I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called,
This prisoner has more freedom than any emperor ever had. External freedom, with internal bonds, is but an affectation, and a mockery of freedom. A man flattered and deceived by an ostentation of bodily freedom, while his spirit is held in the heavy chains of his own lusts and fears, is as melancholy a spectacle as any under the sun. The evil spirit laughs to see his slave enjoying the fond delirious conceit that he is a free man. The slavery is then perfect. Paul's prison lies open to all heaven. In spirit, he walks at large, in boundless light. The prisoner writing to those who are worthy to know the secret, says: "I am surrounded by innumerable angels," I walk in paradise with "the spirits of just men made perfect," I am entertained with "unspeakable things." says: "Were any to ask, whether he should place me on high with the angels, or with Paul in his bonds, I would choose the prison." According to his own showing, he was less in peril in prison, than in the third heavens. As a safeguard against his ecstasy, he must needs have some messenger of Satan, to buffet him. In prison he found no such temptation. His bonds were a precious means of grace to him. Finding an unspeakable peace in "lowliness of mind," he commends the same to his brethren in Christ.
Parallel VersesKJV: I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,