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with that of Moses, they differ in so many circumstances, that it is evident the writers did not copy from one another.
" To Satyavarman, that sovereign of the < whole earth, were born three sons, the el“ dest Sherma, then Charma*, and thirdly “ Jyapeti by name. They were all men of “ good morals, excellent in virtue, and vir“ tuous deeds, skilled in the use of weapons, " to strike with, or to be thrown, brave men, “ eager for victory in battle. But Satyavar“ man being continually delighted with de66 vout meditation, and seeing his sons fit for “ dominion, laid upon them the burthen of
“Whilft he remained honouring and satis“ fying the gods, and priests, and kine; one “ day, by the act of destiny, the king, having • drank mead, became senseless, and lay asleep s naked. Then was he seen by Charma, and “ by him were his two brothers called. To 66 whom he said, “What now has befallen? " In what state is this our fire?' By those two " was he hidden with clothes, and called to " his senses again and again. :
* Colonel Wilford observes, that in the vulgar dialects Charma is usually pronounced Cham, and Sharma, Sham.
.“ Having recovered his intellect, and per« fectly knowing what had passed, he cursed “ Charma, saying, Thou shalt be the servant “ of servants; and fince thou wast a laughci ter in their presence, from laughter shalt " thou acquire a name. Then he gave to « Sharma the wide domain on the fouth of “ the snowy mountain.' And, to Jyapeti he “ gave all on the north of the snowy moun“ tain; but he, by the power of religious « contemplation, attained fupreme bliss."
Sir William Jones had before advanced a conjecture that the Afghans might be of Hebrew extraction, and part of the ten tribes that were carried into captivity by the Affyrians. In his Anniversary Discourse,' prefixed to this volume, he says, p. 6, “ There “ is folid ground for believing that the Afghans " are descended from the Jews, because they « sometimes in confidence avow that unpopu«« lar origin, which in general they sedulous“ ly conceal, and which other muffelmen e perpetually assert; because Hazaret, which “ appears to be the Asereth of Esdras, is one “ of their territories, and principally because “ their language is evidently a dialect of the “ fcriptural Chaldaic."
· Lastly, after reciting the unfavourable character given of the Jews by their enemies, and acceding to it, for which I am far from seeing sufficient reason, he says, p. 15, “ They had 3* the peculiar merit, among all the races of " men under heaven, of preserving a rational “and pure system of devotion, in the midst o of a wild polytheism, inhuman or obscene “ rites, and a dark labyrinth of errors, pro * duced by ignorance, and supported by inte* rested fraud. Theological inquiries,” he adds, “ are no part of my present subject, but “ I cannot refrain from adding, that the col« lection of tracts which, from their excel« Jence, we call the fcriptures, contain, inde“ pendently of a divine origin, more true “ sublimity, more exquisite beauty, purer mo“ rality, more important history, and finer “ strains both of poetry and eloquence, than 6 could be collected within the same compass “ from all other books that were ever com“ posed in any age, or in any idiom. The “ two parts of which the scriptures consist, “ are connected by a chain of compositions” (meaning the prophetical books) “which bear “ no resemblance in form or style to any that “ can be produced from the stores of Grecian,
“ Indian, Persian, or even Arabian, learning. “ The antiquity of these compositions no man “ doubts, and the unstrained application of “ them to events long subsequent to their -“ publication, is a solid ground of belief, that “ they were genuine productions, and conse" quently inspired.”
When I compare the decided opinion of such a man as Sir William Jones, in which all men of learning will concur, with the confident assertions of Mr. Paine, who fays that the books of scripture are but modern compofitions, I think of a man either really blind, or wilfully shutting his eyes, and declaring that there is nothing to be seen.