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

54 THE UNitVERSAL ROLE OF EQUITY'. [SERr4. kxXIII. spirit of all social duties, and summed them up in this short sentence : Let not the disciples of Christ forget this rule ; nor let-the most eminent and exalted christians think it beneath their study and their practice. The love of God and Christ is not the whole of our duty, nor can we be christians indeed, ifwe neglect to love our neighbour. How vain are all our pretences to faith in Christ, and piety toward God, if we grow careless in our conduct toward men? All our fancied attainments in the school of Christ, how they are disgraced and de- stroyed, if we abandon this rule of moral virtue, and treat our neighbours contrary to this divine principle of equity and love ? What shall we answer in the great judgment-day to an enquiring God, when in flaming fire he shalt put us in mind ; " I gave you a plain and easy rule of righteous- ness in my word, I wrote it in your hearts also, in very legible characters : If you had but looked carefully into your consciences, you might have read it there ; But you resolved to sacrifice all to your lusts : you have wronged and defrauded your brethren, and exposed yourselves to my righteous sentence, for your wilful practice of unrigh- teousness against so plain a law ?" It is a just remark which has been often made on this occasion : " The heathen emperor Severus shall rise up in the judgment with such ageneration of christians, and condemn them : For he, by the light of nature, was taught highly to reverence this precept," when he had learned it from the professors of christianity. You might read it upon the walls of his palace ; it was en- graven there to govern his court in the times of peace ; and it is said, he carried it to war with him in the ban- ners ofhis army, that it might regulate his conduct, upon all military occurrences. What a pity it is that Severus was a heathen ! Or ra- ther, what a shame and sorrow it is, that there should be so few of this character in the courts, in the armies, in the markets, the shops, and the families of christians ! When will that blessed day come, that shall bring this departed glory back again to the .church, of Christ? When shall the spirit offaith and charity be poured down from on high, and righteousness come from heaven to dwell among us ? ,_.4