A Lesson from the Trees

Recently while traveling I looked from my car window out into a noble orchard adjacent to the track where our train was waiting. There were many fine trees laden with fruit, and two, standing side by side, especially attracted my attention. Every branch of one was covered with red ripe apples, while the other, springing from the same soil, watered by the same beneficent showers, and gladdened by the same warm sunshine, had spindling, crooked branches, with scant and imperfect foliage, and no fruit whatever.

On looking closely, I noticed that on one side of this tree there was a large hole, and within were evidences of decay and death. The whole heart of the tree was rotted, and the trunk, being thus lifeless and impoverished, had little life-giving nourishment for the branches, and therefore they neither blossomed nor bore fruit. Soon, as I thought, the husbandman will be coming, and will say. "Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit ... and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground."

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