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Then working through additional verses, Owen uses the image of the apple tree:

As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. Song of Solomon 2:3 (ESV)

From this Owen writes that Jesus is a source of food for the believer:

For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. John 6:55 (ESV)

Moreover, Jesus is a source of shade for believer:

When the heat of wrath is ready to scorch the soul, Christ, interposing, bears it all. Under the shadow of his wings we sit down constantly, quietly, safely, putting our trust in him; and all this with great delight. Yea, who can express the joy of a soul safe shadowed from wrath under the covert of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus! There is also refreshment in a shade from weariness. He is “as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,” Isaiah 32:2. From the power of corruptions, trouble of temptations, distress of persecutions, there is in him quiet, rest, and repose, Matthew 11:27,28.

One should note that Taylor writing in private poetry and Owen writing serious public theology both discuss the beauty of Jesus in the most passionate of terms.

This points to a common problem in much contemporary professing Christian preaching and writing. Much of it is dull and poorly developed. Here two men of surpassing gifts writing from within the Church write which extraordinary power and ardor. Admittedly such writing takes especial effort. Moreover, it springs only from sustained and dedicated meditation on Scripture.

Secondly, when one does here passionate pleas it typically revolves around immediate, personal needs or current culture and politics. The passion fails to rise above the mundane. Years ago, when alphabetizing song sheets, I was struck by the sheer number of songs which began with the word “I”. Now certainly I  must praise if I am to praise. But it seems that the song writers should have something to say about Jesus as the main thing. Taylor writes about his subjective experience, but it is an experience grounded in the objective reality of Jesus.

Here is a reason that so much of world lays waste to professors: How can a bloodless “worship” which is most often about musical ability and ginned up emotion act as a true break to sin? What person would choose waste over gold? And yet we do, because we know so little of gold.