Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Is an act by which we consider any thing closely, or wherein the soul is employed in the search or consideration of any truth. In religion it is used to signify the serious exercise of the understanding, whereby our thoughts are fixed on the observation of spiritual things, in order to practice. Mystic divines make a great difference between dedication and contemplation; the former consists in discursive acts of the soul, considering methodically and with attention the mysteries of faith and the precepts of morality; and is performed by reflections and reasonings which leave behind them manifest impressions on the brain. The pure contemplative, they say, have no need of meditation, as seeing all things in God at a glance, and without any reflection.
See BEGUINS and QUIETISTS.
1. Meditation is a duty which ought to be attended to by all who wish well to their spiritual interests. It ought to be deliberate, close, and perpetual, Psalms 119:97 . Psalms 1:2 .
2. The subjects which ought more especially to engage the Christian mind are the works of creation, Psalms 19:1-14 : the perfections of God. Deuteronomy 32:4; the excellencies, offices, characters, and works of Christ, Hebrews 12:2-3; the offices and operations of the Holy Spirit, John 15:16 : the various dispensations of Providence, Psalms 97:1-2; the precepts, declarations, promises, &c. of God's word, Psa cxix; the value, powers, and immortality of the soul, Mark 8:36; the noble, beautiful, and benevolent plan of the Gospel, 1 Timothy 1:11; the necessity of our personal interest in and experience of its power, John 3:3; the depravity of our nature, and the freedom of divine grace in choosing, adopting, justifying, and sanctifying us, 1 Corinthians 6:11; the shortness, worth, and swiftness of time, James 4:14; the certainty of death, Hebrews 9:27; the resurrection and judgment to come, 1 Corinthians 15:50 , &c. and the future state of eternal rewards and punishments, Matthew 25:1-46 : These are some of the most important subjects on which we should meditate.
3. To perform this duty aright, we should be much in prayer, Luke 18:1; avoid a worldly spirit, 1 John 2:15; beware of sloth, Hebrews 6:11; take heed of sensual pleasures, James 4:4; watch against the devices of Satan, 1 Peter 5:8; be often in retirement, Psalms 4:4; embrace the most favourable opportunities, the calmness of the morning, Psalms 5:1; Psalms 5:3; the solemnity of the evening, Genesis 24:63; Sabbathdays, Psalms 118:24; sacramental occasions, &c. 1 Corinthians 11:28 .
4. The advantages resulting from this are, improvement of the faculties of the soul, Proverbs 16:22; the affections are raised to God, Psalms 39:1; Psalms 39:4; an enjoyment of divine peace and felicity, Philippians 4:6-7; holiness of life is promoted, Psalms 119:59-60; and we thereby experience a foretaste of eternal glory, Psalms 73:25-26 . 2 Corinthians 5:1 &c.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Meditation'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/m/meditation.html. 1802.