Below are some of the principles of spiritual life (directiva vitae) extracted from the Bible and Trapp’s commentaries. I will update them step by step – so come back again:

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None but those that live spiritually, and have senses habitually exercised to discern good and evil, #Heb 5:14, can see anything of the worth of this wisdom so as to seek after it as silver, and prize it above gem; for ignoti nulla cupido, men covet not what they value not. Now the cock on the dunghill knows not the price or place of this inestimable jewel, and, therefore, slights it. Those epicures especially, qui suaviter vivunt, as the Vulgate here translateth, who live in pleasure upon earth, and are wanton, #Jas 5:5.

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The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief. And in the night is as a thief – that is, is a very thief; for this as is magis expressivum veritatis, as Mercer speaketh, he would not seem to be, but yet is an arrant thief, ending the day with theft which he began with murder. How these two sins go commonly coupled, see #Ho 4:2 Isa 13:16.

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Job should have remembered that bitter portions bring sweet health, and that το πικρον μικρον, the bitterness would soon be past.

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Sin brought in sweat, {#Ge 3:19} and now not to sweat increaseth sin.

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Opposition doth not weaken, but waken, heroic spirits, #2Sa 6:21,22.

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True grace is operative, and will not lie dormant.

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Youth is a slippery age, and soon slips into sin.

 

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The Church in the Canticles is nowhere described by the beauty of her hands, or fingers

But it is well observed that the Church in the Canticles is nowhere described by the beauty of her hands, or fingers. Christ concealeth the mention of her hands, that is, of her works (Cotton on Canticles):

1. Because he had rather his Church should abound in good works in silence than boast of them (especially when they are wanting), as Rome doth.

2. Because it is he above that worketh all our works for us, #Isa 26:12 Ho 14:4 Joh 15:5. Certum est nos facere quod facimus; sed ille facit, ut faciamus. (Augustine.) We do what we do; but it is he that causeth us so to do. {See Trapp on “Mt 16:27”}

[Extract from The Commentary on Romans 1:6]

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Neglect of family prayer uncovers the roof, as it were, for God’s curse to be rained down upon men’s tables, meals, enterprises.

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God loves to retaliate. Jeremiah 34:17 (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

See also: With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. Psalms 18:26 (KJV)

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John 1: Ver. 30. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

Much ado the Baptist had to persuade this, the common did so admire him for his strict and holy life; for John did no miracle, #Joh 10:41.

Holiness hath reverence. Of God himself it is said, “Holy and” therefore “reverend is his name.” 

“If there be any virtue, if any praise,” saith the apostle, #Php 4:8. Where the one is the other will be.

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Acts 6: Ver. 8. And Stephen, full of faith] He “using the office of a deacon well, did purchase to himself a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus,” #1Ti 3:13. A diligent man stays not long in a low place.

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The word of the Lord is unto them a reproach. The wicked take reproofs for reproaches. {as “Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also“, Luke 11:45}

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Voluptatem vicisse voluptas est maxima, saith Cyprian, nec ulla maior est victoria, quam ea, quae cupiditatibus refertur. There is no such pleasure as to have overcome an offered pleasure; neither is there any greater conquest than that which is gotten over a man’s corruptions.

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It is for the sins of a people that a hypocrite reigneth over them.

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Idolatry is a land desolating sin.

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O caecas mentes hominum!”    *    “O the blind mind of men”

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He that escapes affliction, may well suspect his adoption.

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 They are fools that fear to lose their wealth by giving, but fear not to lose themselves by keeping it.

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Way was made to that bloody French massacre by false reports cast abroad by the friar liars, that the Protestants, under pretence of religion, met by night that they might feed daintily, and then lie together promiscuously.

He that hath a mind to hang his dog, saith the French proverb, will first give out that he is run mad.

The devil was first a liar, and then a murderer from the beginning.

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He that is slow to anger is of great understanding. “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable,” tractable. Thunder, hail, tempest, neither trouble nor hurt celestial bodies. Anger may rush into a wise man’s bosom, not rest there.

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Our hairs are numbered, much more our days.

For crosses seldom come single.

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By this alteration that affliction hath wrought in thee, thou mayest easily see what thou art, viz. a very painted hypocrite: hard weather shows what health; empty vessels set near the fire, crack quickly. At the parting way every dog followeth his own master. Afflictio virum arguit, &c. Affliction shows a man, it turns the inside outward, the bottom of the bag upward; bringing that which was at the bottom to the top; as that stick cast into the water made the iron swim, #2Ki 6:6.

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Cursing men are cursed men.

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About friends. Job in 6:15 elegantly compareth them, not to a river which is fed by a spring, and hath a perennity of flowing; but to a brook arising from rain or melted snow, the property whereof is in a moisture, when there is least need of them, to swell; in a drought, when they should do good, to fail.

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It is by pride that contention cometh, #Pr 13:10, for it maketh a man drunk with his own conceit, #Hab 2:5; and who so wilful, so quarrelsome, as he that is drunk?

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Our hairs are numbered, much more our days.

 

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The hypocrite is a sensualist, #Jud 18:19 Job 21:11 Ho 4:11; he liveth in such miry places as cannot be healed by the waters of the sanctuary, #Eze 47:11. He serveth not the Lord Jesus Christ (whatever he pretendeth), but his own belly, #Ro 16:17,18. He followeth Christ for the loaves only.

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Job’s hope was low, his endeavour was therefore little. Si nihil sperarem, nihil orarem, saith one. Let us pray on.

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The snow like swan hath black legs; and in many things we offend all: gold is not to be refused because it wanteth some grains, and hath a crack

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A wolf flieth not upon a painted sheep. We can look upon a painted toad with delight; it is the reality of godliness that is hated.

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Truth breedeth hatred; and although she be a good mistress, yet they that follow her too close at the heels may hap to have their teeth struck out.

 

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We shall do well to take notice what a dangerous thing it is to give way to unruly passions, which, like heavy bodies down steep hills, once in motion, move themselves, and know no ground but the bottom.

 

The painting: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection), by Raphael

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