Many profess that they are strangers and pilgrims here below. But they take care to have as much of this world’s comforts as they can scrape together by hook and by crook. They talk about being ‘strangers,’ yet can be in close friendship with men of the world. And could you see them at the exchange, at the market, behind the counter, or at home with their families—you would not find one mark to distinguish them from the ungodly! Yet they come to chapel—and if called upon to pray, they will tell the people they are “poor strangers and pilgrims in a valley of tears”—while all the time their hearts are in the world—and their eyes stand out with fatness—and they are as light and trifling as a comic actor—and have no concerns except to get the largest slice of the well-sugared cake that the world sets before them!
It is not the ‘mere profession of the lips’—but ‘grace in the heart,’ that makes a man a stranger and a pilgrim. God’s people are strangers and sojourners—the world is not their home—nor can they take pleasure in it. Sin is often a burden to them—guilt often lies as a heavy weight upon their conscience—a thousand troubles harass their minds—a thousand perplexities oppress their souls. They cannot bury their minds in business and derive all their happiness from their successes, for they feel that this earth is not their home. They are often cast down and exercised, because they have to live with such an ungodly heart in such an ungodly world. “They confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”