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1So I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit. 2For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? 3And I wrote as I did, so that when I came, I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice; for I am confident about all of you, that my joy would be the joy of all of you. 4For I wrote you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

Forgiveness for the Offender

5 But if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but to some extent—not to exaggerate it—to all of you. 6This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; 7so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 9I wrote for this reason: to test you and to know whether you are obedient in everything. 10Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ. 11And we do this so that we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

Paul’s Anxiety in Troas

12 When I came to Troas to proclaim the good news of Christ, a door was opened for me in the Lord; 13but my mind could not rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said farewell to them and went on to Macedonia.

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. 15For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.

9. For I had written to you also for this purpose. He anticipates an objection, that they might bring forward. “What then did you mean, when you were so very indignant, because we had not inflicted punishment upon him? From being so stern a judge, to become all at once a defender — is not this indicative of a man, that wavers between conflicting dispositions?” 324324     “D’vn homme inconstant, et qui est mené de contraires affections;” — “Of a man that is unsteady, and is influenced by conflicting dispositions.” This idea might detract greatly from Paul’s authority; but he answers, that he has obtained what he asked, and that he was therefore satisfied, so that he must now give way to compassion. For, their carelessness having been corrected, there was nothing to hinder their lifting up the man by their clemency, when now prostrate and downcast. 325325     “Ce poure homme le voyans bien confus et abbatu;” — “This poor man, on seeing him much abashed and overcome.”

10. To whom ye forgive. That he might the more readily appease them, he added his vote in support of the pardon extended by them. 326326     “A ce pecheur;” — “To this offender.” “Do not hesitate to forgive: I promise that I shall confirm whatever you may have done, and I already subscribe your sentence of forgiveness.” Secondly, he says that he does this for their sake; and that too, sincerely and cordially. He had already shown how desirous he was, that the man’s welfare should be consulted: he now declares, that he grants this willingly to the Corinthians.

Instead of the expression in the sight of Christ, some prefer person, 327327     “Aucuns aiment mieux dire, En la personne de Christ;” — “Some prefer to say, In the person of Christ.” because Paul in that reconciliation was in the room of Christ, 328328     “Estoit comme lieutenant de Christ;” — “Was as it were Christ’s lieutenant.” and did in a manner represent his person. 329329     Raphelius, in his Semicent. Annot., quotes a passage from Eusebius, (Hist. Eccl. lib. in. cap. 38,) in which he makes mention of the Epistle of Clement, ἣν ἐκ προσώπου τὢς’” Ρωμαίων ᾿Εκκλησίας” τὣ Κορινθίων διετυπώσατο — “which he wrote in the name of the Church of the Romans to that of the Corinthians.” — Ed. I am, however, more inclined to understand him as declaring, that he forgives sincerely and without any pretence. For he is accustomed to employ this phrase to express pure and undisguised rectitude. If, however, any one prefers the former interpretation, it is to be observed that the person of Christ is interposed, because there is nothing that ought to incline us more to the exercise of mercy.

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