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Under the article Afghans, we have some curious information with respect to this tribe of Mahometans. They dwell in the northern parts of India, and be came more noted in the beginning of the last century, than they had been before, as they then invaded and conquered a great part of Persia, and were finally driven back by the arms of Kuli Khan. They claim to be descended from the Israelites, and Sir William Jones thinks their claim well founded.

"In the 2d volume of the Asiatic Researches we have some curious particulars relating to the Afghans : they call themselves the posterity of MELIC TALUT, or king Saul. In a war, they say, 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 as the God of the Jews, they threw it into the fire, which did not injure it; and having ineffectually endeavoured by other methods to destroy it, they placed it in their temple, and all the idols bowed to it. length they fastened it upon a cow, which they turned loose in the wilderness. They are said to have applied to Samuel, after their defeat by the Amalekites, for a king; and at this time the angel Gabrief descended and delivered a wand, with instruction, that the person whose stature corresponded with the wand, should be king of Israel. Melic Talut was then a herdsman of inferior condi


tion; and having lost a cow, applied to Samuel for assistance to pay the owner. Samuel, perceiving his lofty stature, asked his name. He answered Talut. Upon which, having measured him with the wand, he said to the children of Israel,

"God has raised Talut to be your king." How shall we know, said they, that he shall be our king? Samuel replied, 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 ob

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tained the kingdom he seized part of the territories of Jalut, or Goliath, who assembled a large army, but was killed by David. Talut afterwards died a martyr in the war against the infidels; and God constituted David king of the Jews. Melic Talut, they say, had two sons, one called Berkia, the other Irmia, who served David and were beloved by him. The son of Berkia was called Afghan, the son of Irmia was named Usbec. The latter was eminent for his learning; and the former for his corporeal strength, which struck terror into demons and

genii. Afghan made frequent excursions to the mountains where his progeny, after his death, established themselves, lived in a state of inde pendence, built forts, and exterminated the infidels. The late Henry Van

sissart, Esq. informs us that a very particular account of the Afghans has been written by the late Hafiz Rahmat Khan, a chief of the Rohillas, from much information. They are Musselwhich the curious reader may derive mans, partly of the Sonnite and partly of the Shiite persuasion. They boast much of the antiquity of their origin, other Musselmans reject their claim, and the reputation of their tribe; but and consider them of modern and even base extraction. From history, however, we learn that they have distinguished themselves by their courprincipals and auxiliaries. They have age both singly and unitedly, as conquered for their own princes and for foreigners, and have always been regarded as the chief strength in the army, in which they have served. As they have been applauded for their virtues, they have also been reproached for vices; having sometimes been the base part of assassins. They conguilty of treachery, and even acted whose fathers and mothers were Afsist of four classes, viz. pure Afghans, ghans; those whose fathers were Afghans, but their mothers are of another nation; such as had Afghan mothers, and fathers of another nation; and the children of women, whose mothers were Afghans and fathers or husbands of a different nation.

The above account is extracted book called The Secrets of the Afghans, from the Persian abridgment of a written in the Pushto language, a spe

cimen of which is added. The work was communicated by Henry Vansissart, Esq. to the late Sir William Jones, who was then President of the Asiatic Society. Although their claim to a descent from Saul seems to

resemble some of the fictions borrowed by Mahomet from the latter Jewish Rabbins, Sir William Jones has no doubt that the Afghans are descendants of Israel. "We learn," says he, "from Esdras, that the ten tribes, after a wandering journey, came to a country called Arsaxeth; where, we may suppose, they settled. Now the Afghans are said by the best Persian historians to be descended from the Jews; they have among themselves traditions of such a de

scent; 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 Hazareh, or Haza ret, which might easily have been changed into the word used by Esdras. I strongly recommend an inquiry into the literature and history of the Afghans."

To AFRICA, an interesting article in the English edition, very considerable, and


ful additions have been made from the travels of Mr. Browne, and the journal of Mr. Horneman, two intelligent and enterprising travellers; the former had resided nearly three years in the kingdom of Dar-fur, in the eastern part of this vast peninsula; and the latter, as an agent of the African Association, left Cairo for Fezzan, in September, 1798, and pursued a road hitherto very little known. These extracts furnish the latest and most authentic, as well as the most ample details of the manners, customs, trade, manufactures, laws, and religion of the

inhabitants, and the population, geography, natural productions, &c. of those hitherto unexplored regions.

These additions are

very judiciously selected, neither perplexing the reader with a barren and naked list of names and places, nor wearying him with the indiscriminate insertion of voluminous travels.

We cannot take our leave of this first number without again expressing our satisfaction at the manner of its execution. The type is neat, the ink and paper good, and fewer errors of the press remain than could have been expected. It is proper to mention, that very many typographical errors in the English edition have been corrected in this.

There is, however, still room for caution. In ADOPTION, principals is printed for principles; in ADULTERY, & uxore for ab uxore; in EROPHOBIA, rapping for wrapping.


In ALBANS, St. a township in Verinont, we observe the number of inhabitants is given from the census taken 17 years ago. The American editors have, or ought to have, constantly before them the last census. The reader naturally expects the latest authentic information with respect to this country; and it is worse than nothing to give a statement, which every person, not elsewhere informed, will think correct, when in reality it is founded on facts, as they existed many years ago, and not at all on the present facts.

ALBANY, a city in the state of New York, remains in this edition, as it came from England, and occupies not more than one third of a column. The reason why a more full description of this important city was not given, we apprehend to be, that it stood so early in the work, that the editors could not procure in formation in season. But we sincerely hope, that hereafter a satisfactory, though concise description will be given of all our important cities and towns. Gentlemen can be found, by proper exertion, who are both able and willing to furnish information for a work of so much consequence, as the one we are reviewing.

The article ALCORAN is very judiciously treated, and to it we refer the reader who is desirous of seeing a short, but satisfactory account of this book; a book of great consequence, as it is the rule of faith and prac tice to many millions of our fellow creatures. In passing we cannot help making a few observations, not so much in the nature of a review, as of an admonition to Christians.


too apt to forget it; but when we reflect upon it, we cannot but see, that many passages in Job, Psalms, Isaiah, and the other prophets, as well as throughout the New Testament, are incomparably more sublime than any human composition.

2. The Mahometans treat the Koran with great respect and veneration. But how common is it for us to see the word of God treated with every degree of disrespect, from cold formality to systematic contempt? Sometimes indeed, we observe those who profess to receive the Bible as the word of God, speak of it, and act concerning it with no small degree of irreverence. Mahometans are more consistent. They have been led astray by an artful impostor, and act in accordance with their belief; but we, alas, who have received the gospel of the blessed God, too frequently entertain it with cold ness, or reject it with disdain.

3. "The Mahometans have taken care to have their scripture translated into the Persian, the Javan, the Malayan, and other languages." This fact may well stimulate Christians to persevere in their attempts to translate the Bible into the languages of the East. If so much can be done to propagate falsehood, what exertions ought to be made to make known the true way of everlasting salvation!

1. The Mahometans boast much of the sublimity of the Koran, and assert it to be a standing miracle. Many passages, no doubt, are really sublime; but in these instances, thoughts are taken from the Jewish and Christian scriptures. In the article ALEMBERT, the With how much propriety may American editor has subjoined a Christians insist on the unequal- useful hint in saying, "that he led majesty and glory manifest cannot dismiss the article within the stile of the inspired vol- out lamenting, that if this disume! Being so much conver- tinguished person was indeed sant with this sublimity, we are possessed of the virtues attribut

Vol. III. No. 6.


ed to him, they should have been found in alliance with principles tending to the destruction of all virtue." But this is not saying enough. The life of this laborious infidel, as inserted from the English edition, is extremely reprehensible. The writer says, "His (D'Alembert's) abhorrence of superstition and priestcraft, it must be allowed, drove him into the extreme of infidelity." And is the man who spent nearly half a century in making war upon all religion and the foundation of all virtue, to have his character plastered over in this manner? Is his conduct to be palliated and extenuated, as though he was driven into infidelity by his abhorrence of priest craft and superstition? He abhor superstition! Far from it; he was a bosom friend of D'Argent, Maupertius, and others, who, though atheists, were very su perstitious, as we are informed by Thiebault, one of their number. He abhor priestcraft! How then will he account for his in timacy with Voltaire, that high priest of impiety, whom he well knew to be utterly faithless, whose craft was never exceeded,

and who spent a great part of his life in propagating and repeating falsehoods? But again: "He seems to have adopted that system of deified nature, which bereaves the world of a designing cause, and presiding intelligence." What need of this unintelligible jargon, unless to see how politely the world can be told, that he was an abandoned atheist? Again: "A love of truth, and a zeal for the progress of science and freedom, formed the basis of his character." Could he love the truth, who lived in an age when all the evidence in favour of religion came under his eye, and yet exerted himself chiefly to destroy all religion? To apply an expression of our Saviour, he loved darkness rather than light.

ALEPPO, a long and interesting article in the English edition, has received a judicious addition on the subject of preventing contagion from pestilential disease. ALEXANDER VI. Pope. The American editor cites Mr. Roscoe, as denying that this papal Nero was guilty of all the atrocities usually imputed to him. On all hands, however, it is conceded, that he was a guilty wretch. To be continued.

Religious Intelligence.



THIS grand measure, so long de sired by the friends of justice, humanity, and religion, and which crowns with triumph the laborious and persevering efforts of Mr. Wil

berforce and others for many years past, received the sanction of royalty on the 25th of March: a day never to be forgotten in the annals of this free country! While we most sincere

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