CCLXVI. The Barren Fig-Tree

1 The Church a garden is,
In which believers stand,
Like ornamental trees,
Planted by God's own hand,
His Spirit waters all their roots,
And every branch abounds with fruit.

2 But other trees there are,
In this inclosure grow,
Which tho' they promise fair,
Have only leaves to shew;
No fruits of grace are on them found,
They stand but cumb'rers of the ground.

3 The under-gard'ner grieves,
In vain his strength he spends,
For heaps of useless leaves,
Afford him small amends:
He hears the Lord his will make known,
To cut the barren fig-tree down.

4 How difficult his post!
What pangs his bowels move!
To find his wishes crost,
His efforts useless prove,
His last relief is earnest pray'r,
Lord spare them yet another year.

5 Spare them and let me try,
What farther means may do;
I'll fresh manure apply,
My digging I'll renew:
Who knows, but yet they fruit may yield,
If not — 'tis just they must be fell'd.

6 If under means of grace,
No fruit of grace appear;
It is a dreadful case,
Tho' God may long forbear;
At length he'll strike the threaten'd blow
And lay the barren fig-tree low.

Text Information
First Line: The Church a garden is
Title: The Barren Fig-Tree
Publication Date: 1790
Meter: Four 6 and twice 8
Topic: New Year's Day
Source: The Coll.
Language: English
Tune Information
(No tune information)



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