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

SO THE UNIVERSAL RULE OF EAUITY. [SERM. xxru. deformed ; we should never ridicule the natural infirmi- ties of the meanest of our fellow-creatures, nor their providential disadvantages, if we did but put ourselves in the room of the blind and lame, the deformed and the poor, and ask whether we should think it just and rea- sonable to be made the mockery and the jest of those that behold us. We should certainly be inclined to vi- sit the sick, and feed the hungry, to give drinkto him that is a- thirst, and to secure the feeble and helpless from the, oppression of the mighty, if we enquired of our own heart, what treatment we should expect if we were hun- gry and thirsty, if we were sick and helpless. Theblessed command of our Saviour would incline us to reprove with gentleness, to punish with mercy, and never to censure others without ajust reason, and a plain call of providence ; for we ourselves desire and would reasonablyexpect this sort of treatment from others. If we carried this sentence always in our memories, should we blaze abroad scandalous reports before we know the truth of them ? and publish doubtful suspicions of our 'neighbour's guilt ? Should we blacken his character to the utmost, even where there is a real crime, and' make no reasonable allowances for him ? Should we perpetua ally teaze children, servants, or friends with old faults, andmake their follies and miscarriages thematter of Our delightful conversation? Should we censure every little deviation from the truth, as heresy ! Should we pro- nounce anathemas and curses upon him that leaves out of his creed a few hard words which men have invented, or that differs from us in the business of meats, and days, and ceremonies ? We ourselves think it hard to have doubtful reportsof evil published concerning us, and sus- picion blown up into guilt : We think it hard if our crimes are,taggravated to the utmost, and no reasonable allowances are made : We find it very painful to us, and think it unreasonable to be ever teazed with the mention of our former follies, or to have our little differences from another's faith or worship to be pronounced heresy, and to be cut off from the church for it. In short, if this blessed rule of our Saviour did but morniversally obtain, we should never persecute one another for our disagreement in opinion, for we should tlien learn this lesson, that another has as much right to p