THE UNFRUITFUL TREE.





A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and

sought fruit thereon, but found none. Then he called to the gardener

who attended to his vineyard, and said to him, "Behold these three

years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none. Cut it

down. Why does it encumber the ground?"



The gardener answered him and said, "Lord, let it alone this year

also, till I shall dig about it and manure it. And if it bear fruit

then, it is well; but if not, then, after that, thou shalt cut it

down."



In this parable the vineyard means the world, and the fig-tree ungodly

people whose lives do not produce good works--do not produce fruit in

the service of God. The Lord of the vineyard, that is, God, would

destroy such people, but Christ intercedes in their behalf, that time

for repentance may be given. "He is not willing that any should

perish, but that all should come to repentance." Christ came and

sought to change men's hearts, and make their lives fruitful for God.

The warning has been given, and when the Lord of the vineyard comes

again to seek good fruit the unfruitful trees shall be destroyed.



Am I a barren tree, dear Lord?

A cumberer of the ground.

Oh! give me grace to fruitful be,

And in Thy work abound.





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