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On the Descent of the Afghàns from the Jews. “: The Afghàns call themselves the posterity of Melic Tálút, or king Saul.-The descent of the Afghàns, according to their own tradition, is thus whimsically traced:
“ In a war which raged between the children of Israel and the Amalekites, the latter being victorious, plundered the Jews, and obtained possession of the ark of the covenant. Considering this the god of the Jews, they threw it into fire, which did not affect it: they afterwards en. deavoured to cleave it with axes, but without success : every individual who treated it with indignity, was punished for his temerity. They then placed it in their temple, but all their idols bowed to it. At length they fastened it upon a cow, which they turned loose into the wilderness.
• When the prophet Samuel arose, the children of Israel said to him, “ We have been totally subdued by the Amalekites, and have no king. Raise to us a king, that we may be enabled to contend for the glory of God.” Samuel said, “ In case you are led out to battle, are you de. termined to fight?” They answered, “ What has befallen us, that we should not fight against infidels? That nation has banished us from our country and children.” At this time the angel Gabriel descended, and delivering a wand, said, “ It is the command of God, that the person whose stature shall correspond with this wand, shall be king of Israel.”
• Melic Tálút was at that time a man of inferior condi. tion, and performed the humble employment of feeding the goats and cows of others. One day a cow under his charge was accidentally lost. Being disappointed in his searches he was greatly distressed, and applied to Samuel, saying, “ I have lost a cow, and do not possess the means of satisfying the owner. Pray for me, that I may be extricated from this difficulty.” Samuel perceiving that he was a man of lofty stature, asked his name. He answered, Tálút. Samuel 'then said: “ Measure Tálút with the wand which the angel Gabriel brought.” His stature was equal to it. Samuel then said, “God has raised Tálút to be your king.” The children of Israel answered we are greater than our king. We are men of dignity, and he is of inferior condition. How shall he be our king? San muel informed them, they should know that God had cono stituted Tálút their king, by his restoring the ark of the
covenant. He accordingly restored it, and they acknowledged him
their sovereign. • After Tálút obtained the kingdom, he seized part of the territories of Jálút, or Goliath, who assembled a large army, but was killed by David. Tálút afterwards died a martyr in a war against the infidels; and God constituted David king of the Jews.
• Melic Tálút had two sons, one called Berkia, and the other Irmia, who served David, and were beloved by him. He sent them to fight against the infidels; and by God's assistance they were victorious.
• The son of Berkia was called Afghán, and the son of Irmia was named Usbec. These youths distinguished themselves in the reign of David, and were employed by Solomon. Afghan was distinguished by his corporeal strength, which struck terror into demons and genii. Usbec was eminent for his learning.
* Afghàn used frequently to make excursions to the mountains; where his progeny, after his death, established themselves, lived in a state of independence, built forts, and exterminated the infidels.'
To this account we shall subjoin a remark of the late Henry Vansittart, Esq. He observes, that, A very particular account of the Afghans has been written by the late Hà Fiz Rahmat Khan, a chief of the Rohillas, from which the curious reader may derive much information. They are Mussulmans, partly of the Sunni, and partly of the Shiah persuasion. They are great boasters of the antiquity of their origin, and reputation of their tribe; but other Mussulmans entirely reject their claim, and consider them of modern and even base extraction. However their character may be collected from history. They have distinguished themselves by their courage, both singly and unitedly, as principals and auxiliaries. They have conquered for their own princes and for foreigners, and have, always been considered the main strength of the army in which they have served. As they have been applauded for virtues, they have also been reproached for vices, having sometimes been guilty of treachery, and even acted the base part of assassins.'
A specimen of their language (the Pushto) is added; and the following note is inserted by the President.
• This account of the Afghàns may lead to a very interesting discovery.--We learn from Esdras, that the ten tribes, after a wandering journey, came to a country call
ed Arsareth, where we may suppose they settled. Now the Afghàns are said by the best Persian historians to be descended from the Jews; they have traditions among themselves of such a descent; and it is even asserted, that their families are distinguished by the names of Jewish tribes, although, since their conversion to the Islam, they studiously conceal their origin. The Pushto language, of which I have seen a dictionary, has a manifest resemblance to the Chaldaic; and a considerable district under their dominion is called Hazárch, or Hazáret, which might easily have been changed into the word used by Esdras. I strongly recommend an inquiry into the literature and history of the Afghàns.
That after the space of more than 2500 years the ten tribes of Israel should be first restored to notice just at this period, when so many signs indicate the approach of their restoration, may be designed as a hint to us to be readya :
for what is coming. Let the trifling think what they may, ! I am sure that the diligent student in the writings of the
prophets will be far from esteeming this singular circumstance unworthy of attention; and especially as it appears in company with so many others which press upon us, and urge us to watch.
Among other signs of the speedy gathering and restora. tion of Israel, this is not the least, that we are threatened with troubles such as have not been since there was a nation. Never did such animosity prevail in any war as has manifested itself in this. And if we consider the slaughter of human beings in this one campaign, beside the wretchedness to which thousands of unhappy fugitives, who had long been used to all the accommodations and elegancies of life, have been reduced, the prospect is me. lancholy indeed, and seems to bespeak' some visitation more than common. It appears that a greater number of men have perished in little more than one year, than in both the late wars which raged in America and Europe for more than fourteen. Should the destruction and calamity go on with an accelerating devastation, as we have reason to ex. pect, if it be that day of troubles which we are taught to look for, who can calculate the quantum of human misery to be endured before the cessation of this tempest in which we have so unhappily mingled?
AN ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE
THUS, my countrymen, we have considered some of
those signs of the times which, at this season of general agitation, solicit our attention with singular urgency. Signs which intimate nothing less than the general shaking and renovation of things. It becomes us therefore to attend to them with peculiar seriousness, that we may know the measures which we ought to pursue, and avoid precipitating ourselves into the dreadful consequences of opposing the providence of God, who in his word has forewarn. ed us of his purposes, and by bis dispensations is indicating their speedy accomplishment;—it becomes us to observe them with devout attention, that we may hereby be excited to turn to God by a sincere and general repentance, and thus be hid until the indignation be overpast: “ For behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and no longer cover her slain.* “ Now therefore consider your ways.
1 acknowledge that my apprehensions respecting our prospects are not so much from the opinion I may entertain of the wisdom or folly, the justice or injustice, the picty or impiety, of the present war, in a detached view, as from the impression which the general appearance of things, compared with the writings of thc prophets, produces on my mind; for, did I believe the present war (according to the general rule of estimating things) to be, beyond all doubt, both politic and just, even
* Isaiah, xxv, 20, 21.
this would not much lessen my apprehension of danger.
When we look back on ancient history, and trace the progress and fall of those empires and states which Inspiration has noticed, we shall find that the long threatened judgments which fell upon them were not for the blame of those particular wars in which they perished, but for the accumulated guilt of successive ages, and for the general corruption of their manners. Those wars might be perfectly just, because defensive. If we examine the predictions of the prophets which refer to the chastisement of the nations and the destruction of Babylon the Great, in the latter days, we shall find that those dreadful judginents which are then to be inflicted, are to be for the sins of centuries—for blood which has never been avenged. The sovereigns and rulers of that day may, perhaps, be among the most mild and just that have ever exercised
power ; but we must be strangers to the history of nations, if we do not know that this will be no certain security. To instance only the case of Israel: Hoshea was the best prince that ever reigned over that people ;-the only one that had any mixture of good ;ġet, in his days their ruin came. If the great body of the nation be corrupt; if we approve the deeds of our fathers, and our iniquity be full; it is not the piety, or virtue, or justice, of our princes and rulers that can secure us.
But though this is the case, yet our obligations and our interest, as they respect both the policy and the morality of the war, remain the same.
And if it be found that we are acting contrary to the principles both of policy and the eternal obligations of morality, we are certainly precipitating our fate, and aggravating our ruin. It becomes us then, with great seriousness, to consider our ways: for it is not what the French are that ascertains the safety or danger of our situation: they may be all that they are represented to be, and yet our case be never the better : the worse they are, the more fit are they, in some respects, to be the instruments of God's threatened judgments.
The wisdom or folly, the policy or impolicy, of the preșent war, certainly deserves the most serious consideration of all who desire the prosperity of their country; but as so many have written so ably on these subjects, it seems the less necessary for me to detain the reader for the investigation of them. But there are two or three things, which, though they may not so generally strike