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

SERM. XXXIIL.] THE UNIVERSAL RULE OE EQUITY. 4) to be comforted and refreshed ?" Such sort of self-en- quiries as these, will lead us to, the practice' of our pre- sent duty, and solve many a difficult case of conscience better than turning over the largest volumes. VIII. This sacred rule is a most comprehensive one, with regard to all the actions and duties that concern our .neighbours. It is not confined merely to the practice of justice, but it extends much wider and farther : It is of mighty influence in the direction and practice of meek- ness, of patience, of charity, of truth and faithfulness, and every kind of social virtue, and a most happy guard against every social vice., It would be endless to enter into all the special cases of vice and virtue, which relate to the social life, and to shew how much they are affected by this rule, and what divine advantages we may attain for the practice' of Morality,. by keeping this one sentence ever upon our thoughts. Yet I cannot pass over so important a theme, without giving á short specimen of some of these advan- tages: This golden: precept would teach us4iow to regulate our temper, and general behaviour in the world. Am I not willing to be treated in an affable and civil manner by those who converse with me ? Let me treat others then with all becoming civility, and make_ it 'appear that christiauity is a religion of true honour, and thát a Christian indeed is a Well-bred man. Do I think it un reasonable that my neighbour, though he be my superior, should assume haughty airs and disdain me ? Let me watch therefore against all such scornful speeches and disdainful airs, when I converse with one, who is inferior to inc. Do I 'think it a grievous thing, that a man should' break out into sudden passion against me, if I happen, to speak a word contrary to his sentient, or to set himself in a rage- for a trifle : Let me set a strict guard then over all any passionate powers, and learn to bear opposition without impatience. Let nie quench the first risiuls of sudden anger, lest they kindle into an un- governed flame, and hurry me on to the practice of what I condemn in others. This excellent rule :would teach us tenderness NO be- neficence to those that are unhappy. ..'5'e should never Make a jest of the lame or the blind, the crooked or the VOL. 1.41.