And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.…
I. For the ACT. Restitution is nothing else but the making reparation or satisfaction to another for the injuries we have done him. It is to restore a man to the good condition from which, contrary to right and to our duty, we have removed him.
II. For the latitude and extent of the object, as I may call it, or THE MATTER ABOUT WHICH IT IS CONVERSANT. It extends to all kind of injuries, which may be reduced to these two heads; either we injure a person with or without his consent.
1. Some injuries are done to persons with their consent. Such are most of those injuries which are done to the souls of men, when we command, or counsel, or encourage them to sin, or draw them in by our example.
2. Injuries are done to persons without their consent. And these, though they are not always the greatest mischiefs, yet they are the greatest injuries. And these injuries are done either by fraud and cunning, or by violence and oppression: either by overreaching another man in wit, or overbearing him by power.
III. As to the manner HOW RESTITUTION IS TO BE MADE.
1. Thou art bound to do it voluntarily, and of thy own accord, though the person injured do not know who it was that did him the injury, though he do not seek reparation by law.
2. Thou must do it in kind, if the thing be capable of it, and the injured party demand it. Thou must restore the very thing which thou hadst deprived thy neighbour of, if it be such a thing as can be restored, and be still in thy power, unless he voluntarily accept of some other thing in exchange.
3. If thou canst not restore it in kind, thou art bound to restore it in value, in something that is as good. As for spiritual injuries done to the souls of men, we are bound to make such reparation and compensation as we can. Those whom we have drawn into sin, and engaged in wicked courses, by our influence and example, we are to endeavour by our instruction and counsel to reclaim them from those sins we led them into, and "to recover them out of the snare of the devil."
IV. AS TO THE MEASURE AND PROPORTION OF THE RESTITUTION WE ARE TO MAKE. Zaccheus here offers fourfold, which was much beyond what any law required in like cases.
1. Where restitution can be made in kind, or the injury can be certainly valued, we are to restore the thing or the value.
2. We are bound to restore the thing with the natural increase of it; that is, to satisfy for the loss sustained in the meantime, and the gain hindered.
3. Where the thing cannot be restored, and the value of it is not certain, we are to give reasonable satisfaction, that is, according to a middle estimation; not the highest nor the lowest of things of the kind.
4. We are at least to give by way of restitution what the law would give, for that is generally equal, and in most cases rather favourable than rigorous.
5. A man is not only bound to restitution for the injury which he did, but for all that directly follows upon his injurious act, though it were beyond his intention.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.