Strangers & Pilgrims

(J. C. Philpot, "Life and Death of a Pilgrim")

"They confessed that they were strangers
and pilgrims on the earth." Hebrews 11:13

You feel yourself a stranger in this ungodly world;
it is not your element—it is not your home. You are
in it during God's appointed time—but you wander
up and down this world a stranger . . .
  to its company,
  to its maxims,
  to its fashions,
  to its principles,
  to its motives,
  to its lusts,
  to its inclinations, and
all in which this world moves as in its native element.

Grace has separated you by God's distinguishing power,
that though you are in the world, you are not of it. You
feel yourself to be a stranger here—as David says, "a
stranger and a sojourner, as all my fathers were."

I can tell you plainly . . .
  if you are at home in the world;
  if the things of time and sense are your element;
  if you feel one with . . .
    the company of the world,
    the maxims of the world,
    the fashions of the world,
    the principles of the world,
grace has not reached your heart—the faith
of God's elect does not dwell in your bosom.

The first effect of grace is to SEPARATE.

It was so in the case of Abraham. He was called
by grace to leave the land of his fathers and go
out into a land that God would show him.

And so God's own word to His people is now,
"Come out from among them, and be separate."

Separation, separation, separation from the world
is the grand distinguishing mark of vital godliness!

There may be indeed separation of body where there
is no separation of heart. But what I mean is . . .
  separation of heart,
  separation of principle,
  separation of affection,
  separation of spirit.

And if grace has touched your heart and you are
a partaker of the faith of God's elect—you are a
stranger in the world, and will make it manifest
by your life and conduct that you are such.

But they were also pilgrims—that is, sojourners
through weary deserts—longing, longing for home,
possessing nothing in which they could take
pleasure—feeling the weariness of a long journey
and anxious for rest.

Are you not at times almost worn out by . . .
so that you would gladly lay down your weary
body in the grave—that your soul might rest
in the sweet enjoyment of the King of kings?

If such is your spirit, you have something
of the spirit of the pilgrim sojourning in a
weary land, and and longing for . . .
  and peace
in a better country.

"But they desire a better place—a
 heavenly homeland." Hebrews 11:16