed over, and saved, when all the first-born of Aegypt were slain. And I forget not to have read, That some are of opinion, the Nemaean Games were by the Graecians solemnized, because Hercules slew the Nemaean Lion, though others with more autho­rity assert, they were solemnized in regard of the preservation of Adrastus and his Army, that in their march towards Thebes had all perished in the forest of Nemaea, if they had no been pre­served by Hypsiphile who directed them to a fountain of water there. And those also are not wanting, that suppose the Lupercalia were insti­tuted by the Romans in honour of Pan, when more probably they were instituted in memory that their Founders Romulus and Remus were sa­ved by being suckled and brought up by Lupa the wife of Faustulus. And that, from the preserva­tion of their Ancestors, as we said, this superstiti­on of the Chinois may proceed, is not altogether unwarrantable, but attended with a most re­markable circumstance. For by their History it appears, that at the time when China was drown­ed, some people were saved upon the mountain Feu neer the City of Kaocheu in the Province [Page 77] of Quantung. Which from Martinius you may M. Mart. At. Sin. pag. 139. receive thus. Feu mons ad ortum urbis tantae alti­tudinis, ut hunc eluvionis Sinicae tempore, vertice super aquas eminuisse velint, in eoque homines aliquot salvos perstitisse & incolumes. Hear the same con­firmed by Nieuhoff also, Si nous voutions croire le Chinois, nous dirions que Kaocheu, septiéme ville de I. Nieuh. l' Amb. Or. par. 1. p. 89. Quantung, avoisine une montagne, nommee de Feu, qui pour sa hauteur incomparable servit d' Asyle, & deport à plusieurs hommes durant le deluge; If we may credit the Chinois, they will tell us, saith he, that Kaocheu the seventh City of Quantung, hath adjoyning to it a Mountain called Feu, which being of incomparable height served for an Asy­lum and Port to several men during the Delug [...] Now, why might not these, thus saved, be Noah and his family, though no mention of the Ark be made, or its taking Port there? Considering, that They only escaped the Deluge; that the Chinique Deluge was the same with Noah's; and that by what means the memory of things, both before and at the flood, should be preserved a­mongst the Chinois, when all mankind was whol­ly destroyed, without having recourse to Noah and his family, is unknown. But my conjecture is scarcely delivered, when an objection is cast in my way.

For it is now said, That if Noah lived in Chi­na before the flood, how could the Ark rest up­on the mountains of Ararat, as the Scripture saith positively, it did; when Caucasus being a mountain of Ararat is distant from China at least four hundred leagues, and when the Ark having neither Sails to carry it, Oars to row it, nor cur­rent [Page 78] to drive it, could, as hath been said, hull up and down only, as on a standing pool? And there­fore it may be much more probable, that Noah both lived and built the Ark not far from the Mountains of Cauasus, where it took ground, as Sir W. Raleigh, and Goropius have supposed. To this is answered, That in the Province of Ly­cia, a Region of Asia minor near the Mediterra­nean Sea, that ledge of Hills begins, which Moses calleth Ararat, now known by the name of Tau­rus, and which running through the lesser and greater Asia, not far from Caucasus meets with the Mount Imaus. Now, though the Antient Heyl. Cosm. pag. 796. A. Kirc. Ch. Ill. par. 1. pag. 46. M. Mart. Atl. Sin. p. 1. I. Nie [...]h. l' Amb. Or. par. 1. p. II. Ort. p. 105. Writers could trace the course of this Mountain no farther, yet later observations follow it to the wall of China; and find, that the main body of it, having held on an even course from West to East, and there dividing, one r [...]dge bounds China on the West, and the other continueth on the North thereof, even through Corea until it encounters with the East Sea there. And this not only all the modern, and therefore perfect Geo­graphical Descriptions of this extreme part of Asia will testifie, but hereof Heylin also, who hath been as diligent in the search thereof, as any, shall assure you: his words being▪ China is bounded on the North with Altay, and the East­ern Heyl. Cosm. p. 864. Tartars, from which separated by a conti­nued chain of Hills, part of those (mark I pray) of Ararat. Whereby it appears, that as Ararat had its Caucasus, so China had her Ararat, upon which the Ark might rest, as upon the mountains of Ararat, the Scripture saith posi­tively it did. And it is not un-observable, the [Page 79] Scripture teacheth us, that the Ark rested, not on the mountain in the singular, but on the mountains of Ararat in the plural. A manifest argument that Ararat was a general name, and had reference to the whole ledge of Hills, not to any particular mountain so called. As we even at this day both in discourse and writing use in the same sence to say, not the mountain, but mountains of Taurus; not the Pyraenian hill, but hills; not the Alp, but Alps. Neither must we forget, that if according to the Hebrew mode you cast your eye from the right to the left, and admit Taura in the Foeminine, you shall find it will produce Aruat. And had Goropius lived to have perused our late discoveries, he G. Bec. Iu­dos. p. 476. would never so contrary to reason, have raised, I know not how changeable and violent winds to drive the Ark from the south of Paropamisus in­to the north to the beginning of Caucasus, and then back to the southward again, until at last upon the highest tops of Caucasus, by great good fortune, he makes it rest. Nor he, or our Raleigh troubled themselves and Readers, with so many tedious Arguments about this Mountain as they have done, but without doubt, have concluded, that the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat confining China. In which Region Noah having lived before the flood, the Ark needed neither Winds, nor Sails, nor Oars, nor Current to transport it; but being born up by the waters, might in five moneths time, going upon them, be wafted by the weight of them only, let the pool be as standing as you please, out of the plain Countrey of China below, to the adjoyning [Page 80] mountains of Ararat above, And thereby both sacred Scripture fulfilled, and prophane History certainly reconciled.

For, thus with the Scripture, Nimrod and his Troops might go from the East to the valley of Shinaar, as the very letter of the Text saith they did; whereas Caucasus bendeth into the North. And as they journeyed from the East, they found a plain in the land of Shinaar, and they dwelt there. As if the Providence of God had de­creed, that the World should begin to be plant­ed, even from the utmost extremity thereof, thereby to prescribe a rule to all after Ages; in what manner they ought to conduct and carry on their Plantations by degrees. Hence as it was with our forefathers, so by us in the setling of Co­lonies, it is still observed, to follow always the Sun, wheresoever it is free, and may without danger be done, lest otherwise the conduct of Nature should seem without cause to be resisted by us.

Thus with Raleigh, Noah, at first when he came down out of the Ark after returning thanks to God for his deliverance, might become an hus­bandman, no wanderer; Nimrod be six years in travailing from the place, where the Ark rested to Shinaar; and India the sooner inhabited by the way thither, whereby the vast numbers of the army of Staurobates, with which he encoun­tred Semiramis, might have suf [...]cient time to be propagated, and consequently exceed hers. Thus, with the same Author, Goropius and Heylin, the Ark might rest not far from the place where Noah lived,, without calling sometimes the [Page 81] North, sometimes the South winds to help, as Goropius doth; and Noah be setled in the East, and have well peopled all those parts, which lay nearest to him, before he sent Nimrod and his Troop abroad to search for other habitations. Thus with Raleigh also, might the sons of Ioc [...]an left behind with Noah, orderly and quietly be planted in the several Regions of India beyond Ganges. Whereas otherwise, being, as is concei­ved, they were not born, till after the Confusion of Tongues, they could not possibly pass from Babel with their families, flocks, and herds of cattle into such remote parts, through the interjacent Kingdoms, fully peopled, and after the dispersion long before they could be of Age to wander, all full of wars and tumults. Thus with Heylin might China be planted before the rest of the Adven­turers went to seek new fortunes at the Tower of Babel. Thus, with Martinius might Iaus without scruple be Noah; this extreme part of Asia wherof we write, be for certain inhabited before the flood; the History of China preserved in the Ark; and the people thereof arrive to the per­fection of Arts and Sciences, so early as they did. Thus, with Willet might Noah without dispute be exercised in planting of Religion, and doing most excellent works for the benefit of Mankind; Thus, with Nieuhoff might Xensi be of just right the most antient Province of Asia, and in memory thereof the Emperours of China keep their Imperial residence therein, ever since the universal Flood, till the reign of the family of Hana. Thus, with Heylin and Martinius both, might China unquestionably be peopled from [Page 82] the cessation of the Deluge, before the Enter­prise of Babel, and Confusion of Tongues. And thus may the Language of the Empire of China be preferred to all others.

And hereby we find, that Sir W. Raleigh had great reason to assert, That these Eastern parts of the World were the first peopled Countries after the flood, and planted before Noah sent Nimrod and his followers abroad upon new dis­coveries. And that Heylin might upon good Heyl. Cosm. p. 870. grounds conceive, that China was primitively planted by some of the Posterity of Sem before the Undertaking at Babel ‘Which may probably be concluded, saith he, from the extreme popu­lousness of the Countrey, the many magnifi­cent Cities, their Industry and Ingenuity in all Arts and Sciences, not to be taught them by their neighbours more ignorant in those things than themselve.’ Et sane totius Indiae populos Si­nis M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 6. p. 237 circumjacentes mere barbaros incultosque dixe­ris, si cum Sinis oomparentur: And verily, saith Martinius, you may say, that all the people of In­dia confining China are meerly rude and barba­rous, in comparison of the Chinois. And the rea­son, wherefore the farther East should be the more civil; Sir W. Raleigh hath long since told us, is, because it had Noah himself for an Instruct­er. But unto those Excellencies of the Chinois, we shall add their Antient Theology also.

CHINA of all Kingdoms the most vast and A Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 1. pag. 3. greatest, is, according to the late Geography en­vironed on the East with the Oriental Sea, on the North separated from Tartaria antiqui, the Realms of Niuche, Niul [...]n, and part of Tangia [Page 83] by a vast wall, of which had the Antients had knowledg, they would without doubt have ce­lebrated amongst their other Wonders of the World. On the West it is surrounded partly with a ridg of most high hills, partly with the sandy desart of Zamo, and several Kingdoms; and on the South the Meridional Ocean with the Kingdoms of Tunching, Cochin-China, Lio, and others bound it. Semedo saith, it is as big as Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the L [...]w-Countries, A. Sent [...] Rel. del Cin. par. 1 [...] pag. 20. M. Mart. Atl. Sin. pag. 2. Great Britain, and all the Islands belonging to it. According to Martinius, it extends in Longitude about thirty degrees, from the Head or Ptomon­tory of the City of Ningpo (called by the Portu­gals Liampo) as far as to the Amasaean or Dama­sian mountains. The greatest Latitude is from the eighteenth degree to the fortieth second of the North Hemisphere. Whereby, the figure of it, as Nieuboff hath it, [...]endeth to a square form, being four hundred and fifty German Leagues I. Nieuh. l' Am [...]. Or. par. 1. pag. 41. length, and three hundred and thirty in bredth. But in all this mighty Continent are no such waste grounds or un-habitable Desarts as in other Countries, but full of goodly Towns and Cities.

The Provinces of this Empire are fifteen, and in almost every one of them, more men fit for War to be found, than in all England and S [...]ot­land. Insomuch, that if the first blessing con­ferred on Mankind both before and after the flood of Encrease and multiply, Gen. 1. v. 28. Gen. 9. v. 1. was ev [...]r to this day conspicuous in any Nation under Heaven, it is manifestly visible in this. For, by the Rolls in which the number of [Page 84] People is registred, appears, that there are there­in ten Millions, two hundred eight thousand five hundred sixteen families; and fifty eight Millions, nine hundred fourteen thousand, two hundred eighty four fighting men; besides, the Royal family, Magistrates, Eunuch's, Garrison-Souldiers, Priests, women and children, which are not numbred in the Registers of the Provin­ces. Thus Nieuhoff casteth up the account, from whom Martinius and Kircherus do not much va­ry. And therefore we need not wonder, that the Portugals at their first arrival in China, beholding such swarms of people in every place, demanded, if their women there brought forth nine or ten children at a birth.

And least such multitudes should be destitute A. Kirc. Ch. Ill. par. 4. pag. 167, 168. of habitations, there are within the Empire one hundred and fifty Metropolitane Cities, surpas­sing all others in magnificence and reputation; and of a lesser degree, twelve hundred twenty six, all fortified with walls and ditches; besides Castles, Fortresses, Burgoises, Towns, Hamlets, Villages, of which there is no number. So that at the end of every mile at least, new and new habitations appear. All the Cities nevertheless are built after one form, viz. of a square figure, and he that hath seen one of them, may easily comprehend the manner of all the rest. The hou­ses are for the most part of Timber, and gene­rally of one story high, whereby as they avoid the wearying of themselves in ascending by stairs, so they take up much ground, what they want in height being fully recompenced by the length. They are, without rude, but within [Page 85] adorned with all manner of splendour and mag­nificence. Thus Kircherus.

But our Heylin more particularly proceedeth, finding China to be provided with five hundred Heyl. Cosm. pag. 864. ninety one Cities, fifteen hundred ninety three walled Towns, eleven hundred fifty four Castles, four thousand two hundred Towns unwalled, and such a number of Villages, that the whole Countrey seemeth to be but one City. Besides, their dwellings on Shipboard, wherein whole families reside, and where they buy, sell, are born, live and die. In such numbers, as that the question may well be, saith Kircherus, whe­ther more people live aboard their Ships, or in A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 5. p. 216. the Countries and Cities, those especially that are on the Sea-coasts. And of Shipping such multitudes they have, that the Rivers seem to be no otherwise covered with them, than the land with houses; whence the Chinois use, by way of Proverb to say, that their Emperour is able to make a Bridge of Ships from China to Malaca, which are five hundred Leagues asunder. And least any that tow the Vessels in course of Trade, should be obstructed or retarded in their passage, neither any Tree is suffered to grow, or other impediment permitted within five foot of the water-side. And the same order is observed for the better commoding of the highways to the use of Travellers.

But I cannot moreover desist from Kircherus Id. in Epist▪ Ded. his farther description thereof. It is, saith he, of such greatness of Power, that in the circumference of the Earthly Globe, a more mighty Monarchy, and more populous cannot comparable there­unto [Page 86] be found. The Kingdom of China alone, we may see so adorned with innumerable, and those most flourishing Cities, that if we should say, it were one entire Province, we should hardly say amiss. It is so furnished with frequent Towns, Castles, Villages, and places dedicated to their superstition; that if that wall of three hundred leagues in length, memorable in all Ages, were extended from Sea to Sea, all China throughout how great, how large soever, might not unde­servedly be said to be one City, in which is found such infinite plenty of whatever is necessary for the life of mankind; as that, that which the wise industry of Nature hath here and there a­monst other Kingdoms of the World disper­sed, may all be summarily seen to be contain­ed within this one only.

I could acquaint you also, that the revenue of their Emperour amounteth yearly unto one hun­dred and fifty millions of Crowns, and how it is raised, and disposed of; but I forbear, more im­portant matters as to our present disquisition, calling on me to proceed unto their Theology of old, before they became infected with Idolatry.

Amongst all the Nations of the Universe, the I. Nieuh. [...] Amb. Or. par. 2. pag. 54. Chinois have most avoided to be guided by the light of Nature, & least erred in the ru [...]es of their Religion; For, we know with what prodigious follies, the Descendents of Cham and Iaphet, the Greeks, Romans, and Aegyptians heretofore stuffed their Divine Worship. When the Chinois on the contrary, have, from immemorable times ever acknowledged one only God, whom they name the Monarc [...] of Heaven. And we may find, saith [Page 87] Nieuhoff, by their Annals for more than four thousand years, that in this particular, there were never Pagans that less offended. Whereby the rest of their Actions are the more conformable to that which right reason requires. And here­with Nicholaus Trigantius in his Christian Expe­dition N. Trig. in Chi. Exp. apud Sin. lib. 1. p. 104 M. Mart.. Sin. Hist. Lib. 1. p. 11. into China fully consents.

But let us see what Martinius will afford us. Of the Great and first Author of things, saith he, there is amongst all the Chinois a wonderful si­lence, for, in so copious a Language God hath not so much as a name; oftentimes nevertheless they use the word Xangti, by which they signifie the Supream Governour of Heaven and Earth. This Numen, we may say, was the Tetragramma­ton of the Chinois; Deus Optimus Maximus be­ing, Id lib. 4. pag. 149. as is generally conceived, professed and ado­red by them of old under the name of Xangti. Huic enim ut supremo numini sacra facicbant, fun­debantque preces, nullis ad religionem exciendam si­mulacris aut statuis usi; quippe qui numen ubique praesens venerantes, illud extra sensus omnes positum, nulla crederent imagine posse mortalium oeulis re­praesentari. For unto him as to the supreme God they offered sacrifices and poured forth their prayers, using neither Statues nor Images for stir­ring up their devotion; for in regard adoring an Omnipotent and Incomprehensible Deity, they believed he was not by the resemblance of any thing to be represented to the eyes of Mortals. Now by whom could this people be instructed in such divine principles as these, but by Noah or Sem? For certain we are that the Hebrews who descended from Noah and Sem held it unlawful [Page 88] to use the name Iehovah, except within the San­ctuary, when the Priest blessed the People, ac­cording to the Law, in Num. 6. v. 23. And that they were not to make unto Him any graven Image, or any likeness of any thing, that is in Heaven above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the water under the Earth; we find in Exod. 20. v. 4.

But Martinius will conduct us farther yet. In these our days they worship a certain Numen, which what it is, they verily know not. As, the Athenians, I may add, had an Altar dedicated unto the unknown God, which as the Apostle instructeth us, was God that made Heaven and Earth. Act. 17. v. 24. But that of old, saith Mar­tinius, the Chinois professed the true God, from the Doctrine delivered them by Noah, there is no doubt to be made. Olim vero quin ve [...]um Deum agnoverint, ex doctrina Noë tradita dubium nobis nullum est; Being his words.

They have an opinion, that many go erring in M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. [...]. p. 333. the mountains that never die, and fly like Spi­rits ascending up to Heaven, when they please; which Martinius inclines to conceive is ground­ed on the History of Enoch and Elijah.

They were not without some knowledge of [...]d. lib. 4. p. 149. CHRIST, as the Books written by their Philo­sopher Confutius, stiled the Plato of the Chinois is manifest; he being an Author of as sublime and profound Authority with them, as either Plato or Aristotle with us; and indeed more an­tient. Confutium praevidisse VERBUM carnem futurum, idque non dubia ste praecepisse, quin & an­ [...]um in Cyclo Sinico, quo futurum esset cognovisse; [Page 89] Confutius, saith our Author, foresaw that the WORD should become flesh, and not only con­fidently taught it, but knew in what year of the Chinique Cycle it should come to pass. (The Cy­cle of China to remember it by the way, con­taineth sixty years, as the Olympiad of the Greeks did four.) And it is memorable, that their Emperour that reigned at the birth of CHRIST Id. lib. 10. pag. 413. would not be called Ngayus, as his name was, but Pingus, which signifies Pacificns; by a won­derful Providence of God, that at the time that CHRIST the true Pacifique King came upon the Earth, the Emperour of China should be called Pacifique also.

I find in Purchas, that Nicolao di Conti relateth, Pur. Pil­grimago, lib. 4. pag. 460. Nic. di Conti a­pud Ra­mus. that when the Chinois rise in the morning, they turn their faces to the East, and with their hands joyned, say, God in Trinity keep us in his Law. But in regard it doth not fully appear that from An­tiquity they have used the same, and that Marti­nius is silent therein, we shall not insist upon it.

To return therefore to Confutius, his usual saying, and wherein he concluded, the highest perfection to consist, was, Ne facias ulli, quod pati nolis, which is the Law and the Prophets. And as you would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luk. 6. v. 31. Mat. 7. v. 12. And though he flourished before CHRIST above M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 4. p. 137 five hundred years, many of his off-spring never­theless, are yet remaining and live in great ho­nour, at this day; which is worthy observation it being not to be said again of any family in any place under Heaven except in China: where in­deed [Page 90] many more like instances may be found, that especially of the now Princes of Corea, they being lineally descended from Kicius, who in the year one thousand one hundred twenty two be­fore the Incarnation of CHRIST, had for his eminent learning, that Kingdom given him in reward by Faus the first Emperour of China, of the family of Cheva. Whereby it appears that the Posterity of Kicius, have in a continued suc­cession enjoyed the Kingdom of Corea, two thou­sand seven hundred and ninety years.

The most learned Philosophers amongst the Id Lib. i. p. 13, 14. Chinois, make the Chaos the beginning and origi­nal of all things; out of which the highest Im­material or spiritual Being created that, that is material. They hold also, that the World was created in the winter Solstice; the Heavens first, the Earth next, then living Creatures, lastly, Man. After the same manner, as Moses hath de­livered. Gen. 1.

That the World shall be dissolved into the Chaos, from whence it came, and tha [...] before the dissolution thereof, there shall be great pertur­bation of all orders, and all things; with mighty Wars, insurrections of Kingdoms, and from thence publique calamities shall arise throughout the universal Globe, they are clearly of opinion. Now, how fully they accord with the words of our Saviour herein. Matth. 24. v. 6, 7. declares.

Add unto these, that in their Books they fre­quently M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 1. p. 11. assert, rewards to be decreed for vertue, and punishments for vice. But this seems only to relate unto the condition of our present life; for that they have any knowledge of the Judg­ment [Page 91] hereafter, from Martinius appears not. The Antiquity of their Theology not conducting them so far. Yet nevertheless I find in Trigantius, that N. Trig. in Christ. Exp. apud Sin. lib. 1. p. 105. from all times they have made no question of the immortality of the Soul, speaking often of the dead, as living in Heaven, but of the punishments of wicked men in Hell, not a word.

The name of Iustice they confine not to that vertue which is a constant and perpetual will of M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 3. p. 96. giving every man his due. But allow it such a lati­tude that every action consentaneous to reason is thereby signified. A true Maxime; for whatever is agreeable to reason, we may justly say to be just. And by the name of Piety they understand not the love only of God, their Parents, or them­selves, but of all men universally. For, as they define Iustice to be the law and conveniency of doing well; so Piety, the means and rule of lo­ving well. A Divine Principle, for we are to love our neighbours as our selves; according to that in Matth. 22. v. 39.

Now, this high Divinity of Theirs admits a particular reflexion. H. Grotius in his discourses of God and his Providence, as I find him En­glished by Barksdale, pag. 18, and 19. tells us, That Moses his Books, wherein those Miracles are recorded, which at the Israelites coming out of Ae­gypt, and in the wilderness, and in their entrance into the land of Canaan had happened, are of certain credit; not only because the present Iews from their Parents, as they from theirs, and so forward until we arrive at those who lived in Moses and Ioshua his time, by certain and con­stant Tradition have received those miracles, but [Page 92] also, because there hath been a perpetual fame among the Hebrews, that Moses was commended by the Oracle of God, and made a Leader of his People; and because it is sure enough, that he was neither studious of his own glory, nor par­tial to his own Posterity. All which declares, saith Grotius, he had no reason to deceive us. Now, finding this Theology of the Chinois, not by tradition, and a perpetual fame, but in Books suc­cessively written from Age to Age, ever since the Isaack. Chron. pag. 47. universal Deluge, above seven hundred years be­fore Moses was born, to be equally agreeable and consonant towhat CHRIST himself and Mo­ses hath taught us, and what we profess. And that in writing of these Books, the Chinois were neither studious of their own glory, nor partial to their own posterity, which declares they had no reason to deceive us. I see no cause to doubt, but that they received this Their Theology, ex do­ctrina à Nöe tradita, from the doctrine taught them by Noah, as Martinius from their Books hath positively affirmed. Considering withal, that Noah was a just man, and perfect in his genera­tions, and Noah walked with God. Gen. 6. v. 9.

As for Their policy in government, I shall chiefly observe what Kircherus delivers. That if A. Kirch. Chi. Ill. par. 2: p. 115 ever any Monarchy in the world was constituted according to political principles, and dictates of right reason, it may be boldly said that of the Chinois is. For therein every thing is found dis­posed in so great order; as that whereas all matters are under the rule and power of their Literati, or wiseman; so also hardly any thing is transacted throughout the whole Empire which [Page 93] depends not upon them; neither can any man attain to any degree of Honour, that is not very richly learned in their Letters and Sciences. In a word, their Kings may be said to be Philoso­phers, and their Philosophers, Kings; and they order every thing, saith Semedo, in such manner, as may most conduce to good government, con­cord, Al. Sem. Rel. del. Cin. par. 1. cap. 18. peace, and quietness in families, and to the exercise of vertue: Insomuch he tels us, that so great an Empire seemeth to be but, as it were, one well governed Convent.

Their first form of Government, until the time of their Emperours was paternal, as is written of Abraham and Lot. But no credit is given to whatever their History relates, during this form of rule. For the Chinois themselves, as hath been M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 1. pag. 12 said, suspect the credit of their Annals before the reign of their Emperour Folmis, as containing those things, that are for the most part ridiculous and false.

Their first Emperours were elective, but about the year before CHRIST two thousand, two hundred, and seaven, which according to the Hebrew or vulgar computation, and which with our Chinique Authors we follow, was forty four yeares before the Confusion of Tongues, they began to rule by hereditary right; and for nume­rous successions after the flood were not Idola­ters, but Adorers of the true God of Heaven and Earth; and were Priests also, and offered sacri­fices to him; as no question from the Example of Noah they had learned; and as the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob were afterwards ac­customed to do. For, it was not lawful, saith [Page 94] Martinius, for any to officiate in sacris but the Emperour; nor for any to be inves [...]ed with the sacerdotal dignity, but he that swayed the scep­ter, so highly have they ever reverenced their sacred matters. Neither was Idolatry known un­to them, till after the birth of CHRIST, when Purch. Pil­grimage, lib. 1. pag. 67. for many Ages preceding, the whole World had followed Idols; for, the Offspring of Cham de­rive their Idolatry even from the time of Noah; and the Israelites themselves had deserted God above one thousand years before. But Corruptio optimi p [...]ssima, for after the Chinois fell into Ido­latry, neither Babylonians, Aegyptians, or Greeks were ever more superstitious, nor ever had more Deities, than they.

Casting off their antient Theology, they enter­tained that error of the Eternity of the World; M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 1. p. 11. with which, as Martinius informeth us, together with the worship of Idols, they were, in the sixty fifth year after CHRIST, infected by an Indian Philosopher that crept into China, as Xaverius the Jesuit to propagate the Gospel a­mong them, did of late times. But as the Iews at this day hold it a sin to pronounce Iehovah; Bayl. Pr. of piety. p. 19, 20. so, their present Idolatry notwithstanding, the Chinois at this day hold it hainous for any, but their Emperour to sacrifice to Xangti; insomuch M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 1. p. 48. that they put those to death that attempt the same. But this their antient knowledg of, and constant perseverance in the worship of the true God requires as yet, a more serious considerati­on; For we find in Iosephus that Noah at his Ios. Ant. Iud. lib. 1. cap. 4. coming forth of the Ark offered a sacrifice of Thanksgiving unto God for his deliverance, but [Page 95] read nothing more of any such worship, till the dayes of Abraham; who we are taught, was by God himself peculiarly chosen, and called there­unto; Gen. 12. And who, saith the same Iosephus, first of all did most manifestly preach and prove, that there was but one God, Governour and Ma­ker Id. cap. 8. of all things. When as in China one God, by whom all things are governed and preserved, was not only adored, during all that time from Noah unto Abraham; but also hath continually from Abraham to this very day, been adored a­mongst them; their Literati especially. So that had this extreme part of Asia been discovered in the time of St. Augustine, he might have assigned far larger bounds to his City of God, and the Tents of Sem, than otherwise he hath done.

That which Aristotle hath delivered of the People of Asia, is verified in the nature of the M. Mart. Atl. Sin. p. 5. Chinois: We Europaeans exceed them in point of valour, They us in subtlety of invention. They are wise, politique, and upon suddain emergen­cies most acute and resolute. Laborious also they are and industrious, and suffer not any one thing that is useful to be lost. For notwithstanding their great abundance of all precious commodi­ties, they collect and keep together the most vilest and basest rags whatsoever, the bones of Dogs, Hens feathers, Hogs hairs, yea all sorts of most filthy and stinking excrements, and make good merchandize of them. Their fineness of in­genuity is oftentimes perverted; for, they take great pleasure to outwit, and craftily cozen o­thers. But they are professed enemies to sloth and idleness, and where the least hope of gain ap­pears, [Page 96] they think no pains too great to obtain it. Id. pag. 7. They are healthful and strong, very ag [...]le, nimble, and of a lively spirit, and in some places contend with Europaeans for whiteness of complexion, and are much conformable to them, if the flat nose, thin beard, prominent and long eyes, and broad face be excepted. All both men and women delight in long and black hair on the head. The women generally are low of strature, but in coun­tenance both generous and elegant. The chief grace and beauty of a woman they attribute to the smalness of her feet. Wherefore, as soon as they are born, they swaddle and bind them with fillets so streightly, that they can never after grow. Insomuch that some of them in bigness scarcesly exceed Goats or Calves-feet. A ridicu­lous verily and strange folly in such a polite peo­ple, to whom if an Helena were brought, they would arraign her of deformity if her feet were greater. So that their women endure willingly that kind of torment, that they may appear the more amiably pleasing to the men.

The first Arts of the Chinois were the Mathe­matiques, Astrology, and Astronomy, of which that they might receive the Elements from No­ah, I conceive none will suspect, the progeny of Seth before the flood having made such progress therein, as that by writing they communicated to posterity what they had found out concern­ing M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 1. p.. 17. them. Inde constat scientiam primam apud Sinas Mathematicam fuissé, atque a N [...]e adposteros quasi per manus propagatam; whereby it appears, saith Martinius, that the first science amongst the Chinois was the Mathematical, and from Noah [Page 97] to th [...]ir Posterity delivered as it were by hand.

They delight in no Art more, than Agricul­ture Id. lib. 8. pag. 330. and Planting, nor ever from all Antiquity did; and are to admiration expert therein. Inso­much that without prejudice to other Nations it may be affirmed truly, they exceed all people in the World, and are so indefatigably diligent, la­borious and expert therein, that throughout all the Chinique Empire, there is scarcely one hands bredth of ground to be found unmanured or barren, that either by Nature is, or by Art can be made fertile. And therefore no wonder that such multitudes of people are fully supplied with all manner of Provisions: Nor that they should be so expert, since that Noah was an husband­man and taught them. The ninth part of the land is the Emperour's; for, upon settling any new Colony they always made an equal division, allotting to every family alike proportion; which they subdivided again into nine parts, whereof that in the middest was the Emperours. Where­by as the safety of the Emperour lay in the hearts of his Subjects, so his lands also lay in the heart of Theirs.

Their Physick consists in the knowledg of Plants and Herbs, of all other undoubtedly the most safe and secure, and most agreeable to the constitutions and complexions of Mankind. And they are so learned and expert herein, that they M. Mar [...] Sin. hist. lib. 1. p. 24. say one of their Emperours having in the space of one day found out sixty several sorts of poy­sonous simples, in the same day likewise found out, as many other Herbs, as were Antidotes [Page 98] against them, whom therefore they call the Prince and Author of Physicians at this day. But our Europaeans find their profit too easie by consulting Galen, to trouble themselves with so great study, as this kind of practice requires. Ours talk, Thetrs cure, saith Martinius. Their A. Kir. Ch. Ill. par. 4. p. 169. Physicians, saith Kircherus also, being learned by Tradition (traditional practice, are his Authors, Martinius words) are famously skilful in the knowledg of Pulses, whereby the causes, effects, and symptoms of Diseases are admirably disco­vered by them, and agreeable remedies accord­ingly applied. They never write any receipt, but A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. c. 11. give the Medicine themselves unto the Patient whom they visit, and whom at their coming they never ask where his pain lieth, whether in his head, stomack, or belly, but feel his pulse only with both their hands leaning on a pillow, or some such other thing; and so observe the mo­tion of it, for a good while, and from thence de­clare what the Patient aileth; the learned Phy­sicians seldom failing therein.

Poetry is of high Antiquity amongst them. But it is far different from that, that is in use with us; For, they stuff not their works with Fables, Fi­ctions, M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 4. p. 111. and Allegorical conceits, such as when the Authors Poetical rapture is over, himself under­stands not. But in Heroick verse chant forth in­structions for their Princes to govern justly, their Ministers of State to rule under them uprightly; and their Subjects to obey them loyally: and in such manner composed withal; that they infuse terrour into the bad, and are a spur to the good to live vertuously and well. Other Poems they [Page 99] have which are the subject of Natural Philosophy; and others again, which treat of Love, not with so much levity nevertheless, as ours, but in such chaste Language, as not an undecent and offen­sive word to the most chaste ear is to be found in them. And which is more, they have no Letters whereby to express the Privy parts, nor are they A. Sem. Rel. de i. [...] Cin. pa [...]. 1 [...] cap. 11. to be found written in any part of all their Books; which cannot be said of any Language under the concave of Heaven, besides. Now, why may not this more than remarkable silence proceed, out of the detestation of that shame, which Noah received by the discovery of his nakedness, as a reproach throughout Their generations to be for ever bu­ried in oblivion? And be the cause also, why Wine made of grapes should be odious to them? So that heretofore the Jesuites were enforced to have the wine which they used in their Ceremo­ny of the Mass from Macao at exceeding charge, labour, and no less peril; lest, as it were, it should be discovered. But, now they procure it from Xansi, to administer in such Provinces, where o­therwise it is not to be had. It is observable like­wise, M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 1. p. 54. that he, who during the reign of Yuus, found out the way to make wine of Rice, was banished for his industry; and though severe punishments were by publique edict decreed a­gainst all those that either made or drank it, ne­vertheless from this kind of liquor they could never be induced to refrain, superstition might perswade them to despise the One; no Policy could compel them to forbear the Other. A. Sem. Rel. de Id Cin. pa [...]. [...] cap. 29.

As for Moral Philosophy, their Ancestors had these five Cardinal Vertues, Piety, Iustice, Policy, [Page 100] Prudence, Fidelity in such high esteem, as that all their most antient and fundamental Laws were framed out of them, neither are they in less ac­count amongst them at this day, than in times of old. We will take leave to repeat them, as they in their own Idiom express them, thus, Gin, Y, Li, Chi, Sin.

Gin, they say, signifies Piety, Humanity, Chari­ty, Reverence, Love, Compassion, which after this manner they explain, To esteem ones self less than others; To be affable; To succour those that are afflicted; To help those that are in ne­cessity; To have a tender and compassionate heart; To bear good will towards all men; To use all this more particularly towards their Parents.

Y, according to their doctrine is Iustice, E­quality, Integrity, Condescention in all things rea­sonable and just; hereby the Judge is, To give every man his own. The rich man, To take heed he presume not on his wealth; and To give some part of it to the Poor; To adore, as Martinius hath it, the Supreme Emperour of Heaven and Earth; Not to be contentious; Not to be obsti­nate; Not to oppose what is just, and conform­able to reason.

Li, as they expound it, is Policy, Courtesie, to honour and reverence others as is fitting, which they say, consisteth, In the mutual respect one man is to bear another; In the mature conside­ration and circumspection which is to be used in managing of affairs; In the modesty of outward deportment; In obedience to Magistrates; In be­ing gentle to young men, and respectful to old.

Chi, after their Philosophy, denoteth Pru­dence, [Page 101] Wisedom; the which they place, In read­ing of Books, In studying of Sciences, In being perfect in the liberal Arts; In the knowledg of matters of Antiquity; In the good intelligence of modern affairs; In observing well what is past, thereby the better to regulate the present and future occasions; In discerning right from wrong.

Sin, they say, is Fidelity, Verity, it consisteth in a sincere heart, and real intention; To do only that which is good; To imitate what is just; To make their words aad works, and that which is hidden within, to that which appeareth out­wardly, agree.

As they have these five Cardinal qualities, so they reckon up five principal degrees of Humane Society, The King and Subject; the Husband and Wife; Father and Son; Elder and Younger Bro­thers; and one Friend to Another. The King is to observe towards his Subjects, Love, Vigilancy, and Clemency: and the Subjects towards the King, Loyalty, Reverence, and Obedience. The Husband towards his Wife, Love, kind usage, and union: She towards her Husband, Fidelity, Respect, and Com­placency. The Father towards his Children, Love and Compassion; They toward their Father, Obe­dience and Piety. The Elder Brother towards the Younger, Love, and Instruction; The Younger to­wards the Elder, (that is, to all their Brothers that are Elder than they) Obs [...]rvance and Respect. Friends towards one Another, Love, Faithfulness, and Sincerity. And as for degrees of lesser ranck M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 4. p. 148 appertaining to visits, entertainment of guests, civil and modest behaviour, and what belongeth [Page 102] to the decent composure of the body, they enu­merate no less, than three thousand, of all which in their Books, they treat most largely.

And for better propagation of Learning their Emperours erected Publique Schools, and Acade­mies, that their Subjects might be instructed, in whatever Arts and Moral Vertues; whereby from their childhood growing up to the elegan­cy of most excellent abilities; they were indued with observance to their Elders, and duty to­wards their Parents; who with all the most sub­missive reverence, were ever; and still are honou­red by them; not only during their lives, but af­ter death likewise; so that no People under the Sun with more regret, and greater ceremony condole the loss of their Parents, than the Chi­nois; Never for three years together after their­deaths, stirring out of their doors; never sitting in A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 16. a chair, but on a little stool; never lying on a bed­stead, but the floor; never drinking any of their wine, eating flesh, using any baths; or, if you will believe them, lying with their wives; nor ever, during that time transacting any publique Affairs, whatever Office of State they are entrust­ed with, even from the Emperour to the mean­est degree of Magistrates. This being done by them, saith Martinius, that from the respect which M. Mart. hist. Sin. lib. 9. pag. 378. the living give unto the dead, their children may learn in what manner living Parents are to be respected. As if their first Founder had taught them, Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land, which thy Lord thy God giveth thee. Exod 20. v. 12. And certain it is, that throughout their whole Empire, they are [Page 103] generally known to live a long and happy life. A Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 1. We read, that there have been those amongst them, whose bones were twelve or thirteen Cu­bits long, and that they lived one thousand years and more; which if so, it must be before the flood. But in regard this seems to spring from Tradition only, if according to Nieuhoff it be looked upon as a vapour of the Chinois, and that I. Nieuh. l' Amb. Or. par. 1. pag. 122. with him we admit it into the rank of Fables, yet the reason that he gives for its untruth, doth not hold good against it. For, he saith, the Holy Scripture tells us, that not one of the men of the first Age of the World lived unto a thousand years. Now that there were Giants both before and after the flood is manifest, Gen. 6. v. 4. Deut. 3. v. 11. And though we find Methusalah to have lived nine hundred sixty nine years; neverthe­less, that he was the longest liver of all the men of the first Age of the World, we need not grant, neither is he by Moses precisely so recorded to be. Indeed as to those ten generations, that from the Creation to the Deluge proceeded from Adam, by the line of Seth, with their several Ages, we must acknowledge it to be true, but whether those seven of the line of Cain, or any of their Progeny outlived any of those of the other ten, is not expressed in Sacred story. And it will seem more probable, saith Dr. Brown, ‘That of the line of Cain, some were longer liv'd than any Dr. Bro. Pseudod. Epid. lib. 6. pag. 255. of Seth, if we concede that seven genera­tions of the one, lived as long as nine of the other.’ That Adam, who never was so young as any, was older than all, is conceived by learned men. ‘And if the usual compute will hold, that men [Page 104] are of the same Age which are born within the same year, Eve was as old as her husband and Parent Adam, and Cain their son coeta­neous to both.’ However, certain it is, that the Chinois, in vigour and perfect health, live com­monly unto seventy, eighty or an hundred years of Age.

The loss of Parents amongst them is not so much condoled by their children, but that chil­dren are as dear unto their Parents, from whence it proceeds, that their Nobility are so aversly dis­posed that the Emperour should marry any of their daughters, because when once setting foot within his Palace, they are eternally deprived of their [...]t. Hence, if beautiful, they conceal them [...]. [...]rig. in Christ. E [...]p. apud Sin. lib. 1. p. 83. from publique view, lest more than ordinary no­tice should be taken of them, and information given accordingly to the Court. And hence, the Emperours wife comes generally to be of the meanest of the people; not her extract, but beauty being respected. And it is a Maxime with their Literati, that to deprive a father of his child, is to take away a beam from the Sun, the source from the Fountain, the member from the body, and the branch from the tree. Thus, for father­ly affection and filial piety, China may give ex­ample to all Nations of the World. The union is reciprocal; the Parents indulge their chil­dren, and the children esteem no time more un­fortunate, than that same hour, which gives be­ginning to the fatal period of their Parents lives.

In their Marriages they seem to have much Analogy with the Hebrews. For as in the Law [Page 105] of Moses, Levit. 18. These were prohibited to marry within certain degrees of consanguinity; so, by the Laws of their Forefathers, our Chinois were not to wed any of the same name, which to this day they observe: Again, as the Chinois have been accustomed to have two sorts of wives, A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 15. T. Godwin Ant. Iud. lib. 6. cap. 4 a matrimonially wedded wife, and a Concubine, both of them accounted lawful; so, the Hebrews had two sorts of wives, a wife married with [...]up­tial ceremonies, and a Concubine, both of them reputed lawful. As the wife of These was as Mi­stress, and the Concubine as an hand-maid or servant; so, the Concubine of Those was in sub­jection to the true wife, and as a servant upon se­veral occasions served her. Also the children by both wives were held legitimate in either Nati­on. As likewise when the Concubine had brought forth a son, the wife might, if she pleas­ed send her away, as Sarah did Hagar, Gen. 21. v. 10. But in China, where all these rituals are still observed, the Child stays behind, acknow­ledging only for his mother, his fathers lawful wife.

The Widows of the Chinique Gentry are ge­nererally inaccessable to a second marriage. And their Virgins that by an untimely death have lost their Lovers, forsaking all worldly pleasures re­tire commonly into the desart mountains, lead­ing in them a most deplorable and lamentable life, never by any allurements of their Parents or Friends to be reclaimed, until either Lions or Tigers intomb them in their bowels. But al­though as well their Virgins, as Widows are thus chastly resolved. Barrenness in wedlock [Page 106] nevertheless, is, by them as with the Hebrews placed in the number of their chiefest calami­ties, not only by their Kings and Rulers, but al­so by the meanest of the people. And to be en­forced to depart, with the inheritance belonging to their Ancestors, is, they conceive the greatest misery that can befal them.

We read of Solomon, that he prayed to God, to give him an understanding heart. 1 Reg. 3. v. 9. How nearly the First and Antient Emperours of China may example this, let their History declare; For, being now upon their marriages, I shall on­ly instance the prayer of a Chinois imploring a blessing upon his. In the Province of Honan, saith Martinius, one called Yetriang being to be marri­ed, M. Mart. Atl. Sin. p. 62. is thus reported to have invoked Heaven; I require not Riches, nor Pleasures, neither therefore would I take a wife, but pray for good children only. And by his wife he had three sons, which all pro­ved most learned Philosophers, and just Gover­nours. His memory remaineth not only in their Annals, but by a stately monument erected to his honour.

As for interrment of their dead, the Chinois A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 16. have always used to bury every one in the place of the scpulture of his Progenitors, be it never so remote from that Territory where he dies; which happeneth oftentimes to their Rulers, who being not to be advanced to the Govern­ment of any place, within that Province where they were born, are sent to command in several other parts of the Empire; and therby many times departing this life out of their own Countrey, are upon that occasion brought home, and bu­ried [Page 107] therein. As the body of Iacob was transla­ted out of Aegypt upon the same account, Gen. 50. v. 7. and buried in the same sepulcher, where­in these five Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah were laid, himself making the sixth; the first Letters of all their names being contained in that one name of ISRAEL. fo likewise were the bones of Ioseph carried up out of Aegypt, and inhumed in Sychem in the land of Canaan, Exo. 13. v. 19. where in like manner the other Pa­triarchs were buried; Act. 7. v. 16. And even by the modern Iews this custome is observed at this day from a conceited opinion;; ‘That if an Israelite be buried in any strange Countrey out T. Godwin Ant. Iud. lib. 6. c. 5. of the promised land, he shall not be partaker so much as of the Resurrection, except the Lord vouchsafe to make him hollow passages un­der the earth, through which his body by a con­tinual volutation and rolling may be brought into the land of Canaan. Wherefore from Italy, and other places where they are tolerated, I have heard, that oftentimes they fraight whole Ships with coffins of dead bodies, which are trans­ported to the Ports of Syria, and thence convey­ed into Iudaea, and there in [...]erred.

Furthermore, the Chinois observe the New and Full Moon-days with great ceremony, and rec­kon the year by the Moon like the Hebrews; near­ly relating to whom, they have many more ob­servances and institutions customary with them. Amongst others the like Commandments, which A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 29. they print, and set up on the posts of their doors towards the street; As not to kill; not to steal; not to lie; to honour Father and Mother, &c. Semedo [Page 108] indeed thinks these not antient, but that from all Antiquity, till their falling into Idolatry, they were not to make the resemblance of any thing in point of adoration, Martinius hath fully assu­red us. And how antient soever the rest be, upon every day of the New and Full Moon, a little before Sun-rising, at one and the same hour, they make solemn publication of them, in all the Cities, and all the streets throughout their whole Empire.

In the Province of Suchuen the same Martinius relates a memorable thing to have hapned. For M. Mart. Atl. Sin. p. 71. they write, saith he, that a certain woman, walk­ing by the side of the river Chocung, which runs by the City of Kiating, perceived a reed in the water, from whence a voice proceeded, and tak­ing it up found an infant lying therein (for the reeds or Canes in China are about the bigness of little vessels) which she carried home and brought up, and which not long after was called Yelang, and in those parts that tend into the West, gave beginning to the Kingdom of Yelang. And was not Moses found after the same manner in an Ark of bulrushes, taken up and educated by the daughter of Pharoah? And what an high Prince­dome be afterwards attained, we all know.

What should I say of the conversation of the Chinois? It inchants their familiars rather, than delights them. What of their Entertainments? They are stately and magnificent, and performed so silently, and in such goodly order, as is not by any pen to be expressed. What of the education of their Children? It makes all those admire that see them, being not brought up to wanton­ness [Page 109] of speech, ostentation in habits, alluring en­ticements, to liberty and pleasures; but unto duties beseeming their sex and condition; not knowing what either arrogancy or impudency means. So that their daughters not bring porti­ons to their husbands; but their Husbands pro­vide all things whatsoever that are needful for them. What of their servants? When every one, even the meanest, with due respect and awful silence, knows how to do, and doth it. What of the disposition of their Natures generally? Since, enjoying all kind of the most wealthy commodi­ties, by which they might infinitely enrich them­selves, they sell them at inconsiderable prizes, desiring food and raiment only, as Iacob did, Gen. 28. v. 20.

We might acquiesce here, and now insist no longer on particulars, these being sufficient to declare, that China is the most antient, and in all probability, was, the first planted Countrey of the World after the flood. But in regard it is much to be presumed that as wel Asia as Europe is extremely indebted to this industrious Nation; from which as from the fountain they have drained all their chiefest Arts and Manufactures, somwhat more of their ingenuity is yet remaining to be said. For the Chinois invented and have had M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 4. p. 106 in use amongst them, the Loadstone and compass for Navigation, above eleven hundred years before the birth of CHRIST. An undoubted argument that the use thereof being so long time since found out by the Chinois, hath from them in mine opinion, saith Martinius, been brought into other Countreys.

[Page 110] The making of paper the best undoubtedly of [...]d. lib. 8. pag. 334. the World, was invented by them, above an hundred and eighty yeares preceding CHRIST, before which time they used the barques and leaves of trees; and until they had invented ink, with a bodkin or stile of iron dextrously formed their Letters. They writ also many things on Lamins or plates of mettal, and also on vessels of molten mettal, of which there are some yet re­maining, which are held in no small esteem by the owners, and all that see them. But now they use paper, which is of so many sorts, and in so great abundance, that I am perswaded, saith Se­medo, [...]. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. pa. 1. cap. 6. China in this exceedeth the whole universe; and is exceeded by none in the goodness thereof.

The making of Ink is amongst their Literati a liberal Art, as all things else that appertain to M. Mart. Atl. Sin. p. 107. learning; and it is made by them of the smoke of oyle, after the same manner possibly, as we do washing colour of the smoke of wood; and being not liquid but solid, they prepare it much after the like way, as our Painters do colours; for they grind it on a smooth stone, dissolve it in water, and then use it, not with a pen but pensil made of the flocks of an Hare, so that whereas antient­ly, (as was remembred) they writ with a style of iron, they may now in regard of their pensil be said to paint rather, than write their Char­acters. This Ink is usually brought into Europe, and the Letters, which we see, formed thereon, (for it is cast out of an oblong or parallelogram mould,) are verses in praise thereof, the work­mans name being added.

The Art of Printing which had its original [Page 111] among them about the fiftieth yeare after M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 8. p. 353. CHRIST, we owe unto their studies also. Their manner is thus, they cut their Letters with an instrument of iron, as we do woodprints, upon a piece of Pear-tree, or some such other smooth wood, lightly gluing the written copy thereon, whereby their books are free from all Errata's. They are very dextrous at it, and will cut an whole sheet, as soon as a Composer with us can set one, and one man will print off fifteen hundred in a day. This commodity they have also, that they may be laid by for as many impres­sions as they please, and in the mean time print off, no more copies, than they find sale for, both which advantages are wanting in our manner of Printing.

One of their Emperours by the means of Chy­mistry, found out that thrifty and frugal way of I. Nieuh. l' Amb. Or. par. 2. pag. 30. killing of men, by the invention of Guns and Gunpowder. But the time when, I find not in any Author. Their store of Powder is very great; in the use of their Guns they have little skill and less delight; but in making Fire-works are most curiously artificial, representing Trees, Fruits, Battles; with what not other rarities. About which at the solemnity of the New year, we have seen, saith Trigantius, at Hanking more N. Trig. in Chi. Exp. apud Sin▪ lib. 1. p. 18. Powder spent in one moneth, than for two years would serve for continual War.

The Manufacture also, of making and dying of Silk was invented and taught unto women by the wife of their Emperour Iaus. And it is an honour to the Chinois, and worthy their repu­tation, saith Martinius, that, that kind of Manu­facture, [Page 112] as from the original spring, was, into M. Mart. Sin. Hist. Lib. 1. p. 38 Asia and Europe derived and brought from Chi­na.

I had almost forgotten their Potters mystery, the manner of their making of Porcelain dishes, cups, vases, and the like utensils; which the richest Cabinets of the greatest Princes not of Eu­rope and Asia only, but throughout the whole World also, glory to enjoy; and for which the Chinois are most singularly famous. It is indeed, saith Semedo, the sole vessel in the Universe fo [...] neat and delightful cleanliness; and therefore the Chinois reject to be served in plate, there be­ing A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 4. scarcely to be found amongst them, no not so much as in the Emperours Palace, a vessel of silver of any considerable bigness, but generally all they use are Porcelain.

It hath been commonly reported, that they make their Porcelain of Egg-shells, or the shells of Sea-fish beaten to powder, which they cast up in an heap within the bowels of the Earth, and therein let it lie an hundred years at least, before the matter will be ripe for making of those utensils. Which many ages even to this present have vulgarly received for a truth, hath never­theless by learned men been much suspected al­wayes, and now, the same may be worthily laughed at.

The Porcelain then of the best sort is made at a place called Sinktesim [...] in the Province of Kiang­si, I. Nieuh. l' Amb. Or. par. 1. pag. 117. and in other Towns thereof likewise but not so good; the principal Magazine or Mart of it, and from whence it is dispersed throughout all China, is the Town of Urienien within the same [Page 113] Province, being distant from Sinklesimo about for­ty leagues. It seems very strange, that in all the precincts of Kiangsi there cannot any earth be found proper to make the same, but they are en­forced to fetch it from the Province of Nanking, not far from the City of Hoeicheu, where nei­ther can they make it, which seems no less strange, though there the material abounds. Some attribute the cause thereof to the quality of the water, others to the quality of the wood, or temperature of the fire. But whatsoever it be, certain it is, that the Earth, whereof they make their Porcelain, is taken out of the mountains of Hoang, that environ the said City of Hoeicheu, where they form it into square lumps, of the weight of three Catteos [which make about four pounds of our weight, allowing sixteen ounces to the pound] and in value half a Condrin [or fifteen pence sterling] which are transported to Sinklesimo, and those other places they make it at, by ordinary Mariners, who for avoiding all such deceits, as are commonly incident to the carriage and selling of Comodities and Merchan­dize, are obliged to take an Oath not to imbezil any, at least those, that are marked with the Em­perours Arms. As to the nature of the Earth it is very meager or lean, but fine and shining like Sables, which they temper in water to reduce it into the fashion of those little square lumps. When likewise at any time the Porcelain breaks, they stamp and pound the broken pieces, and again make other utensils thereof, which never­theless have nothing of the lust [...]e, brightness and beauty of the former. They prepare the earth [Page 114] and fashion it almost after the same manner, as the Italians do, for making of their dishes at Faenza, or, as the Hollanders for their white Pot­ters-work. The Chinois are extremely quick and agile in giving perfection to these vessels, and very expert in enriching them with glorious co­lours, diaphanous and transparent. They repre­sent upon them all forts of Animals, Flowers, and Plants, with an inimitable grace and propri­ety. They are so jealous also of this their Sci­ence, that one may sooner draw Oyl out of an Anvile, than the least secret of it from their mouths. Insomuch, that he passeth amongst them for one of the greatest Criminals, that re­veals this Art to any, but his own children. They make use of Indigo or Woad (which groweth a­bundantly in the Southern Provinces of the Em­pire) when with blew they would paint their work. They are said likewise, to prepare their earth different ways; and that some make ves­sels of it, as they receive the same, and as it comes first to hand; and that some again quite contrary dry it, until it be as hard as a flint, then beat and pound it in mortars or mills, which done they searce it, and with water k [...]ead it like like dough, and thereof form their vessels, into what figure they please; which for a long time they expose to the winds and Sun, before they bring them to the Fire. Now, when they are throughly dried they put them into Four [...] [...] xà voit bien vo [...] hes. furnaces of timber well stopped, whereto for fifteen days together they keep continual fire, which expi­red, they also let them stand therein as many days more, to the end they may cool gently, and [Page 115] be less apt to break; for experience hath taught them, that when they take them hot out of the fire, they break like glass. The fire must be made of very dry and light wood, otherwise the smoke blackens, and renders them cloudy, and dulls the nobleness of their gloss, which is not made or proceeds but from a strong, equal and proportionable heat. The thirty days being past, the Superintendent of this mystery comes to o­pen the furnaces, and after having viewed those that are made; takes by way of Tribute the fifth part for the Emperour, according to the Law established in the Country.

But whatsoever else in relation to their indu­stry, I. Nieuh. l'Amb. Or. par. 1. pag. 154. we have remembred, or omitted their in­genuity in making of floating Islands, is not in silence to be buried. The structure of which is so graceful and natural, as that one would ima­gine them to be Islands indeed. These moving Machines are made of those reeds, which the Portugals call Bamboes, and which are bound to­gether unto little joysts with cords, but so arti­ficially and neatly, that no moisture can ever of­fend the inhabitants, who dwell in Cabbins built and raised upon the same. All which are made of planks, matts, and such other light materials, and their streets are so well ordred, that one would conceive them to be little Villages, and some are so great, that they contain two hundred families. Upon these they commodiously trans­port their Wares and Merchandizes, and sell them to those which live upon the banks of the River Crocens. And for removing of them, they use no Sails, but either by strength of a [...]m tow [Page 116] them, or let them drive with the water, to the place where they intend to traffique; where when arrived, they fix great stakes into the River, to which they fasten their Islands, during the time of their riding there,

Much might be said of their Architecture; for Palaces and Publique works especially, which are stupendious and prodigious rather, than mag­nificent and great. But being a particular discourse is more requisite for this, we shall for­bear, and at present, from giving any other ac­count thereof, desist.

That the Descendents of Cham were great Masters in the knowledg of Arts and Sciences, is not to be denied. For we read, That Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Aegyptians. Act. 7. v. 22. Which being spoken for his praise, and by way of Emphasis, argueth the learning of that People to be very great. Now, though much cannot be said in what particulars their wisedom did really consist; yet what manner of Learning the Chinois certainly had, as much at least as conduceth to our purpose, you have briefly heard; That their knowledg in Divine mat­ters, of the true God especially, was taught them by Noah, Martinius hath positively assured us, there is no doubt to be made. And we may al­most boldly say, that the circumstances are so many, and of such weight, for Noah's living both before and after the flood in China; that more, and more valid cannot be produced to make good, si sacra excipias, any assertion of whatever kind. But how great soever the consequence thereof is, to make our Essay probab [...]e; Argu­ments [Page 117] of no less validity, together with the consent of Authors have made appear; that China was peopled ere Nimrod and his Troops undertook the work for building of the Tower of Babel, and before the Confusion of Tongues hapned. Wherefore having thereby, ac­cording to the Scripture fixed the PRIMITIVE Language in China; let us in the next place en­quire, whether this Language may, by the Com­merce and Intercourse, which the Chinois have had with other Nations, be altered; or by the Conquests they have undergone, forgotten utterly and extirpated.

BUT first it will not be impertinent, to let you know, the manner observed by their Ancest­ors of old, for the peopling and enlarging of their Dominions, whereby what ensueth will the more clearly be understood; and whereby they will be found not as the Off-springs of Cham and Iaphet, through the greedy thirst of prey, cruel desire of revenge, and sacred ambition of rule, to have usually invaded their confining neighbours. But by just and peaceable planta­tions, to have setled themselves throughout the now China. For, as Martinius saith, It is not to M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 4. p. 134. be imagined, that in those times their Empire extended over all China, as now, for it scarcely comprehended as then, an indifferent part of the present Magnitude. For, as the first Planters thereof coming from the West, began to inhabit the Province of Xensi, in that part which lieth most towards the West, so the heads of their several families by degrees sought out new seats from thence. For, after the Province of Xensi, [Page 118] the next Hanan, Peking, Xantung began to be inhabited. Which Provinces Imperial Dominion being thence forward established among the Chinois, were all governed by a single person. The form of the Government was just all the Provinces which lay alongst the great river of Kiang towards the North, acknowledging one Emperour, and to his Authority and rule of their own voluntary accord subjecting themselves.

But under Yuus, who was the third in succes­sion from Iaus, and who brought the Empire to an hereditary Dominion; all those Countries also, that lie on the South of that River were surveyed, and Geographical descriptions made of them. The people of them nevertheless were as yet but f [...]w, and submitted not to the setled Mo­narchy of China. But afterwards when the Empe­rours had oftentimes many sons, excepting him that was Heir apparent, and to succeed; the rest were either created Royallets of some particu­lar Territory, or else, by now and then leading forth of Colonies, sought out new habitations, and planted those Southern parts. After this man­ner then setting up new Kingdoms, the people being delighted with the vertue of their Princes, their inventing, instituting, and encouraging hu­mane Arts, Husbandry especially, and others of the like kind, readily obeyed. Thus by degrees all China, farr and wide, in every part, as now, became to be inhabited; and as it was out of one body and one Off-spring peopled, so at length it grew into one body and form of Em­pire.

Having throughly setled themselves at home, [Page 119] their numbers multiplying, they began to look abroad, and after their usual custome by sending forth of Colonies planted the Peninsula of Corea, with the Island of Iapan, which glories of her descent from them; so Iava, Ceilan, or, as Mar­tinius observes, Sinlan rather, because first peo­pled M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 6. pag. 236. by the Chinois. As also the Island of St. Lau­rence, of which there can be no more assured te­stimony, than that it is still possessed by the Chi­nois, especially in the road of St. Clara; where the Inhabitants are white people, and at this very day speak the Chinique Tongue; as to the Sea-men putting in to that harbour is well known. And not only these, but likewise most of the Oriental Islands are of their Plantation. For, having Shipping, and the use of the Com­pass, whither might they not transport them­selves?

In the Continent likewise that Siam, Camboya, and the adjacent Regions drew their original from the Chinois is evident. From whence it pro­ceeds that they use the Chinique Letters, yea, and express the denominations of numbers, not by Figures but Characters, as the Chinois do.

And I could almost be apt no longer to ad­mire at the stately Structures of Mexico; or how Cusco came to be such a regular City; nor won­der at the ingenuity, magnificence and govern­ment of those people, seeing Martinius is dispo­sed to conceive, that from China they had their Id. lib. 8. pag. 358. beginning also. I could be of opinion, saith he, that beyond Corea having with their Ships pene­trated the Straits of Anian likewise, the Chinois frequented America, that part especially which [Page 120] lieth towards the West. And that, that people happily had their original from them. For their complexion, the manner of wearing their hair, and the Air of their faces, maketh it very proba­ble to me, of certainty nevertheless I can say nothing thereof.

But G. Hondius in his original of the Ameri­cans is confident of it, and by many rational ar­guments very probably proves the same. For, as he saith, it must of necessity be, that such well [...]. Hond. de Or. Amer. lib. 4. p. 223 ordred manner of living, Arts, Buildings, Policy, Writing, Books, great industry and inclination to all kind of learning, as amongst those of Peru and Mexico may be observed was derived from a more polite people than those, by whom the rest of America was planted. Which polite people are asserted by him to be the Chinois. Now, in regard my discourse tends to another end, I shall unto what Hondius hath learnedly pleaded for them, in relation to those of Mexico, add only, that their publique minds, manner of Oratory, with their grave, succinct, and wise sayings, do in great likelihood confirm them to be originally extracted from China. The Architecture of the Mexicans, as also of the Peruvians, is by him much insisted upon; because for the stupendi­ousness and vast dimensions of the stones it e­qually corresponds with the works of China, whereunto I shall likewise say, that whereas the ornaments of the Temple at Mexico, than which a more stately was scarcely ever seen, consisted chiefly of Dragons and Serpents, variously and with much ingenuity composed; it is manifest, that the Pagods and Regal Palaces in China, are [Page 121] all with the same sort of enrichments, and in the same order generally adorned; the Dragon be­ing the Standard Royal of the Chinique Empire. That such like ornaments in buildings were used by other people, either in the East or elsewhere, I have not read in any Author, which hath of­tentimes made me very solicitous from whence the Mexicans should have them, they being grace­ful, great and noble, but I could never find it out, until the late histories of the Chinois came to my perusal, which have clearly satisfied me, that the manner of them is peculiarly proper to China, was brought from thence, and in memory and for the honour of that Monarchy continued by the Mexicans.

As for Peru, whereas Hondius will have it to be peopled by the Chinois, transported thither under the conduct of Mango the first of the In­gas about four hundred years since, I conceive, they had discovered it, and therein setled them­selves divers Ages before. For, although Mango with his followers might at that time to avoid the fury of a prevailing Enemy forsake his native Countrey, and landing in Peru, erect that Em­pire; nevertheless considering, that the Spaniards at their entrance, found the massive monuments there, to bear such a decayed Aspect, as that they demonstrated a far higher Antiquity, than the date assigned; and that it was ever customary with the Chinois, to send forth the surplusage of their numbers to shift for themselves, and seek out new habitations; such castlings might in their wandring throughout the South Sea (most of the Oriental Islands being formerly inhabited [Page 122] by their Off-spring) fall with the coast of Peru, and finding it rich and delightful, possess them­selves thereof, and settle there. until Mango with his company arrived, & united them all under his own Sovereignty, as Hondius hath delivered. The rather, in regard that after their native Country was cleared of that prevailing Enemy, which most Writers, though erroniously call the Cathay­ans, of whom, ere long, the Chinois voluntarily freed all the Islands, and all their forein Plantati­ons from obedience to them, and rested content­ed with those bounds, which God and Nature had primitively bestowed on them. And herein their contempt of vain glory is very observable, for how powerful soever they are, were, or might have been, if thirst of Dominion had provoked them, I never yet heard any of them all boast of N. Trig. de Christ. Exp. apud Sin. lib. 1. p. 59. M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 1. p. 25. the extent or greatness of their Empire, saith Tri­gantius. And this now brings us to their War.

The first War ever read of in the World was made in China, happening in the Province of Pe­king, where, on the mountain Fan, near the City now called Yenking, their Emperour Xinnungus the Successor of Fobius, was, they say, slain about the year before the birth of CHRIST two thousand, six hundred, ninety seven; which ac­cording to the Vulgar computation makes it be­fore the flood about four hundred years. It was civil, and of this Kind I find many, and most bloody contests to have been amongst them; but managed with such Heroick valour, and strata­gemical policy, as far surmounts all Macedonian, Punique, or any other known conduct in the World. These Wars proceeded principally from [Page 123] the aspiring minds of the Royalets in the South­ern Plantations, who were oftentimes many in one and the same Province, and ruled absolutely under the Sovereign, as so many petty Kings; though they paid Homage and Fealty to him, much according to the same manner, as Dukes and Earls do, for the estates they hold of the Empe­rours and Kings in Europe.

But after they were by little & little encreased in power, sumptis in affines armis taking up arms M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 6. pag, 243. against their own kinred and affinity, they troubled the whole Empire; out of Ambition chiefly to reduce the Province in which they governed, and were at first setled, under the immediate command of themselves, and their own issue without dependance upon a superiour. And sometimes moreover attempting to usurp upon the Monarchy it self; when either they found their Sovereign was but weak in Councel, or had dis-obliged his people; till in the end they were all brought under absolute subjection to the Monarch, and their Countries annexed to the Imperial Crown, as they are at this day

But such civil disputes, you will happily say, could cause no change of Language, no more than the like contests did between Iudah and Israel, being they were intestine, and made a­mongst the Natives themselves of one Linage, and the same speech. For, it is not to be found that ever foreign forces, were by any the most ambitious of all Royalets called in, or when worsted invited to assist them with their Aides. And thus the Irish Tongue notwithstanding the Domestique wars, that almost perpetually suc­ceeded [Page 124] between the several Kings of that Island, in the times of old, and notwithstanding Danes, Norvegians, and Scots were frequently waged by them to oppose the prevailng party, remained uncorrupted, and so continueth at this present time. Now, though these examples, and several others of the like kind, may dictate to our reason, that by such wars, as these, their speech could not be altered; nevertheless I must say, that you will find, what through their long continuance, sometimes without intermission for three hun­dred years together, what through the living of the people without restraint in the mean while, and becoming by Degrees thereby as rude and barbarous, as the Regions they inhabited were rough and mountainous, these civil discords in China, did produce some difference in the Language of these Provinces, where the greatest fury of the war fell. But what this difference is, and in what Provinces it doth differ, and in which without change or alteration it remains pure and perfect, we shall in its proper place, not forget, particularly to remember.

Heylin affirmeth, that it is not lawful for the King of China to make any war but meerly De­fensive; and so, saith he, they enjoy a perpetual Heyl. Cosm. Pag. 886. peace. For, in regard war is equally destructive to the victors and vanquished, Princes, People, Treasure being alwayes consumed thereby; the Chinois are of opinion, That nothing is more unworthy their Emperour, than to enter into armes unconstrained; nothing more inglorious, than to seek for glory in the slaughter of his subjects; nor more inhumane, than men by men [Page 125] to be cut in pieces. And hence without doubt it is, Trigantius tells us, that although he searched N. Trig. de Christ. Exp. apud Sin. lib. 1. p. 59. diligently into their Annals, from four thousand years unto his time to inform himself what fo­rein conquests had been made by them, yet he could never find mention made of any: and that though oftentimes also, he seriously discoursed with divers of their Literati about them, they all resolved him, that they never made, nor ever had been inclined to make any such. And there­fore we are not to wonder, that we hear so little of their invasions; For, the wars excepted, which Martinius by a more full and free liberty of study, hath of late found out to have been undertaken by their Emperours Chingus and Hiarouus their History, as to such expeditions, appears to be very silent.

Chingus sirnamed Xius was the first that by general consent was declared supreme Monarch of all China; and the first Emperour of the Fa­mily of Cina; from whence Martinius conceives the name China originally proceeded. This Prince having compelled several Royalets of the southern Provinces to submit wholly to his obedience, and thereby wonderfully enlarged the Chinique Empire; extended his arms into remote parts, and both by sea and land over-ran all India, as far as Bengala, Scori, and Camboya. At which time being about two hundred and forty years before CHRIST the name and same of the Chinois first became known unto forein Nations, to their adjoining neighbours the Indians especially; among whom it after­wards stuck, and from them the Portugals at [Page 126] their atchievements in India gained intelligence of China. He made war upon the Tartars like­wise, and by his victories in a short time enforced them to abandon their habitations, and fly into the more remote Regions of the North for safety.

And this Chingus it was, that to secure his Id. pag. 238 A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 5. pag. 217. Empire from the eruptions of that people; e­rected that stupendious and wonderful work of the wall touched on before. This wall beginning at the sea-coast in Leotung, extendeth through China unto Lyncao a City of Xensi, scited on the banks of the river Croceus; and except where opposed by the horrid and inaccessible moun­tains encloseth not one, but four entire Provin­ces, or Kingdoms rather, within its circuit. The whole length of it, the windings according to the different scituation of the places considered; for on this side of China in regard of the moun­tains level ground appears very rarely, is three hundred German Leagues, or twelve hundred English miles (accounting as Martinius doth fifteen German Leagues to a degree) being for­tified with Castles and Towers in convenient places, with Ports near them to issue forth as necessity requires. The heigth of it is thirty Cubits, the bredth twelve and sometimes fifteen, (the Chinique cubit being less than our foot by one only eigth part of an inch) having a Parapet on each side, for the greater security of those that pass thereon. In the building thereof three of ten of the people throughout the whole Em­pire were continually employed in course for five years together, and whosoever made any [Page 127] part of it, that a wedg of iron might be thrust into the joynts of the stones, was for his negli­gence immediately put to death. The foundation of that end of it, which runs into the Sea at Leotung was made by sinking of Ships two fur­longs deep into the waves, loaden not with stone, but massive iron, as it was digged out of the Mine. It is built of great squared Asteler on the outside, the Core being filled up with flints; was erected in the two hundred and fifteenth year before the birth of CHRIST; and at this very day contemning all injuries of Time, re­mains in a manner without any fissure or setling. For the defence of it the Emperours of China do almost alwayes keep ten hundred thousand men in continual pay. Thus Martinius in his Atlas of China, as I find him truly cited by Kircherus.

The other Hiavouur, the sixth Emperour of the Family of Hana, is no less famous for his Love to learning, and learned men, than for his Mag­nanimity M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 8. p. 345 and valour; and being of a great and excelse mind, as if the fame of Alexander of Ma­cedon had arrived at his Court, designed to bring the whole World under his subjection. But fear­ing l [...]st some of the Royalets might, during the absence of himself and forces, attempt to raise new stirs, as since his family began to reign they had; he devised several Laws to restrain them. Ordaining, that for the furure the Lands grant­ed them in right of favour by the former Impe­rial Decrees, should at their deaths be equally di­vided, as in Gavel-kind, amongst their children lawfully begotten; whereby in time they became reduced to such penury, as utterly disabled them, [Page 128] either to maintain the dignity of their Ancestors, or practise against their Sovereigns, as antiently they had done. He ordained also, that upon the Decease of any of them without lawful Issue, their lands should escheat unto the Crown from whence they had originally been alienated.

Having then by these and the like constituti­ons provided for the safety of his Empire at home, he resolved upon Wars abroad, and by his Lieutenants subdued many Kingdoms of In­dia, to the Chinique Empire, in that part especi­ally which lyeth towards the South from Ganges inclusive to the Kingdom of Bengala. But taking afterwards the field in his own person, he brought under his Dominion Pegu, the Kingdom of the Laios, with Camboya, Cothin-China, and many other Countries and Islands. And to vindicate himself and Subjects upon [...]ste Tartars, that were their antient and natural Enemies, and ever ready upon all advantages to infest their borders, as the Scots sometimes did ours in hope of spoile; invaded their Countries with three mighty Armies conducted by his Generals; and having put them almost all to the sword, and made about the year before CHRIST one hundred and twenty an absolute Conquest of them even to the North-sea, divided Cathay a­mongst his Captains and souldiers in recompence of their valour.

But these by little and little in long tract of time forgetting the manners and customs of Chi­na, by perpetual commerce and conversation with the Tartars degenerated, and took up their customes; so that in the end, though nevertheless [Page 129] after many Centuries of years, they began to in­vade their native Countrey. For about the year of our Redemption twelve hundred and six, till when (such ordinary commotions excepted as usually attend great Monarchies) the Chinois had lived in continual peace and tranquillity these Cathaians conquered China. But how? They spent almost, saith Heylin, as much time in the conquest thereof, as they did in the pos­session Heyl. Cos [...] pag. 871. of it. For after they had reigned therein ninety years only (seventy saith Martinius) they were totally expelled again, and were no losers thereby. For, instead of compelling the Chinois whilst they had them under obedience to submit to their Laws and Customs, they themselves submitted to the Rites and Manners of those, whom they had for that time subject­ed; applying diligently themselves to understand and learn, the Language, Conditions, Arts, and Manufactures of the Chinois, which at their expulsion they carried into Cathay with them. As the Romans did the Greek tongue into Italy, after the Conquest of Greece; and as by their victories in Asia (the difference alwaies between civility and riot considered) they brought to Rome Effiminacy, Luxury, Prodigality, which were in use chiefly in that Countrey.

This was the most severe misfortune, that ever till that time befel the Chinois, after the prescription of so many hundreds of Ages to an indisturbed felicity, considering nevertheless that the Cathayans had a desire by their industrious recovery of them, to maintain the Arts and Sciences of their Progenitors, it could not pro­duce [Page 130] any great alteration in the manners of the Chinois, much less in their MOTHER Tongue.

Here again we may observe; that as the Isra­elites from their first coming into the land of Canaan, lived in the height of all prosperity, saving some civil contentions hapning between those of Iudah and her fellow Tribes, never knew what the fury of a Conquerour meant, till after they had overwhelmed themselves in Ido­latry: So the Chinois from their first beginning to be a people, having lived in all worldly happi­ness, the like intestine broiles between their families excepted, never understood what the rage of a forein victor imported, till they also had drowned themselves in the worship of Idols. Both famous Examples, that innovations in Religion are alwaies attended with dreadful judgments.

But let us not omit the accompt, which Mar­tinius M. Mart. Bell. Tart. pag. 1. fol. gives concerning this Invasion. In this tract of time the Western Tartars forgetting their antient vigour of mind, and warlike spi­rits, which the pleasures and delights of China had mollified, being also weakned by so long a peace, became of a sweeter temper, and received a deep tincture of the Nature and disposition of the Natives of that Countrey. But though I find him thus rendred into English, hearken to him nevertheless in his own words. Interea Sinicis deliciis fracti, Sinicos induerunt mores, & paulatim fortitudinem Tartaricam dediscentes, nimiâ debi­litati pace, Sinae evaserunt; So that you see the Tartars became Chinois, not the Chinois, Tartars; [Page 131] whereby it is most manifest, that neither their Language nor Customs could be prejudiced by this Conquest.

Now you cannot but take notice, that Marti­nius calls those People the Western Tartars, which our Writers, and divers others call Ca­thayans; and though they have extremely erred thereby; yet nevertheless rather, than on the suddain I should seem to contradict so general an opinion, I have thus far followed them there­in; For Cathay is no other Countrey, than the six Northern Provinces of China, as Mangin the M. Ma [...], Atl. Sin. pag. 28. nine Southern; which were so named by these Tartars, upon this invasion of Theirs; and which Paulus Venetus being personally present in this War accordingly so calleth And no won­der saith Martinius, for by the Tartars and Moors that use to bring tribute every three years to the Chinique Emperour, they are called Mangin and Cathay at this day.

Add hereunto that Iacobus Golius in his treat­ise I. Gol. Additam. de Regne Cath. pag. 1. in fol. of Cathay tells us, the Cathayans and Chinois are all one people, and their customs & Language have been one and the same throughout all ages.

Heylin telleth us, that not long after they had freed themselves from this Enemy, Tamerlane with an army of Tartars entred China, and hav­ing won a battle, and taken the King prisoner, upon some acknowledgment of Tribute released him, and quitted the Countrey again, as on the like success Alexander the Great did the King­dom of Porus. But Martinius positively maintain­eth, Id. Bel. Tart. p [...]. p [...] that Tamerlane never invaded, nor ever was in China, much less conquered or brought [Page 132] it under tribute, ut perperam quidam scripserunt, as some, saith he, have falsly written; for he flour­ished about the year one thousand four hundred and six; at which time Taichangus Emperour of China, and the second of the Taimingian race (the Tartars being before beaten out of his Kingdom) governed peaceably all the Provinces included within the compass of that vast Wall formerly mentioned.

Until the time the Chinois were in such man­ner A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 22. subdued by the Tartars, divers of the Roy­alets had enjoyed their Principalities, but their victorious Emperour Humvù having wholly expelled the enemy, totally suppressed them likewise; and about four hundred years since, united all China, as now it is, to the absolute obedience of one sole Monarch; and not only re-established in the territories of those Royalets the antient manner of the Chinique Policy; but also adding thereunto many new Laws, brought thereby the whole Empire into that form of government, wherein it standeth at this pre­sent.

By this union the Chinois enjoyed the like Hal­cyon dayes, yea generally, far more the Royalets being extirpated, than their Fore-fathers had done, for many generations together; until the people after an incursion of the Tartars of Niuche, I Nieuh. l' Amb. Or. par. 2. pag. 115. about the year one thousand six hundred thirty six falling into rebellion, and not many years afterwards taking Peking, where their Empe­rour Zunchinius, having first with his own hands killed his wife and daughter, in despair hanged himself in a garden of his Palace; Usangueius [Page 133] his surviving General called in the Nieuchean Tartars to his assistance; who shortly after set­ting up for themselves, crowned Emperour of China, Xunchius a child of about six years of Age, the son of Zungteus King of Niuche; which Zungteus from his infancy had secretly and un­known been brought up in China; where to­gether with their weaknesses, he had learned the manners, sciences, doctrine, Letters and Language of the inhabitants; wherefore he much loved, and was no less beloved again by all the Chinois. Whose miseries endured in this War, from their own Countrimen the Rebels especially, as in all places it evermore happens where Rebellion once gets the upperhand, are almost inexpressable.

But how calamitous soever their condition was, manifest it is▪ that they received no pre­judice in their MOTHER Tongue or Learn­ing of old. For the Tartars upon subjecting and setling the China Empire under their own dominion, neither altered the Policy, nor an­tient form of government; but permitted their Literati to govern the Towns and Provinces as before, and left unto them the promotions, and examinations of their Characters, as formerly they were accustomed to enjoy. At which ex­aminations, as the Doctors of the Chaire in the Universities with us, with much more diligence and rigour nevertheless, and indeed with great severity; they appose and make trial what Pro­ficients those that stand Candidates for prefer­ment are become in their Literature and Cha­racters of their Language, in the study of which [Page 134] by their books written, not only their Learning, but also the Eleg [...]ncy of their Speech consisteth. So that, if in making their compositions upon such Theams as the Examinator gives them, they write not the Character most exactly true, (being not so phantastical as the Europaeans, to A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. c. 8. be weary of their old words, but using all possible means to preserve them in their antient purity) they are dismissed without taking their degrees, how excellent soever otherwise their composures be; with liberty nevertheless to return again for their promotion at the next examinations, which are commonly held at every three years end.

But of the ratification of these proceedings, and likewise of their antient manner of govern­ment by the Tartars, Nieuhoff in his own words shall more fully satisfie you. Ils ne changerent ni I. Nieuh. l' Amb. Or. par. 2. pag. 123. la politique Chinoise, ni la ancienne forme du go­vernement; mais permirent aux Philosophes de l' Empire de gouverner les Villes, & les Provinces comme auparavant, et laisserent les promotions et examens des lettrès à l' accoûtommèe. The same is by Martinius confirmed, saying, they changed nothing in their politique government; nay, they permitted the usual customs of the Philo­sophers of China, to govern the Towns and Provinces; they left also the same examens as were used for the approbation of learned men. His own words being. Stylum Politices Sinicae M. Mart. Bell. Tart. pag. 15. modu [...]ue gubernationis omnino non mutarunt; imo Sinicis Philosophis, ut antea, regendas Urbes ac Provinci [...]s concesserunt; examina Literatorum, [...]t ante [...], reliquerunt. And so far, it seems, the [Page 135] Chinois are from having their antient constitu­tions altered by this Conquest, that he telleth us likewise, they have already induced the Tartars to forsake some of their barbarous Id. pag. 3. customes, which for many ages together they had used.

NOW therefore as their Conquests will not, so the Commerce and Intercourse, which they have had with Nations of a different speech, and which is the main part of Heylins objection, cannot, give change unto their Language, much less branch it into several languages, or Dia­lects of the same one Language. For by their Fundamental Laws, the Chinois are neither per­mitted to go into the Countries of strangers, nor admit any strangers into their own. Inter caeteras leges, ista caput obtineat, quâ omnis extero­rum in China aditus intercluditur; Among their A. Kir. Ch Ill. par. 2. p. 116. other laws, the chiefest, saith Kircherus, is that, by which all access of strangers is prohibited into China. And such strict care is taken for the execution of this law, that it is almost impossible for any stranger to remain concealed amongst them, because his very speech, if nothing else, will betray him to be a foreiner; and when detected, he is immediately apprehended, put to torments, and if he escape with life, never suffered to return out of the Countrey again.

Over the door of every house, saith the same Id. par. 4. pag. 1 [...]8, 169. Kircherus, is affixed a Table, or Escutcheon, wherein the number of men living therein, together with their condition is set down; to the end that the Lau-ye (the Portugals stile them Mandarines, we may call them Prefects or their [Page 136] Magistrates) to whose office the knowledg thereof belongs, may, by a memorable politique way, understand how many men every City containeth, aswel for avoiding seditions, as collecting of Tributes. Therefore, i [...] ought not to seem a wonder to any, as the same Author observeth, if that strangers by what means so­ever at length getting into China, are immedi­atly detected, their hosts being under grievous punishments obliged to discover them.

And though the Jesuites have of late times obtained permission to reside therein, whensoe­ver nevertheless their supreme Moderator in­tends to send any Novice thither, he is in the Island of Macao first diligently instructed, both to speak and write the Chinique Language, least being discovered for want thereof, he should before arriving at their Residency, be imprifo­ned, and the Society thereby put to infinite trouble and expence to procure his liberty, as oftentimes even since toleration granted them they have been. By which toleration they have so far prevailed upon the Natives, that were it not for Poligamy, that vast Empire might long Id. par. 2. pag. 117. ere this time have been converted to Christi­anity.

Nor is it only thus criminal, for strangers to Heyl. Cosm. [...]ag. 866. come into China; but also, saith Heylin, for any Chinois to go out of the same, all politique means being endeavoured by them to prevent inno­vation in their manners, by which the old being neglected, and laid aside, their antient way of government might be disturbed, and the safety A Sem. Re. de la Cin. par. 1. c. 29. of their state endangered. And we read that [Page 137] this in part at least the Hebrews were command­ed to observe, for the same reason also. For whensoever any Nation or People, by intro­ducing new, alter their antient customs, the destruction of that People or Nation not far off approacheth. Thus the Commonwealth of Rome by taking up prodigality and voluptuousness, instead of her antient temperance and sobriety, lost her liberty. And thus the Chinois themselves, as you shall shortly hear, became subject to the Tartars.

Howbeit it seemeth, that the extreme jealousy of their customes is not the sole cause of these restraints, but least by permitting liberty of In­tercourse the wealth and weakness of their Empire should be discovered; for though their conquests and civil broiles renders them essere stata gente bellicosa, è di valore, (to use Semedo's words) to have been antiently a valiant and Id. part. i. cap. 20, warlike Nation; now nevertheless, by their surfeiting on continual peace, and long enjoy­ment of all variety of pleasures, no people under heaven the like, they are become generally effi­minate; and in regard no preferment is to be hoped for, but by becoming excellent in their learning, they all unanimously, as it were, apply themselves to the study thereof. So that the soldiery are no otherwise accompted of with them, than the basest sort of people are with us.

But in regard whatever is prohibited, is com­monly most desired; strangers, their Laws not­withstanding, found out a way to creep in amongst them. For considering that upon an Embassy made by the Tartars about the year [Page 138] forty eight before CHRIST, in tender of their perpetual submission to the Chinique Empire, Embassadors might be received; several people under the pretence of the like addresses have oftentimes since gained admittance into the Countrey, and made some trading therein, pri­vately nevertheless, and not otherwise, as Marti­nius M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 2. p. 65. informs us. For whereas China, saith he, is so shut up against strangers, that no access is easily allowed to any, saving Embassadors; Turks, Laios, Samarchandians, and those of Tibeth by land, and the Siamites with Camboyans by sea, come into China; where, under colour of Em­bassy, they negotiate private commerce. Observe herewith what Nieuhoff relateth; No man can I. Nieuh. l' Amb. Or. par. 2. p. 8. enter China except Embassadors, unless with resolution to end his dayes therein, so strong is the opinion of this people, who for many Ages have been perswaded, that they shall be betrayed and sold to some forein Prince. They cannot traffique with their neighbours without licence from their Emperours; and if they be necessi­tated to send Embassadors into other Kingdoms, they hardly find any that will undertake the charge; and whosoever accepts the same, is no more or less lamented or bewailed by his Rela­tions, than if he were going to his grave. So hateful is the knowledg of strange countries, and conversation with strangers to them. Either they know not forein Nations, or contemn them, Saith Martinius. M. Mart. Sin. Hist. in Epist. ad Lect.

But the Chinois considering, that these Em­bassies are but feigned, and that to espy and corrupt them rather, than for any submission [Page 139] or amities sake such addresses are made, give them reception accordingly (as from Martinius, Semedo, Trigautius, and several misfives of their Society we have collected) after this manner. So soon as the Embassador either by land enters upon their confines, or from sea puts in to any of their ports, a guard is set immediatly upon him, by which (some few being allowed for his splendour and ostentation sake to accompany him) he is brought unto the next Mandarine; who, the place from whence he came known, assignes him to the Pallace for him, and his Retinue to reside in, placing good guards upon them, least any should enter or come forth with­out his licence, all manner of necessaries, aswel for provisions as carriages, how long soever they stay within the Countrey, being provided for them at the publique charge. The Mandarine takes a memorial also of their goods, which with incredible expedition by a Currier (for at every ten furlongs Chinois, which make some­what less than three of our English miles, they continually place one) is sent to the Emperour at his Court, with the name of the Embassadour, from what Countrey and Prince he comes, what number of followers attends him, and what Presents and other things he brings; signifying likewise the great desire that the Embassadour hath to make his address unto the Imperial Court. If by the precise day, according to the limitation in their laws, no answer appeareth from the Emperour, then the Embassadour is presently sent away again re infecta. But if the Emperour granteth his access, then the Manda­rine [Page 140] takes great care, that not any of them be suffered to pass into the inner parts of the Em­pire, but directly to the place where the Empe­rour resideth; and therefore sends him and his Attendants unto the next Mandarine, under guards nevertheless like Captives, though time out of mind they have been their Friends and Allies, not permitting them to see any thing, much less converse with any man throughout their whole journey; and at nights, like brute beasts in stables, they are, under I know not how many locks and keys, shut up in the Palaces appointed for them to lodg in. And thus they are conducted from Mandarine to Mandarine after the same manner (as we pass beggars in England from one Constable to another) until they arrive where the Emperour resides. Where commonly after some short attendance, the Embassadour is led, not before the Emperour, for he neither seeth, nor speaketh with him; but the Councel of Rites: who by the Royal order treat with him, and receiving his Presents give him his dispatch; and of the rest of his Mer­chandize which he brought, if the Emperour desireth any thing, he sendeth to see and buy it. At his departure the Embassadour is rewarded with much more in value by far than he pre­sented. This done, and returning to his Palace, power is given him to vend the remainders of his goods, which either himself or those with him, brought with them to the Court; or left behind at the place where the rest of their com­pany, or Caravan rather, as may be said, were kept at their first coming to the Countrey. For, [Page 141] in regard they come but rarely, their numbers are usually very great; but these are not per­mitted to enter within the Empire, but for their abode have some Villages assigned them with­out the Wall; where having sold their own wares, they may buy others likewise, so that they do it in presence of their guards. And when at length they have made sale of their commo­dities, and ended their whole Trade, the Em­bassadour and his company being conveyed to them, in the like manner as they went from them at first, they all return very richly laden to their own Countries again, though by their Commerce not any thing the wiser for intelli­gence, nor the Chinois one Iota the worser either in their form of Government or Language.

But it may be now demanded, what needeth all this Policy, this circumspection, or why such peremptory Laws against the admission of strangers? When Nature her self seemeth to have so provided for them, as if she had decreed they should never have been so much as known, or discovered to the rest of the World, or seen by them rather, much less molested with inva­sions, or corrupted with the access of foreiners. For, from Trigautius, Kircherus telleth us, That [...]. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 4. p. 164. Nature least any entrance should be permitted unto any to come within China, hath, to the North, and North-west (besides the Wall of three hundred German Leagues) enclosed it with a vast and endless desart of sand; on the East and South so munited it with the most dangerous and yet unknown currents of the East and South Ocean, with obscure rocks and [Page 142] unfaithful harbours, as that without manifest shipwrack, what through the violence and cruelty of the winds, what through the most impetuous ebbings and flowings of the sea, the shores are scarcely approachable. And least from the West any should obtain entrance, behold Nature hath obstructed the passes and avenues that way into it, with an unapproachable, inaccessible, and to this day impenetrable enclosure of mountains, harbouring so many, & such cruelly wild Beasts, and deadly stinging Serpents, as that, with a certain body as it were of garrison souldiers, she hath so armed it, as from this part no mor­tal man can ever hope for passage.

But through all these obstructions of Nature and Policy; both Policy and Nature have con­tributed the means, whereby not in learned Greece or pleasant Italy, but in the remote and hitherto unknown China, are now at last found out, the true Indigenes, that ever since the flood of Noah, being born and bred within their own Countrey, never permitted or admitted conver­sation with forein people. But living contented­ly at home, in all abundant prosperity, under their own vines, and under their own fig-trees, their swords being turned into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, have con­sumed at least four thousand years without commixture or commerce with other Nations.

From their demeanor towards strangers Heylin Heyl. Cosm. pag. 858. calls them an unsociable people; but whether they were unsociable thereby or not certain it is that their peace and safety consisted therein. Quamdiu ignoti caeteris vixere mortalibus, tam diu [Page 143] fuere faelices; as long as they lived unknown to the rest of mankind, so long they lived happy, Is. Vossius de Aetat. Mun. pag. 46. saith Vossius. For by once only infringing these Laws, and granting liberty of Trade to the Tar­tars of Niuche, though but in Leotung a Province in the very utmost North-East corner of their Empire, that war by degrees, and that rebellion took rise, which by afterwards calling in those Tartars, as was said, is likely to prove their fatal and final ruin. So dangerous and destructive it is, to alter the antient and fundamental consti­tutions of a Kingdom.

Thus hath been fully manifested, that Com­merce and Conquest, the two principal Agents in all sublunary mutations, have had no influence to extirpate, alter, or change either the Laws, Customs, or Language of China. Neither hath Time it self, which challengeth so great a Pre­rogative in the vicissitude of things, had, through the revolution of all Ages, since the general Deluge, power sufficient to supplant them. But least this may seem to be suspected, Martinius forgets not positively to affirm, That the same customs both at home and abroad; the same Letters; and the same fashion of habit, as of old; they all use throughout their universal Empire, how far soever it extends even at this day, Hear M. Mart. Sin Hist. lib. 1. p. 35. him in his own words, Omnes enim domi forisque moribus, omnes iisdem literis, & eodem corporis cul [...] in universo, quâ patet, imperio etiam hodie utuntur. Unde conjectari potest, quanta sit animorum in iis conjunctio, qui adeo nulla in resunt inter se divers [...], Whereby may be conjectured, saith he, how great a conjunction of minds there is amongst [Page 144] them, that not so much as in any one thing they differ among themselves.

THE objection made by Doctor Heylin be­ing now thus fully answered, our subject re­quires, to give you some accompt of the Lan­guage and Letters of the Chinois; which (even that little, that hitherto is arrived at our know­ledg) in regard of their great Antiquity, & un­alterable usage will be found sufficiently enough, to make our Essay probable at least. And about this I shall no longer detain you, than that I may therewith bring my discourse conveniently to a period. Not that language I mean of the Southern and other Colonies, which by nursing up the people in barbarity, through the ambi­tious negligence of the Royalets, is differently pronounced, and from whence it comes to be said, that many Provinces in China have a dif­ferent speech. But their true MOTHER and NATURAL Tongue, which from all Ages hath been used by them in their first plantations, and antient Demeasns of the Crown, and which by their Characters originally composed to the same, is spoken genuinely perfect unto this day. Trigautius and Semedo call it Quonhoa, or the language of the Mandarines in regard of the Elegancy, and commodiousness thereof; Mar­tinius the language of the Literati, not so much because the pronunciation of it is learned by the Natives from their Cradles, as is by some con­ceived; but for that it is spoken purely and elegantly over all China by their learned men, according to their written Characters.

Now considering, it appears from Bishop [Page 145] Walton, that nothing is more exposed to muta­tion than Languages, which are in perpetual Bish. Walt▪ Intr. ad liu. Orient. pag. 12. floting, as all the commonly known languages of the East cleerly demonstrate; and that the life of language dependeth upon Letters and Inscriptions: for not any thing can more assure us of the alteration and change of the Hetrurian and Latine Tongues, and that they differ at this day, from what they were in times of old, then their antient Epigraphs, as is thus delivered by him, Quantum Hetrusca & Latina hodierna ab Id. pag. 13. antiqua recesserunt, ex inscriptionibus & tabulis Eugubinis Hetruscis literis antiquis exaratis, & ex columnis rostratis, quas nemo adhuc explicavit, cuivis constat. Therefore in regard written records are such certain evidence, it is my intention in this scrutiny to appeal for the uncorruptedness of the language of China to their Characters, which have remained in writing on record, throughout all times since their beginning to be a people; and not oblige you to rely wholy upon their speech, whatever nevertheless hath or shall be said, to make good, that it continues the same at this day, as primitively it was.

And since we are to carry on our Essay in an Historical manner only, we think it improper to launch forth into any other kind of proofes whatsoever, though (by the way) you are to understand, that whatever arguments of worth are produced by any Authors for any language to prove the primativeness thereof, may probably much more agree to this; of which we shall have occasion to say somewhat more hereafter. And if we should say, that the learned Author [Page 146] of the Philosophical Language lately published hath founded his Notions chiefly on the Principles of This, we should not happily say amiss; though for the form of his Character, he hath followed rather the Gothique or Runique of old.

THAT the World and Letters are eternal, Pliny is of opinion. Now, if thereby he meant, that Letters are as antient as the World, his meaning, perhaps, might not be far from Truth. But, that Language or speech, was, before the World had form; the Scripture warrants. For, we read; Dixit, & factum est, not factum est & dixit: God said before he created, not, created before he said. Which sheweth, saith Ainsworth, how God created things by his word; saying, Alnsw. in Gen. 1. and it was; commanding, and it was created; Psal. 33. v. 6, 9. and 148. v. 5. So that if we are to understand the Text, Gen. 1. v. 3. according to the Letter as he doth; Speech was before either things, or creatures were made; and consequent­ly is, of more divine Antiquity, than either the world or men.

That the PRIMITIVE Language was not a studied or artificial speech, nor taught our First Parents by Art and by degrees as their Generations have been, but concreated with them, is certain. For, we read that God no soon­er questioned Adam, then Adam answered him. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid my self. Gen. 3. v. 9, 10. Where­by we are assured, that as the Creation of man himself was admirably perfect; so his language [Page 147] was originally plain and meek; nothing of that being found in either, which necessity afterwards compelled the posterity of the Conspirators at Babel, for their greater reputation to stile Art; because God having given them over to them­selves, they had no other way left to compose and regulate their Actions, then what either their ingenuity or experience by enforced and premeditated means afforded them. And seing it is presumed that Adam by his creation knew whatever might be advantagious for mankind; I see no reason but we may conceive, that the first Characters, that were ever framed to language were of his invention; for, that they were found out in the very infancy of the world, is, saith Sir W. Ral▪ hist. par. 1. pag. 67. Sir W. Raleigh questionless, and the World was never more an Infant, than in the daies of Adam. He that gave names to all things, knew best how to invent Characters for all things, whereby in their proper natures, those names should be communicated and continued to his Off-spring. In like manner, having letters there is no doubt to be made, but that they had books also; for some part of the books of Enoch, containing the course of the stars, their names and motions, is said to be found after the flood in Arabia Faelix, within the dominion of the Queen of Saba (saith Origen, as loco citato quoted by our Histo­rian) of which Tertullian affirmeth, that he had seen and read some whole pages. And as little question there is to be made, but that the letters with which in stone and brick either Seth or E­noch, or both engraved the Secretiora of their inventions, were significative and hieroglyphi­cal; [Page 148] such we may say, as were invented by Adam for the benefit of them and their posterity. For, though in several Authors we find they used Letters; yet that they or either of them first found them out appears not in any Author. Seing then, they are only said to be the first that made use of them, whereby it is manifest they followed but a former president, the glory of the invention remaines absolutely unto Adam, unless any man will go about to yeeld the honour thereof to Cain, or the first of his issue, before either Seth or Enoch was born. And though this may per­haps Dr. Brow. Pseud. Epi. l. 5. p, 223. seem singular, Doctor Brown nevertheless much inclines thereto; for, having told us, that many conceive Hieroglyphicks were the Primi­tive way of writing, and of greater Antiquity than Letters, and that thereby the Language consisting of things they spake unto each other by common notions of Nature, he concludes saying, ‘This indeed might Adam well have spoken, who understanding the nature of things, had the advantage of natural expres­sions.’

That afterwards likewise in succeeding times, as if they also took example from those en­gravements, they began to write the [...]r learning in Cyphers, and Characters, and Letters bearing the form of Beasts, Birds, and other Creatures, Raleigh also maintaineth. And it was the best evasion for all those that suffered from the Con­fusion of Babel, saith Doctor Brown.

With Sir Walter's opinion herein, that, that Purchas from Hiurnius the Chaldaean relates, Purch. Pil­grimage, lib. 1. p. 82. seemeth fully to consent, saying, that the Phae­nicians [Page 149] before the Israelites departed out of Aegypt used Hieroglyphical Characters, which he thinketh they learned from Abraham; the same which Seth and Enoch (mark I pray) had before used. As also, that Moses received the first Alphabetary Letters in the Table of the Deca­logue, and from the Hebrews the Phaenicians; who could not want sufficient time to learn and imitate them, for Moses flourished an hundred years before Cadmus wandred into Greece. Which Sir W. Raleigh from Eupolemus and Artabanus Sir W. Ral▪ Hist. par. 1. pag. 268. confirms, telling us, that Moses found out Letters, and taught them to the Iews, of whom the Phaenicians their neighbours received them, and the Greeks of the Phaenicians by Cadmus. In Eu­sebius likewise it appears, that Moses first taught Euseb. prae­parat. Eva. lib. 18. the use of Letters to the Iews, and that the Phaenicians learned them from the Iews; and the Graecians from the Phaenicians; Godwin attesteth. T. Godwin Ant. Iud. lib. 6. c. 7.

If then aswel before the flood, as long after it, significative Characters only were in use; for without all peradventure that famous Inscripti­on at Persepolis in Persia consists of such Cha­racters; and although it differs, its true from the received Hieroglyphical way, being composed of the form of Triangles several wayes trans­verted only. Yet we cannot but allow, in regard the people in those early dayes framed the Characters to their Language correspondent to the fancy of their imaginations; but that they must be made according to the more or less ingenuity of the People that so framed them. And should it be objected that this Inscription seems so to exceed all Antiquity, that some [Page 150] suppose it may be written before the flood; it may be answered, that though the world then had but one Common language; nevertheless according to the divers humours, and capacities of the People, as hath been said, for they could not be all alike ingenious, the then Characters might not be general but doubtless different. For, the Language was of God, who is not given to mutability; the Characters were of men, that are wholy inclined to variety.

And if until the dayes of Moses, Alphabetary Letters were not known, which by violence of Conquerours, mixture with forein Nations, liberty of Commerce, long tract of time, desire of Novelty, and s [...]veral other waies are aptly disposed to alteration and corruption. In vain do we search for the PRIMITIVE Language to remain with those Nations whose Languages consist in Alphabets. For it cannot in reason be imagined, that Letters could be brought at first into such a studied order, and methodical way; but accidentally as it were at random invented after a plain and simple manner, conformable to the speech; as all other Arts from small be­ginnings and ruder notions have grown to perfection in time and by degrees; many Ages and long experience being required to perfect any invention of whatever kind. And if those Inscriptions reported by Pomponius Mela, and Pliny to have been found at Ioppa, witnessing that Pom. Mela lib. l. cap. 11. Plin. lib. 5. cap. 13. it was built before the flood; and that Cepheus or Ceheus reigned there, and on which were in­graven the titles of him, and his brother Phi­n [...]us, together with a memorial of the grounds [Page 151] and principles of their Religion, had been com­municated to posterity in the proper Character, nothing could have more assured us hereof. For, our learned Selden used to profess, that for adjustation of time and action, he more valued one Antique Inscription, than an hundred arguments of the Schooles. Wherefore it is much to be lamented, that those worthy Gentle­men both of our own Nation and others, that at such hazard and charge have travailed into the remote parts of Asia, from whence all An­tiquity is derived; have neglected to exemplifie some at least of those many Inscriptions, which remain frequently dispersed in that part of the World, and which are such, if what hath been related to me be true, as that they will very probably confute several Pretenders to this Title. But not intending to dispute of this;

Certain it is, that there hath hardly been ever any People so barbarous, or Nation so unciviliz­ed, which to manifest their Couceptions amongst themselves; have not had their Characters either in a significative or Alphabetary manner as the experience of times and places teach us. By the Alphabetary kind, as with us, and other nati­ons, aswel in the East, as other parts of the World, the Vulgar come vulgarly to know whatever action is performed: But by the signi­ficative, those especially I mean, that involved mystically the whole conception of some certain matter, the Vulgar came to know nothing, but what vulgarly befitted them for to know.

Thus, not to mention others. the Aegyptians, Brachmanes, and Runians of old, made use of [Page 152] Hieroglyphicks to keep their Arcana Theologiae & Imperii sealed up, as it were, in the breasts of their Priests and Ministers of State only, And thus the Chin is invented their first Characters, and formed them from all things that are obvi­ous to sight; as Beasts, Birds, Wor [...]es, Fishes, A. Kir. Ch Ill. par. 6. p. 227. Herbs, Branches of Trees, Ropes. Threads, Points, Circles, and the like; with this diffe­rence nevertheless, that whereas the Aegyptians, and the rest invented their Hieroglyphicks to conceale their Arcana from the people; the Chinois on the contrary framed their Characters to communicate their Concepta to the people. For, as the Characters of These were invented for declaring precisely the conceptiors of single words, and names only, no other mystery being included in them: So, the Hieroglyphicks of Those did not express single words or names, but Id. p. 234. involved aenigmatically entire Ideal conceptions. Whereby the difference between t [...]e Hiero­glyphicks of the Aegyptians and Characters of the Chinois, is evident; and that they are not in omnibus aemuli, as Kircherus would perswade. But with what other differences are between them, or whether in any manner they may seem to correspond, we intend not now either to trouble you, or our selves.

THE Inventour of the first Characters of I. Nieuh. l Amb. Or. par. 2. pag. 105. Chind, was Fohius their first Emperour, who according to the time that is given to the begin­ning of his reign might be contemporary with Enos. For, as hath been said, Martinius and Vossius affirm, that the Historical computation M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. 1. p. 22. of the Chinois begins from that year wherein [Page 153] Fohius entred upon his government, which was in the two thousand eight hundred forty seventh year before the birth of CHRIST. Now that year before the birth of CHRIST answers to the five hundred fifty third year before the De­luge, and Enos died in the year of the World eleven hundred and forty, which preceded the flood five hundred and sixteen years, whereby Fohius might be contemporary with Enos thirty seven years, according to the Chinois historical accompt, and as by our vulgar Chronology is evident. The most accurate Chronography of Is. Voss. de Aetat. mun. p. 18, the Chinois, by the calculation of Moses, precedes the deluge seaven or eight Ages; saith Vossius.

But I find Xircherus very much to dissent here­from. For, he saith, that the Chinois as from A. Kirc. Ch. Ill. par. 6. pag. 225. their Annals and Chronography may be collect­ed, place the first invention of their Letters almost three hundred years after the Deluge, of which their first King, Fohius by name, was the first Institutor; as by the book of the suc­cession of their Kings appears.

Now, this variance ariseth, because Kircherus for his calculation useth not the same Europaean, but a different Chronology from the rest. For whereas Trigautius, Martinius, Semedo, with Nieuhoff, deduce their computation from the vulgar Aera of CHRIST, by which according to the original Hebrew Text, the flood hapned in the year of the World one thousand six hund­red fifty six; Kircherus on the contrary takes his from the Aera asserted by Isaac Vossius, whereby according to the Seventy, the flood is made to happen in the year of the World two [Page 154] thousand two hundred fifty six; the difference being six hundred years. And by this compu­tation indeed, we shall find, that the first Letters of the Chineis came to be invented by Fohius two hundred forty four years before the Con­fusion of Tongues; and consequently not much less than three hundred years after the Deluge, as Kircherus hath alleged, the precise time being two hundred eighty seven years. For Vossius to make good his Chronology affirms, that the dispersion at Babel succeeded at the birth of Phaleg, which, saith he, was five hundred thirty one years after the Flood: Quam factam esse Is. Vossius de Aetat. Mun. pag. 47. diximus ante & post nativitatem Phalegi annis post diluvium 531. being his words.

But although by this it more than manifestly appeareth, that China had letters, and was planted two hundred forty four years before the Babylonian Confusion, and that thereby the Chinois could not be obnoxious to the curse of Confounded Languages; nevertheless (except their Letters, as Semedo conceiveth, were born with them, and together with their Theology, taught them by Noah) that also they were a people, and consequently had a Language, long before they could have letters in use, reason must grant, and Vossius will not deny. For he informeth us, That his Serians, (our Chinois) in their Annals record, that in the more antient Id. pag. 48. times which both preceded, and immediately succeeded the universal Deluge, their Countrey was inhabited, though they will not for certain affirm the same, but willingly rather acknowledg their errour therein. But if in them it be an [Page 155] errour, then is Vossius himself most eminently guilty of the same errour. For, he hath long since delivered his judgment, that by his calcu­lation, the Chinique deluge corresponds exactly with the flood of Noah. But unless China were peopled, it could not, according to his own po­sition be drowned. For, with great vehemency he disputes, that those Countries that were not inhabited, perished not in the Deluge. Hear him, Ut vero diluvii inundationem ultra orbis I. Voss. de Aetat. Mun. pag. 54. habitati terminos producamus, nulla jubet ratio, imo prorsus absurdum dicere, ubi nullae hominum caedes, illic etiam viguisse effectus poenae solis homi­nibus inflictae; But that we should draw, saith he, the Inundation of the Deluge without the limits of the habitable Earth, no reason enjoyns, yea verily, it is absurd to say, that where men had no habitations, there also the effect of the punishment, inflicted on men only, should take place. So that his argument stands thus; That Countrey which was not peopled, was not drowned by the flood; But China he himself affirms was drowned by the flood; Therefore China according to his own affirmation was peopled before the flood. Either then the Chi­nois are not in an errour for so recording, or Vossius is in an errour for so affirming. But China without all peradventure was inhabited besore the flood, and consequently drowned, and there­fore both the Chinois and Vossius are in the right. And he himself hath furthermore and very lately acknowledged, That the Chronology of China, by the Mosaical accompt, precedes the flood seven or eight Ages.

[Page 156] Mark nevertheless I pray, how learnedly in thus disputing of the Deluge, Vossius occultly pleads the very case of those plantations, that were setled before the Conspiracy at Babel, and how those that were absent thence could not be guilty of the Crime committed there▪ nor liable therefore to the punishment ensuing there­upon.

Now although, which of these two compu­tations, are, according to the letter of the Scripture most warrantable, I will nor presume to argue; yet nevertheless what our Mede and others have delivered concerning them, I am not to decline. ‘We know, saith he, the first I. Mede lib. [...]5. pag. 1094. 1095. Ages of the Church followed the computation of the seventy altogether, though it were most wide of truth; and the chiefest Doctors the Church then had, through ignorance of the Hebrew, for a long time knew not, or believed not, there was any other computation.’ He also adds, that the great difference which is found between these Chronologies proceedeth chiefly, because the Seventy translating in Aegypt, voluntarily and of set purpose, increased the years of the first generations, to make them reach the Antiquity of some stories of the Aegyptians, and thereby exceeded the Hebrew computation, above thirteen hundred years. And Doctor Brown affirms, ‘that the Hebrew is incontro­vertibly the primitive and surest text to rely upon, and to preserve the same entire and un­corrupt Dr. Brown Pseu. Epid. lib. 6. pag. 238. there hath been used the highest cau­tion humanity could invent.’ Wherefore no man shall perswade me, no man, I say, of how [Page 157] great Authority soever he be, to believe any thing that openly contradicts, what Moses hath delivered; which is the most certain rule of all histories, and unto which unless we consent, we cannot consent to truth. However, leaving every man to liberty of conscience herein; I shall, with my principal Authors also, proceed with the vulgar Aera, as I begunn, in all reverence sub­mitting to the written Word of God according to the Hebrew Text; not daring to vindicate the Antiquities of China, so highly, as with Vossius to say, Quamvis autem odiose dicium possit Is. Vos. de Aetat. Mun pag. 3. videri, dicam nihilominus, non defuisse, qui fortius istas Antiquitates adseruerint, quam alii Mosem defenderint.

It sufficeth us, allowing which computation you please, that China was inhabited before the Confusion of Tongues, that for several Ages be­fore that Canfusion the Chinois had the use of Letters; to wit, ever since the time of Fohius, whether likewise you admit him to have reigned either before or after the flood; and that at this present day the self same letters abstracted only, are in use amongst them. For we must observe, that the Characters they now use were abbre­viated, from those that Fohius with other of his Successors first composed to their speech, as by Kircherus, having elegantly inlarged upon that, that others have but hinted at, is manifestly evident,

But before proceeding thereunto, seeing we are thus accidently fallen again upon their Chro­nology and Annals, I conceive it very pertinent, to let you know the surpassing care, and nor to [Page 158] be paralleld order, the Chinois have from all An­tiquity observed in writing of them, lest our fol­lowing discourse chiefly relating to their Lan­guage, should otherwise seem to receive an interruption thereby.

Martinius then telleth us, it was of old, and as M. Mart. Sin, Hist. lib. 1. p. 20. yet is used by this Nation, that the writing of the life and actions of the deceased Emperour, that it may be free from all deceit and flattery, is by his Successour committed to the charge of some of their most learned Philosophers, which trust is reputed of all others the greatest honour, and is by their chiefest men ambitiou [...]ly desired. Whereby the Chinique History hath been ever so continued like it self, as that, though from time to time as the Ages succeeded, it be inlarged by several Pens, it seems nevertheless to be the work of one only Author. For, it is unlawful for any but the Historiographer Royal to intermmeddle therewith, and criminal also, for the Writer of the succeeding times, to alter the preceding Hi­story.

In confirmation whereof, observe likewise the I. Nieuh. l' Amb. Or. par. 2. pag. 104. report that Nieuhoff makes. The Emperours of China, saith he, have evermore laboured to have the Annals of their Empire written by the most learned of all their Philosophers, whom they chuse and oblige to that end, which makes this people glory, that there is nothing that surpas­seth the truth of their Histories, and particularly those which are written from the two thousand, two hundred, and seventh year before the birth of CHRIST, unto this present time. Whereby their exact care in their Chronology admirably [Page 159] appears; for, it falls out justly with the fortieth fourth year before the Confusion of Tongues, of which we had cause though upon a different oc­casion (when stating at what time their Empire became hereditary) formerly to take notice, and as directly answereth to the end of the reign of Xunus, who first ordained this order to be perpe­tually observed, and who upon the casting off of Chus, succeeded Iaus, as is already said. And it confirmeth also, what Martinius asserteth, That M. Mart: Sin. hist. lib. 1. pag. 20. there is hardly any Nation in the whole World to be found comparable to the Chinois for their certainty in Chronology. Quâ curâ non ullam facile nationem Sinis in Orbe reliquo parem invenias; being his words. And likewise, lest it were not sufficient for him once only to assert it, he af­firms the same again, saying, Quâ in re mirabile Sinarum semper studium emicuit, wherein the Id. pag. 12. wonderful care of the Chinois hath evermore ex­celled. Which Vossius iu like manner attesteth, frequently calling the same accuratissima Chrono­graphia, certissima Chronologia, the most certain Chronology, the most exact Chronography.

We well known, those are not wanting, that make Nimrod to have arrived at Shinaar in the year one hundred and one after the Flood, and the Confusion to have been at Phaleg's birth; but although it is not to be beleeved; as Vossius saith, Id. pag. 17. that the building of the Tower, the Confusion of Tongues, and dispersion of the people should be made, before scarcely one Age after the Deluge Sir W. Rai. hist. par. 1. pag. 99. was expired; and though, as Sir W. Raleigh tells us, ‘These men do all by miracle, and beget whole Nations without the help of [Page 160] Time;’ nevertheless let it be as improbable, and the time as much abridged as it will, even by this computation also, the Classique History of the Chinois begins fourteen years before the Con­fusion of Tongues happened.

It was in the year after the universal Inunda­tion one hundred and one, at which time Phaleg was born. Gen. 11. v. 16. that the division of the Earth, if understood to be at the birth of Phaleg, was made by Noah among his grand-children; & that done, that they then went from the East­ern parts unto the valley of Sennar; Arch-bishop Usher is of opinion. Whereby it manifestly seems, that from their removal out of the East, Dr. Usher Ann. pag. 3 until the curse of confounded Languages, what in regard of their transmigration, what of the prodigiousness of their work, a considerable space of time interlapsed, but what that interval might be, he silently pretermits.

And therefore, if you consult the Aera, that some marginal notes upon our Bible, Goropius, Sir W. Raleigh, and the most learned Antiquaries follow, which gives one hundred thirty one years before Nimrod came to Shinaar; and then if according to Glycas, as cited by Raleigh, you Sir W. Ral. Histor. par. 1. pag. 100. add thereunto forty years more to be consumed about bringing the Tower to an height before the Confusion ensued thereupon, you will readily find, that the History which the Chinois esteem so authentique commenceth thirty years before the dispersion at Babel, following Arch-bishop Ushers accompt; and by this other Aera observed by Raleigh and the rest it will appear, that the same history takes beginning eighty four years [Page 161] before the Confusion of Tongues, the which in man­ner accordeth rightly also, with what Trigautius & Nieuhoff have delivered, that by their Annals it appears they have had the knowledg of one only God, above four thousand years; for we know that from the Flood to this present time three thousand nine hundred sixty two years have elap­sed. Now Nieuhoff and Trigautius follow (I need not repeat it) the vulgar Chronology, and de­duce their account from Iaus, who began to reign four thousand twenty five years since, and whose memory liveth by these Annals (which from Xunus seem to be called Xuking) Initium M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 8. pag. 352. ejus lihri est Yaus Imperator, that Book takes be­ginning at the life of Yaus, saith Martinius. From whence we may observe, that though this their History precedes the Flood, it came nevertheless to be' written in the succession after it; which much more contributes to the manifesting of the verity of their Annals, and who this Iaus might in all probability be. The certainty then of their Annals & Chronology being thus apparent, it re­mains only to enquire after their Language and Letters, and with what certainty they have been continued.

Alvarez Semedo tells us, That the Language A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. pa. 1. cap 6. which they use in China, is of so great Antiquity, that many beleeve it to have been one of the 72 at the Tower of Babel. Of which opinion my self also will perhaps be, when either any of his Society, or other in his behalf shall make evident, so ma­ny Languages to have been spoken upon the Con­fusion there. It is true, that as well many learn­ed men, as Semedo, according to the number of [Page 162] names laid down in the tenth Chapter of Genesis, being seventy, have supposed that the PRIMI­TIVE Tongue was confounded into the like number of Languages. But this, saith Heylin, I take to be but a conceit. It being plain, that Ca­naan and his Sons, eleven in all, had but one Lan­guage Heyl. Cosm. pag. 8. amongst them, which was the Hebrew, or Language of the land of Canaan. And as for Iocian and his Sons, being thirteen in number, considering he was the younger brother of Pha­leg, in whose time this Confusion happened, it is most probable, and avowed for a certain truth, that either none of them were born, or if they were, yet were all of them too young to have had an hand in the design for the building of Ba­bel; and consequently could not be within the curse of Confounded Languages. So here is a third part of the seventy to be taken off, as possibly might all the sons of Mizraim be, if it were worth the while to insist upon it. With this Wil­let, Purchas, Mede, and divers others agree. There­fore A. Will. in Gen. 11. Pur. Pil­grimage, lib. 1. pag. 40. I. Mede, lib. 1. pag. 368. M. Casaub. de 4 ling. pag. 5. with them and Heylin, I take this but for a fancy, and till made otherwise appear, shall con­ceive, that the Language of the Empire of China, is of far higher Antiquity, and as antient, as the World it self and Mankind.

Some again are of opinion, that the PRI­MITIVE Language was not divided at all in­to any more or less others, but that the Judg­ment which fell upon the Conspirators at Babel was nothing else, than that their minds, and their notions of things being consused, though they might speak the same words, as they did before, yet they could not understand one another. O­thers [Page 163] again, that it was a forgetfulness of the for­mer speech, and being forgotten, they afterwards mattered or babbled forth confusedly, whatever came next unto their Tongues-end. From whence it is supposed the word to Babble, used by us for a senceless discourse, proceedeth. But whe­ther a division, stupefaction, oblivion, or abso­lute extirpation, (for what is confounded is redu­ced to nothing) it befel those only that were There in the Region of Babylon, and were either advisedly or actually contributors to the build­ing of the Tower. And therefore concerns not us, who were throughly warm in our goodly seats long before that Confusion happened, and being not guilty of that crime, could not be within that curse, nor subject to that Judgment whatever it was. But to proceed. N. Trig. de Christ Exp. apud Sin. lib 1. cap. 5

In the Language of the Chinois the Element, Syllable, Word, are all one and the same; Idem­que est apud eos Dictio, Syllaba, Elementum. Saith Trigautius.

Their Idiom is very succinct, insomuch that as in multitude of Letters they surpass all other A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 1. p. 11. Nations of the World; so likewise in paucity of words they yeeld to all. For the number of their words scarcely exceeds sixteen hundred. All of them also end in vowels, some few ex­cepted which terminate in M, or N, and they are all Monosyllables and Indeclinables, as well Nouns, as Verbs; and so accomodated to their use, that many times the Verb serveth for a A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. c. 6, 11. Noun, and a Noun for a Verb, and an Adverb likewise, if need require; whereby there is not much pains required to put them together in [Page 164] Syntax: And for the same reason we are assured by Semedo also, that their Language is more easy to be learned, than the Latine, the Gram­mar only whereof taketh up all our younger years. Hear him, Con che si facilita per essere stu­diata più che la Latina la cui sola Grammatica si piglia gli anni dell'eta puerile. Now these being his words, it seemed very strange to me to find, that in the Essay towards the Philosophical Lan­guage, pag. 452, it is said, that upon the accompt of the great Aequivocableness Alvarez Semedo affirms the Chinique Tongue to be more difficult, than any other Language of the World, quoting Histor. China Par. 2. Cap. 2. But, the truth is, the Author is too learned to commit such an error himself, and therefore deserved a more careful Transcriber; for those words are neither in the place quoted, nor in any part of Semedo's whole relation. Who, on the contrary, will likewise ere we conclude, not from casual hear-say, but his own long experience, receiving what he writ, not from the ears of others but his own [...]ys, attest, that upon the very self same accompt pretended it surpasseth for sweetness all other Languages at this day known.

It depends not, moreover, upon Letters dis­posed into an Alphabetical form like ours, nor have they in their Language any words com­pounded A▪ Kirc. [...]h. Ill. par. 6. pag. 226 of Letters and Syllables; but every single Character importeth a single word or name, whereby they had need of as many Cha­racters, as there are things, by which they would deliver the conceptions of their minds. For example, if any should go about to render Cale­pine [Page 165] into their Idiom, so many and different Characters he ought to have, as there are dif­ferent words therein. Neither do they use Declensions or Conjunctions, seing all these are involved in the Characters themselves. So that it behoveth that man to be endued with a good memory, that intendeth to attain, but even unto an indifferent perfection in the Chinique Learn­ing. Insomuch that he that by long study, throughout in manner his whole life time, ar­riveth to the highest perfection therein, as also amongst us whilst living we still learn, obtaineth deservedly the prime honours and dignities of the Empire. And as they are more or less learn­ed, so are they less or more esteemed. From G. Mend. Hist. de la Chin. lib. [...] pag. 140. whence it proceeds, as Mendoza affirms, that none how miserably poor soever they be, but learn at least to read and write, it being infamous amongst them to be illiterate.

It may nevertheless not undeservedly seem admirable unto any man, saith Kircherus, why so many, and such Characters, which in their Onomasticon, called Haipien, to wit, the Ocean are numbred at sixty thousand, should be in­volved as we said in so few words, which that it may be manifest we are to know, that the words of the Chinique Language, as we lately shewed, hardly exceed sixteen hundred. We may with Semedo distinguish them. Their Lan­guage hath not in all, saith he, more than three hundred and twenty vocaboli [words, I suppose unaccented and unasperated] and of parole [words which though really the same, differ in the aspiration and accent only] one thousand [Page 166] two hundred twenty eight. But as every of these words hath many and divers significations, so, unless by the different accents they are not to be understood. For, one word signifies sometimes ten, & sometimes twenty several things, intelli­gible only by the different pronunciation of the A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 6. pag. 235, 236. Accent. Whereby in regard of the double sence, their Language to strangers is very difficult, and not without great labour, intentive stady, and with a thousand reflexions to be learned by them. So that, it is one thing to know the Chi­niqùe Characters, another, to speak the Chinique Tongue. For any stranger that hath a good me­mory, and diligent care withal, may attain to the height of Learning by reading of the Books of China, although he can neither speak the Lan­guage, nor understand what the Natives speak to him. From whence may be collected, that as the Frenchman writeth, not as he speaketh, so the Chinois speaketh not, as he writeth. And we know, that even at this day, in all generally, as well antient, as modern Languages, there is be­tween the reading and speaking a difference ei­ther more or less. However, as for that in China, N. Trig. de Ch. Exp. apud Sin. lib. 1. p. 25. Trigautius tells us, That all the difference be­tween the speaking and writing consists in the connexion of the words only.

But hereof Nieuboff will particularly inform I. Nieub. l' Amb. Or: par. 2. pag. 12. you, There is no Language, saith he, that hath so many words of a double sence as the Chinique; which is apprehensible by the different cadency of the voice. The incommodity received there­by is very great; for one cannot write any thing, that is read to him in this Language, nor of him­self [Page 167] understand a word, unless he have recourse to their Books, to know the double sence there­of by the Characters, whereby he may readily find it out; when in speaking, he cannot con­ceive what the Native meaneth. So that, one is not only obliged to have the words repeated, but likewise either with Ink to have them set down in writing, or if that be wanting, with water on the Table, or some other thing expressed. This double sence may in some measure he apprehend­ed by five different cadencies or principal Tones, which are hard to be distinguished nevertheless, in regard of their sweetness: One word often­times receiveth (amongst strangers especially) five several meanings through this variety of Tones. And there is not one word also, which hath not one of them, and likewise twenty or thirty significations, according to the diversity of the Aspirations, which the Natives learn from their cradles, but is very difficult for a stranger to attain. And with the reason thereof Trigautius shall ere long acquaint you.

Iacobus Golius conceives the Language of Chi­na to have proceeded not so much from chance I. Gol. Addit. de reg. Cathay [...] pag. 7. and necessity, as from meditation and Art. But being it is destitute of all those troublesome aides that are brought in to the assistance of Art; for they have no Rules either for Grammar, Logick, or Rhetorick, but what are dictated to them by A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. [...] cap. 11. the light of Nature; though greater Eloquence, than amongst them hath scarcely been ever read. Therefore being it is so nakedly free from those superfluous guides which we are constrained to search after in learning what­ever [Page 168] other Language; we may well conceive, that it was at first infused or inspired, as the PRIMITIVE Language was into our first Parents, and so from them received, rather than otherwise invented and taught the Chinois. And whereas some fancy, that it is in many respects very imperfect, and exceeding equ [...]vocal; yet in regard no Author of credit extant, hath given us so much as in general terms, any the least notice of any such imperfections, I may say, that if any such imperfections shall be found therein, they relate in regard of the high Anti­quity unto Artificialness only. For, without all peradventure it is a perfectly natural speech, and was a Language before the World knew, as to this particular at least, what that, which we now call Art, meant. And as for the double sence of the words, those that have long lived in China, those that have diligently studied the same, and who are most concerned, and can best tell, shall give you full satisfaction in due place, that this aequivocableness makes it not only a sweet, but also a compendious, pleasant, and graceful Lan­guage, not naturally defective.

But Golius himself shall presently attest it, verily, saith he, their Language in this is truly singular, and it is almost incredible, that all their words are not only Monosyllables, and guilt­less of Grammatical differences, but also of such very great affinity between themselves; that, not otherwise, than by a most fine variety of pronunciation scarcely perceptible by other people, they are distinguished. And that throughout all Ages their speech hath been [Page 169] one and the self same; he formerly assured us.

Now had he withal said, that their Charact­ers were artificial, much Rhetorique needed not to have perswaded us into a beleef thereof; in regard their first, confisting of Beasts, Birds, Plants, Fishes, and the like, could not be made without some knowledge in Design. Whereby also this Art appears certainly to be, if not more, at least as antient, as Hieroglyphicks. And as for those which they use at present, though it is true, that according as they are written, either in a set or running hand, they yeeld a deviation in figure: nevertheless they are grounded on the Mathematiques; for, they be composed of perpendicular, rectangular, parallel, and circular lines, as we shall shortly prove, being now obli­ged thereunto.

The Characters of the Chinois are twofold, An­ [...]ient and more Antient; or, the Originals and their Abstracts. The more Antient are those first or primier Characters of theirs, which we find to be of such great Antiquity, what Chronology soever is followed; and which upon especial oc­sions only, are now in use amongst them. And the Antient are those, which from the other were abstracted, and bearing the very same significa­tion in their speech, are throughout their whole Empire in general use at this day.

Now the first or primier, which, because their ab­stracts are of above three thousand seven hundred years continuance, we have for better distinction sake, called their more Antient Characters, con­sisted of sixteen several kinds, taken from the va­rious [Page 170] flyings, goings, creepings, turnings, wind­ings, growings, encreasings, decreasing of vola­tile and reptile things, after the formerly men­tioned significative manner. Kircherus thus sets them down.

The first, from Serpents, and Dragons, and their various complicatures. A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 6. p. 228, &c.

The second, from things belonging to Hus­bandry.

The third, from the Wings of Birds, accord­to the position of their Feathers.

The fourth, from Shell-fish and Worms.

The fifth, from the Roots of Herbs.

The sixth, from the Prints of the feet of Birds.

The seventh, from Tortoises.

The eighth, from the Bodies of Birds.

The ninth, from Herbs and Water-flaggs.

The tenth, from—But they seem to be derived from Ropes or Threads.

The eleventh, from Stars.

The twelfth, from—But it is a Charact­er wherein of old their Edicts, Charters, and Letters Patents were written.

The thirteenth, from—

The fourteenth, from—But the Charact­ers express Rest, Joy, Knowledg, Ratiocination, Light, Darkness.

The fifteenth, from Fishes.

The sixteenth, and last from——But it seems our Author finding, that his Society know not as yet, how to read this kind of them, thinks it needless we should know, from whence Anti­quity composed the same.

Of These (besides what others of their Philo­sophers [Page 171] invented) each of their first six or seven Emperours found out one, Fohius the first sort, M. Mart. Sin, Hist. lib. 1. p. 22. Idem Imperator Sinicos Characteres reperit, quos loco nodorum adhibuit, sed ipsis nodis intricatiores; The same Emperour accidentily devised the Chinique Characters, which he used in the place of Knots, but more intricate, than the Knots themselves. Kircherus, as was said, not unaptly, in regard of their involvings, tells us, he took them from Serpents and Dragons; as Iaus, the seventh sort from Tortoises, and their several postures: Sep­tima A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 6. p. 230. characterum forma ex testitudinibus constru­cta, signatur literis HIKLM, quos invenit Yao Rex; the seventh form of Characters framed from Tortoises, which King Yaus invented, is signed with the Letters HIKLM. Which are his countermarks to demonstrate how exactly they correspond, with those they now use. In every one of these Characters six things were to be considered, the Figure, Sound, Use, Significa­tion, Composition and Explication.

Now, it cannot but be here observed, Marti­nius saith, that their Emperour Fohius introdu­ced his invention of their Characters in the place of Knots; whereby it may be collected, that as the Americans afterwards, in their Histories, by Quippoes, and the Laplanders and Samoeds at this day, in their Exorcisms, by Knots; so the Chi­nois more antiently expressed the concep­tions of their minds by the like way. And to this purpose I find, in our Author, that not much before Fohius his dayes one Suius governe­ed M. Mart: Sin. hist. lib. 1. p. 19. China, and that he, instead of Characters and Letters, first found out knots of Ropes, for easing [Page 172] of the memory, and taught them the right way of using them in Schools.

Furthermore, it appears by Martinius, that they have a certain sort of Characters in use at this Id. pag. 17. day, which were invented long before the reign of Fohius. For, Thienhoangus, who was their next governour after Puoncuus, and, who first civilized, and brought them into order, invented that double sort of Letters, from which by joyn­ing them together, the Chinois afterwards, about the year before CHRIST according to the vulgar computation two thousand six hundrrd and seventy, framed their Cycle of sixty years. The first sort consists of ten Letters, which they call Can; the second contains the twelve hours of the day, which not by numbers, but particular Characters they express and signifie. From the connexion of these same characters, they suppose to know, not only the name and quality of the year, but also of the whole year, and every day thereof, the secret motions of the Heavens, and their influences upon terrestrial bodies and na­tural things.

Posteriores vero Sinae rerum experientia doctiores, A. Kirc. Ch. Ill. par. 6. pag. 226. cum magnam in tanta Animalium Plantarumque congerie confusionem viderent, characteres hujusmodi varie figuratos, certis punctorum linearumque ducti­bus aemulati, in breviorem methodum concinnarûnt, quá & in hunc usque diem utuntur; But the succeeding Chinois, saith Kircherus, more learn­ed by experience, when they saw the great confusion proceeding from such a mass of Ani­mals and Plants, reformed those characters so variously figured, and in imitation of them, by [Page 173] substracting certain points and lines from them, reduced them into a more compendious method, which even unto this very day they use. Now, that the Characters which even unto this very day they use, how many Ages soever their first Characters were invented before, have been above three thousand seven hundred years used by them, will very suddenly from warrantable Authority be made good.

Of these Characters the number is so great, as that it is scarcely known. Martinius and Semedo compute them at sixty thousand; Tri­gautius at seventy or eighty thousand; Kircherus saith eighty thousand, and Nieuhoff from Man­deslaus in his History of Persia, finds them to be more than an hundred and twenty thousand. A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 6 N. Trig. de Exp. Christ apud Sin. lib. 1. cap. 5. Of which nevertheless eight or ten thousand are sufficient to learn their Idiom▪ that a man may tollerably converse, and know how to write the Characters, and perhaps throughout their whole Empire, there is not any man, saith Trigautius, that knows them all. And when they meet with any that they call a cold Letter, they have recourse to their Vocabulary, as we to ours for any Latine word we understand not; which evidently declares, that he amongst them, that knows the most Letters is most learned, as with us, he is the best Latinist, that is best ac­quainted with his Dictionary, or he the greatest Scholast that hath read or studied most. The first of their Characters signifies God (their Xangti happily may be intended) as the Cha­racter G. Merc. Atl. in Ch. pa. 670. of the Cross gives beginning to our Al­phabet, saith Mercator, in his Atlas.

[Page 174] Now to form all this multitude▪ of Letters, they use nine strokes or touches with the pen only; yet so disposed nevertheless, that by ad­ding, diminishing, or turning of a stroke, they make other new and different ones, and of dif­ferent significations. For example, the streight line marked A, signifies One; being crossed with another line, as at B, it expresseth Ten; made with another at the bottom, as at C, it de­notes the Earth; and with another at the top, as at D, it standeth for a King; by adding a touch on the left side between the two first strokes, as at E, it is taken for a Pearl; but that which is marked with F, signifies Creation or Life; and lastly by the character under G, is intended Sir.


That their Characters, for Contracts, Policies, Pleadings, and such like transactions between party and party, are written with a running hand, answering to that which our publique Notaries use; and that for their Manuscripts and printed Books another more set form is observed; as also that some of them are more difficult, and require more study to be understood, A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 6. than others, I need not mention; the Charact­ers essentially being still the same. But must not omit the great Antiquity they carry; Le Lettere che usano, par chesiano cosi antiche, come le gente medesima, perchè conforme alle loro memori [...] Histori­che; [Page 175] le riconoscono da più tre mila sette cento anni, insino a questo del 1640, nel quale scriviamo questa relatione; The Letters which they use, saith Se­medo, seem to be as antient, as the People them­selves, for perfect notice of them may be taken from their Historical Records, for above three thousand seven hundred years, accounting to the present 1640, in which this our Relati­on, saith he, was written. Now, as from him is not to be collected; how many more, than three thousand seven hundred years, his words da più may imply, so in regard they relate not to their first or primier Characters, but those particularly which they now use, and to the time chiefly when they came to be reformed, we have no need to insist upon them. Though the formerly mentioned plusquam of Vossius, purposely insert­ed that it may be observed to this end, compre­hends no less, than five hundred years. Where­fore following his assignation precisely, I say, it is plainly manifest thereby, that not only the re­ducing of their primier Characters to a more compendious method, than formerly they were, hapned two hundred thirty four years after the flood; but also that ever since that their reduce­ment, their Letters have continued without any alteration, and are the self same at this instant time, as when primarily they were reduced. In like manner Kircherus throughout the sixth part of his China Illustrata most certainly demonstrates, that every particular Letter of them, bears at this very time the self same signification in their Language as the peculiar primier Character, from which it was abstracted, antiently did. And both Martinius [Page 176] and Nieuhoff very late Writers, & by so much the more unquestionable, have long since declared, that their primier Characters were invented al­most three thousand years before the birth of CHRIST. And indeed, that the Inven­tion of them long preceded their Refor­mation, not any man can possibly doubt, considering especially, setting what hath for­merly been said aside, that being they were devised by several persons, succeeding one another in several Ages, they must of necessity take up many years of time; before likewise their posterity could gain so much experience, as to perceive the great disorder atterding such a mass of Animals and Plants, divers years also must necessarily elapse, and at last the bringing of them, being so numerous, into their present form, in regard of the frequent consultations, mature deliberations, and manifold transcrip­tions, could not in like manner be performed at an instant. Therefore, without all peradven­ture, their first Letters must be much more antient by far than those which they now use; as Nieuhoff and Martinius have asserted. But if you incline rather unto Kircherus, and the com­putation which he follows, then it appears there­by, that their Primier Characters were first found out, no less than two hundred forty four years before the Confusion of Tongues, but at what time, or in what Age their Emendation succeeded, is not to be gathered, either from him or Vossius.

The Chinois give willingly great sums of mo­ney for a Copy of their antient Characters well formed, and they value a good writing of their [Page 177] now Letters far more than a good painting, whereby from being thus esteemed, they come to be reverenced. Insomuch that they cannot endure to see a written paper lying on the ground, but finding it immediately take it up, & carry the same to the Childrens Schools, where in an appointed place for keeping the like papers, they remain, till afterwards at certain times they burn them, not out of Religion as the Turks, but only out of the love they bear to Letters.

From Semedo we have somewhat more to say, A. Sem. Rel. de. la in. par. 10 cap. 6. [Il Linguaggio] è vario, perchè sono varii li Reg­ni, delli quali hoggi si compone questa Corona, & an­ticamente non eransuoi, mà p [...]sseduti da Barbari, come tutte le Provincie Australi, & alcune Settentrio­nali; The Language is different, saith he, be­cause the Kingdoms are different, of which at this day this Empire is composed, and antiently did not belong unto this Crown, but were pos­sessed by Barbarous people, as all the Southern Provinces, and some of the Northern. By which it is evidently manifest, that in those Countries which did antiently belong unto this Crown, the speech doth not differ but remains pure and un­corrupted.

And hence it is that Martinius throughout his Atlas of China, when giving us the Chorogra­phical descriptions of their antient Imperial Countries, delivers not so much as one only word of any whatever difference they have in speech. Whereas when describing those other of Northern Provinces together with the South­ern, that not until these later Ages of the World were wholly reduced to obedience of the Em­pire, [Page 178] and brought into civil order; he not only acquaints us with their various Language, but also in what manner, and by what [...]cans they came to vary therein. For, being as he frequent­ly calls them, rude and uncultivated men, Moun­taineers and fierce people, and having been at first but few, and no care taken of them, till the main Colonies were peopled, could not after­wards when their numbers were multiplied be readily brought to submit to the Supreme So­veraignty; but for many generations through the disloyalty of their Governours stood out, and opposed the same, as hath been already said.

Now, the Provinces which from all Antiquity M. Mart. [...]in. hist. lib. 1. p. 26. have belonged to the Imperial Crown of China, are generally those that lie on the North of the Kiang, where their first Plantations were setled. For Martinius informs us, that the old limits of their Empire extended unto that Sea, which we may term the Eoan. But that as then it was so cal­led, we are not to conceive. On the North Tarta­ria Antiqua, on the South that great River, which they call the Son of the Sea, bounded it. This Ri­ver commonly called Kiang▪ running from West to East, divides the whole Empire as now it is, into North and South China, being the sometimes boundary thereof. He further tells us, that it was [...]. Atl S [...]n. [...]g. 3. of old divided into twelve Provinces by the Em­perour Xunus. Then into nine by his Successour Yuus, before the birth of CHRIST above two thousand, two hundred years; for at that time it contained the Northern parts only▪ from al­most the fortieth degree of Latitude to the thir­tieth, where the great River Kiang gave bound [Page 179] unto the Provinces. Afterwards by little and little the Southern parts were brought under subjection, and from barbarity reduced to the Chinique policy. Then at last was the whole Empire of China divided into fifteen mighty Provinces.

Whereby it manifestly appears, that their Lan­guage continues in its antient purity at this day, not in a nook or corner, as the old Spanish in Biscay; nor in the hilly or mountainous parts of the Countrey, as the Arabique in Granata; or as the antient Epirotique in Epirus; but throughout all their first Plantations, and Countries which did antiently belong unto the Crown, which Marti­nius hath told us, extend from almost the fortieth degree of Latitude to the thirtieth, where the great River Kiang boundeth them.

But, observe the opinion of M. Casaubon con­cerning M. Casaub. de 4 ling. pag. 8. the difference of their Language. I con­fess, saith he, that in some sort there may be a di­versity in the speech of the Provinces of China: not any man nevertheless can possibly think, that this diversity could happen, until there were several Provinces, but much more rather, that the diversity proceeded from the difference of the Regions, and the Governments of them. Which is not to be denied; for, we cannot sup­pose, but that their speech might come to be dif­ferent, either according to the temperature of the Air, or as the scituation of the Province was more or less mountanous, which naturally cau­seth greater or lesser rudeness in the pronuncia­tion of a Language; or else according to the care in Government, as they were less or more [Page 180] trained up in civility, and kept within due order; which accordingly preserveth Language in its purity and perfection. In like manner the con­duct of the Plantations, might be of great con­cernment therein, as when either the new Plant­ers arose from the first swarm, or were of a se­cond or third castling from other places; whilst the head Colony, as may be said, or main body of the Monarchy retained and enjoyed purely their genuine or natural speech. Wherefore ad­mitting; that in those Northern and Southern Regions the Language doth differ, as much per­haps as our Southern, Western, and Northern-English, for it will scarcely appear to differ much more, yet it is still one and the same speech. Do we not grant, that the Greek was one Language, though there were five several Dialects thereof? And the Language of the Ephraimites, Hebrew, or Canaanitish, though they could not pronounce Shibboleth? Otherwise he that lispeth or stam­mereth, which is a defect in Nature, not corrup­tion of speech, may be said to have lost his MO­THER Tongue. But let the Vulgar Idiom of the Chinois be as different as it will, they have not any one Book written therein, no more than we in our Northern or Western Dialects, but all their Books are written in their tr [...]e ORI­GINAL N. Trig. in Chr. Exp. [...]pud Sin. lib. 1. pag. [...]5. [...]. Mend. [...] st. d [...]lla [...]. lib. 3. [...] [...]39. Language, and the Characters of them are, and ever have been one and the same throughout their whole Empire.

Mendoza makes mention of this difference also, and therewith somewhat acquaints us wherein it doth consist. He telleth us then, that it is admirably strange, that though in the [Page 181] Dominions of this Empire, they have several kinds of speech, nevertheless all generally un­derstand it by the Letters, not Words. But the reason is, saith he, because one and the same figure, and one and the same Character, is common to all in the signification of one and the same thing, although it be diversly named in the speech; as for example, the Character for a City is universally known throughout their Empire, though in some places they call it Leombi, and in others Fù, the like hapning in all other nouns. Now, this proceeds not only in regard their Language is aequivocal through the divers significations of the Letter according to the Accent; but also because they have pecu­liar words for particular things according to the respective dignity and quality that the thing spoken of, carries in their speech; as Semedo, Nieuhoff, and Kircherus have told us, and as from Martinius you will very suddenly hear. And therefore Mendoza ought to have declared what kind of City the Chinois intend by Leombi; for, what manner they mean by will appear ere long. And of all of them the words are perfect Chinois, and after the purity of their Idiom pronounced accordingly. As in like manner with us, though in the North of England they call that a Dove-cote, which in the South is called a Pigeon-house, the names never­theless are good English; So also Ensis is as true Latine for a Sword as Gladius; and [...] as pure Greek for Urbanitas as [...]. But to our purpose Cheu is as uncorrupted Chinique for a City as Fù, and Hien as either; the diversity [Page 182] of Terms proceeding from the different digni­ties M. Mart. Atl. Sin. p. 108. they bear. For, thus saith Martinius, The Chinois call not the greater Cities Fù, but Cheu, and those lesser ones which are under their jurisdiction Hien. They call a Royal City also Kingsu▪ for as the same Author hath it, it is to be observed, that Kingsu is the common name of dignity for their Regal Cities, but not for any one properly and singularly so called. But to what degree of Cities Leombi answers, I cannot find, unless happily it might be mis­taken for Ni [...]po, a Port Town, which the Por­tugals as Martinius informs me, are wont by [...]d. p. 118. somewhat a corrupt name to call Liampo.

Whereby it is observeable that by one only word they express that, which we are enforced to signifie by divers. As thus also, for to say amongst us Europaeans the manner of taking A Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 6. any thing, either with the whole hand, or with some particular fingers thereof, we are alwaies obliged to repeat the Verb Take, amongst the Chinois it is not so, for each word signifies the verb, and the manner likewise. For example, Nien, to take with two fingers: Tzo, to take with all the fingers: Chuà, with the whole hand turn downwards: Toie, with the hand open turned upwards▪ So also with the verb, Is, whereas we say, He is in the house; He is eating; or He is sleeping: They have a word, wherewith at once they express, both that He is and the manner how He is. We to say the foot of a Man, the foot of a Bird, or the foot of any Beast▪ are alwaies necessitated to specifie it with the same word foot; but the [Page 183] Chinois do it with one single word; as Kiò, the foot of a Man: Chuá, the foot of a Bird: Thi, the foot of any Beast whatsoever.

The Natives of China speak generally as from their Infancy they are taught, without observing any Accents at all; whereby in divers places the People, like our countrey Peasants, as they afterwards attain to a more or less habit of ci­vility and learning speak finer, or broader, and with a fuller mouth than others. For, it may be collected from Martinius, that he among M. Mart. Sin. Hist. lib. [...]. pag. 276. the Chinois that is not well read in the Language, and understands not the Characters rightly, ore loquentém rustico, speaking in a rustical manner, delivers his mind harshly; whereas he that is learned in them pronounceth his words with a grace genuinely. To These the Language is familiar; from Those not so welcome or com­mendable.

Thus in the Province of Chekiang, that which the Literati after the elegant manner of the Id. Atl. Sin. pag. 110. speech incorruptedly call Kingsu, the vulgar sort of people speaking after the common way less exactly, call Kingsai; from whence in P. Venetus the name Quinsai springeth. So likewise in Fokien where they speak clownishly they usually change N, into L, as Lankin for Nankin, and the like. For thus Martinius also, in his de­scription Id. pag. 9 [...] of Nankin. The Portugals, saith he, vulgarly call it Lankin receiving the errour from the Fokiens, with whom they chiefly trade; for these being very rude in speaking by a most common vice of their Countrey are wont to change every N into L. After the same man­ner, [Page 184] as in the East of England they say a Chim-Ney, and in the West a ChimLey; or as with us in several parts of Somersetshire, S, is changed into Z; as Zuch for Such; and F, into V, as Vather for Father and the like. Where also many of the People, the farther West especially, speak so confusedly in the mouth, that he, that is not acquainted with their Idiom, can hardly un­derstand either what they mean or say; though nevertheless, that which they speak is English.

Those people of Fokien are the only they al­most of all the Chinois, that adventure to go to sea and trade; and that non obstante the Laws of the Empire maintain free Commerce and Intercourse with forein Nations; whereby they use not all, saith Martinius, one and the same M. Mart. Atl. Sin. p. 121. speech, but in several Cities it differs, insomuch that hardly and with difficulty one understands another, the polite elocution of the Literati common to all the other Provinces, being less known and used here, than in any place else. But in Ienping and the territories belonging to it (for every Province hath several, as great as Id. p. 128. some of our Europaean Kingdoms) which was planted by a Colony from Nanking, the Inha­bitants speak as the Literati, which in regard they live amongst such rusticks is accompted singular in them. Now, Semedo in celebrating A Sem. Rel de la Cin. p. [...]. cap. 6. the Chinique speech will assure you, that at Nanking it is spoken purely. His words being, H [...]o più del soave che dell' aspro, e se si parla perfettamente, come d'ordinario si ode in Nankin, lusinga ludito; Their Language, saith he, is more sweet than harsh, and if it be spoken per­fectly, [Page 185] as it is ordinarily at Nankin, it flattereth the attention of the Auditors, or is very delight­ful to the Ear. As our English Translation hath it.

By all which it appears, that from the diffe­rent appellations given to one and the same Cha­racter, and the divers pronunciation of their Characters in divers places, though the words are the very same, the diversity of their Language proceedeth. Therefore to make an end of this dif­ference at once for all; The natural roughness of the Regions, attended by the ambitious proceed­ings of the Royaltes, in those Provinces where they domineered, causing a rough nature in the inhabitants made them live like Barbarians, and speak accordingly; whilst the pure Language of their Ancestors lay neglected, and their mo­rality trampled in the dirt. But what through their beginning to be reduced to the Imperial Diadem by Chingus first, and afterwards by Hia­vouus about an hundred and forty years before the birth of CHRIST; what through their final reducement and union to the Crown, by the victorious Humvù, as was said, their antient Language hath taken root again, & spreads it self throughout all those united Provinces, though each of them nevertheless still retains their so rudely ingrafted speech, as b [...]ing by long time be­come habitual and natural to them, and not in possibility on the sudden to be easily either refined or reformed. So that with Semedo we may confi­dently say, it is so far from being lost, that though the Language in those Provinces by their re­volts became different, it returns again by their [Page 186] Union into one only throughout the whole Chi­nique Empire. Però la lingua della Cina venne es­sere [...]. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 6. una sola, che chiamino Quonhoa, ô lingua di Mandarini; perche essi con l'iste esso passo col quale in­ducevano il lor governo in altri Regni, intro­duoevano anche la lingua: e cosi hoggi corre per tut­to il paese, come il Latino per tutta l'Europa; anzi più universalmente, conservando anche ciascuno la sua natural favella; Therefore, saith he, the Language of China comes to be one only, which they call Quonhoa, or Language of the Man­darins; for with the same pace as they introdu­ced their Government into those other King­doms, they brought in their Language also; and so it runs throughout the whole Countrey at this day, as the Latine throughout all Europe, but more universally, every one likewise keep­ing their natural, or clownish manner of speech, as Nieuhoff calls it, by which the Inhabitants of I. Nieuh. l Amb. Or. par. 2. pag. 13. one place scarcely understand one another, as was instanced in the Province of Fokien, unless they have recourse to their Books and Charact­ers which are all one and the same, whereby they readily comprehend the sence and meaning of him that speaketh. Hence it is, that we Euro­paeans endeavour wholly to perfect our selves in N. Trig. de Ch. Exp. apud Sin. lib. 1. p. 28. the Language of the Literati, because it is more easie and more gen [...]ral; for thereby saith Tri­gautius, Strangers may converse with the Na­tives in any Province. Hence it is, that the style they write, is far different from that they speak; A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 6. although, saith Semedo, (and mark him, I pray) the words are the same, so that when one goeth about to write, he had need to recollect his wits, [Page 187] for he that will write according as commonly they speak, may worthily be laughed at. Hence it G. Mend. hist. della Chi. lib. 1. p. 159. is, that Mendoza telleth us, the Language of the Chinois, is, as the Hebrew, better understood by writing then speaking, the Characters being di­stinguished by points, which serve not so com­modiously for speech. And hence it is, that Tri­gautius, N. Trig. de Ch. E [...]p. apud Sin. lib. 1. p. 37. giving us another reason for it, saith, I do verily beleeve, that the cause thereof is, for that from all memory of Ages, this people have endea­vored to write elegantly rather than so to speak, insomuch that all their Eloquence even to these our dayes consists not in pronunciation but writing only. Hic porro scribendi modus, quo sin­gulis rebus singulos appingimus characteres, etsi me­moriae sit permolestus, tamen adfert secum insig­nem quandam nostrisque inauditam commoditatem, &c. But al though this way of writing, whereby we are, saith he, to set down a particular cha­racter for every thing, be extremely troublesome to the memory, yet it brings with it a certain fa­mous and incredible advantage to us, in regard of the universality of the Letter. Which incredi­ble advantage, that as well the whole World. as we Europaeans may enjoy, our learned Dr. Iohn Wilkins by the proposal of a Real Character hath made a fair overture lately, and if others would as willingly contribute their studies, as he hath ingeniously begun▪ for no humane invention, but Divine creation can make any thing perfect on the sudden; we might no longer complain of the unhappy consequences that succeeded the Confusion at Babel, nor China glory that she a­lone shall evermore triumph in the full fruition [Page 188] of those abundant felicities that attended man­kind, whilst one common Language was spoken throughout the World.

Now, though it is not to be denied but that Language precedes Letters, for we speak before we can either read or write, nevertheless it must be granted withal, that we could neither write nor read, unless Characters had been framed to Language. And Characters were at first framed to Language, not only that by them, the actions of the respective people might be commemora­ted, but also that by such commemoration the Language it self should be preserved to Posteri­ty. Therefore the certainty of Language con­sists not so much in the speaking and pronoun­ing, as in the reading and writing: not in the words but Letters. For thus, he that is wel read in the Oriental tongues, we declare to be a great Lin­guist, as being learned in the speech of the East­ern Nations. By which it manifestly appears, as Bishop Walton formerly asserted, that by Inscrip­tions the truth of Language is discovered. Now Nieuhoff, Vossius, and others have assured us, that the Chinois can and will in maintenance of the truth of Theirs produce faithful witnesses, Antient Records written from Age to Age in not Alpha­betary, but significative Characters, such, as the World in the Infancy and Nonage thereof had in use, & such as Martinius, Semedo, & our Chinique authors have generally affirmed, are the same at this very day, as when primitively they were in­vented: which eminently convinceth that their Language remains as pure and uncorrupt at this present in those Characters, as when they first began to have a Language.

[Page 189] But the Reverend Bishop proceeds farther, and positively, as formerly cited, concludes, saying, Idcircò linguae omnes, quas libri scripti a communi clade non servant, vicissitudini, ut om­nia humana, semper obnoxiae sunt, & singulis soe­culis insignem mutationem subeunt; Wherefore all Languages that written books have not preserved from common ruin, are, as all hu­mane things, ever obnoxious to change, and in every Age undergo a notable mutation. Whereby it is more manifestly evident (And to this end especially he thus delivered his judg­ment) that such Languages which have been preserved in written books are not subject to change. And therefore, finding from those Authors that living many years in China, have N. Trig. de Christ. Exp. apud Sin. lib. 1. pag. 3 M. Mart. Sin, Hist. in Epist. ad Lector. not only been eye witnesses, but also day and night most studious in their Antiquities (Mar­tinius professing that for ten years together, except for his set prayers, he never took any book in hand but Theirs) finding I say from such unquestionable Authorities; That the Chinois have been a people ever since the flood of Noah, and before the Confusion of Tongues; That their Language hath continually in all times, from their firstbeginning to be a Nation, been preserved in written books; That the Characters where­with those books be written, are the self same, which from all Antiquity were extracted from their Original Hieroglyphicks: That in those Characters their Language hath ever since consisted, and according to them, is at this present day spoken purely: And That by the some Characters their Language is generally [Page 190] and universally understood throughout the whole Chinique World, We may safely con­clude that the MOTHER or NATURAL Language of the Empire of China, perdures in its Antient purity without any change or alteration.

And I must not omit, that several books yet live amongst them, written in their first and original Hieroglyphicks, which still remaining in their Libraries, are understood by all their A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 6. p. 228, A. Sem. Rel de la Cin. par. 1. c, 6. M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 1. p. 16. Literati, though they are no longer used, except in some Inscriptions, and Seals instead of Coats of Arms. Among these sort of Books is extant one called Yeking of great Antiquity, as taking beginning with Fohius, and of as great esteem for the Arcana it contains. This Book seems much to confirm the opinion of those, that would have the Inscription at Persetolis more antient than the flood. For, as This in Persia consists only in Triangles several wayes trans­versed: So That in China consists only of streight lines several wayes interrupted. It treats especially of Judicial Astrology, Politique Go­vernment, and occult Philosophy.

But some may perhaps say, that with the change of their Antient Theology, the Chinois might change their Language also. But this Argument is of no validity at all; for, it may as well be said, that the Israelites because they set up the Golden Calfe in the Wilderness, lost their natural Tongue; or at least when under Ieroboam, ten whole Tribes making a defection followed the like Idolatry. But to come nearer home, every man knows, that our selves changed [Page 191] our Religion in the time of Edward the sixth; yet not any man knows, that thereby▪ our speech received an alteration. Besides the Chinois did not so totally fall from their Antient Theology, but that (as hath been said) they have Xangti, their being infected with Idolatry notwith­standing, N. Trig. de Christ. Exp. apud Sin. lib. 1. p, 105 in as great veneration at this day, as ab antiquo; also their Literati not only not worship, but likewise have no Idols, still ado­ring one only Deity, by whom they beleeve all things here below are governed and preserved; and they use the same Language now, as when they first were taught to adore one God only, which according both to Trigautius and Nieuhoff is above four thousand years since.

NOW, in regard that those who have writ­ten of the PRIMITIVE Tongue, may be observed to recommend unto us six principal guides to be directed by, for the discovery thereof; viz. Antiquity, Simplicity, Generality▪ Modesty of expression, Utility, and Brevity, to which by some is added Consent of Authors also; We having already spoken sufficiently, as to the Antiquity, will consider in what degree the Language of the Chinois may correspond with the rest of these Remarques, and then submit our selves to censure.

First then as to Simplicity, our Chinique is a Language that consists (and it is singular there­in) all of Monosyllables, not one Dissyllable, or Polysyllable being to be found in it; nor hath it any Vowels or Consonants, but a peculiar Hieroglyphical Character for what ever can be conceived, either in the mind, or may be obvious [Page 192] to the sence. And if in this our Essay you have met with some words of many syllables, note nevertheless that every syllable is a particular N. Trig. in Exp. Christ apud Sin. lib. 1. p. 26. word, but because that divers syllables are taken to signifie one only thing, those which we have had occasion to mention herein, are by us con­nexed after the manner of our speech in Europe. And although the Chinois have as many Charact­ers as there are things, they know nevertheless so well how to joyn them together, that they ex­ceed not above seventy or eighty thousand, as you have heard.

Neither doth their Language consist, saith M. Mart. Sin. hist. in Epist. ad Lector. Martinius, as ours, of any certain Method, or order of Alphabet, but every thing hath a figure, by which it may be differently expressed from others, composed by no Art or Rule, and as it were by chance attributed to the subject-mat­ter; and fitted, as I may add, to the Infancy and Simplicity of Time. Furthermore the Chi­nois are never put to that irkesome vexation of searching out a Radix for the derivation of any of their words, as generally all other Nations are; but the Radix is the word, and the word the Radix, and the syllable the same also, as Tri­gautius hath long since affirmed; which per­swades a facility in their speech not to be paral­leld by any other Language, and that the true, genuine, and original sence of things seems to remain with them. Besides they are not trou­bled with variety of Declensions, Conjugations, Numbers, Genders, Moods, Tenses, and the like Grammatical niceties, but are absol [...]tely free from all such perplexing accidents, having no [Page 193] other Rules in use, than what the light of Na­ture hath dictated unto them; whereby their Language is plain, easie, and simple, as a NA­TURAL speech ought to be. And it is worthy observation, that, whereas, in point of Theolo­gy, they of all other people have been least guid­ed by the light of Nature; in point of Language, they of all other people have been most, yea, on­ly guided by the light of Nature. But it was Na­ture that from God taught them their Language, and it was the God of Nature, that by Noah taught them their Theology.

Moreover, the Letters, then which nothing can be more certain, testifie, that it is sine ulla vocum peregrinarum mixtura, without any mixture of for­ein words. The Hebruitians would have us accept account of the Hebrew; and therefore well know­ing how superstitiously our Divines for the most the same part are affected towards the Hebrew Tongue, and that they will not allow it to be the Language of Canaan, but the Original Speech; we leave them to enquire, whether the Language of the Chinois (whose twelfth sort of their first or Primier Characters, seem in no mean degree to correspond even with the now Hebrew Let­ters) may not be the really true, pure, and anti­ent Hebrew Tongue. Which they say was lost in the time of the Captivity, or as others rather be­fore the entrance of the Israelites from Aegypt into the land of Canaan. For, (let their Lan­guage be what you please) if it became utterly forgotten, in the seventy years their Captivity endured, much more questionless might it be cor­rupted in the some Centuries of years during [Page 194] their affliction in Aegypt. When the Taskmasters that Pharaoh and his Councel set over them were Aegyptians, the Text being plain, that, They did set over them Taskmasters to afflict them with their burthens, Exod. I. v. 11. and Exod. 5. v. 1 [...] ▪ When to encrease their afflictions the more, they lived dispersedly over all the land of Aegypt, So, saith Moses, the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Aegypt, to gather stubble in stead of straw. Exod. 5. v. 12. When that Text also, Speak now in the ears of the People, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour Iewels of silver, and Iewels of Gold, Exod. II. v. 2. sheweth, that not only they lived promiscuous­ly among the Aegyptians; but likewise used the Aegyptian Tongue, how else could their neigh­bours (Aegyptians saith Aynsworth) understand what they desired to have, unless either they spake the language of the Aegyptians, or the Aegyptians theirs, whatsoever it was? And when they went up from thence accompanied with a mixt multitude; And a mixed multitude went up also with them. Exod. 12. v. 38. Which were Aegyptians and other Nations, saith Ayn­sworth, but the Chaldee Paraphrast many strang­ers, whose numbers Willet finds to be not fewer Ainsw. in Exo. 11. and 12. Willet in Exod. 12. than five hundred thousand persons, that having either lived in Goshen with the Israelites, or draw­ing together with them from the several parts of Aegypt accompanied them from thence, being moved by the works of God to go out of Aegypt with them. And in regard these had so great an influence upon them, as in so short a time after, to corrupt their ways by making them to murmure [Page 195] against God, and lust after flesh, Numb. 11. It may not be improbable, but by their long and constant continuance amongst them, they might contribute much to the corruption of their Language in like manner; they being rea­dily prone, as by their frequent Rebellions it ap­pears, to entertain any thing, how pernitious soever to their succeeding generations.

Cluverius as I find in M. Casauhon, useth it as M. Casauh. de 4 ling. pag. 33. an argument in opposition to the Antiquity of the Hebrew Tongue, that almost a thousand words may be collected therein, which to most or many Languages at least are common. But how many soever Cluverius hath collected those foreign words to be, I shall now remember one only, Ophir, from whence Solomon had his Gold, pretious Stones, Ivory, and other Rarities; in re­gard especially Writers so much differ concerning it. Some taking the same for pure Gold it self; O­thers supposing it to be that Region of America, which is commonly called Peru, and of which there being two, the North and the South; they will have them to be joyntly called Par­vaim; and that goid, the gold of Parvaim: Others, Cep h ala or Sophila in Aethiopia▪ Others again an Island in the Red Sea; and Others Hispaniola. Now that which hath caused this diversity of opinions, and that the place hath hitherto been unknown is, the mistaking of Ophir to be Hebrew, when A. Kirc. Ch. Ill. par. 2. pag. 58, 59 indeed it is an Aegyptique or Coptique word, and amongst the Aegyptians of old was the name for India, and no other place whatsoever.

But if this mixture of words may be brought in bar against the Hebrew, what judgment shall [Page 196] be given in behalf of that people, which have e­ver since the universalflood used a speech, that hath not any one word thereof common to other Lan­guages; such Countries as have been subdued, or such Colonies perhaps as have been planted by them excepted? And if ever our Europ [...]ans shall become throughly studied in the Chinique tongue, it will be found, that not only the Chinois want words to other Languages common, but also that they have very many whereby they express themselves in such Elegancies, as neither by He­brew, or Greek, or any other Language how ele­gant soever can be expressed. Besides, whereas the Hebrew is harsh and rugged, the Chinique ap­pears the most sweet and smooth Language, of all others throughout the whole World at this day known.

And as if all things conspired to prove this the PRIMITIVE Tongue. We may ob­serve, how forceably Nature struggles to demon­strate so much. The very first expression we make of life, at the very instant minute of our Births, is, as was touched on before, by uttering the Chinique word Ya. Which is not only the first, but indeed the sole and only expression, that Mankind from Nature can justly lay claim unto.

The Language of China as hath been shewed also consisteth all of Monosyllables, & in our In­fancy, the first Notions of speech we have are all Monosyllables; as Ta, for Father; Ma, for Mother; Pa, for Brother; the like happening in all other terms, until by hearing and observing what o­thers in our confused Language say, we alter ac­cordingly, adding now and than a Letter or Syl­lable [Page 197] by degrees; whereby in the end we are brought to plain words. For, it is not by natural instinct, but by imitation, and as we are instruct­ed that we arrive at speech, that is, in simple terms and words to express the open notions of things, which the second act of Reason com­poundeth into propositions, and the last into forms of Ratiocination.

The Chinois have not the Letter R, nor can I. [...] l' Amb. Or: par. 2. pag: 13. ever by any possible means be brought to express or pronounce the same, whatever labour or dili­gence is used by them. And when our Children attain to riper Age; as if Nature abhorred the Confusion, what care and pains do we take, what opportunities not lay hold of, by practising and repeating to make them pronounce this Letter, till education after long contest prevailing they arrive thereat? Thus from our Births to our In­fancy, and from our Infancy to Riper Age, till Na­ture is compelled to yeeld by the enforced pow­er of instruction, unto corrupt speech, we gene­rally throughout the Universe appear in our Language direct Chinois.

But peradventure here likewise some will be ready to suggest, that the Language of China is not plain and easy, but difficult, not to strangers only, but the Natives also, in regard of the divers Accents and great Aequivocation of the words proceeding from them. To which is answe­red, that let the difficulty be supposed as great as thought may think, or Art can make, it relates unto strangers solely; and therefore cannot in the least degree reflect upon the Primitiveness of the speech; because when the whole World [Page 198] had one common Language; throughout the whole World none were strangers to that Lan­guage; but all people universally understood and spake the same, being born Natives thereo [...], and learning it from their Mothers breasts, as the natural Chinois now do, or as any other Nation ever did theirs. It was the Confusion of Tongues, that first made strange Languages, and Strangers to them, whereby they became dif­ficult to be attained. But afterwards, when either curiosity invited, or necessity compelled men to learn them, Art entred to act her part therein, and by methodical wayes, and orderly Rules sweetned difficulty, and induced her to submit to diligence, which after much study nevertheless prevailed; and finally got the upper hand.

And this China it self shall witness, for Pr. Iacobus Pantoya finding it absolutely necessary for propagating of the Gospel, to know the true Idiom of the Language, framed our Europaean musical notes UT, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA, to answer in pronuntiation unto the elevations and cadencies observable in the Chinique Accents which are these, ^ ¯ ` ´ ˘ ˚

The first Accent ^ answers to the Musical A. Kirch. Ch. Ill. par. 1. p. 12. Note UT: but the Chinique sound or pronun­ciation, denotes the same, and it is the first pro­ducing an equal voice.

The second, ¯ answers to RE, and a­mongst the Chinois, it is as much to say, as a clear [Page 199] equal voice: or as Golius hath it a word directly and equally cast forth. I. Golius addit. de Reg. Cath. pag. 4.

The third ` answers to MI; expressing with them of China, a lofty voice: more strongly delivered, but more flat in the pronunciation than the former.

The fourth ´ answers to FA, and Chiniquely signifies, the lofty voice of one who is going forth; that speaks, in contrary to `, more free­ly and in an higher Tone; or as if it proceeded from one that puts a question.

The fifth ˘ answers to SOL, and thereby in the Language of China, the quick or hasty voice of one that is comming in, is intended.

The last, ˚, as also, [...] denote a plain voice.

By this invention the Society came to be much aided in overcoming the difficulty of the speech: And by the help of these notes strangers learn the Language, but with what labour, and by how many reflexions, is easier in thought to be imagined, than by the pen, saith Kircherus, to be expressed. So that it is cleerly manifest this A. Kir. Ch Ill. par. 6. p. 236. difficulty relateth unto Foreiners particu­larly; for the native Chinois, as the same Au­thor affirmeth, never observe any Accents at all, but from their cradles, as almost all other Nations, are accustomed to the pronuntiation of their MOTHER Tongue, although their Literati not only in actu exercito, but in actu sig­nato, both in the Practique and Theory, know and teach every Letter to be pronounced truly, according to the respective Accent due to it. Which more fully adjusts the simplicity and [Page 200] purity of their Language; and the strict care they take to preserve the same.

Now, as this difficulty is great unto strangers, who alwayes in attaining whatever speech en­counter much; So they are abundantly re­compenced, and more advantaged in other respects; not only in regard as you lately heard, of the incredible commodity they receive, by saving the labour of learning divers Languages, whilst in China it self the Idiom varying, and in the adjacent Kingdoms the languages being different, they all agree in writing; but also in regard of the many Elegancies arising from the double sence of the words, on which the difficulty is grounded. For this Aequivocableness is accounted the Elegancy of their Language, which consists, as was said, in the written Cha­racter rather, than the vocal word, and there­fore to furnish That, the Chinois neglecting N. Trig. de Christ. Exp. apud Sin. lib 1. p. 27. Pur. Pilgr. l. 4. p. 447 This, all their negotiations of what kind soeuer are transacted, even all their most familiar messages sent, by way of memorial in writing, not by word of mouth. And from this Elegancy it is, that those of Iapan though they have of late times invented forty eight Letters for the dispatch of their ordinary affairs, by the con­nexion of which they express and declare what­ever they please. Yet nevertheless the Cha­racters of the Chinois in regard of the excellent terms, and phrases their Language affords, either (to use Semedo's words) for delivering of their minds with respect, submission, or in ap­plause of anothers merits, are still in such re­quest, and so great estimation amongst them, [Page 201] as that those forty eight letters, howsoever they be more commodious to express their con­ceipts are little regarded in comparison, but by way of contempt accounted, and called the wo­mens Lettes. As Christo. Barri a late Italian Wri­ter C. Barri in Cochin-Ch. cap. 6. M. Mart. Atl. Sin pa. 5. in his Cochin-China asserts.

Secondly Generality, Whereunto may be said, it is a matter exceeding all admiration, that a people whose numbers of all sorts consists of not fewer than two hundred Millions of soules; whose Empire contains of Continent at least two millions, five hundred ninety two thousand square miles, should understand one and the same Character, and that the self same Character should be in use amongst them. either in M. S. or printed Books, for more than three thousand seven hundred years. Certainly it seems impossi­ble it should be thus, and certainly thus it is, with­out some peculiar care of Divine Power.

Neither are their Characters understood throughout their whole Empire only, how far and wide soever it now extends, and by those people generally that were in time either Colo­nies A. Kirch Ch. Ill. pa 6. pag. 2 G. Men Hist. del lib. 3. p 140, 14 of theirs, or conquered by them, as the Ia­ponians, Coreans, Laios, those of Tonchin, and Sumatra, with the Kingdom of Cochin-China; but several other bordering Countries and Islands also, although in speaking them, they understand one another no more than Greeks do Dutchmen. Because reading the Characters depravedly, they pronounce them in a different manner, alio atque M. Mart. Atl. Sin. p. 147. alio ab iis legantur modo, as Martinius hath it, which more confirms, that those people that read and pronounce the Letters truly, speak the [Page 202] Language purely; and that could those foreign Nations read them rightly, they might not only speak the Chinique Language perfectly, but also understand one another plainly, in regard the speech continueth incorruptedly in the Charact­er.

And hence it is that Mendoza telleth us, that in China letters missive ready written and acco­modated to all affairs, are publiquely to be sold by every Book-seller in his shop, whether they be to be sent to persons of Honour, or inferiour de­gree, or for to supplicate, reprehend, or recom­mend, or any other intents whatever occasion requires, although it be to challenge one another to the field, so that the buyer hath no more to do, than to subscribe, seal and send them to the place intended at his pleasure.

But their way of writing, is different from all other Nations of the world. For, whereas the Hebrews, Chaldaeans, Syrians, Arabians, and Ae­gyptians write from the right to the left, and the Greeks, Latins, and other people of Europe, from the left to the right. The Chinois draw their Characters from the top downwards, as by An­tiquity Hieroglyphicks were accustomed to be written, Their first perpendicular line neverthe­less beginning on the right hand of the page. And in their writing they observe such equal distances, that there cannot be any thing more exact.

Thirdly, Modesty of Expression; for it much reflects upon the Hebrew, as to the Antiquity thereof especially, that there are in it many som­what obscene words; whereas by all learned men, it is presumed that the PRIMITIVE [Page 203] Language, was an harmless and in nothing im­modest speech; but as innocent as the time in which it was at first infused into Mankind. Verba parùm honesta (qualia in omnibus linguis aliqua) M. Casaub. de 4 ling. pag. 28. objicit Nyssenus, the Hebrew hath words scarcesly honest, saith Nyssenus, in his objection against it, as in M. Casaubon; who had he been acquainted with the Chinique Tongue, might have spared his Parenthesis. For Semedo will assure you, that the Chinois with great advantage exceed in this, for they are most modest in whatever they write, A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 11. and very rarely in their Verses (which in all other Languages are more or less lascivious) is a loose word to be found; and what is more, they have not any Character whereby to write the privy parts, neither are they found written in any, or in any part of any, of all their Books. And from what cause happily this may proceed, hath been remembred before.

Under this head we may also add, that the Hebrews are very famous for their honorable terms towards others, and humble towards themselves. As Iacob said unto his Brother E­sau, Let my Lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant. Gen. 33. v. 14. Thy servant our father is in good health, said the Brothers of Ioseph to him. Gen. 43. v. 28. And, thy servants shall bring down the gray hayrs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. Gen. 44. v. 31. For which the Chinois A. Sem. Rel. de la Cin. par. 1. cap. 12. are no less famous also. The son speaking to his fa­ther, saith, his Young son, though he be the eldest & married; the servant to his Master styleth himself Slave. In speaking one with another, they al­ways do it with expressions of Honour, as [Page 204] amongst us, Sir, your Worship, and the like. Be­sides, even to inferior and ordinary people, they give an honorable name; as, a servant, if he be grave, they call, The great Master of the House; and we are taught, that Ioseph termed his Steward, The Ruler of his House, Gen. 43. v. 16. We read likewise, that Abraham called his wife Sister, say­ing, She is my sister, Gen. 20. ver. 2. And, Take no care my sister, said old Tobit to his wife, Tob. 5. v. 20. And if a Chinois speaks unto a woman, though she be not of any kin to him, he calls her, Sister-in-law.

In like manner the Hebrew is much celebra­ted, for the mysterious significations of the pro­per names of men, in which Prophetical pre­dictions were contained; and which Goropius in his Indo-Scythia, saith, the first Hebrews, might either by interpretation from the PRIMI­TIVE Language, or new imposition assign un­to them. But though Moses might receive by Tradition from his Ancestors, that in the FIRST speech, names were thus mystically imposed; nevertheless, that by Divine Revelation he might so record them also, there is no doubt to be made. As; that Adam signified Red Earth, out of which he was created. Eve, that she should be the Mother of all living: Lamech, that he was to be the first, that should infringe the Rites of Ma­trimony instituted by God, in having two wives: Phaleg, that in his days the Earth should be di­vided. Now, what these Scripture names may signifie in the Chinique Tongue; or whether yea or no, they have any such; or how the names of the Fathers of their first Families be­fore [Page 205] they came to be governed by a Monarch may correspond to them, I leave unto the Chinique Lit terati. For, to have acquainted you with the af­finity between the names of Noah, and Iaus suf­ficeth us.

But I am not to forget, that, as in the PRI­MITIVE, so likewise in the Language of China the proper names of men have mysterious significations in them, Martinius in his History and Atlas will ascertain you. For, their sixth Emperour was called Cous as foretelling the eminent vertue he should be endued withall: Faus at his attaining the Crown changed his name and would be called Uus, as giving his subjects to understand thereby, what a warlike and valiant Prince, they should find him to be: Ngayus would at his coming to the Throne take upon him the name of Pingus, i. e. Pacificus, as if inspired that CHRIST the true Paci­fique King should during his reign be born: And Chingus was called Xius, which name the Chi­nois afterwards found too truly imposed; for he observed no moderation in any thing, being sometimes vertuous, sometimes vicious, equally valiant and cruel.

Besides not only of their Kings and Great Purch. Pil­grimage, lib. 4. pag. 445. men, but also of all the people generally, both the names and surnames are significant; their surnames are ancient and unchangeable, and there are not of them a thousand in all China; N. Trig. de Christ. Exp. apud Sin. lib. 1. p, 84. but their other names are arbitrary at the plea­sure of the Father. What should I say of the mysterious names of their Empire, having touched upon them before, seeing Trigautius tells Id. lib. 1. p. 4. [Page 206] us, that it was of old called Than, as being un­bounded and without limits; then Yu, as the place of rest and quietness; afterwards Hia, as much to say, as Great; then again Sciam, as enriched with all things; then Cheu, a place of perfection; but pretermitting others, Han signifies the milky way in Heaven. For, from all Antiquity it hath been customary with them, when any new family came unto the Crown, according to the mystical signification of the proper name thereof, to give a new name unto the Empire.

Fourthly, the Utility; for, the Language of China affordeth us, the Acknowledgment of one only true God; Theology taught by Noah; Predictions of CHRIST in exotique Regi­ons many Centuries of years before his Incarna­tion: devout Ejaculations, such, as cannot (Oh the shame!) among Christians without difficulty be found; eloquent Orations, fuch, as nor Greek nor Roman oratory exceeds; Warlike Strata­gems, such, as Hannibal and Fabius were, and the greatest Captains are to learn: Valour giving place to none; Physick not to be paral­leld by any; Agriculture surmounting all: The Mathematiques; Mechaniques; Morality; I cannot have words for all unless from China. But if ex ungue Leonem, from the claw the greatness of the Lion may be judged; then, for Policy in government, Rules for Magistrates, Lawes for People, not executed negligently like ours (in Europe) as if no matter whether yea or no they were ever made, neither Empire, nor Kingdom, nor Commonwealth ever or at this [Page 207] day▪ known, can be brought to stand in com­petition with the Monarchy of China. Whereby, since her dominion became successive (the inconsiderable duration of the Western Tartars set aside) she hath enjoyed the same in a continued succession of Monarchs of her own blood, three thousand eight hundred fifty one years, accompting to the year of CHRIST one thousand six hundred forty four, at which time the now Tartars took posession of her Throne.

Fifthly, and lastly the Brevity. Lasua Brevità la fa aequivocà, mà per l'istessa causa compendiosa; The Brevity of the Chinique Language makes it A. Sem. Rel de la Ciu. par. 1. c, 6. aequivocal, but for the same reason compendious, saith Semedo. Whereby we may observe, that the Aequivocableness which is said to be so dif­ficult and troublesome to strangers, is even by strangers themselves celebrated; and in regard of the compendiousness most acceptable and pleasingly welcome to the Chinois, who are very particular affectors of brevity in speech. Insomuch that our Author is of opinion, that they were either imitators of (which because they are far more antient they could not be) or imitated by the Lacedaemonians. And elsewhere he conceives, that Lycurgus had his Law for prohibiting the access of strangers into his Commonwealth from China. Wherefore, and in regard that Plutarch finds him to have been in India, and to have con­ferred with the Gymnosophists there, we may presume to think, that Lycurgus during his forien travails was in China likewise, and adorned his Laws not only with those customes of theirs, but [Page 208] also several others the like, as they are by Plu­tarch in his life recorded, though nothing in relation thereunto can otherwise be collected out of the Histories of the Greeks. And why? For that the Lawgivers of the Antients, Lycurgus, Solon and the rest, amongst the Graecians; as also Numa among the Romans were too politique, and ambitious of glory, to proclaim from whence really they derived their knowledg; whilst one must have his Aegeria, another his Pyrhioness; so Mahomet had his Dove, & Fohius his Dragon, who because his Chinois reputed the sight of that Creature to be a great Omen of Felicity, per­swaded M. Mart. Sin. hist. lib. 1. p. 22. them into a beleef, that he took the in­vention of his Characters, and their use, from the back of a Dragon, as it came out of the wa­ter, that by a Prodigy the greater estima­tion might be set upon his new Art. And in like manner, as most Law-givers have fathered their Laws upon one Deity or other, the more to [...]onfirm the people in an awful reverence of them, and their institutions.

But if the Brevity of a Language be a remarque of the PRIMITIVE Tongue, as it is assert­ed to be; the Chinique seemeth to surpass all o­ther Nations of the World therein. For as there­by, the Aequivocableness is enriched with com­pendiousness, so is the compendiousness beauti­fied with gracefulness and sweetness, beyond in a manner all Example. To which purpose Semedo proceeds, saying, con esser lingua eosi limitata, è tanto dolce, che quasi supera tutte l'altre che conoscia­mo, that by being so succinct a Language, it is so sweet, that it exceedeth, as it were all others that [Page 209] we know. And that we might not acquiesce in a single testimony, Nieuhoff assureth us also, La Brievete de cette Langue est si agreable, quej'oserois I. Nieuh. l'Amb. Or. par. 2. p. 13. presque luy donner le primier rang entre tou [...]es celles qui nous sont con [...]es jusq [...]s a present; the Brevity of this Language is so graceful, that I dare al­most give it, saith he, the first rank amongst all those that are at this day known.

Now to give a Language the first or primier rank, as to succinct Sweetness, and graceful Brevity is a great step towards the granting of it to be, the PRIMITIVE Language; Con­sidering which, together with the exemplary Utility; remarkeable Modesty; admirable Gene­rality; great Simplicity, and high Antiquity; we may from these Arguments almost dare to af­firm, that the Language of the Empire of China is the PRIMITIVE Language. But, having moreover found Noah to have lived both before and after the flood in China, and that Their speech hath from all Antiquity been in one and the same Character preserved in books to this day; which is such a plea, as can be drawn up and entred, for no other Nation under Heaven, since the Crea­tion of the World besides; we may more than almost dare to affirm, that the Chinois have obtained a ful and final decree, for the settlement of this Their claim to the FIRST of Lan­guages without all farther dispute.

Now, as for consent of Authors to strengthen our Assertion. It may be demanded, what con­sent of Authors H [...] had, that first found out there were Antipodes; or He that first discovered the Circulation of the blood? Thos [...] that so ab­solutely [Page 210] pin their beliefe upon the shoulders of such consent; are, we may say, like sheep; whi­ther one leads, the rest all run, without weighing whether the right or wrong way be taken; so that many times they bring not only themselves, but also their followers into errours, who by their prevarication the more encrease them. But what consent of Authors can be expected? The Scripture teacheth, That the whole World was drowned; Noah and his family being saved only: Authors consent, that at the same time China was drowned; some few only escaping on a mountain there. The Scripture, That Nim­rod came from the East to the valley of Shinaar: Authors, That in the East divers Nations were planted before Nimrod came to the valley of Shinaar. The Scripture, That from the flood until the Confusion of Tongues, the whole Earth was of one Language: Authors, That from the flood until that Confusion, that Language was universally common, as well to Those, that were in the East, as Those, that were at Babel. The Scripture, That the Language of Those only that were at Babel, was confounded: Authors, That the Language of Those, that were before planted in the East was not confounded. And all of them unanimoufly consent, that China was planted before the Confusion of Tongues; and that at this day the Chinois use the same Language, and have the same Letters, as when at first they were planted, and became a People.

We have for many years heard many discourses of this extreme part of Asta; many relations have been published thereof; and many learned [Page 211] men conceived those relations to be fabulous; suspecting as it were the Providence of God, that any people should live upon the Earthly Globe, in so great happiness, in so great felicity, so many thousands of years unknown. But of late, what through the unconquerable patience of Those, that contemning all difficulties and perils, have adventured to conquer Idolatry, and advance the standard of [...]ESUS CHRIST; what through the opportunity, that hath been given to others also, by the late Conquest of the Tartars, to hold free commerce in China; we now at last have obtained, though scarcely twelve months since, the true and authentique Histories of that Empire. Scarcely twelve moneths since I say, wherefore perhaps, as yet they are not so much as turned over by those that have procured them. Let them be read, perused, and studied, and then it will be found, Authors have so far consented; That if the Chinique Tongue be not the PRIMITIVE, I might, for my own particular, consent with that great Dictator of learning H. Grotius. ‘That the first speech which men used before the [...]. Grotius in Gen. c. 11. Deluge, remains now properly in no place, only the Reliques thereof may be found in all Languages.’But finding our no less learned Bishop Walton, and many other famous men, altogether unwilling I should submit thereto; and that Grotius was not acquainted with our late Chinique writers, I will now at last take leave to be positive, that more, and with more certainty cannot for the speech of whatever other Nation under Heaven, be said; and that there is [Page 212] so great consent already both of sacred Scripture, and unquestionable Authors, that we may well conclude, until as full consent, and as great cer­tainty be produced for any other, the Language of the Empire of CHINA is the PRIMI­TIVE Language.



PAg. 5. lin. 27. For words, read viands. p. 9. l. 12. r. the whole world. Id. l. 13. r. in the whole world. p. 16. l. 19. r. Plantati­ons before, as themselves were sent from elsewhere. Ibid. l. 21. read procure. p. 24. l. 3. r. calum. p. 28. l. 32. r. ad hoc credendum. p. 31. l. 14. r. Iudaea. p. 33. l. 2. r. that although those. p. 49. l. 15. r. Chungque. Ibid. l. 16. expresseth. p. 51. l. 13. r. Fohius. and so in pag. 52. 57. 93. pag. 59. l. 24. r. alcuni. p. 63. l. 19. r. as rich. p. 64. l. 2. r. reserved. Ib. l. 20. r. Fa­bius Pictor. p. 67. l. 12. r. prosecuted. p. 72. l. 4. r. Zaraedras. p. 77. l. 3. r. ut hunc solum eluvionis. p. 82. lin. ult. r. Tangiu. p. 83. l. 21. r. in length. p. 87. l. 6. r. Trigautius, and so elsewhere. p. 88. l. 19. r. ex doctrina [...] Noe. p. 102. l. 5. r. their Emperours of old erected. pag. 106. l. 15. Ye­biang. p. 109. l. 11. r. Natives. p. 111. l. 27. r. Nanking. pag. 112. l. 24. r. which though many. Ib. l. ult. r. Ucienian. p. 113. l. 1. & 20. r. Sink­tesimo. p. 114. l. 16. r. Indico. p. 115. l. 33. r. Croceus. pag. 123. l. 31. r. all the Royalets. p. 124. l. 18. r. those Provinces. pag. 125. l. 14. r. free liberty of conversation and study. Ib. lin. 16. r. Hiavouus. pag. 128. l. 16. r. Cochin-China. p. 153. l. 15. r. Kircherus. p. 155. l. 13. r. se­des. p. 170. l. 2. r. decreasings. p. 177. l. 31. r. of the Northern. p. 182. l. 26. r. turned downwards.

In the Margin.

Pag. 98. For, I. Nieuhoff, par. 1. pag. 11. r. pag. 1. Pag. 114. r. Forneu [...] [...] [...]ois bien bouches. pag. 131. For, Id. r. M. Mart. Bell. Tartar. pag. 1.

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