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Verse 25

Matthew 5:25. Agree, &c. Here our Lord enforces the preceding exhortation, from the consideration of what is reckoned prudent in ordinary quarrel and law-suits. “In such cases, wise men always advise the party that has done wrong to make up matters with his adversary while it is in his power, lest the sentence of a judge, being interposed, fall heavy on him. For the same reason, we, who have offended our brother, ought to make it up with him, while an opportunity of repentance is allowed us; and that though our quarrel should have proceeded to the greatest lengths, lest the sentence of the Supreme Judge overtake us, and put reconciliation out of our power for ever.” With thine adversary quickly With any against whom thou hast thus offended; whiles thou art in the way with him Going with him to a magistrate; or, instantly, on the spot; before you part. Lest the adversary deliver thee to the judge To be tried before him; and the judge, deciding the cause against thee, deliver thee to the officer of the court, to keep thee in custody till satisfaction be made, and thou be cast into prison Not being able to discharge an account enhanced with so many additional articles of expense. Thou shalt by no means come out thence Be released out of prison; till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing For thy antagonist, when he has got thee at such an advantage, will be more rigorous in his demands than before. And surely, if by impenitent wickedness thou makest thyself the prisoner of the divine justice, thy case will be yet more deplorable and hopeless. Understanding the words in a figurative sense, which is, partly at least, intended by Christ here, the prison is taken for hell, out of which the unrelenting sinner can never come, according to our Lord’s declaration, because he can never be able to make that satisfaction. “Lord, we are all the debtors, and, in one sense, the prisoners of thy justice, and of ourselves were most incapable, not only of paying the uttermost farthing, but even of discharging the least part of the debt! We bless thee for that generous Surety who has taken and discharged it for us; and by the price of whose atoning blood we are delivered from the chains of darkness, and are translated into the glorious liberty of thy children.” Doddridge. What has hitherto been said refers to meekness; what follows, to purity of heart.

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