Q&A: Puritan Quotes on Self-Examination

Puritan Quotes on Self-Examination

Question

Thanks for the Puritan quotes on salvation. Can you list some Puritan quotes in reference to self-examination?

Answer

I am glad you enjoyed the Puritan quotes on salvation. Here are some quotes regarding self-examination that I have enjoyed:

MARTIN DAY - There be many things that move, and yet their motion is not an argument of life. A windmill when the wind serveth, moveth, and moveth very nimbly too; yet this cannot be said to be a living creature. No; it moveth only by an external cause, by an artificial contrivance. So it is also if a man see another man move, and move very fast, in those things which of themselves are the ways of God: you shall see him move as fast to hear a sermon as his neighbour doth; is as forward and hasty to thrust himself and bid himself a guest to the Lord's table (when God hath not bid him) as any. Now, the question is, what principle sets him a-work? If it be an inward principle of life, out of a sincere affection and love to God and His ordinances, it argueth that man hath some life of grace; but if it be some wind that bloweth on him-the wind of state, the wind of law, the wind of danger, of penalty, the wind of fashion or custom-to do as his neighbours do; if these or the like be the things that draw him thither, this is no argument of life at all: it is a cheap thing, it is a counterfeit and dead piece of service.

HENRY SMITH - Holy men have kept the sessions at home, and made their hearts the foremen of the jury, and examined themselves as we examine others. The fear of the Lord stood at the door of their souls, to examine every thought before it went in, and at the door of their lips, to examine every word before it went out, whereby they escaped a thousand sins which we commit, as though we had no other work.

PHILIP HENRY - An example:
1. Can I choose to undergo the greatest suffering rather than commit the least sin?
2. Can I embrace Christ with His cross?
3. Can I work for God, though there were no wages?
4. Can I swim against the stream, be good in bad times and places?
5. Can I pull out right eyes for Christ and cut off right hands, etc?

Other Puritan Quotes:

Salvation
Self-Examination
Adversity
Atheism
Providence
Election

Reference

Thomas, I. The Golden Treasury of Puritan Quotations (electronic ed.). Simpsonville SC: Christian Classics Foundation, 1996.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).