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Polynesian Researches


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Public assemblies during the week—Questional and conversational meetings—Topics discussed—The seat of the thoughts and affections—Duty of prayer—Scripture biography and history—The first parents of mankind—Paradise—Origin of moral evil—Satanic influence—A future state—Condition of those who had died idolaters—The Sabbath—Inquiries respecting England—The doctrine of the resurrection—Anxiety to possess genuine Christian experience.

The religious services of a general kind, among the natives, during the week, are not numerous. There is one lecture, which is on Wednesday evening. Numbers assemble at this time, and the exercise, we have reason to believe, is useful in keeping alive that interest in matters of religion, which might be diminished by the secular engagements of the week. The following account of one of these meetings is given by Captain Gambier, in the extracts of his journal.

“On Wednesday afternoon we attended a native divine service. It was begun with a hymn; then Mr. Nott, who did duty, prayed extempore for some length, and then read a passage from the scripture, upon which he preached with great page 419 fluency in the Otaheitan language. The church was well attended, though not so full as on Sundays, when it is crowded. Almost all the women, young and old, were habited in the European manner. The most perfect order reigned the whole time of the service. The devout attention these poor people paid to what was going forward, and the earnestness with which they listened to their teacher, would shame an English congregation. I declare, I never saw any thing to equal it! Objects of the greatest curiosity at all other times, they paid no sort of attention to, during the solemnity of their worship. After it was over, crowds, as usual, gathered round, to look at our uniforms, to them so new and uncommon. I looked round very often during the sermon, and saw not one of the congregation flag in their attention to it. Every face was directed to the preacher, and each countenance strongly marked with sincerity and pleasure. I had heard of the success of the Missionaries before I came to Otaheite, and, after making great allowance for exaggeration in the accounts they had sent home, there remained sufficient to lead me to anticipate that they had done a great deal. But I now declare, their accounts were beyond measure modest, and, far from colouring their success, they had not described it equal to what I found it. It is impossible to describe the sensations experienced on seeing the poor natives of Otaheite walking to a Protestant church in the most orderly and decent manner, with their books in their hands, and most of them dressed in European clothes. Having just quitted the Marquesas, where we saw the very state the Otaheitans were in at the time of their first visitors, we of course page 420 saw the change to great advantage; and the magnitude of it is so astonishing, that all has the appearance of a dream. When, however, fully convinced of the reality, the hand of an Almighty Providence is distinctly acknowledged.”

There are special meetings, held once a week, for the instruction of those who desire to make a public profession of the christian faith by baptism, and another for the candidates for communion. In addition to these, there is a public meeting for general conversation, or rather for answering the questions of the people, held every Monday afternoon or evening.

This meeting originated in that held on the 26th of July, 1813, for the purpose of writing the names of those who were desirous of publicly professing Christianity; and was designed for the particular instruction of such individuals, though it has since assumed a more general character. This has been one of the most important and efficient means of promoting general and religious improvement in the islands. The greater part of the inhabitants of the settlement in which it is held, and many from remote districts, having assembled in the place of worship; we usually took our seats near a table at one end of the building. Soon after the Missionaries have entered, a native, perhaps in some distant part of the house, stands up, and, addressing them by name, asks a question, states a difficulty that may have perplexed his mind, begs an explanation of a passage of scripture, or makes an inquiry relative to some subject or portion of the sacred volume, &c. Our answers generally lead to farther questions, either from the first inquirer, or other individuals in the assembly. The conversation is sometimes continued until a page 421 late hour; and both the queries and the replies are usually listened to with attention. We always endeavoured to divest these meetings of all formality and reserve, and to render them engaging, by accompanying our replies with suitable facts, &c. as illustrations, and encouraging in the people the most unembarrassed confidence; reqesting them to present all their difficulties, and solicit explanations or directions.

This meeting has always been highly interesting and has generally indicated the progressive improvement of the people. The subjects discussed are perhaps less miscellaneous now than they were some years ago, when the people were totally uninformed in all the first principles of Christianity; and the nature of these meetings in some of the stations has, perhaps, undergone a slight change. They are, however, productive of important benefit.

Subjects of every kind were formerly discussed, and questions brought forward relative to the discipline of children, the forming of connexions, and the whole of their domestic economy, agriculture, trade, or barter, legislature, war and politics, history and science, as connected with the natural phenomena by which they were surrounded, and, occasionally, what might be termed the first efforts of philosophical research in their partially enlightened minds.

When the political questions referred to their foreign relations, or their intercourse with other islands, we sometimes allowed them to be entertained; but whenever they were connected with any civil proceedings, or the internal government on the island, although the person who introduced it was not interrupted during his speech, the page 422 matter was always referred to the king and chiefs, for whose consideration he was directed to present it at a convenient season, unless the chiefs, who were generally present, wished it to be then discussed.

One of the most curious and interesting topics of conversation, frequently introduced by the more thinking or inquisitive among them, was, the seat of the affections, and the locality of intellect. Their ideas and ours were totally at variance on this point; and, from the very nature of the subject, it was impossible to demonstrate the accuracy of one or the other. No part in the system of Drs. Gall and Spurzheim ever obtained among them; and so far from being phrenologists, they did not imagine the brain to be even the seat of thought. The frequent eulogy pronounced by us on an oration or action, in which understanding and right feeling are developed, viz. “that it is creditable alike to the head and the heart” of the speaker or actor, would have been altogether unintelligible to them. The only exception to the prevailing opinion, which deprives the head or brain of all connexion with the exercise of the mind, is the term for headach, which is tahoa, and is also used to signify confusion of noise, and perplexity from attention to a multitude of objects at the same time.

The phraseology employed in speaking of the seat of the intellect and the affections, presents another analogy between the idiom of their language, and that of the ancient Hebrews. When speaking of mental or moral exercies, they invariably employ terms for which the English word “bowels” is perhaps the best translation: hence they say, te manao o te obu, or i roto i te obu; page 423 the thought of the bowels, or within the bowels; te hinaaro o te aau, the desire of the bowels; te riri o te aau, the anger of the bowels. Although bowels is, perhaps, the best single word for obu or auu, in the signification of which we have not been able to discover any difference, it does not convey the full meaning of the word aau. In some places it might be rendered heart according to our idiom, as in the thoughts of the heart or mind—the desire of the mind, or soul—or, the anger of the soul. For soul and spirit, however, they have distinct terms, varua, and the ancient word vaiti; but it does not appear that they were accustomed to consider the soul or spirit as experiencing, in conjuction with the body, either mental or moral sensations. All the varied passions and the mental exercises of which they were sensible, they spoke of as connected with the aau or obu, a term literally signifying the whole of the ibdominal viscera—for each separate organ in which, they have a distinct name.

To the head they attributed nothing in connexion with intellect, nor to the heart with regard to moral feeling. To the organ which in the language of anatomy would be called the heart, they attributed no other susceptibilities than those which are common to other parts of the body. This led them generally to contend that the thoughts were in the body, and not in the brain; stating, in proof of the accuracy of their opinion, that the bowels or stomach were affected or agitated by desire, fear, joy, sorrow, surprise, and all strong affections or exercises of the mind. They were, probably, confirmed in this definition by the fact of such being the belief of their ancestors.

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In reply, we usually informed them, that we were accustomed to speak of the heart as the seat of the affections and moral principles, though by the heart we often meant nearly the same as they intended by the word aau or obu, but that we considered our sensations and mental perceptions to be connected with the brain. It was in vain that we endeavoured to shew the reasonableness of this opinion, by pointing out and explaining the connexion between the nerves pervading the several organs of sense, and the brain—the cessation and interruption of mental sensation and exercise, when the nerves of the brain were permanently injured—or when the line of nerves extending from an organ to the brain was broken. They usually answered, they would believe it because we said so, but that they did not understand it: nor was it to be expected that they should, as their knowledge of the anatomy of the human frame was exceedingly limited. They had no idea even of the existence of nerves, and it was necessary to introduce into their language a word by which they might be designated. Discussions of this nature, though adapted to interest the people, and encourage the exercise of intellect, were probably more amusing than profitable; and, notwithstanding the diversified subjects presented, their inquiries generally referred to the new order of things which Christianity had introduced.

In reference to this, while they were sometimes trivial, and perhaps ludicrous, they were often deeply interesting and important, and not unfrequently difficult and perplexing. I wrote many of them down at the time; others have been recorded by my companions: a selection will convey a more correct idea of their mode of page 425 thinking and expression, than any general description.

Many of their questions referred to the exercise of prayer, for punctual attendance to which they have been uniformly distinguished. Prayer for Divine direction accompanied their earliest inquiries on the subject of religion; and when in any district even two or three were desirous of becoming the disciples of Jesus Christ, they were accustomed to associate together for this purpose. Private prayer has long been almost universal, as well as the practice of imploring a blessing on their food; and although they at first asked whether they must not learn to pray in the English language? whether God would not be angry, if they should use incorrect expressions in prayer? or whether, when they had retired to their gardens, or the bushes adjacent to their dwellings, and were there engaged in prayer, their attention should be diverted by an intruder, they should leave off or continue? Sometimes they would ask, whether engaging in conversation, and praying, with very wicked persons, such as had been murderers, &c. would not appear in some degree sanctioning or extenuating their crimes? With more frequency, however, and greater eagerness, they often inquired how they could prevent evil thoughts arising in their minds during seasons of devotion—how they could avoid repeating words of prayer unattended by devotional desires—and how they could at all times engage the heart in this exercise? I recollect a father and a mother asking with ardent solicitude, whether it would be right to take their little boy, or girl, with them to the bushes or the garden, talk with it in this retirement, and teach it there to pray to God? Prayer page 426 in their families was regularly observed; and among the many inquiries in reference to this subject, it was once asked, whether Jesus Christ had family prayer with his disciples; whether, in their own houses, in the event of the sickness or absence of the husband, the wife should not convene the family, and perform this important duty?

Portions of scripture history and biography were among the most engaging subjects of inquiry, especially those contained in the Old Testament. Those in the New Testament also interested them. On one occasion, they asked what the heavy burdens were that our Lord accused the scribes and pharisees of binding on men's shoulders; and what was meant by “Let the dead bury their dead.” At another time they inquired who were the scribes, so often mentioned by the Saviour; and asked if they were the secretaries of the Missionary Societies in Jerusalem? &c. This arose from the circumstance of the word, which in English is translated scribe, being in Tahitian rendered writer, and the secretaries of the native Missionary societies being the only individuals among them thus designated.

The usages and customs prevailing among the ancient Jews were often topics of conversation, and more than once they have, with evident sincerity, inquired if their repentance would not be more acceptable to God, were they to rend their garments, and cover their heads with ashes, or gird themselves with sackcloth, than simply expressing their penitence. This question, with those frequently asked relative to the consequences of mistakes or interruption in prayer, probably arose from the impression left by the system of idolatry page 427 they had so recently abandoned, whose only excellency consisted in the correctness of mere external form and ceremony.

In all their idol worship, however large or costly the sacrifices that had been offered, and however near its close the most protracted ceremony might be, if the priest omitted or misplaced any word in the prayers with which it was always accompanied, or if his attention was diverted by any means, so that the prayer was hai, or broken, the whole was rendered unavailable, he must prepare other victims, and repeat his prayers from the commencement.

The history of our first parents was frequently brought forward. Sometimes they wanted to know what was the colour of Adam and Eve's skin, or what language they spoke: with regard to the former, their opinions were in accordance with those of the late Bishop Heber; they said it was very likely they were brown or olive-coloured, and, as their descendants, or the descendants of Noah, travelled to hotter climates, they became darker; while those, whose information had removed the belief that our colour was the effect of disease, acknowledged the plausibility of our ancestors having become white from the influence of cold, and a clouded atmosphere, whereby they were shaded from the sun.

More important matters concerning them were however often the subjects of inquiry. They felt interested in their destiny, and asked whether, after the fall, and expulsion from Paradise, they had repented and obtained pardon; and at one time, when, in answer to this question, it had been stated that there was reason to believe that they had obtained forgiveness, and were now in heaven, page 428 the native immediately inquired further, how Adam's crime could affect his posterity, after the guilt contracted by it had been removed even from the perpetrators of that crime? The origin of moral evil was sometimes introduced. It has been asked, at meetings where I have been present, Would Satan have tempted Eve, or would man have fallen, if God had not forbidden our first parents to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge? To which it was answered, That if God had not made that the peculiar test of their obedience, Satan would have found some other medium through which to tempt them to sin.

A man once asked, What caused the angels in heaven to sin, or Satan to become a wicked spirit? He was told that pride was the cause of his fall, but that how pride entered heaven was not revealed. Another once proposed the following query: You say God is a holy and a powerful being, that Satan is the cause of a vast increase of moral evil or wickedness in the world, by exciting or disposing men to sin. If Satan be only a dependent creature, and the cause of so much evil, which is displeasing to God, why does not God kill Satan at once, and thereby prevent all the evil of which he is the author? In answer, he was told that the facts of Satan's dependence on, or subjection to the Almighty, and his yet being permitted to tempt men to evil, were undeniable from the declarations of scripture, and the experience of every one accustomed to observe the operations of his own mind. Such an observer would often find himself exposed to an influence that could be attributed only to satanic agency; but that why he was permitted to exert this influence on man, was not made known in the Bible. We always stated plainly, that it page 429 was the contents of that volume which we came to teach them; that the existence of this baneful and often fatal influence was too extensively felt to allow of its being questioned; that the antidote to the evil it might have already inflicted, and the preservative against its future effects, were pointed out; and that it was wiser, and far more important, to apply to those remedies, than to indulge in unprofitable speculations relative to its origin.

The duration of sufferings inflicted on the wicked in the future state, was occasionally introduced; and more than once I have heard them ask, if none of their ancestors, nor any of the former inhabitants of the islands, had gone to heaven? This, to us and to them, was one of the most distressing discussions upon which we ever entered. To them it was peculiarly so; for we may naturally suppose, the recollection of the individuals whom many of them had perhaps poisoned, murdered without provocation, slain in battle, or killed for sacrifice, would on these occasions forcibly recur to their minds; and at these times, many a parent's heart must have been rent with anguish, to us inconceivable, at the remembrance of those children in whose blood their hands had been imbrued. Besides these sources of intensely painful reflection, there is something overwhelming in the thought of relatives and friends removed from the world of hope and probation, having their doom irrevocably fixed! Hence we could perceive a degree of painful emotion among the people whenever the subject was introduced; and although less intimately affected by this inquiry than those around us, it was to us a most appalling subject—one on which we could not dwell with composure. This feeling, on their parts, also, has been at times page 430 almost overpowering, and has either suspended our conversation, or induced an abrupt transition to some other topic.

This is a most distressing consideration, and is a subject often brought before a Missionary's mind, from the circumstances into which his engagements lead him, and the intimate connexion of his every effort with the future and eternal destinies of those around him; while it furnishes, next to the love of Christ, one of the most powerful incentives to devotedness and unabated effort. Well might one now engaged in this work exclaim, “Five hundred millions of souls, who are represented as being unenlightened! I cannot, if I would, give up the idea of being a Missionary, while I reflect upon this vast number of my fellow-sinners, who are perishing for lack of knowledge. ‘Five hundred millions!’ intrudes itself upon my mind wherever I go, and however I am employed. When I go to bed, it is the last thing that recurs to my memory; if I awake in the night, it is to meditate upon it alone; and in the morning, it is generally the first thing that occupies my thoughts.”

∗It is estimated that there are more than six hundred millions destitute of the knowledge of the gospel.

What mind, under the influence of the unequivocal declarations of the sacred volume, and an acquaintance with the true condition of the heathen, can calmly entertain the thought of the millions who remain ignorant of the gospel?

We always told those who inquired, that it was not for us to say, what was the actual state of the departed; that of those who died in infancy, we were permitted to cherish the consolatory hope of their felicity; that those who survived page 431 infancy, had not been without the admonitions of conscience, which had borne a faithful testimony to the character of all their actions; and that on the evidence of that witness they would be acquitted or convicted at the bar of God. At the same time assuring them, that whatever crimes they might have to answer for, rejection of the gospel would not be one; though this would, perhaps, involve the heaviest condemnation on their descendants, if by them that gospel was neglected or despised.

Many of their inquiries related to the proper observance of the Sabbath, and under what circumstances it would be proper to launch a canoe or undertake a voyage? This resulted from the king's sister being taken ill at Afareaitu, while we were residing there; and the natives wishing to send word to her relations, but hesitating because it was the Sabbath. A man once came and said, that while he was attending public worship, a pig broke into his garden; that on his return, he saw him devouring the sweet potatoes, sugar-cane, taro, and other productions, in which pine-apples were probably included, but that he did not drive it out, because he was convinced it would immediately return, unless he repaired the broken fence, and that he supposed was a kind of labour prohibited on the Sabbath. He therefore allowed the pig to remain till he was satisfied, and did not mend the fence till the following morning. He, however, wished to know, and the people in general were evidently interested in the inquiry—whether, in the event of a similar occurrence at any future period, he should do wrong in driving out the animal, and repairing the fence. He was told that the most secure way would be to keep the fence in good repair; but page 432 that if pigs should break in on the Sabbath, they ought by all means to be driven out, and the breaches they had made, so far repaired as to secure the enclosure till the following day. A chief of Huahine once asked me, whether it would be right, supposing he were walking in his garden on that day, and saw ripe plantains hanging from the trees that grew by the side of the path, to gather and eat them? I answered, that I thought it would not be wrong. I felt inclined to do so, said he, last Sabbath, when walking in my garden; but on reflecting that I had other fruit ready plucked and prepared, I hesitated,—not because I believed it would be in itself sinful, but lest my attendants should notice it, and do so too, and it should become a general practice with the people to go to their gardens, and gather fruit to eat on the Sabbath, which would be unfavourable to the proper observance of that day.

Their inquiries referred not only to historical, biographical, and other facts connected with the sacred volume, but to those relating to other nations of the earth. The extent of territory, number of inhabitants, colour, language, religion, of the different countries of whom they had heard from occasional visiters, were topics of conversation at these meetings, together with the efforts of Christians to propagate the gospel among them. But the most interesting of these referred to England; and although their recollections of Captain Cook were generally more indistinct, and very different from those entertained by the Sandwich Islanders, he was often alluded to; and we were asked, if any members of his family still survived, and whether they would ever come to the islands. The cities, towns, houses, carriages, dress, and page 433 manners of the English, the royal state of king George, the numbers in his army, the evolutions of his troops, the laws of the kingdom, the punishment of crimes, the principles of commerce, and the extent and variety of manufactures, were at different times brought forward.

Numbers of the natives had indeed visited England, but their observation had been so limited, or their accounts so contradictory and exaggerated that their countrymen knew not what to believe, and not unfrequently, when any of these had returned, the substance of their reports was brought to the questioning meeting, to receive our confirmation or explanation. The religious character and observances of the English were usually matters of great interest. The dimensions and number of our cathedrals, churches, and chapels, the size of the congregations, the proportion of the population that attended public worship, and the order of the services, were often topics of inquiry. The experience of those who were true Christians in England, was also introduced; and their remarks on this point, especially when they first became interested in the subject of religion themselves, were often rather amusing. “How happy the Christians in England must be,” they would sometimes say.—“So many teachers, so many books, the whole of the Bible in their language, and no idolatry, they must have little else to do but to praise God. Their crimes have never been like ours; they never offered human sacrifices, murdered their infants, &c. Do they ever repent? have they any thing to repent of?” It was, however, only those who were recently awakened to a sense of the enormity of these crimes, and were but very partially informed as to the true state page 434 of England, that ever asked such questions as these.

The doctrine of the resurrection of the body has ever appeared to them, as it did when announced by the apostle to the civilized philosophers of Athens, or the august rulers in the Roman hall of judgment, as a fact astounding or incredible. Of another world, and the existence of the soul in that world after the dissolution of the body, they appear at all times to have entertained some indistinct ideas; but the reanimation of the mouldering bodies of the dead, never seems, even in their wildest flights of imagination, to have occurred to them. When first declared by the Missionaries, it merely awakened astonishment, and was considered as one among the many novel and striking facts connected with the doctrines which the new religion unfolded. But as the subject was more frequently brought under their notice in public discourse, or in reading the scriptures, and their minds were more attentively exercised upon it in connexion with their ancestry, themselves, and their descendants, it appeared invested with more than ordinary difficulty; bordering, to their apprehension, on impossibility. On this, as well as other equally important points, their queries, from native simplicity and entire ingnorance, were sometimes both puerile and amusing.

A number of the attendants on the queen's sister, soon after their reception of Christianity, came to the meeting, and stated that one of their friends had died a few days before, and that they had buried the corpse according to their ancient manner, not laying it straight in a coffin, as Christians were accustomed to do, but placing it in a sitting posture, with the face between the knees, page 435 the hands under the thighs, and the whole body bound round with cords. Since the interment, (they added,) they had been thinking about the resurrection, and wished to know how the body would then appear, whether, if left in that manner, it would not rise deformed, and whether they had not better disinter the corpse, and deposit it in a straight or horizontal position. A suitable reply was of course returned. They were directed to let it remain undisturbed—that probably long before the resurrection it would be so completely dissolved, and mingled with the surrounding earth, that no trace would be left of the form in which it had been deposited.

Questions of this kind were only presented during the first stages of their christian progress, and they were not frequent. In general their inquiries were exceedingly interesting. The time when, the means by which, the attending circumstances, and the manner of the resurrection, the recognition of friends, the identity of the bodies of adults, and whether the souls of infants would be united to infant bodies, and whether they would be as inferior in the future state, as their powers and faculties appeared in this, often furnished matter for interesting conversation.

There were, however, other points of inquiry, peculiarly affecting to themselves. Many of their relatives or countrymen had been devoured by sharks; a limb or large portion of the fleshy part of the body of others, had been destroyed by these voracious fish. A constant attendant on these meetings at Afareaitu had, while we resided there, one side of his face torn off, and eaten by one. The sharks, that had eaten men, were perhaps afterwards caught, and became food for the natives, page 436 who might themselves be devoured by other sharks. Cannibalism, though some deny its having been practised among themselves, is supposed to have existed in one of the islands at least, and is known, and universally acknowledged to prevail among those by which they are surrounded; and it is not considered by them improbable that some of their own countrymen have been eaten by the islanders among whom they have, from stress of weather, been cast. The men who had eaten their fellow-men, might have been, and perhaps often were, (as many of the cannibals inhabit the low coralline islands, and live by fishing,) eaten by sharks, which would sometimes be caught and eaten by the inhabitants of distant islands.

After urging these and corresponding inquiries, which had exercised their minds, they would ask, After all these processes of new combination, will the original parts of every human body be reunited at the resurrection ? &c. On such occasions, the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection was exhibited, as demonstrated by the resurrection of Lazarus and of Christ; the identity of our Lord's body, by his subsequent intercourse with the disciples, especially with Thomas; and the certainty of the general resurrection presented, as deduced from the numerous and explicit declarations of scripture, and the reasoning of the inspired writers. The identity of the body was stated as being consistent with the character and moral government of God, which appeared to require that the same body which had suffered for or in his cause on earth, should be glorified in heaven; and that the same body which in union with the soul had been employed in rebellion and vice, should suffer the just consequences in a page 437 future state. The declarations of Scripture on this momentous point, always appeared satisfactory; and although the circumstances of the resurrection, and the manner by which parts of the same body would be united, &c. were inquiries pursued with deepest interest, we generally found them terminate in expressions of desire that they might be prepared, rise with glorified bodies, and come forth from their graves “to the resurrection of life.”

Questions, similar to those started by these untutored islanders, have frequently been agitated among the learned, in the ethical schools of Europe; and our most subtle casuists have found no easy task in obviating the difficulties which they involve. Even the changes which the body naturally undergoes in its present mortal state, militate against the supposition, that every atom once vitally united to the common mass will be included in the body that shall be hereafter, and direct us to admit that the resurrection must be consistent with innumerable mutations. Hence, we are taught to infer, that, while the identity of personality is preserved, the fluctuations which take place in the numerical particles, and in the modification of them, in our present bodies, can offer no impediment to the credibility of this momentous doctrine.

In connexion with this subject, and others of a similar kind, the most important referred to what might be called their Christian experience—the effect of texts of Scripture committed to memory, in stimulating to duty, and restraining from sin. Often they would ask, “How can we attain true repentance, and a change of heart? How may we know that we are not deceiving ourselves? How can we be preserved from forsaking God and committing page 438 sin? We desire genuine faith; where can we obtain it? Once they observed—Adam fell in Paradise, and angels fell even in heaven itself; how then can we be preserved from sinning against God? Tell us how we may be safe from Satan—how we may be safe for heaven, and secure of admission there?” I refrain from comments on the numerous inquiries brought forward at these meetings, which have been proved essentially serviceable to the nation—stimulating inquiry, giving a proper direction to their search after truth, expanding and strengthening the mind, yet restraining them within the limits of revelation. Their inquiries shew, if evidence were wanting, that their mental capabilities are not contemptible, and demonstrate the influence of the highest order of Christian principles upon the mind and the heart.