The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 21, sermon number 1,229, "Decision, illustrated by the case of Joshua.""To enjoy religion, you must plunge into it."
Some of you are ill at ease at sea, but my friend in the blue jacket over yonder likes it well enough, for he is always there; his home is on the rolling waves, and there are no sea-sicknesses for him: those of you who make short trips upon the sea of piety, and do a little coasting religion now and then, are sick with doubts and fears, but if you sailed always on that sea you would get your sea legs, you would gain full assurance, and see the glories of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.
It is with true religion as with the American’s orchard. A gentleman was invited into a garden to taste the apples. “No,” he said, “I would rather not,” and being often asked to come and partake, yet refusing, the other said, “I guess you’ve a prejudice against my apples.” “Yes,” said the man, “I have tasted a few of them, and they are very sour.”
“But which,” said he, “did you taste?” “Why, those apples which fall into the road over the hedge.” “Ah, yes,” said the owner, “they are as sour as crabs, I planted them for the good of the boys, but if you come into the middle of the lot you will find a different flavour”; and it was so.
Now, just round the border of religion, along the outer hedge, there are some very sour apples, of conviction, self-denial, humiliation, and self-despair, planted on purpose to keep off hypocrites and mere professors; but in the midst of the garden are luscious fruits, mellow to the taste, and sweet as nectar.
The central position in religion is the sweetest. The nearer to God the sweeter the joy.