Occasionally, a well-crafted, articulate devotional enters the scene. The author’s intent is clear, concise, and virtually every line is laced with quotability. This morning’s Morning and Evening is such an achievement. It contains pithy statements of candor such as: “although sanctification might not be complete in you, still it must be at work in you” and “the saint in public is a devil in private.”
Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.
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Ephraim is a cake not turned. — Hosea 7:8
A cake not turned is uncooked on one side; and so Ephraim was, in many respects, untouched by divine grace: Though there was partial obedience, there was too much rebellion left. My soul, I charge you to see whether this is true of you. Are you thorough in the things of God? Has grace gone to the very center of your being so that its divine operation is felt in all your powers, your actions, your words, and your thoughts? To be sanctified, spirit, soul, and body, should be your aim and prayer; and although sanctification might not be complete in you, still it must be at work in you. There must not be the appearance of holiness in one place and reigning sin in another; otherwise you will also be a cake not turned.
A cake not turned is soon burnt on the side nearest the fire, and although no man can have too much religion, there are some who seem burnt black with bigoted zeal for that part of truth that they overemphasize; others are charred to a cinder with a self-congratulatory pharisaic performance of those religious activities that suit their mood. The assumed appearance of superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all vital godliness, and the saint in public is a devil in private. He deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake that is burned on one side is dough on the other.
This is true of me, Lord Jesus; turn me! Turn my unsanctified nature to the fire of Your love, and let it feel the sacred glow, and let my burnt side cool a little while I learn my own weakness and lack of heat when I am removed from Your heavenly flame. Let me not be a double-minded man, but one who is entirely under the powerful influence of reigning grace. I know only too well that if I am left like a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the subject of Your grace, I will be consumed forever in everlasting burnings.