John's self-restraint had strengthened his position, and he began again to think of his Spanish scheme.
The point of enduring interest as regards the Andamans is the penal system, the object of which is to turn the life-sentence and few long-sentence convicts, who alone are sent to the settlement, into honest, self-respecting men and women, by leading them along a continuous course of practice in self-help and self-restraint, and by offering them every inducement to take advantage of that practice.
His biography, by his son, reveals him as a man of devout and holy life, impulsive indeed and masterful, but one who learned self-restraint by strenuous endeavour.
Thus they were divided in soul between spiritual goods and worldly pleasures, and were apt to doubt whether the rewards promised by God to the life of " simplicity " (all Christ meant by the childlike spirit, including generosity in giving and forgiving) and self-restraint, were real or not.
It was an austere religion, inculcating self-restraint, courage and honesty; it secured peace of conscience through forgiveness of sins, and abated for those who were initiated in its mysteries the superstitious terrors of death and the world to come.