S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Daily examination is an antidote against the temptations of the following day, and constant examination of ourselves after duty is a preservative against vain encroachments in following duties; and upon the finding them out, let us apply the blood of Christ by faith for our cure, and draw strength from the death of Christ for the conquest of them, and let us also be humbled. God lifts up the humble; when we are humbled for our carnal frames in one duty, we shall find ourselves by the grace of God more elevated in the next.
If one concentrates reflection too much on ones self, one ends by no longer seeing anything, or seeing only what one wishes. By the very act, as it were, of capturing ones self, the personage we believe we have seized escapes, disappears. Nor is it only the complexity of our inner being which obstructs our examination, but its exceeding variability. The investigators regard should embrace all the sides of the subject, and perseveringly pursue all its phases.
J. M. Degerando: Du Perfect. Moral, ch. ix., On the Difficulties We Encounter in Self-Study.
If, after a serious retrospect of your past lives, of the objects you have pursued, and the principles which have determined your conduct, they appear to be such as will ill sustain the scrutiny of a dying hour, dare to be faithful to yourselves, and shun with horror that cruel treachery to your best interests which would impel you to sacrifice the happiness of eternity to the quiet of a moment.
Robert Hall: Funeral Sermon for the Princess Charlotte.
If we would sometimes bestow a little consideration upon ourselves, and employ the time we spend in prying into other mens actions and discovering things without us, in examining our own abilities, we should soon perceive of how infirm and decaying materials this fabrick of ours is composed. Is it not a singular testimony of imperfection that we cannot establish our satisfaction in any one thing, and that even our own fancy and desire should deprive us of the power to choose what is most proper and useful for us? A very good proof of this, is the great dispute that has ever been amongst the philosophers, of finding out a mans principal and sovereign good, that continues yet, and will eternally continue, without resolution or accord.
Michel de Montaigne: Essays, Cottons 3d ed., ch. lii.