Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Self-Examination
 
  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.
Stephen Charnock: Attributes.    
  1
 
  If one concentrates reflection too much on one’s self, one ends by no longer seeing anything, or seeing only what one wishes. By the very act, as it were, of capturing one’s 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 investigator’s 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.    
  2
 
  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.    
  3
 
  Every one, if he would look into himself, would find some defect of his particular genius.
John Locke.    
  4
 
  If we would sometimes bestow a little consideration upon ourselves, and employ the time we spend in prying into other men’s 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 man’s principal and sovereign good, that continues yet, and will eternally continue, without resolution or accord.
Michel de Montaigne: Essays, Cotton’s 3d ed., ch. lii.    
  5
 
  What is every year of a wise man’s life but a censure and critique of the past?
Alexander Pope.    
  6
 
  Inspect the neighbourhood of thy life; every shelf, every nook of thy abode; and, nestling in, quarter thyself in the farthest and most domestic winding of thy snail-house.
Jean Paul F. Richter.    
  7
 
  Some judge it advisable for a man to account with his heart every day; and this, no doubt, is the best and surest course; for still the oftener the better.
Robert South.    
  8
 
  This method, faithfully observed, must keep a man from breaking or running behind-hand in his spiritual estate: which without frequent accountings he will hardly be able to prevent.
Robert South.    
  9
 
  Let us take care that we sleep not without such a recollection of the actions of the day as may represent anything that is remarkable as matter of sorrow or thanksgiving.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  10
 
  Once a day, especially in the early years of life and study, call yourselves to an account what new ideas, what new proposition or truth, you have gained.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  11
 
  It was the sacred rule among the Pythagoreans that they should every evening thrice run over the actions and affairs of the day.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  12
 
 
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