The Barren Fig-Tree

The church a garden is

Author: John Newton
Published in 12 hymnals

Representative Text

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 ev'ry branch abounds with fruits.

2 But other trees there are,
In this enclosure grow;
Which, though they promise fair,
Have only leaves to show:
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 cross'd,
His labours useless prove!
His last relief, his 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 gracious fruit 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.

Source: Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians #43

Author: John Newton

Newton, John, who was born in London, July 24, 1725, and died there Dec. 21, 1807, occupied an unique position among the founders of the Evangelical School, due as much to the romance of his young life and the striking history of his conversion, as to his force of character. His mother, a pious Dissenter, stored his childish mind with Scripture, but died when he was seven years old. At the age of eleven, after two years' schooling, during which he learned the rudiments of Latin, he went to sea with his father. His life at sea teems with wonderful escapes, vivid dreams, and sailor recklessness. He grew into an abandoned and godless sailor. The religious fits of his boyhood changed into settled infidelity, through the study of Shaftesbury and… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The church a garden is
Title: The Barren Fig-Tree
Author: John Newton
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Instances (1 - 12 of 12)
TextPage Scan

A Selection of Psalms and Hymns: done under the appointment of the Philadelphian Association #CCLXVI

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians. 9th ed. #d171

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Use of Christians #d140

TextPage Scan

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians #43

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Use of Christians. 8th ed. #d165

Hymns and Spiritual Songs, for the Use of Christians #d104

Select Hymns #d166

Page Scan

The Baptist Hymn Book: original and selected: in two parts #545

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