How many of us are like this?
“Ephraim is a cake not turned.” Hos_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 some partial obedience, there was very much rebellion left. My soul, I charge thee, see whether this be thy case. Art thou thorough in the things of God? Has grace gone through the very centre of thy being so as to be felt in its divine operations in all thy powers, thy actions, thy words, and thy thoughts? To be sanctified, spirit, soul, and body, should be thine aim and prayer; and although sanctification may not be perfect in thee anywhere in degree, yet it must be universal in its action; there must not be the appearance of holiness in one place and reigning sin in another, else thou, too, wilt 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 which they have received, or are charred to a cinder with a vainglorious Pharisaic ostentation of those religious performances which suit their humour. The assumed appearance of superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all vital godliness. The saint in public is a devil in private. He deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake which is burned on one side, is dough on the other.
If it be so with me, O Lord, turn me! Turn my unsanctified nature to the fire of thy love and let it feel the sacred glow, and let my burnt side cool a little while I learn my own weakness and want of heat when I am removed from thy heavenly flame. Let me not be found a double-minded man, but one entirely under the powerful influence of reigning grace; for well I know if I am left like a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the subject of thy grace, I must be consumed for ever amid everlasting burnings.
“It is the bubbling stream that flows gently,” observes Barnes, “the little rivulet which runs along day and night by the farm-house, that is useful, rather than the swollen flood or warring cataract. Niagara excites our wonder; and we stand amazed at the powerful greatness of God there, as He pours it from the hollow of His hand. But one Niagara is enough for the continent of the world, while the same world requires thousands and tens of thousands of silver fountains and gently flowing rivulets, that water every farm and meadow, and every garden, and shall flow on every day and night with their gentle, quiet beauty. So with the acts of our lives. It is not by great deeds, like those of the martyrs, good is to be done, but by the daily and quiet virtues of life.”
Something to think about.
The Most Dangerous Kind of Actions
There are three sorts of actions: those that are good, those that are bad, and those that are doubtful; and we ought to be most cautious of those that are doubtful, for we are in most danger of these doubtful actions, because they do not alarm us. And yet they insensibly lead to greater transgressions, just as the shades of twilight gradually reconcile us to darkness.