Page images
[ocr errors]


Melic Tálút had two fons, one called Berkia, and the other Irmia, who ferved David, and were beloved by him. He fent them to fight against the infidels; and by God's afliftance they were victorious.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


* 7720

The fon of Berkia was called Afghan, and the fon of Irmia was named Ufbec. Thefe, youths diftinguifhed themfelves in the reign of David, and were employed by Solomon. Afghan was diftinguifhed by his corporeal ftrength, which truck terror into demons and genii. Ufbec was eminent for his learning..

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Afghan ufed frequently to make excurfions to the mountains; where his progeny, after his death, established themfelves, lived in a state of independence, built forts, and exterminated the infidels.'

[ocr errors]


"To this account we fhall fubjoin a remark of the late Henry Vanfittart, Efq. He obferves, that A very particular account of, the Afghans has been written by the late Há Fiz Rahmat Khan, a chief of the Rohillas, from which the curious reader may derive, much information. They are Muffulmen, partly of the Sunni, and partly of the Shiah perfuafion. They are great boasters of the antiquity of their origin, and reputation of their tribe; but other Muffulmen entirely reject their claim, and confider them of modern and even bafe extraction. However their character may be collected from hiftory. They have diftinguished themselves by their courage, both fingly and unitedly, as principals and auxiliaries. They have conquered for their own princes and for foreigners, and have always been confidered the main ftrength of the army in which they have ferved. As they have been applauded for virtues, they have alfo been reproached for vices, having fometimes been guilty of treachery, and even acted the bafe part of affaffins."



A fpecimen of their language (the Pushto is added; and the following note is inferted by the prefident.



This account of the Afghans may lead to a very interesting difcovery. We learn from Efdras, that the ten tribes, after a wandering journey, came to a country called Arfareth, where we may suppose they settled. Now the Afghans are faid by the belt Perfian hiftorians to be defcended from the Jews; they have tradi



tions among themselves of fuch a descent; and it is even afferted, that their families are diftinguished by the names of Jewish tribes, although, fince their converfion to the Iflám, they ftudiously conceal their origin. The Pufto language, of which I have feen a dictionary, has a manifeft refemblance to the Chaldaic; anda con-fiderable diftrict under their dominion is called Hazárch, or Hazáret, which might easily have been changed into the word used by Efdras. I ftrongly recommend an inquiry into the literature and history of the Afghans.'

That after the space of more than 2500 years the ten tribes of Ifrael fhould be first restored to notice juft at this period, when fo many figns indicate the approach of their restoration, may be defigned as a hint to us to be ready for what is coming. Let the trifling think what they may, I am fure that the diligent student in the writings of the prophets will be far from efteeming this fingular circumftance unworthy of attention; and especially as it appears in company with fo many others which press upon us, and

urge us to watch.

[ocr errors]

Among other figns of the fpeedy gathering and restoration of Ifrael, this is not the leaft, that we are threatened with troubles fuch as have not been fince there was a nation. Never did fuch animolity prevail in any war as has manifefted itself in this. And if we confider the flaughter of human beings in this one campaign, befide 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 profpect is melancholy indeed, and feems to bespeak fome vifitation 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 deftruction and calamity go on with an accelerating devaftation, as we have reafon


G 2

to expect, if it be that day of troubles which we are taught to look for, who can calculate the quantum of human mifery to be endured before the ceffation of this tempeft in which we have fe unhappily mingled!

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]






THUS, my countrymen, we have confidered some of those figns of the times which, at this feafon of general agitation, folicit our attention with fingular urgency. Signs which intimate nothing less than the general shaking and renovation of things. It becomes us therefore to attend to them with peculiar feriousness, that we may know the measures which we ought to purfue, and avoid precipitating ourselves into the dreadful confequences of oppofing the providence of God, who in his word has forewarned us of his purposes, and by his dispensations is indicating their speedy accomplishment; it becomes us to obferve them with devout attention, that we may hereby be excited to turn to God by a fincere and general repentance, and thus be hid until the indignation be overpaft: "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 flain."+ Now therefore confider your ways.

I acknowledge that my apprehenfions refpecting our profpects are not so much from the opinion I may entertain of the wildom or folly, the justice or injustice, the piety or impiety, of the prefent war, in a detached view, as from the impreffion which the general appearance of things, compared with the writings of the prophets, produces on my mind; for, did I believe the present war (according to the general rule of eftimating things) to be, be

[blocks in formation]


their inanners.

yond all doubt, both politic and juft, even this would not much lellen my apprehenfion of danger. When we look back on ancient hiftory, and trace the progrefs and fall of thofe empires and states which Inspiration has noticed, we fhall find that the long threatened judgments which fell upon them were not for the blame of thofe particular wars in which they perifhed, but for the accumulated guilt of fucceffive ages, and for the general corruption of Thote wars might be perfectly juft, becaufe defenfive. If we examine the predictions of the prophets which refer to the chaftifement of the nations, and the deftruction of Babylon the Great, in the latter days, we fhall find that thofe dreadful judgments which are then to be inflicted, are to be for the sins of centuries-for blood which has never been avenged. The fovereigns and rulers of that day may, perhaps, be among the mot mild and juft that have ever exercised power; but we must be ftrangers to the history of nations if we do not know that this will be no certain fecurity. To inftance only the cafe of Ifrael: Hofhea was the best prince that ever reigned over that people ;the only one that had any mixture of good; yet, 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 juftice, of our princes and rulers that can fecure us.

23 2.37

But though this is the cafe, yet our obligations and our intereft, as they refpect both the policy and the morality of the war, remain the fame. 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 ferioufnefs, to confider our ways: for it is not what the French are that afcertains the fafety or danger of our fituation: they may be all that they are reprefented to be, and yet our cafe be never the better: the worle they are, the more fit are they, in fome relpects, to be the inftruments of God's threatened judgments.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The wisdom or folly, the policy or impolicy, of the present war certainly deferves the moft ferious confideration of all who

« PreviousContinue »