by John Newton
One aweful word which Jesus spoke,
Against the tree which bore no fruit;
More piercing than the lightning's stroke,
Blasted and dried it to the root.
But could a tree the Lord offend,
To make him show his anger thus?
He surely had a farther end,
To be a warning word to us.
The fig-tree by its leaves was known,
But having not a fig to show;
It brought a heavy sentence down,
Let none hereafter on thee grow.
Too many, who the gospel hear,
Whom Satan blinds and sin deceives;
We to this fig-tree may compare,
They yield no fruit, but only leaves.
Knowledge, and zeal, and gifts, and talk,
Unless combined with faith and love,
And witnessed by a gospel walk,
Will not a true profession prove.
Without the fruit the Lord expects
Knowledge will make our state the worse;
The barren trees he still rejects,
And soon will blast them with his curse.
O Lord, unite our hearts in prayer!
On each of us thy Spirit send;
That we the fruits of grace may bear,
And find acceptance in the end.
Last updated January 14, 2019