Volltext: The life, studies and works of Benjamin West, Esq. president of The Royal Academy of London

lwusehold Gods of the patriarchal times, which 
are supposed to have been calendars, and the 
figure of each an emblem of some portion of the 
year, or sign of the Zodiac. It would be foreign 
to the nature of this work to investigate the evi- 
dence which may he adduced on this subject, 
or to collect those various and scattered hints 
which have given rise to the opinion, and with a 
faint, but not failacious ray, have penetrated that 
obscure region of antient history, between the 
period when the devotion of mankind, withdrawn 
from the worship of the Deity, was transferred to 
the adoration 0F the stars, and prior to the still 
faculties when 
greater degradation of the human 
altars were raised to idols. 
Indians being in possession 
IV. The idea of the 
of hieroglyphical writings, is calculated to lead us 
to form a very different opinion of them to that 
which is usually entertained by the world. Ex- 
cept in the mere enjoyments of sense, they do not 
appear to be inferior to the rest of mankind; and 
their notions of moral dignity are exactly those 
which are recommended toe our imitation by the 
literature of all antiquity. 
But they have a syste-


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