Scripture Verse

Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? Luke 13:7

Introduction

illustration
Parable of the Fig Tree
Jan Luyken, Bowyer Bible, 1795

Words: Jo­seph Har­bot­tle, in the Com­pre­hen­sive Rip­pon, 1844.

Music: Ab­er­deen pos­si­bly by An­drew Tait, in James Chal­mers’ un­ti­tled col­lect­ion, 1749. Me­lo­dy from Ru­di­ments of Mu­sic, by Ro­bert Brem­ner, 1756 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Har­bot­tle or Tait (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

Lyrics

See how the fruitless fig tree stands
Beneath the owner’s frown;
The axe is lifted in his hands,
To cut the cumberer down.

Year after year I come, he cries,
And still no fruit is shown;
I see but empty leaves arise;
Then cut the cumberer down.

The axe of death at one sharp stroke,
Shall make my justice known;
Each bough shall tremble at the shock
Which cuts the cumberer down.

Sinner, beware—the axe of death
Is raised, and aimed at thee;
Awhile thy Maker spares thy breath;
Beware, O barren tree!