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THE MISSION OF CHRIST.                   393
that are more clearly established by inductive processes of reasoning than is the principle of immortality.
Having established this proposition, it remains only to consider Christ's doctrine of future rewards and punishments. Obviously, this is a more difficult question to handle, foi the reason that there are necessarily few facts known to mankind which can be considered scientifically demonstrative of any proposition which has been made by any one on that subject. Nevertheless, if there is one known fact which confirms his declarations on that question, and at the same time satisfies the demands of human reason and the common sense of Divine Justice, we may safely conclude that the Christian religion rests upon a purely scientific basis.
The first important fact which confronts us in considering this branch of the subject is, that Jesus said very little on the subject. It was obviously impossible for him to convey to the human mind any adequate knowledge or idea of the actual conditions of a spiritual existence. He was hedged about by the limitations of human speech and the finite understanding of his followers. His descriptions, therefore, of the places of future rewards and punishments were necessarily limited to material conceptions. He could effectively employ no other symbolism than that with which his hearers were familiar and which they could appreciate. He had taught them in plain and unmistakable terms the conditions upon which the soul could attain a conscious existence ; and having done that, his mission was thenceforth a moral one. Having taught them how to attain eternal life, he taught them so to conduct their lives in this world as to entitle them to the joys of that life. It was no part of his mission to reconstruct the accepted geography of the world of spirits, for it could only add confusion to their crude conceptions. His parables were drawn from the objects and incidents of their every-day life, and were necessarily limited in their application to a spiritual existence. His only object was to enforce a code of morals founded upon the eternal principles of right and justice, simple in terms, and adapted to their comprehension, but