Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

( 39 ) SERMONXXXIII. TIIE UNIVERSAL RULE OF EQUITY. MAT. VII. 12. All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them; for this is the law and the prophets. THEN our blessed Lord took upon him the public office of a.prophet or teacher amongst men, he found it was not Only necessary to instruct them in the sacred mysteriesof religion, and inform them of their duty to God his Father, and to himself, but he employed much of his ministry also, to teach them the practice of social virtue, arid how they should behave toward their fellow» creatures. In the heathen world the rules of morality were lost in a great measure, as well as the rules of piety and worship ; and the Jews; the peculiar people of God; had grossly corrupted both the one and the other. As our Saviour refined the practice of religion towards God, and raised it by his gospel, to a high and heavenly degree, beyond what mortals had known before, so he explained and established the rules of moral virtue, in a more glo- rious and convincingmanner than theworld had been ac- quainted with. Read his life, and observe how often he takes occa- sion in the several seasons of his preaching, to give parr ticular directions for our conduct toward our neighbours. But after all, he knew that the nature of man was.cor- rupt, his passions strong, his memory frail; and that he would be ready to neglect or forget his various sacred precepts, when there was most need to practise them ; and therefore he thought it proper to give one short and comprehensive rule of equity to regulate all our conduct, -that should be written as it were in our very souls : And this is contained in the words of my text, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, -do ye even so unto them ; for this is the law :and the prophets." . To dilate a little upon this subject, and refresh.a living sense; of it upon your memories and your consciences, I Shall follow this method, and enquire, D4