THE GOLDEN RULE

The Golden Rule is a title commonly used for Christ Jesus' precept given in Matthew (7:12), "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

The term was first used about the year 1540 in connection with a rule of mathematics known as the rule of proportion, or rule of three, a method of finding the fourth number from three numbers already given. According to the London Encyclopedia, published in 1845, the term was first used in connection with Christianity by Isaac Watts, the hymn writer. It is recorded, however, that Clement Ellis, an English churchman, indirectly applied the term in 1660 when he said in an address, speaking of the gentleman, "The just rule he goes by, is not opinion, but knowledge; not that leaden one, which is so easily bent and made crooked, or melted and dissolved by the heat of passion ... but that other golden one, which lies so close and firm, as it is made straight and even."

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November 12, 1949
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