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other, and in some manner or other, connected at least with the ancient Israelites.
“ The Afghans, according to their own traditions, are the posterity of Melic Talut, or king Saul; who, in the opinion of some, was a descendant of Judah, the son of Jacob; and, according to others, of Benjamin, the brother of Joseph. 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 the fire, which did not affect it. They afterwards attempted 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 in the wilderness.
" When the prophet Samuel arose, the children of Israel said to him, We have been totally subdued by the
of nature that directs every creature to such climes as are most convenient and agreeable. Such readers, as may dissent from my opinion of the Indian American origin and descent, ought to inform us how the natives came here, and by what means they formed the long chain of rites, customs, &c. so simi. lar to the usage of the Hebrew nation, and in general dissimilar to the modes of the pagan world
“ I presume, enough hath been said to point out the similarity between the rites and customs of the native American Indians, and those of the Israelites; and that the Indian system is derived from the moral, ceremonial, and judicial, laws of the Hebrews, though now but a faint copy of the divine original. Their religious rites, martial customs, dress, music, dances, and domestic forms of life, seem clearly to evince also, that they came to America in early tirnes before sects had sprung up among the Jews; which was soon after their prophets ceased, and before arts and sciences had arrived at any perfection: otherwise it is likely they would have retained some knowledge of them, at least where they first settled, it being a favourite climate ; and consequently they were in a more compact body, than on this northern part of the American continent."
The recent discoveries of Captain Cook respecting the streight which separates Asia and America are now laid down in every modern map. Dr. Robertson is decidedly of opinion, that all the Americans are of Asiatic extraction with the sole exception of the Esquimaux. He further observes, that, according to the traditions of the Mexicans, “their ancestors came from a remote country, situated to the north-west of Mexico. The Mexicans point out their various stations as they advanced from this into the interior provinces; and it is precisely the same route which they must have held, if they had been emigrants from Asia.” Hist. of America, B. IV. Sect. 8. p. 41, 42, 43.
With regard to the curious work of Mr. Adair, as I have no means of ascertaining its authenticity, I wish to be understood as giving no opinion whatsoever upon it. “ Neque confirmare argumentis, neque refellere, in animo est: ex ingenio suo quisque demat, vel addat, fidem.”
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 determined 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 Talut was at that time a man of inferior condition, 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,
Talut. Samuel then said, Measure Talut with the wand which the angel Gabriel brought. His stature was equal to it. Samuel then said, God has raised Talut 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? Samuel informed them, that they should know that God had constituted Talut their king, by his restoring the ark of the covenant. He accordingly restored it, and they acknowledged him their sovereign.
" After Talut obtained the kingdom, he seized part of the territories of Jalut, or Goliah ; who assembled a large army, but was killed by David. Talut afterwards died a martyr in a war against the Infidels ; and God constituted David king of the Jews.
“ Melic Talut 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 named Afghan, and the son of Irmia was named Usbec. Those youths distinguished
Talut obtain or Goliah ; Whalut afterwar
* Though Saul had not two sons of these names, yet the names themselves are plainly Hebrew. Berkia is Barachia, and Irmia is. Jeremiah.
themselves in the reign of David, and were employed by Solomon. Afghan was distinguished by his corporal strength, which struck terror into demons and genïi. Usbec was eminent for his learning.
“ Afghan uscd 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.'
“ When the select of creatures, Muhammed, appeared upon earth, his fame reached the Afghans, who sought him in multitudes under their leaders Khalid and Abdul Rashid, sons of Walid. The prophet honoured them with the most gracious reception, saying, Come, O Muluc, or kings; whence they assumed the title of Mulic, which they enjoy to this day. The prophet gave them his ensign, and said that the faith would be strengthened by them.
“ Many sons were born of Khalid, the son of Walid, · who signalized themselves in the presence of the prophet, by fighting against the Infidels. Muhammed honoured and prayed for them.
“ In the reign of the sultan Mahmud of Ghaznah, eight men arrived of the posterity of Khalid the son of Walid, whose names were Kalun, Alun, Daud, Yalua, Ahmed, Awin, and Ghazi. The sultan was much pleased with them, and appointed eách a commander in his army. He also conferred on them the offices of Vazir, and Vakili Mutlak, or regent of the empire.
" Wherever they were stationed, they obtained possession of the country, built mosques, and overthrew the temples of idols. They increased so much, that the army of Mahmud was chiefly composed of Afghans
“The Afghans now began to establish themselves in the mountains; and some settled in cities with the permission of sultan Mahmud. They framed regulations, dividing themselves into four classes, agreeably to the following description. The first is the pure class, consisting of those whose fathers and mothers were Afghans. The second class consists of those whose fathers were Afghans, and mothers of another nation. The third class contains those whose mothers were Afghans, and fathers of another
nation. The fourth class is composed of the children of women whose mothers were Afghans, and fathers and husbands of a different nation. Persons, who do not belong to one of these classes, are not called Afghans.
“ After the death of sultan Mahmud, they made another settlement in the mountains. Shihabuddin Gauri; a subsequent sultan of Gaznah, was twice repulsed from Hindustan. His Vazir assembled the people, and asked if any of the posterity of Khalid were living. They answered, Many now live in a state of independence in the mountains, where they have a considerable army. The Vazir requested them to go to the mountains, and by intreaties prevail on the Afghans to come ; for they were descendants of companions of the prophet.
“ The inhabitants of Ghaznah undertook this embassy; and, by intreaties and presents, conciliated the minds of the Afghans, who promised to engage in the service of the sultan, provided he would come himself and enter into an agreement with them. The sultan visited them in their mountains, honoured them, and gave them dresses and other presents. They supplied him with 12,000 horse, and a considerable army of infantry. Being dispatched by the sultan before his own army, they took Dehli; killed Roy Patoura the king, his ministers, and nobles ; laid waste the city ; and made the infidels prisoners. They afterwards exhibited nearly the same scene in Canauj.
“ The sultan, pleased by the reduction of those cities, conferred honours upon the Afghans. It is said, that he then gave them the titles of Patan and Khan. The word Patan is derived from the Hindi verb Paitna, to rush, in allusion to their alacrity in attacking the enemy. The Patans have greatly distinguished themselves in the history of Hindustan, and are divided into a variety of sects.
“ The race of Afghans possessed themselves of the mountain of Solomon, which is near Kandahar, and the circumjacent country, where they have built forts. This tribe has furnished many kings. The following monarchs of this race' have set upon the throne of Dehli : sultan · Behlole, Afghan Lodi, sultan Secander, sultan Ibrahim, Shir Shah, Islam Shah, Adil Shah Sur. They also number the following kings of Gaur : Solaimun Shah Gurzani, Bayazid Shah, and Kutb Shah ; besides whom their nation has produced many conquerors of provinces. The Afghans are called Solaimani ; either because they were formerly the subjects of Solomon king of the Jews, or because they inhabit the mountain of Solomon *.”
It must be confessed, that this Afghan tradition bears a strong resemblance to many of those Mohammedan legends, which are founded upon Scripture ; whence it is certainly not impossible, that a tribe of Mussulmans might be in possession of it without being descended 2. from the house of Israel: yet I know not whether another instance can be produced of a nation, which professes the faith of Mohammed, believing itself to be of Jewish origin. It is easy to account for a tradition, which corresponds with Scripture, being in the hands of Mohammedans : but it is not quite so easy to account for the circumstance of those Mohammedans claiming a Hebrew descent, unless we allow the validity of that claim. There are some points respecting them, in which Mr. Vansittart and Sir William Jones do not perfectly agree. The former observes, that “ they are great boasters of the antiquity of their origin, and reputation of their tribe; but that other Mussulmans entirely reject their claim, and consider them of modern and even base extraction.” The latter, on the contrary, who is not wont to throw out assertions at random, adds the following note to the tradition ; whence it appears, that he was not disinclined to admit their claim. “ This account of the Afghans may lead to a very interesting discovery. We learn from Esdras, that the ten tribes, after a wandering journey, came to a country called Arsareth ; where, we may sup..
pose, they settled f. Now the Afghans 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