Scripture Verse

When He saw a fig tree by the wayside, He came to it and found nothing thereon, but leaves only. And He said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And immediately the fig tree withered away. Matthew 21:19


Wikimedia Commons, Anaxibiacc-license

Words: Chris­to­pher Words­worth, The Ho­ly Year (Lon­don: Riv­ing­tons, 1862), num­ber 40. Christ’s ex­hor­ta­tion to His Dis­ci­ples…af­ter the wi­ther­ing of the bar­ren lea­fy fig-tree; an ex­hor­ta­tion to Faith in Christ in times of tri­al.

Music: Old Mar­tyrs Psalms (Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land: 1615) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

  • New Bri­tain Vir­gin­ia Har­mo­ny, 1831) (🔊 pdf nwc)
  • New York Tune The Sab­bath Hymn and Tune Book, 1859 (🔊 pdf nwc)
  • Prière d’Es­prit W. C. Fos­ter, prob­a­bly ear­ly 20th Cen­tu­ry (🔊 pdf nwc)
Christopher Wordsworth
National Portrait Gallery



The fig tree near the wayside showed
Its bright leaves from afar,
But those green leaves, which looked so fair,
Now sere and blighted are.

Green leaves it had, but fruit had none;
Christ came and looked for fruit;
Let none e’er eat of thee, He said;
It withered to the root.

Have faith in God—yon city now
Shines brightly in the sun;
Christ searches it; it shows much leaf,
But fruit of faith has none.

Soon Christ Himself will withered seem
By that proud city’s scorn;
But Passion-tide will lead Him forth
To a bright Easter morn.

Have faith in God. Be not perplexed
By Calvary’s suffering;
From that dark winter Christ revives
To an eternal spring.

Have faith in God; that city proud—
That leafy, barren tree—
Will, by the lightnings of His Word,
Withered for ever be.

The hypocrite and evil man
May flourish in the breeze
Of wayside earthly fame; but God
Will blight all barren trees.

Root us in faith, make us bear fruit
Of holiness and love;
So may we ever flourish, Lord,
In paradise above.

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Eternal glory be;
O praise and bless with songs of joy
One God, and Persons Three.