I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called,
This exhortation takes in the whole circle of our duties. In effect, if we exhort a man of noble birth, or of distinguished rank in life, not to do anything unworthy of himself, disgraceful to his family, or unbecoming his high station, we say everything that can be said.
1. There is not any truth more evidently expressed, nor more frequently repeated, in the sacred Scriptures, than that the first object of our vocation to Christianity is to disengage us from the world, to break the chains which bind our affections to creatures. You are Christians: and therefore, when you appear among men, you are to make yourselves distinguished by charity, purity, and every virtue.
2. It is therefore a most destructive illusion to reason as Christians are sometimes heard to do: "I am a man of the world; I must live as the world does; I must conform to its manners." "I am a Christian; therefore I am not of this world; therefore I cannot live as the world does, cannot conform to its manners." Reason in this manner, and your determination will be conformable to the spirit and to the grace of your vocation. You must take notice that there are two kinds of separation from the world: the one corporal and exterior; the other, a separation in heart and in spirit. Withdraw yourselves from the world, before the world retires from you. You must quit the world by choice, and by an effort of virtue, or be torn from it at length by force and violence. Follow, therefore, now the sweet attractions of Divine grace.
Parallel VersesKJV: I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,