Maxims On Self-Examination

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! – Lamentations 3:40

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you fail to meet the test! – 2 Corinthians 13:5


“Examine yourselves. What! Don’t you know your own selves?”

“Keep the heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”

“In the morning, consider what you have to do; and in the evening, what you have done.”

“Man, know yourself; all wisdom centers here.”

The following lines, by Dr. Watts, are recommended to all young people to commit to memory.

Evening Reflections.

“Let not soft slumber close your eyes

Before you’ve recollected thrice

The train of actions through the day:

Where have my feet chose out their way?

What have I learned, wherever I’ve been,

From all I’ve heard, from all I’ve seen?

What know I more, that’s worth the knowing?

What have I done, that’s worth the doing?

What have I sought, that I should shun?

What duties have I left undone?

Or into what new follies run?

These self-inquiries are the road

That leads to virtue, peace, and God!”

Just as it is wise to keep clear accounts of our receipts and expenses, our debts and engagements, so it is wise constantly to examine and compare our heart and conduct with the Word of God; to see what duties have devolved upon us, and whether we have discharged them, or failed in them, and what means can be adopted to promote circumspection, diligence, and fidelity in future. These reviews, if faithfully entered into, will often be humbling and painful, but they will be no less profitable. The more we know of ourselves—the less we shall be inclined to rely on our own merits, or to trust our own strength. And the more earnestly we shall desire an interest in the perfect righteousness and all-sufficient atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the influences of his Holy Spirit to purify our souls, and to quicken and sustain us in the paths of holiness.

The practice of self-examination has been recommended and observed by good and wise men in all ages. It is a pleasure to add the testimony of the present sovereign of England, King William the Fourth. He lately said, that, when a midshipman in the British navy, he was obliged to keep a logbook fairly written; and thus, he said, he acquired a habit, which he had found of the greatest benefit through life, that of recording the occurrences of the day, and submitting his actions to the scrutiny of self-examination.

 Gorham Abbott, The Family At Home