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 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

The character of Christian gratitude, etc. "Hitherto the Lord hath helped us."

1. Christian gratitude is retrospective.

2. Christian gratitude is devout. It connects the thought of God with the travelled past. There may have been second causes: gracious interpositions and friendly agencies; but above and beyond all, the good man recognizes the hand of God, and in real devotion says, "Hitherto the Lord hath helped me."

3. Christian gratitude is joyful. Every event in the providence of God has a message of mercy in it to the good man. Day unto day is saying to him, "Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous, and shout aloud for joy, all ye that are upright in heart."

4. Christian gratitude is ever trustful. It speaks thankfully of the past, and looks forward hopefully to the future; hitherto sounds the keynote of hereafter.

(W. G. Barrett.)