"Cut it down why cumbereth it the ground?"—Luke 13:7. this language is parallel to that in Matt. iii:10: "and now also the axe is laid unto the root of the tree; therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire."
Man is compared to a fruitless tree, that is destroyed because barren. No point of the description is literal—neither the tree, the axe, the fruit, nor the fire. The nation, or the individual, that does not serve God, perishes; that is, passes through a process of decay, destruction, as the penalty of sinfulness. Not annihilation, nor ceaseless torment, but that moral condition for which the Scriptures have no better name than death.
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