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."

. . .

"At night:

  • Review the actions of the day.

  • Give to God the glory of what has been good;

  • Take shame to yourself for what has been evil.

  • Review the dispensations of God's providences, and

  • Consider their special meaning and application.

  • Acknowledge the mercies of God received through the day.

  • Submit to the afflictions laid upon you.

  • Desire a fresh application to your conscience of the blood of sprinkling; and

  • Commit yourselves afresh to the mercy and protection of God, through Jesus Christ; that you may be preserved through the slumbers of the night, and be permitted to wake in peace, whether it be in earth or heaven.

By these points let every action be examined:


  • By whose rule have I acted?


  • In whose strength have I acted?


  • In whose name have I acted?

  • For whose glory have I acted?

  • What faith, humility, self-denial, love to God and Christ, have there been in my actions?

(Gorham Abbott, 1833,
"The Family at Home." Public Domain as seen on Grace Gems. Bolding mine.)

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