And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe you, neither listen to the voice of the first sign…
A man needs not to be a thorough unbeliever, overtly renouncing all allegiance to revealed truth, in order to become useless in the pulpit and religiously powerless in society. He needs only to put a note of interrogation after some of the articles of his creed. That is enough, without absolutely erasing them. The hesitant is as impotent for spiritual good as the heretic. The man who is shooting for the Queen's cup may as well attempt to hold his rifle with a paralysed arm as take aim with a trembling hand. That tremor will be fatal to success in hitting the mark. Truth uttered questioningly and apologetically will prove an arrow of conviction to no man's soul. This, it seems to me, rather than absolute and pronounced infidelity, is the bane and weakness of the age. It pervades the pulpit and the pew. From the former, doctrines may be still propounded with logical accuracy, with great precision of definition, with much beauty and felicity of illustration, but with not enough of conviction to drive them forcibly home. The rifle is a beautiful piece of mechanism, but there is something amiss with the powder.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.