Verily I say unto you, you shall by no means come out of there, till you have paid the last penny.
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Augustine of Hippo
But, with regard to paying the last farthing, the expression can be quite reasonably understood as the equivalent of saying that nothing is left unpunished—just as in ordinary parlance we use the expression “to the very dregs” when we wish to declare that something is so completely consumed that nothing is left. Or it can be understood in the sense that earthly sins could be designated by the last fourth or the earth is found to be the fourth and the last part of the distinct elements of this world. This assumes that you begin from the heavens, count the air second, the water third and the earth fourth. For this reason the expression “until you have paid the last penny” can be rightly understood as meaning until you have expiated earthly sins. For the sinner has also heard the expression “Earth you are, and to the earth you shall return.” .