Hymns, #635

The Way of the Cross - The Way of Fruitfulness

Eng/Kor:635  Chin:465[*]  Span:-  Rus:223  Tag:635  Fra:-  Por:323

Lyrics:Watchman Nee
Music:Arr. from Emmelar

Hymns using same tune:

#403, #840


Let us contemplate the grape vine,

From its life now let us learn,

How its growth is fraught with suff'ring,

Midst environment so stern;

How unlike the untamed flowers

Growing in the wilderness

In a maze of wild confusion,

Making patterns numberless.


But the blossoms of the grape vine

Without glory are and small;

Though they do have some expression,

They are hardly seen withal.

But a day since they have flowered

Into fruit the blooms have grown;

Never may they wave corollas

With luxuriant beauty shown.


To a post the vine is fastened;

Thus it cannot freely grow;

When its branches are extended,

To the trellis tied they go.

To the stony soil committed,

Drawing thence its food supply;

It can never choose its own way,

Or from difficulty fly.


Oh, how beautiful its verdure,

Which in spring spread o'er the field.

From life's energy and fulness

Growth abundant doth it yield.

Till it's full of tender branches

Twining freely everywhere,

Stretching 'gainst the sky's deep azure

Tasting sweetly of the air.


But the master of the vineyard

Not in lenience doth abide,

But with knife and pruning scissors

Then would strip it of its pride.

Caring not the vine is tender,

But with deep, precision stroke

All the pretty, excess branches

From the vine are neatly broke.


In this time of loss and ruin,

Dare the vine self-pity show?

Nay, it gives itself more fully

To the one who wounds it so,

To the hand that strips its branches,

Till of beauty destitute,

That its life may not be wasted,

But preserved for bearing fruit.


Into hard wood slowly hardens

Every stump of bleeding shoot,

Each remaining branch becoming

Clusters of abundant fruit.

Then, beneath the scorching sunshine,

Leaves are dried and from it drop;

Thus the fruit more richly ripens

Till the harvest of the crop.


Bowed beneath its fruitful burden,

Loaded branches are brought low —

Labor of its growth thru suff'ring

Many a purposed, cutting blow.

Now its fruit is fully ripened,

Comforted the vine would be;

But the harvest soon is coming,

And its days of comfort flee.


Hands will pick and feet will trample

All the riches of the vine,

Till from out the reddened wine-press

Flows a river full of wine.

All the day its flow continues,

Bloody-red, without alloy,

Gushing freely, richly, sweetly,

Filling all the earth with joy.


In appearance now the grape vine

Barren is and pitiful;

Having given all, it enters

Into night inscrutable.

No one offers to repay it

For the cheering wine that's drunk,

But 'tis stripped and cut e'en further

To a bare and branchless trunk


Yet its wine throughout the winter

Warmth and sweetness ever bears

Unto those in coldness shiv'ring,

Pressed with sorrow, pain, and cares.

Yet without, alone, the grape vine

Midst the ice and snow doth stand,

Steadfastly its lot enduring,

Though 'tis hard to understand.


Winter o'er, the vine prepareth

Fruit again itself to bear;

Budding forth and growing branches,

Beauteous green again to wear;

Never murmuring or complaining

For the winter's sore abuse,

Or for all its loss desiring

Its fresh off'ring to reduce.


Breathing air, untainted, heavenly,

As it lifts its arms on high,

Earth's impure, defiled affections

Ne'er the vine may occupy.

Facing sacrifice, yet smiling,

And while love doth prune once more,

Strokes it bears as if it never

Suffered loss and pain before.


From the branches of the grape vine

Sap and blood and wine doth flow.

Does the vine, for all it suffered,

Lost, and yielded, poorer grow?

Drunkards of the earth and wanderers,

From it drink and merry make,

From their pleasure and enjoyment

Do they richer thereby wake?


Not by gain our life is measured,

But by what we've lost 'tis scored;

'Tis not how much wine is drunken,

But how much has been outpoured.

For the strength of love e'er standeth

In the sacrifice we bear;

He who has the greatest suff'ring

Ever has the most to share.


He who treats himself severely

Is the best for God to gain;

He who hurts himself most dearly

Most can comfort those in pain.

He who suffering never beareth

Is but empty "sounding brass";

He who self-life never spareth

Has the joys which all surpass.

Hymn #635