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what a nation supposes itself to be, more especially if it trace its descent from the stock of Jacob, cannot fail to be interesting. In fact, although the Afghans are most probably mistaken in fixing the period at which they
sit on the bare earth while they are carrying it against the enemy. On hilly ground where stones are plenty, they place it on them ; but, in a level land, upon short logs, always resting themselves on the like materials. They have also as strong a faith of the power and holiness of their ark, as ever the Isralites retained of theirs. The Indian ark is deemed so sacred and dangerous to be touched, either by their own sanctified warriors, or the spoiling enemy, that they dare not touch it upon any account. It is not to be meddled with by any except the chieftain and his waiter, under penalty of incurring great evil: nor would the most inveterate enemy touch it, for the same reason. The leader virtually acts the part of a priest of war pro-tempore, in imitation of the Israelites fighting under the divine military banner-As religion is the touchstone of every nation of people ; and as these Indians cannot be supposed to have been deluded out of theirs, separated from the rest of the world for many long forgotten ages, the traces, which may be discerned among them, will help to corroborate the other arguments concerning their origin.” Among their other religious rites, they cut out the sinewy part of the thigh. This custom Mr. Adair supposes to be commemorative of the angel wrestling with Jacob. See Gen. xxxii. 32.
12. “ Eagles of every kind they esteem unclean food ; likewise ravens, crows, bats, buzzards, swallows, and every species of owl. They believe, that swallowing flies, gnats, and the like, always breeds sickness. To this that divine sarcasm alludes, “ swallowing a camel and straining at a gnat." Their purifications for their priests, and for having touched a dead body or other unclean things, are, according to Mr. Adair, quite Levitical. He acknowledges however, that they have no traces of circumcision ; but thinks that they lost this rite in their wanderings, as it ceased during the 40 years in the wilderness.
15. “ The Israelites had cities of refuge for those who killed a person una-. wares. According to the same particular divine law of mercy, each of these Indian nations have either a house or town of refuge, which is a sure asylum to protect a man-slayer or the unfortunate captive, if they can once enter into it. In almost every Indian nation there are several peaceable towns, called old beloved, ancient, holy, or wliite, towns. They seem to have been formerly towns of refuge : for it is not in the memory of their oldest people that ever human blood was shed in them, although they often force persons from thence and put them to death elsewhere."
16. “Before the Indians go to war, they have many preparatory ceremonies of purification and fasting, like what is recorded of the Israelites.
21. “ The surviving brother, by the Mosaic law, was to raise seed to a deceased brother, who left a widow childless. The Indian custom looks the very same way: yet it is in this, as in their law of blood, the eldest brother can redeem.
23. “Although other resemblances of the Indian rites and customs to those of the Hebrews might be pointed out, not to seem tedious, I proceed to the last argument of the origin of the Indian Americans; which shall be from their own traditions, from the accounts of our English writers, and from the tes. timonies which the Spanish writers have given concerning the primitive in. habitants of Peru and Mexico.
« The hdian tradition says, that their forefathers in very remote ages came from a far distant country, where all the people were of one colour ; and that, in process of time, they moved eastward to their present settlements. So that what some of our writers have asserted is not just, who say the Indians
believe themselves to have branched out from the parent tree, for Scripture affords not the least warrant to their opinion; yet there is certainly nothing very irrational in supposing, that they may have been, at some time or
affirm, that there were originally three different tribes in those countries." Here Mr. Adair gives a fabulous story. “This story sprung from the inno. vating superstitious ignorance of the popish priests to the south-west of us. Our own Indian tradition is literal and not allegorical; and ought to be receiv, ed, because persons who have been long separated from the rest of mankind must know their own traditions the best, and could not be deceived in so ma. terial and frequently repeated an event. Though they have been disjoined through different interests time immemorial, yet (the rambling tribes of northern Indians excepted) they aver that they came over the Missisippi from the westward, before they arrived at their present settlements. This we see verified by the western old towns they have left behind them, and by the situation of their old beloved towns or places of refuge lying about a west course from each different nation. Such places in Judea were chiefly built in the most remote parts of the country'; and the Indians deem those only as beloved towns where they first settled. This tradition is corroborated by a current report of the old Chikkasah Indians to our traders, that about 40 years since” (this was written in the year 1775) “there came from Mexico some of the old Chikkasah nation in quest of their brethren as far north as the Aquakpah nation about 130 miles above the Nachee old towns on the south side of the Missisippi ; but, through French policy, they were either killed or sent back, so as to prevent their opening a brotherly intercourse as they had proposed. And it is worthy of notice, that the Muskohgeh cave, out of which one of their politicians persuaded them their ancestors formerly ascendel to their present terrestrial abode, lies in the Nanne Hamgeh old town, inhabited by the Missisippi Nachee Indians, which is one of the most western ports of their old inhabited country- The old waste towns of the Chikkasah lie to the west and south-west, from whence they have lived since the time we first opened a trade with them ; on which course they formerly went to war over the Missisippi, because they knew it best, and had disputes with the natives of those parts, when they first came from thence. Wisdom di. rected them to connive at some injuries on account of their itinerant camp of women and children: for their tradition says it consisted of 10,000 men be. sides women and children, when they came from the west and passed over the Missisippi. The fine breed of running wood horses, which they brought with them, were the present Mexican' or Spanish barbs. They also aver, that their ancestors cut off and despoiled the greatest part of a caravan loaded with gold and silver : but the carriage of it proved so troublesome to them, that they threw it into a river, where it could not benefit the enemy
“ Ancient history is quite silent concerning America, which indicates, that it has been time immemorial rent asunder from the African continent, according to Plato's Timeus. The north-east parts of Asia were also undiscovered till of late. Many geographers have stretched Asia and America so far as to join them together, and others have divided those two quarters of the globe at a great distance from each other. But the Russians, after several dangerous attempts, have clearly convinced the world that they are now divided, and yet have a near communication together by a narrow straight, in which several islands are situated, through which there is an easy passage from the north-east of Asia to the north-west of America by the way of Kamschatka, which probably joined to the north-west point of America. By this passage, supposing the main continents were separated, it was very practicable for the inhabitants to go to this extensive new world, and afterwards to have proceeded in quest of suitable climates, according to the law
other, and in some manner or other, connected at least with the ancient Israelites. -, i « 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 similar 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.
16 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
* Though Saul had not two sons of these names, yet the names themselves are plainly Hebrew. Berkia is Barachia, and Ironia is Fereiniah.
themselves in the reign of David, and were employed by Solomon. Afghan was distinguished by his corporal strength, which struck terror into demons and genii. Usbec was eminent for his learning.
“ Afghan 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.
" 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 each 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; anil some settled in cities with the permission of sultan Mahmud. They framed regulations, dividing themselves into four classes, agreeably to the folo lowing 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
f smselves in the first is thes were Ajsere Afghanins