‘My Beloved’ - His Bride (Part 3)
E. L. Lovering, Ilfracombe
Constant in Growth ch. 7. 7, 8
"This thy stature is like to a palm tree ... to clusters of grapes … the smell of thy breath like apples (citrons)."
The Bridegroom sees in her the beauties and the fruitfulness of the tall and upright palm, of the graceful and clinging vine, of the fragrant and evergreen citron.
(1) Grace has made her like the palm tree, the emblem alike of uprightness and of fruitfulness. The fruit of the date-palm is more valued than bread by the Oriental traveller, so greet is its sustaining power; and the fruit-bearing powers of the tree do not pass away; as age increases, the fruit becomes more perfect as well as more abundant. "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree ... they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and green."
The palm, also, is the emblem of victory. It grows, fearless of the heat or the burning wind. At Jerusalem the people took branches of palm-trees and in the glorious day of his espousals "a great multitude, 'which no man can number, shall stand before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white-robes and palms in their hands, and ascribe privation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
(2) But if she resembles the palm she auto resembles the vine. Much she needs the culture of the Husbandman. Abiding in Christ, she brings forth "clusters of grapes"…luscious and refreshing to Himself, as well as to the thirsty world.
It needs support; the sharp knife of the pruner often cuts away unsparingly its tender garlands, and mars its appearance, while increasing its fruitfulness.
(3) "As the citron-tree among the trots of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons."
"I delighted and sat down under his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."
"The citrons on which she had fed perfumed her breath … feasting on her Beloved, she partakes of His fragrance."