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

SERAI. XXXIII. THE UNIVERSAL RULE OF EQUITY. 3.3. christian ! " Love thy neighbour as thyself;" was a rule appointed to the Jews ; Levi. xix. IS. This is repeated by our Saviour ; Mat. xix. 19. And an happy explica- tion or comment, on it given in my text, " Whatsoever ye would that Wren should do to yeti, do ye even so unto them; for this is the law and the prophets." There were none of the heathen philosophers that delivered this as a general law, in so strong, so universal, and so compre- hensive a manner as our Saviour has done, though one or two of them offered sonic occasional hints of the same kind. But our Saviour appoints it as the grand rule of social virtue, amongst all the subjects of his kingdom ; and he tells us too, that this the sum and substance of the directions given by Moses and the prophets for the conduct of men toward their fellow-creatures. The wisdom of this precept eminently appears herein : Our blessed Lord well knew that self-love would be a powerful temptation to men, to turn them aside from the sacred laws ofjustice, in treating their neighbours; and therefore he wisely takes this very principle of.self-love, and joins it in the consultation with Our reason and con- science, how we should carry it toward our fellow -crea- tures. Thus by his divine prudence, he constrains even this selfish and rebellious principle to assist our con- sciences and our rational powers, in directing us how to practise the social duties of life. It was Christ the Son of God who gave laws to hoses for Israel before his incarnation, and it is héwho is come in the flesh, as a preacher of righteousness to men, in these latter days ; and in both these seasons of legisla- ture, he has manifested this sacred wisdom : " Ye know the heart ofa stranger, saith the Lord, in his dictates -to ilioses; Ex. xxiii. 9. for ye were strangers in the laud of Egypt; therefore thou shalt not oppress a stran,_er. And he gives us still the same general rule for our conduct; " Look into your own hearts, consider what human nature is, you know you are men of like frailty with others, enquire what treatment you would reason ably expect from your fellows, and be sure you practise in the same manner toward them. REFLECTION III. Since the wisdoin of Christ-tlrou0U fit to teach us rules of eduity_and'ri,,-hteousuess amongst men, and has, as it were, etracted the very soul and L v