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The Blasted Fig-Tree

John Newton 1725 (Wapping, London) – 1807 (London)



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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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John Newton

Rev Dr John A Newton CBE is a prominent Methodist minister, author, historian and former President of the Methodist Conference. more…

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