The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
Last words have in them a nameless touch of pathos. They linger in the memory as a loved, familiar presence, soothe life's sorrows, and exert upon the soul a strange fascination. As the years rush by, how rich in meaning do the words of dying lips become, as when Caesar said, sadly: "And thou, Brutus!" or when John Quincy Adams said: "This is the last of earth;" or Mirabeau's frantic cry for "Music," after a life of discord; or George Washington's calm statement: "It is well;" or Wesley's triumphant utterance: "The best of all is, God is with us!" And these closing words of the high-souled apostle, written from his prison, in the prospect of threatened death, carry with them a significance and tenderness which will be felt wherever this Epistle is read.
I. A PERSONALLY INSCRIBED SALUTATION. The rest of the Epistle was dictated by the apostle to an amanuensis. He adds his own salutation not only as an expression of his love, but also as a mark of the authenticity of the document. It were worthy of the pencil of genius to pourtray the noble prisoner, whose right hand was linked to the left of his military jailor, tracing with tremulous fingers the final words to those for whose sake he was in bonds! How would the hand-writing of such a man be prized and venerated, and with what holy eagerness would his words be read and pondered!
II. A TOUCHING REMINDER. "'Remember my bonds." The apostle was in prison, not for any offence against the laws of God or man, but for the sake of the gospel. The Church of Christ in all ages has had abundant reason to remember with gratitude and praise the bonds of the great apostle, not only for the stimulating example of holy patience and dignified submission displayed under trying circumstances, but for his unspeakably precious literary work. The Epistle begins and ends with blessing; and between these two extremes lies a body of truth which has dispensed blessings to thousands, and is destined to bless thousands more. The benediction is short, but instinct with life, and laden with Divine beneficence. Grace is inclusive of all the good God can bestow, or man receive. Lessons:
1. Praise God for a well-authenticated Bible.
2. Praise God for the teachings of a suffering life.
3. Praise God for His boundless grace.
Parallel VersesKJV: The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.