If you forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he has done you good.
I. THAT WE ARE UNDER OBLIGATIONS TO SERVE THE LORD FROM OUR OWN CHOICE, OR VOLUNTARY ENGAGEMENTS. Here I would premise that though voluntary obligations, taken upon ourselves by our own act, have something of a peculiar force in them, yet they are not the only obligations we are under to serve the Lord. We are bound to be His servants whether we will or not. His character as our creator, our preserver, and benefactor, and as a being of supreme excellency, give Him the most firm and indisputable right to our obedience. But though we are all under obligations to God, independent upon, and prior to, our own consent, yet there are a class of obligations which we have personally, and by our own act, taken upon ourselves; and in the breach of these we are guilty of more direct and aggravated perjury.
II. TO INQUIRE HOW AND WHEN, OR IN WHAT RESPECTS, AND AT WHAT PERIODS OF TIME, WE ARE WITNESSES AGAINST OURSELVES THAT WE HAVE CHOSEN THE LORD TO SERVE HIM.
1. You yourselves are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord to be your God. You know and confess that you have been dedicated to God in baptism; and some of you know it was your own act and deed when capable of choosing for yourselves. You also know in your own consciences that you are often present at the table of the Lord, and there you renew your covenant with God afresh.
2. You are witnesses against one another that you have chosen the Lord to serve Him. You have seen the transactions that have passed between God and you in His house; you have seen some baptized themselves, some presenting their children to baptism, and so renewing their own covenant with God; some sealing their religious engagements at the Lord's table.
Parallel VersesKJV: If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.