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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
That part of divine worship wherein we acknowledge benefits received. "It implies, " says Dr. Barrow, (vol. 1: ser. 8 and 9.) "
1. A right apprehension of the benefits conferred.
2. A faithful retention of benefits in the memory, and frequent reflections upon them.
3. A due esteem and those benefits with a willing mind, a vehement affection.
5. Due acknowledgment of our obligations.
6. Endeavours of real compensation; or, as it respects the Divine Being, a willingness to serve and exalt him.
7. Esteem, veneration, and love of the benefactor."
The blessings for which we should be thankful are,
1. Temporal; such as health, food, raiment, rest, &c.
2. Spiritual; such as the Bible, ordinances, the Gospel and its blessings; as free grace adoption, pardon, justification, calling, &c.
3. Eternal, or the enjoyment of God in a future state.
Also for all that is past, what we now enjoy, and what is promised: for private and public, for ordinary, and extraordinary blessings; for prosperity, and even adversity, so far as rendered subservient to our good. The excellency of this duty appears, if we consider,
1. Its antiquity: it existed in Paradise before Adam fell, and therefore prior to the graces of faith, repentance, &c.
2. Its sphere of operation: being far beyond many other graces which are confined to time and place.
3. Its felicity; some duties are painful; as repentance, conflict with sin, &c. but this is a source of sublime pleasure.
4. Its reasonableness.
5. It perpetuity. This will be in exercise for ever, when other graces will not be necessary, as faith, repentance, &c.
The obligation to this duty arises,
1. From the relation we stand in to God.
2. The divine command.
3. The promises God hath made.
4. The example of all good men.
5. Our unworthiness of the blessings we receive. And, 6. The prospect of eternal glory.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Thanksgiving'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/t/thanksgiving.html. 1802.