The true Christian finds everything around him antagonistic to his thoughts and feelings.
He loves Christ supremely — the world hates Him supremely.
He delights to do God’s will — the world revels in its disobedience.
His heart is set on heavenly and Divine things — “the heart of men is fully set to do evil.”
He is daily pained at the manifestations of sin and unbelief. He mourns at the spiritual destitution of his fellow men, and at the rampant evils which rear themselves unbridled, and devour the vitals of society with rapacity! Sin meets his eye wherever he turns!
In the Church — he sees hypocrisy, formality, self-righteousness, censoriousness, lukewarmness, and backsliding.
In the family — he finds peevishness, ill temper, discord, variance, strifes, evil surmisings, and positive hatred.
In the state — he perceives crimes of every sort and hue, and the decalogue broken in each one of its commandments.
In business — he is made to witness fraud, greed, deceptions, lying!
We are ever made to feel that we are in an enemy’s country; that here, as the Patriarchs confessed, “we have no abiding city — but we seek one to come;” that “we who are in tabernacles of flesh do groan, being burdened” —
burdened with the remaining corruption of our own hearts;
burdened with our daily short-comings and omissions of duty;
burdened with our positive transgressions;
burdened with our frequent infirmities; and
burdened with seeing and hearing the ungodliness which surrounds us, and which is ever crying to Heaven for vengeance!
We long for a release from the place where our soul, like that of righteous Lot, is daily “vexed with the filthy lives of the wicked!” So that, look where we will, we are constrained to say with the Psalmist, “Woe to me that I dwell in Meshech — that I live among the tents of Kedar!” Psalm 120:5
William Bacon Stevens, “The Parables” 1857