THE MISSION OF CHRIST. 397
as to what the nature of the punishments and rewards must be. It being manifestly impossible for us to know, affirmatively, the particular modes of spiritual existence, we can arrive at a conclusion only by the method of exclusion. We must, therefore, begin by excluding all idea of material penalties or rewards. All such conceptions of spiritual life must be relegated to the dark ages of human intelligence, when man was able to conceive of no joy apart from physical pleasure, and no punishment other than physical suffering. Our conceptions must, therefore, be limited by what we know of the nature and attributes of the soul, as exhibited through phenomena. The first question, then, is, What do we know of the attributes of the soul?
We know, first, that it is the seat of the emotions. It is therefore capable of being rewarded or punished through the natural affections.
Secondly, we know that it possesses the inherent power of perception of the laws of nature and of God, including the eternal, God-ordained principles of right and wrong. It will, therefore, after its release from the body, be able to estimate the value of every good deed, and realize the inherent infamy of every wrong one, as weighed in the scales of Eternal Justice.
Thirdly and lastly, we know of one attribute and power of the human soul more pregnant with weal or woe, with joy or sorrow, than all the others combined; and that is its perfect memory.
These are the essential things that we know of the soul from the observation of phenomena. Our conceptions of it, therefore, are limited to its intellectual, moral, and emotional attributes. We know it only as an intellectual entity, and our conceptions of the rewards and punishments adequate to the ends of Divine Justice must be limited accordingly.
Little need be said in explanation of the trend of this brief summary. The conclusions are obvious. We have before us an intellectual entity capable of experiencing all the natural emotions of humanity, of joy and sorrow, of