"AS THE APPLE-TREE
AMONG THE TREES OF THE WOOD,..."

Song. 2:3

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


"As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons."–Song ii. 3.

My soul! if the church found so much blessedness in making comparisons between her Lord and any of the beautiful objects of nature around her; see if thou canst raise a subject for thy meditation, this evening, from the statement she hath made in this lovely verse. Why should not Jesus be in thy view as in her's? Doth he not infinitely transcend all sons, of whatever description or character that can be found? Angels, no doubt, by creation may be called "the sons of God;" and when God had finished the works of his hands, we are told that "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." But Jesus as far excels all angels of light, as the apple-tree the trees of the Wood: for "he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." Neither did God at any time say unto the angels, "Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool." But to our Jesus he said, "Thy throne, O God I is for ever and ever, a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." And to shew at once the infinite superiority of the Lord Jesus, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the would, he saith, "And let all the angels of God worship him." Therefore if by the term sons, it could be supposed that angels are meant, well might the church declare Jesus her beloved, to be above them. And if by sons, the sons of men be meant, what is the whole church of saints compared to Jesus? Though the church, by the comeliness her Lord hath put upon her, shines like a beautiful constellation among the heavenly bodies, yet all her glory and lustre are derived from Jesus, the Sun of righteousness. Pause, my soul, over this view of thy Lord. And when thou hast feasted thyself with the sweet subject, go on, and mark some of the many beauties contained in this comparison between the apple-tree and the trees of the wood. In our cold country, the apple-tree, in its best appearance, affords but a poor resemblance, to what naturalists relate of the pomecitron, as it is called, of the warm eastern climates. It is said of the appletree of those countries, that it is a lofty, majestic, stately tree, abundantly fruitful, and yielding both shade and fruit to the traveller. Some assert that it continues bearing fruit the whole year, and is never without blossom. If so, without going farther, we may discover enough by which to understand the beautiful allusion the church hath made of it in this verse to her Lord. Jesus is all this, and infinitely more. He is indeed the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God, and he bears fruit every month, and the leaves of this tree are for the healing of the nations. Precious Jesus! thou art the fairest and the chiefest among ten thousand! Be thou to me, Lord, as the fruitful bough which the dying patriarch blessed by the well, whose branches ran over the wall. And Oh! do thou give strength to my poor feeble faith, to gather all the rich fruits of thy righteousness for the healing of my soul, that I may daily sit down under thy shadow with great delight, and thy fruit be sweet to my taste!

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.
Robert Hawker



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