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Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them
that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Isaiah xxxv. 3-5.
To the Weakly, Psalm vi. 2; Sickly, 1 Cor. xi. 30; Halt
ing, Psalın xxxviii. 17; Mourning, Isa. Ixi. 3; Faint, Prov. xxiv. 10; Feeble, Psalm xxxviii.8; and Fearful, Isa.xxxv.4. Fraternity of Zion; whether distinguished by the appellation of Lambs, John xxi. 15; Kids, Cant. i. 8; Children, 1 John ii. 12; Babes, 1 Pet. ii. 2; Doves, Isa. lx. 8; Conies, Prov. xxx. 26; or Ants, Prov. xxx. 25; or whatever real or figurative name they may bear in the divine and endless genealogy: their Friend and humble Servant sendeth, greeting; with perfect peace, and at such a time.
HAVE long had a strong desire to publislı some little treatise that might, under the blessing of God, be of use to you. A sense of my own weakness, and the abounding accounts of the weak in faith that stand on record in holy writ, have prompted me to undertake a work of this sort. And, what added some fervour to my desires was, that I have read several productions, both ancient and modern, intended for this
which are not pregnant with sound doctrine: the authors have wandered from the doctrines of Christ, and
. followed the weaklings into the corrupt principles of free-agency; and appear as far, in doctrine, from the basis of truth, as the weakling from the Munition of Rocks; which, instead of bringing them off the old bottom, fixes them on it.
To keep back, or hide the truth from them, or to endeavour to confirm them on any basis short of Christ, is fixing them where there is no standing. Such founding and daubing must be plucked up, and pulled down, before ever the heart can be established. Job detected his friends and comforters at this, saying, “ How, then, comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood ?” This is building up in lies, instead of truth; and if either the foundation or the superstructure cannot stand the test of God's word, how will they stand rebukes with flames of fire ! Some choose not only to keep back, but to speak lightly of, the doctrines of God's election and predestination, lest these things should frighten, terrify, or drive them back; which is encouraging their rebellion against their Maker, instead of building them up on their most holy faith, by enforcing the faith of God's elect. The Saviour told Little Faith, as well as the rest, to rejoice because their names were written in heaven; and he rejoiced in spirit before them, because his heavenly Father had hid those things from the wise and prudent, which he revealed to babes : and, as he calls them babes, it seems they were most, if not all, of little faith at that time. And Peter tells.