Equity "is that exact rule of righteousness or justice which is to be observed between man and man. Our Lord beautifully and comprehensively expresses it in these words: 'All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets' (Mt 7:12). This golden rule, says Dr. Watts, has many excellent properties in it.
1. It is a rule that is easy to be understood, and easy to be applied by the meanest and weakest understanding (Isa 35:8).
2. It is a very short rule, and easy to be remembered: the weakest memory can retain it; and the meanest of mankind may carry this about with them, and have it ready upon all occasions.
3. This excellent precept carries greater evidence to the conscience, and a stronger degree of conviction in it, than any other rule of moral virtue.
4. It is particularly fitted for practice, because it includes in it a powerful motive to stir us up to do what it enjoins.
5. It is such a rule as, if well applied, will almost always secure our neighbor from injury, and secure us from guilt if we should chance to hurt him.
6. It is a rule as much fitted to awaken us to sincere repentance upon the transgression of it as it is to direct us to our present duty.
7. It is a most extensive rule, with regard to all the stations, ranks, and characters of mankind, for it is perfectly suited to them all.
8. It is a most comprehensive rule with regard to all the actions and duties that concern our neighbors. It teaches us to regulate our temper and behavior, and promote tenderness, benevolence, gentleness, etc.
9. It is also a rule of the highest prudence with regard to ourselves, and promotes our own interest in the best manner.
10. This rule is fitted to make the whole world as happy as the present state of things will admit. See Watts, Sermons, serm. 33, volume 1; Evans, Sermons, serm. 28. SEE ETHICS.