Psalm 66:16
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for me.
Sermons
The Best Evidence for ChristW. Forsyth Psalm 66:16
God in HistoryW. Forsyth Psalm 66:1-20
ProvidenceJ. Stalker, D. D.Psalm 66:1-20
WorshipHomilistPsalm 66:1-20
Vows Fulfilled and Experiences RelatedC. Short Psalm 66:13-20
Christian ExperienceE. Payson, D. D.Psalm 66:16-20
Christian ExperienceDenis Browne, M. A.Psalm 66:16-20
GodlinessHomilistPsalm 66:16-20
Gratitude and GenerosityDean Howson.Psalm 66:16-20
Tell Others of JesusPsalm 66:16-20
The Communization of Christian ExperienceA. Thompson, D. D.Psalm 66:16-20
The Experience of a Godly ManHomiletic MagazinePsalm 66:16-20
The Good Man Grateful for DeliverancesSketches of Four Hundred SermonsPsalm 66:16-20
The Psalmist's InvitationJ. Stewart.Psalm 66:16-20
What Christ has Done for MeArchibald O. Brown.Psalm 66:16-20
It has been said that "the evidence for Christianity is not the evidences." This may be true of much that is technically called "evidences;" but it is not true of the evidence brought before us here. Facts are facts. Effects must have sufficient causes. Godliness can only be rightly accounted for by being traced to God. Christianity witnesses for Christ. Wherever you find a man saved by Christ, there you have the best evidence for Christ.

I. THIS EVIDENCE IS THE MOST ACCESSIBLE. Like the facts of science, it is before our eyes. If you want to know the truth, "come and see." As St. Paul argues, "the works of the flesh are manifest," and a black catalogue he gives of some of them. But the works of the Spirit are also manifest; and they are so contrary to the works of the flesh, that when a man changes his life, to walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, the evidence is conclusive as to the transcendent and beneficent power of Christ. The great conversions of St. Luke, as recorded in his Gospel and in the Acts, are evidences of the highest kind; but they are but samples. From that time down through the ages there is an ever-increasing cloud of witnesses. There is much evidence that is only accessible to the learned, and to such as have leisure and capacity for investigation; but here is evidence open to all - clear, relevant, and unmistakable.

II. THIS EVIDENCE IS THE MOST CONVINCING. It is so to the individual Christian himself. There may be arguments you cannot answer, and difficulties and doubts you cannot remove; but if you have felt the power of Christ for good, you have proof which is better than all else, that Christ is from God (1 John 5:10). You know the Bible to be true. You know salvation to be a reality. It is not something you have heard of or seen in others, but something which God has done for your own soul Like the man who had his sight restored, you can say, "Whereas I was blind, now I see." Or like the woman healed of the issue of blood, you can, solicited by love, bear witness, even "before all the people" (Luke 8:47), as to the great things which Christ has done for you. This evidence is the most convincing to others besides ourselves. When we find a real change of mind, a transformation of character, a life made beautiful by self-denial and virtue where formerly it was otherwise, and self-ruled instead of Christ, we cannot but confess the hand of God (Galatians 1:23; Acts 4:13; 2 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Corinthians 14:21).

III. THIS EVIDENCE IS THE MOST ENDURING. It is not limited to one time; it runs through the ages. Here is the true apostolic succession, and it has never been broken. In spite of all opposition and hostility, Christianity lives and prevails. At home and abroad, in every department of business and in every kind of society, it has its witnesses. Wherever we go, we may find brethren in Christ; and when, like Paul, we meet them, perhaps, when we are in trouble or in unexpected places, let us thank God, and take courage (Acts 28:14). Let us also, in our several places, see that we are found faithful. If we are called of God, it is that we may live for God. If we have been enlightened by Christ, it is that we may let our light shine where he has given us our lot. What an honour to be a witness for Christ! The more closely we imitate him by holy living, by faithful work, by loving service to the poor and needy, the greater shall be our power with God and men, and the greater our reward in heaven (John 20:21; Matthew 19:28). - W.F.







Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul.
Homilist.
I. In SOCIAL TALK. "Come and hear," etc.

1. The subject of a good man's talk. What is it? The kindness of God to him. "What He hath done for my soul." He hath enlightened me, renovated my nature, removed my guilt, brightened my prospects, etc.

2. The desire of a good man to communicate. Why does he wish to inform others of the blessings which God has conferred upon him? That he may do them good, inspire them with the desire to seek similar blessings.

3. The audience that a good man seeks. "All ye that fear God." All ye that are reverent and religious, and that are in sympathy with me. Godliness is not ascetic. It does not shun, but craves for society.

II. In EARNEST PRAYER. "I cried unto Him with my mouth." The expression "cried" indicates earnestness. Prayer is not words, but burning desires, "uttered or unexpressed."

1. This earnest prayer was unobstructed by iniquity. "If I regard (in purpose) iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." Where the heart is full of worldly thoughts, corrupt desires, and iniquitous purposes, there can be no true prayer. True prayer can no more spring from such a heart than vegetation from marble just polished by the sculptor's hand.

2. This earnest prayer was answered by God. "Verily God hath heard me," etc. True prayer is always answered — answered in the increased buoyancy, vigour, and joyousness of the soul. Every pure desire of the heart brings with it satisfying good. Virtue is its own reward.

III. In DEVOUT THANKSGIVING. "Blessed be God," etc. God has heard me, and therefore blessed be God. What we win by prayer we must wear with praise. Mercies in answer to prayer, do in a special manner oblige us to be thankful.

(Homilist.)

Homiletic Magazine.
I. THE GODLY MAN IS ANXIOUS TO IMPART HIS EXPERIENCE TO OTHERS. "Come and hear."

I. His confession is volunteered, not enforced.

2. Spiritual experiences should be told at suitable times. "Come and hear." Many have brought religion into disrepute by preaching when they ought to have simply and unostentatiously practised its precepts.

3. Spiritual experience should be addressed to congenial hearers. "All ye that fear God." Some preachers err greatly by discoursing of the deep things of experimental religion to those who need to be taught the first principles of the Gospel.

4. Spiritual experience should be strictly personal. "What He hath done for my soul." Much that has obtained currency for "experience," has been either fiction, or religious scandal.

II. THE GODLY MAN'S EXPERIENCE INCLUDES BOTH PENITENCE AND PRAISE.

1. He has to tell of sin mourned over. "I cried unto Him." This is just the language that would describe the outburst of a penitent soul.

2. He has to tell of trouble endured. The trouble has been greater than he could bear; it has been more than he could fight against; hence he has cried to One higher than he.

3. He has to tell of mercies received. "He was extolled with my tongue." This He has done for my soul: I sinned, and He forgave me; I was in trouble, and He helped me. "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard," etc.

III. THE GODLY MAN'S LOGIC. "If I regard," etc. The Christian's argument is this: If I cherish sin in my heart, God will not hear my prayer. But God has heard me. Therefore it is clear that His grace has been effective in my heart in subduing the power of sin. The answered prayer is the proof that I have been enabled by grace to overcome sin.

IV. THE GODLY MAN'S EXPERIENCE ALWAYS CULMINATES IN A SONG OF PRAISE. Even when he has most plainly established his innocence, he ascribes the glory to God, whose mercy has not been withdrawn, and who still hears and answers prayer. This closing song implies three things —

1. That God's mercy is continuous; else iniquity would prevail, and be cherished in the heart.

2. That God hears prayer unweariedly.

3. That the disposition to pray is also God's gift.

(Homiletic Magazine.)

I. THAT GOD HAD DONE GREAT THINGS FOR HIS SOUL.

1. God had done great things for him, in a temporal point of view — making a king of a shepherd.

2. He here speaks, however, not as the King of Israel, but as a citizen of Zion. The soul, and not the body, the subject. Worldly riches and spiritual poverty are often combined.

3. What God did for the soul of David, He does for the soul of every believer.

(1)He decreed its salvation.

(2)He gave it to Christ.

(3)He sent it: His Spirit.

(4)He renews and sanctifies it by His grace.

(5)He has arranged in subserviency to it, the events of His providence.

(6)He has made present grace, the earnest of future glory, already prepared.

4. Has God done any of these things for you? If so, He has done them all.

II. THAT DAVID NOTICED AND RECORDED THE THINGS WHICH GOD DID FOR HIS SOUL.

1. Unless David had marked and treasured up God's dealings with him, he could not have told them.

2. The whole of his psalms show that this was his practice.

3. David's example is worthy of imitation — if we keep not a journal, let us at least recollect.

(1)Such is the only course, dictated by respect for God, in His procedure towards us.

(2)Such is the way in which we may be enabled intelligently to co-operate with God.

(3)Such is the only way in which the answer to prayer can be perceived.

(4)Such is the only way in which a song of thanksgiving can be learned.

4. Is the past a blank to you? Then you are not prepared to imitate David.

III. THAT HE FELT THE OBLIGATION OF DECLARING TO OTHERS THE DEALINGS OF GOD WITH HIS SOUL.

1. The general tendency and practice is to conceal God's dealings — though silence on the subject of experience is often necessary from ignorance.

2. The motives which influenced David might be various.

(1)He would have others to learn what he had been taught.

(2)He would have others to unite with him in praising the Lord for His mercies.

(3)He would, in a practical way, acknowledge the unity of the Church.

(4)He yielded to present and strong feeling: out of the abundance of his heart his mouth spake.

IV. THIS INVITATION IS ADDRESSED ONLY TO THOSE WHO "FEAR GOD."

1. Had he been preaching salvation to the lost, he would have addressed all.

2. But he is to speak of the experience of a living soul in its intercourse with God.

3. In such a case, believers only are addressed.

(1)Because they only will listen from actual interest in such a subject.

(2)Because they only can understand such a subject — these things must be felt to be known.

(3)Because they only will make a right use of such communications.

(4)Because David was seeking for Christian fellowship.

(J. Stewart.)

I. SUCH AS FEAR GOD TAKE AN INTEREST IS HIS DOINGS TO THE SOULS OF MEN, and are those, therefore, to whom such communications will be made. They cannot but be interested therein. But the godless, or the formal, will feel no such interest; that which the believer has to tell will be an unknown and unwelcome truth to them. But those who sincerely fear God will welcome the experience of others, knowing that whatever stage of the Christian life be told of, the communication cannot but be profitable and helpful.

II. THOSE TO WHOSE SOULS GOD HAS BEEN GRACIOUS DESIRE TO TELL OF WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR THEM. Not for the sake of ostentation or pride, still less from hypocrisy, but from irrepressible gratitude to God. And with the view of honouring God, to whom they are so much indebted. Also that they may do good to those to whom they tell of what God has done. It does do them good, for practical and experimental statements are well suited to help others in the heavenward way. And the telling does good to his own soul likewise. He receives sympathy, awakens delight, so that he and they to whom he speaks are comforted, and rejoice together.

III. AND THOSE WHO THUS COMMUNICATE THEIR RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE HAVE MUCH TO TELL. Not merely of God's general goodness to sinful men, but of what God has done specially for them — calling them, pleading with, converting, accepting, sustaining, helping them in every way. Let us then take this conduct of the psalmist as a model. Let no shyness or timidity hinder. But with seriousness, and sincerity, and simplicity do this. It is not essential to salvation, but it is greatly helpful thereto, for yourselves and for others. But what of those who have no such experience to tell? Should not this lead to serious thought? If you cannot talk of God's saving mercy here, how can you hope to enjoy it hereafter?

(A. Thompson, D. D.)

Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.
I. EVERY DELIVERANCE OF OUR LIFE OUGHT TO BE ATTRIBUTED TO GOD.

II. EVERY DELIVERANCE FROM TEMPORAL, STILL MORE FROM SPIRITUAL TROUBLE AND DANGER, WILL SO AFFECT THE GOOD MAN'S MIND AS TO EXCITE HIS GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF IT.

III. WHILE THE DEVOUT MAN WAS ANXIOUS TO STIR UP THE WHOLE NATION TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE DELIVERANCE GOD HAD GIVEN TO IT, HE WAS MOST DESIROUS TO ADDRESS HIMSELF TO THOSE WHO POSSESSED THE FEAR OF GOD.

1. What has God done for our souls?-anything? Oh yes! he has given us a distinguished mode of being, and has often put us, as it were, into a new life, after dreadful sicknesses, dangers, etc. He has also given to some of us a better, even a divine, life, and has often renewed it to us. Surely gratitude should actuate us.

2. But in what manner have these expressions of God's goodness affected us? Have we acknowledged them openly, ingenuously, and piously? or have we in an ungrateful and cowardly manner kept silent for fear of man?

3. So far as any of us have walked unworthy of the divine goodness of God, in not having published it to others; and so far as we have trampled on this goodness, in neither having sought nor suffered ourselves to be put in possession of the divine life: so far ought we to be ashamed and abased before God, to pray to Him, etc.

4. It is our mercy that a due improvement of the present opportunity may yet lead to the most glorious results, as Jehovah will not turn away the prayer of the penitent, nor yet hide His mercy from him.

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

I. WHAT HAS GOD DONE FOR THE SOUL OF EVERY CHRISTIAN? The Christian's God has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Each of this Divine Three has done many things for his soul, and whatever is done by either of them is done by God.

II. WHY DOES THE CHRISTIAN WISH TO DECLARE WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR HIS SOUL?

1. If we have seen or met with anything wonderful, we naturally wish to speak of it. That God should do such things for a sinful soul is beyond measure wonderful. It is by far the most wonderful of all His works. He Himself represents it as such. Well, then, may every one for whom He has done such wonders of grace and mercy, wish to declare it.

2. Regard for God's glory prompts the Christian to speak.

3. Further, he wishes to declare what God has done for his soul, in order that others may assist him in praising the bountiful Benefactor.

III. WHY DOES HE WISH TO MAKE THIS DECLARATION TO THOSE ONLY WHO FEAR GOD?

1. Because they alone can understand such a declaration.

2. Because they alone will really believe him.

3. Because they only will listen with interest, or join with him in praising his Benefactor.

IV. IMPROVEMENT. Permit me to ask you, in view of this subject —

1. Whether the returns which God requires of you in the Gospel are not most reasonable?

2. Learn from this subject how inexcusable is your ingratitude, how much reason you have for sorrow, shame, and self-abasement.

(E. Payson, D. D.)

Let each one put to himself the question, "What hath God done for my soul?" and may God, as we proceed, enable us so to answer the question, that our gratitude to Him may be kindled to a greater warmth, and bear fruit abundantly in generosity to man.

1. First of all, then, we declare with thankfulness what God hath done for our souls in the act of redeeming us. God sent His Son to bless us in turning every one of us from his iniquities. But salvation is not a mere momentary act, ending in itself. God's plan is so to lay hold of our mind and heart that there may be continual growth and improvement. His desire is that we should advance in all spiritual knowledge, "understanding what the will of the Lord is," and comprehending more and more with all saints what is the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of His love.

2. To this end He has given us the Holy Scriptures for our perpetual possession. Let us consider how great a blessing it is to have revealed knowledge laid up in store for us in a book. This gift to our souls is not a mere transient message, the impression of which may gradually fade away anal in time be totally forgotten, or the tradition of which may be corrupted and distorted without any power of correction; but God has so made His communication to us that we can keep it always fresh, can have it always ready at hand, can refer to it, can consult it again and again, can commit large portions of Divine truth to memory, can renew our impressions as they fade, can compare the different parts of the record together with care and deliberation, can study it more and more closely, and make it more and more our own every day that we live. But it is not merely as separate persons one by one that God has furnished us with blessings made ready to our souls.

3. We are members of a great society. The Holy Catholic Church is a part of the system of our religion. Not only does Christianity contain doctrines but likewise institutions. We are abundantly sup. plied with what may be called social ordinances in the Church. We have sacraments, and common prayer, and public instruction, and mutual help.

4. If, now, we are to single out a fourth thing which God hath done for our souls, I think it ought to be the blessing of providential care. How our life has been sheltered at dangerous times! What good directions have been given us by the word and example of others — what invitations to make ourselves well acquainted with Christ and His service, and with the peace which His faithful servants are permitted to possess! Whatever the result may have been, surely no thoughtful mind can hesitate to regard with thankfulness such providential care as one of the highest benefits which God bath conferred upon the soul. And especially let the mind dwell upon this providential care as intended for the discipline and training of the character for some real usefulness in life — as something intended to make us more thoughtful, more watchful, less frivolous, less selfish — something to give us the rare blessing of a right and well-balanced mind, so that we may be helpful to our friends, and that they may learn from us the lesson which we ourselves have been taught. But now we must advance one step further, and here we enter the inner circle of all. At this point especially the words of the psalm are addressed to those who fear God, and it is only they who can thoroughly enter into their meaning. "O come hither and hearken, all ye that fear God; and I will tell you what He hath done for my soul." This desire to help others is a certain mark of a true conversion. If, indeed, there has been experience like that which I have just described, its practical result will take this form. Gratitude to God will find its natural development in generosity to man.

(Dean Howson.)

I. LET US TRY AND TELL THE TALE. "What He hath done for my soul." What has He done?

1. He has done that which no one else could have done. From first to last the work is of His own right hand, and infinitely beyond the power of any other. No angel, nor any number of angels, could have done for me what He has done. They may, indeed, "excel in strength," but the work required as far exceeded their strength as their might exceeds a gnat's. Angels have done great things — see Egypt and Sennacherib — but they could not do this. He has done that which no minister, nor any number of them could do; and what I could never have done fox myself.

2. He has done that which requires many words to describe. Saved! Ah, that is a grand word worthy of being written in letters of gold. A saved soul includes many things. A saved soul is a God-pardoned soul; a God-reconciled soul; a sin-delivered soul; a heaven-entitled soul.

3. He has done that which can never be more completely done.

4. And which can never be undone.

5. He has done that for my soul which brings more glory to His name than all His other works. See Paul.

6. He hath done that for my soul which I am able to know is done. If a man does not know what God has done for his soul, there is some reason to believe that nothing has yet been done. Is conversion so minute a matter, so small a change that it can only be detected by the most delicate tests, and then never to a certainty? Nonsense. That is a poor kind of conversion that only remains a trembling hope and never develops into a conscious fact.

7. He has done for my soul that which will bear the test of eternity.

II. A FEW REASONS THAT WARRANT TELLING THE TALE.

1. Saints in all ages have done the same. See Paul. Throughout all his epistles the same thing shines. He never forgets his own salvation. Glistening like little gems in a setting of gold are those personal allusions. "I obtained mercy." "Of whom I am chief." "By the grace of God I am what I am." Too often we forget that we have been purged from our old sins; the day of our conversion grows dim in the distance, and our heart's love loses its fervour and intensity. The fire becomes caked over and gives out but little heat. Tell the tale, and in telling it, old memories spring into fresh life. The fire is stirred, its hardening crust is broken, and the flames leap out as bright as ever. Oh, it is a grand thing for one's own soul to live over again the day of conversion. Tell it, it is the best argument with sinners. The world can understand a fact far better than a theory.

(Archibald O. Brown.)

I. SOME OF THOSE THINGS WHICH THE LORD HAS DONE FOR THEIR SOULS, WHICH CALL FORTH THEIR FEELINGS OF GRATITUDE AND LOVE TO HIM.

1. What He has done for their souls in the gift of Christ (John 3:16),

2. In enabling them to appropriate to themselves by faith the blessings of that salvation.

3. In the privilege which He gives to them, of drawing near to Him in prayer through Christ, and in the communications from Himself which are imparted to them frequently in the exercise of that privilege.

4. In their preservation from falling into open sin to the dishonour of His name and their own everlasting ruin (1 Peter 1:5).

II. IT IS GOD'S WILL CONCERNING HIS PEOPLE THAT THEY SHOULD LIVE IN THE LIVELY APPREHENSION OF THESE BENEFITS WHICH HAVE BEEN THUS CONFERRED UPON THEM. There are many who think lightly of Christian experience — who are ready to treat as enthusiastic, everything connected with it, and exclaim against it either as hypocrisy or delusion; but the operations of God's Spirit do not consist in mere notions, but in his lively actings within the soul; where there is no experience of what God has done for the soul, there can be no real work of God's Holy Spirit. Let none of us then be satisfied with mere notional religion, but see that we be able to rejoice in what our God, in His mercy and grace, has done for our souls.

III. WE HAVE HERE REPRESENTED TO US ONE OF THOSE EFFECTS WHICH WILL EVER BE PRODUCED BY THAT TRUE CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE WHICH IS THE RESULT OF THE OPERATION OF GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT IN THE SOUL.It is, that it will produce the humble acknowledgment of the mercies which have been received — and that from the simple and sincere desire to glorify God and to benefit the souls of others.

1. To win the unconverted people of the world to the consideration of those subjects from which their hearts are alienated and with which they only associate ideas of gloom and melancholy.

2. For the consolation and encouragement and edification of the people of God.

(Denis Browne, M. A.)

Dr. Valpy, the author of a great many class-books, wrote the following simple lines as his confession of faith: —

"In peace let me resign my breath,

And Thy salvation see;

My sins deserve eternal death,

But Jesus died for me."Valpy is dead and gone; but he gave those lines to dear old Dr. Marsh, the Rector of Beckenham, who put them over his study mantel-shelf. The Earl of Roden came in and read them. "Will you give me a copy of those lines?" said the good earl. "I shall be glad," said Dr. Marsh, and copied them. Lord Roden took them home and put them over his mantel-shelf. General Taylor, a Waterloo hero, came into the room and noticed them. He read them over and over again, while staying with Earl Roden, till his lordship remarked, "I say, friend Taylor, I should think you know those lines by heart." He answered, "I do know them by heart; indeed, my very heart has grasped their meaning." He was brought to Christ by the humble rhyme. General Taylor handed those lines to an officer in the army, who was going out to the Crimean War. He came home to die; and when Dr. Marsh went to see him, the poor soul, in his weakness, said: "Good sir, do you know this verse that General Taylor gave to me? It brought me to my Saviour, and I die in peace" To Dr. Marsh's surprise, he repeated the lines: —In peace let me resign my breath, etc.Only think of the good which four simple lines may do! Oh, tell the good news! Never mind how simple the language. Tell it out.

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